1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Я не играю ни на каком музык…

"Я не играю ни на каком музыкальном инструменте."

Translation:I don't play any musical instruments.

December 6, 2015



I don't understand the construction of this sentence in Russian. In particular, the 'ни на каком'. What does that actually do here?


никакой, ни один is any in negative sentences


на каком музыкальном инструменте is singular and the English translation will work just as well, maybe a little better, in singular also.


To me the plural sounds way more natural.


One can say "Не играю ни на каких музыкальных инструментах" with no difference in meaning. Usually, in such cases, the number in the answer is the same as in the question.


"I am not playing any musical instrument "???


The situation in which the sentence should be translated like this is unlikely, but possible.


What is the meaning of the word "ни"


The Russian word for 'not' is "не". "Ни" is a particle which strengthens negation. When used together with the word "какой" in negative sentences, it corresponds to "any". In the absence of a preposition, "ни" turns into a prefix (никакой, никакая, никакое, никакие). When used in combination with any forms of pronouns кто and что, it corresponds to "nobody" and "nothing", respectively - in sentences without "not", and, to "anybody" and "anything", respectively - in sentences with "not". Examples: Никто не знает. = Nobody knows. Ничто меня не остановит = Nothing will stop me. Я ничего не вижу = I can't see anything. Я ни на кого не рассчитываю = I don't rely on anybody. Likewise, "никак" means "in no way" or "[not] in any way", both "нигде" and "никуда" mean "nowhere" or "[not] anywhere", никогда means "never" or "[not] ever". The "ни ..., ни..." structure used in combination with не, corresponds to "neither ..., nor..." or "not ... either ..., or...". Each of the phrases "ни тот, ни другой", "ни то, ни другое", "ни та, ни другая" translates as one word "neither". Idioms "ни то ни сё" and "ни рыба ни мясо" refer to unsatisfactory quality.

[deactivated user]

    На чём ты играешь?- Я играю ни на чём. На каком интрументе ты играешь? Я играю ни на каком инструменте.


    Нет, не так

    На чём ты играешь?- Я ни на чём не играю.
    На каком инструменте ты играешь? Я не играю ни на каком инструменте.

    [deactivated user]

      That's it! Thanks you. I've now got the point.


      Would it be possible to use любой? How would, "Я не играю на любом музыкальном инструменте" sound to a native speaker?


      Любой doesn't fit here. If you say "я не играю на любом...", the implication will be "although I may be able to play one or two musical instruments, don't expect me to be able to play every instrument in the world."


      it should be in the singular - any musical instrument


      Why? In the presence of “not” it doesn’t make any difference.

      Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.