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

Translation:Неизвестно, много ли людей тогда умело читать.

December 6, 2015

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/servolock

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

December 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/peachtree2

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.

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/servolock

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.

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cherub721

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

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alexm768

много людей умело
многие люди умели

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cherub721

Thanks. How do we know when to use which?

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alexm768

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".

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cherub721

Thank you, that's a good explanation.

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/xYann00

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

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Oemerich

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

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CathyFranc6

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.

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CathyFranc6

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/

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yah511

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

March 1, 2019
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