"Vanya was explaining to his grandmother where the school was."
Translation:Ваня объяснял бабушке, где находится школа.
Without trying to sound like a bad internet ad, this is one weird thing about this course. Sometimes if you infer something like "his" in a sentence like this when you're translating from Russian to English it marks it wrong, but includes it in the reverse translation.
Interesting that this confusion arises in Stonefruit as well as English. ;-)
I had the following which was marked incorrect "ваня объяснял своей бабушке где школа" but do we really need, in this construction, a verb to indicate the position of the school? If I were to ask "where is the school" surely "где школа" would be right?
"находится" is optional. Possible translations:
- Ваня объяснял бабушке, где нахо́дится школа.
- Ваня объяснял бабушке, где располага́ется школа.
- Ваня объяснял бабушке, где располо́жена школа.
- Ваня объяснял бабушке, где школа.
short question, why is it incorrect to use своей?
Thanks in advance, the info is appreciated.
"своей бабушке"? It's not incorrect at all, it's just redundant. We don't usually use possessive pronouns talking about our relatives.
Yes, in this case Vanya is the diminutive of Ivan.
(Vadiim will show up here in about 30 minutes, thanks for setting him off again)
I think not: every word in Russian ending with "А" or "Я" is considered female
I'm not sure why "ваня объяснял бабушке где была школа" isn't right. The English text says the school WAS there. Saying "где школа" without "была" means the school is still there, correct?
That's because of the sequence of tenses in English. "He said that the school was there" in Russian is "он сказал, что школа там". So he said it in the past but the school is still there. And "he said that the school had been there" means "он сказал, что школа была там"
I agree with WilliamR90. In common American English "the school was there" can mean "the school used to be there".
I wrote "Ваня бабушке объяснял, где находится школа" and it was not accepted. Please tell me, dear Russian speakers, is this word order unnatural and weird to use?
Putting grandmother before is an odd word order but not grammatically incorrect. It emphasizes strongly that he was /explaining/ to his grandmother. Like the example here: Бабушка Вани пришла в школу без проблем. Он для неё написал где школа? -А! Нет. Ваня бабушке объяснял, где школа. Это было достаточно.
It doesn't have to be translated. If you refer to a family member, it's assumed you're talking about your own. You would only use this when you're strongly highlighting that it's one's own relative. Он вчера не увидел брата Ивана? Нет, я думаю, что он увидел своего брата.
2 evident problems here: 1 - the missing possessive моей/своей before бабошке, since it is about “his grandmother”, and 2 - the past tense on where the school “was”. These can be really confusing and misleading.
You don't need to translate possessive pronouns before family members. It's assumed in Russian that you're talking about your own. The past tense /is/ misleading though, and indeed has two translations.
Correct. But when you talk about a place that doesn't move, находится is common. Then there's the question of the ambiguous English. "She asked where the school was" can be "where the school used to be" as well as "where the school is". But it's customary to make the second verb past unless the information is still ongoing. She asked when the store is open today. (It's still open.) She asked when the store was open today. (It might be closed now. Unknown.)