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  5. "Кошке хочется молока."

"Кошке хочется молока."

Translation:The cat would like some milk.

December 8, 2015

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awenzloff

Why is milk declined as молока here? Wouldn't it be молоко?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
Mod
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  • 2022

Both are grammatically correct, but the meanings are slightly different:
Я хочу молока (genitive) - I want some milk.
Я хочу молоко (accusative) - I want (this) milk. I have a choice of drinks offered to me, and I am choosing milk.
Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hugh.W

Your example seems to illustrate a different construction. Subject (nom.) + хотеть + direct object (acc.) is a familiar pattern from previous exercises. But this sentence is different. It appears to be Indirect object (dat.) + хотеться + subject (?). If the milk isn't the subject, as per your below comment, what part of speech is it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/domhorse89

Yes, but in this sentence, isn't the milk the subject and therefore has to be nominative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
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  • 2022

No, it's not a subject. The milk does not want itself. The explicit subject is missing in this construction - this is hard to imagine in English, but not so uncommon even in languages close to English, such as German. Since you study it as well, you may recognise examples like "Mir ist kalt". (The subject - "es" ("it") is implicit.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/domhorse89

That actually makes so much sense! After I posted my question I realised something was wrong but couldn't figure out what - thank you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Even in English it's not so hard, just a little more removed in thinking: "It would be nice for the car to have" = "The cat would like [to have]....", or "one wants for the cat (to have) some milk".

It's not normal English, but if you read some 19th Century English literature. you can come close to the Russian in intent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucafer92

Because the genitive case can also convey a partitive meaning: молока=some milk / a little amount of milk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lars200

Why would it be incorrect to say: кошка хочет молоко?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
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  • 2022

It would be perfectly correct if you changed молоко to молока (see my earlier commend on the difference in meanings between accusative and genitive cases here). That said, the reflexive construction still sounds slightly more natural to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Because the cat is very polite and well-mannered, and never "wants" anything, but evermore "would like" something - or, more precisely, is in such a social position that the noble beast assumes - rightly so - that "one wants for the cat some milk" - "one" being whoever is there is wait hand-and-foot on the deserving animal. Such is a cat's existence...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kamelkatt

But don't give him any! Adult cats are lactose intolerant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saskia390132

Thank you, I wanted to write that, too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeosamhOSlatra

Why is it кошке, and not кошка?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Igor970222

It's the indirect object, so it needs the dative case. Literally it means something like "To the cat is wanted some milk" if I'm not mistaken.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernalberta

We learned earlier that to express “the cat wants milk” it’s just “кошка хочет молоко” - what is this “хочется”? Where is this “-ся” suffix coming from? In what contexts is it necessary? I don’t understand the purpose of this extra complication. What would its English equivalent be?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

-ся (or -сь if the word ends with a vowel) is the suffix that makes the verb reflexive. In the case of хотеть, making the verb reflexive gives it an impersonal or passive flavour, so it's a little less direct and more polite. That's why above they've translated it to "would like", which is more polite than "wants".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernalberta

Thanks. Can you make any Russian verb reflexive? And does that always change the case to dative (Я changes to Мне, etc) ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jordgnoebe

Good question, if anyone knows please do share this knowledge


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dharmesh80450

As if cat is ordering milk in hotel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Antixity

Current speaker says молОка. Should be молокА.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Volusien

I see someone else has commented on the strange pronunciation of milk - молОка rather than молокА. It sent me running to check in the dictionary to see whether I'd mislearnt it. I think the guy should have (been) asked to re-record it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kundoo

It's not a living person recording, it's a TTS.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Haizimao

why can't be "A cat wishes milk"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spikypsyche

Partly for the same reason it can't be "The cat wishes some milk", which is given for me as the Correct Answer: because in English "wishing X" is just not a thing. Wishing for? Sure. Not just plain wishing. Unless the subject has psychic powers and is "wishing X into existence." But that's an entirely different story.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
Mod
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  • 2022

It was there by mistake, I've removed "wishes" from the list of acceptable translations.
Btw, you can "wish something" in English, but that something has to preceded by an indirect object: I wish you luck.
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/common-verbs/wish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
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  • 2022

Кошка желает молока.
Different verbs in both languages and, besides, they sound strange to me in both languages in reference to a cat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Haizimao

I'm talking about A/The


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
Mod
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  • 2022

Given my first point - "wishes" is an inaccurate translation of the verb "хочется", the article "a" will not fit into a more accurate translation. "Хочется" is the verb that is used to describe a current state of a subject. So unless you are absolutely certain that any given cat presently wants milk, "a" would be a poor article choice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Willwsharp

Is there a thorough guideline on when to use хочется and хотеть?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
Mod
Plus
  • 2022

They are not that different; I can't think of a situation where I could use one but not the other. My personal preference (perhaps not universally shared) is to use "мне хочется" to describe my whims or momentary desires (Мне хочется воды) and "я хочу" to describe more sustained and meaningful wishes/desires (Я хочу поехать в Перу).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LKusdemir

Milk is wanted by cat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/franklinfranks

Zirkul do you know why the tips section (lightbulb icon) is missing in Russian on the android app?? Japanese and Spanish both have it ... is that a developer issue or the course moderators?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rumpelstil12

Technically : get rid of this cat & milk - quick


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pastaboss

The voice sounds off


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snow753239

Ударение не правильое. Не молОка, правильно надо говорить: молокА


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jadwlrfsr

She needs some milk!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Saskia390132

Milk is bad for adult cats


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AntonSamodelko

It sould be "the cat wants to drink milk"

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