"It is unknown if many people knew how to read then."

Translation:Неизвестно, много ли людей тогда умело читать.

December 6, 2015

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Does DL somewhere have a write-up on the usage of the particle "ли" ?? It really should be explained.


There are at least good thread responses. I'll try to come back with a link. I see you're Russian level 16 now but it would probably be helpful here anyway.

ли follows whichever particular you are expressing doubt about. Be it verb, adjective, or noun. If the whole phrase is necessary to describe a situation you are in doubt about then если is used where you would put "if" in English. In this example it is assumed that at least some people knew how to read 'then' so the question is just how many: много ли.


Thanks for the explanation. I'm amazed that no one answered before you. I still think "ли" deserves a proper tutorial in DL, since it is so often used, in both written and spoken Russian.


Since люди is plural I feel like it should be умели, but since люди is in genitive case, is it not the subject?


много людей умело
многие люди умели


Thanks. How do we know when to use which?


Sorry, I don't know. I can only say that "много" means a large quantity in absolute sense, and "многие" means a large quantity as a part of some group. You cannot use "многие" with uncountable nouns.

У меня много книг. Многие книги очень старые. I have a lot of books. Many of the books are very old.
У меня мало ручек. Многие из них к тому же не пишут. I have a small amount of pens. Besides, many of them won't write.

However, in this task both forms will do, I think. I.e. "много людей тогда" = "a lot of people at that time", "многие люди тогда" = "many of the people living at that time".


Thank you, that's a good explanation.


Why "Неизвестно много ли людей умело тогда читать" is not correct?

[deactivated user]

    why is it много ли людей and not ли много людей?


    I'd also like to know.


    why not : Неизвестно, много ли людей умело тогда читать ?


    Опять упражнение, где почему-то считается неправильным другой порядок слов. Бред. Люди так никогда не выучат русский язык


    Like Онфим! I just found - and loved - this story yesterday, about medieval literacy: https://lithub.com/onfim-wuz-here-on-the-unlikely-art-of-a-medieval-russian-boy/


    Beautiful story!

    • 1134

    Умело тогда=Тогда умело


    Why is there no "это" for "it is"? Im confused...


    A lot of the short form adjectives/adverbs mean "it is x" It is known, it is cold (холодно), it is loud (шумно). In English, we express these concepts with "it is," while in Russian, the one word is enough to be a sentence.


    спасибо! )


    Неизвесто, тогда-ли много людей умело читать, i.e. almost the same as Duoling but rejected because of the word order. Would it still be possible or does it sound too awkward?


    "неизвестно много ли людей умело читать тогда" was marked wrong. Is it wrong to put тогда here?


    I'd like to know that too


    I love that they throw zingers like this in at the last 2/7s of the last lesson!


    Why умело and not умели?


    Apparently, много is the subject and людей, being in the genitive, is its attribute. This is probably a remnant of Old Russian.


    Does it matter exactly where тогда is placed? I wrote Неизвестно много ли людей умело тогда читать. It wasn't accepted


    I don't think it's literally wrong, just not natural. People would understand you, but Duolingo is trying to teach the preferred word order.


    "Неизвестно, много ли людей умело тогда читать" - This word order is also correct, dear DUO.


    How would you say "it is unknown how many people knew how to read then"? According to a native speaker i know it would be the same sentence and that confuses me a lot.


    That would be "Неизвестно, сколько людей тогда умело читать."


    I feel so happy to have answered this correctly without looking at the hints! XD

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