"Кошке хочется молока."

Translation:The cat would like some milk.

December 8, 2015

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

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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.


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?


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

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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.)


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


Does the sentence with "some" have an implicit word that could've been there but was ommitted:

Я зочу (???) молока Or: Кошке хочется (???) молока

Like when надо, нужно, ты, я or so are ommitted?


No, the 'some' is in the genitive of молока. Without 'some' it's just молоко.


I thought молоку was the accusative form of молока?


Nominative is молоко (neuter). Accusative is the same for inanimate masculine and neuter nouns. However, in this exercise, it uses the genitive/partitive молока, because it's "some milk", not just "milk".


I think молоко is neuter so I don’t think it has a different form in accusative; however I don’t think this sentence calls for accusative anyway since the verb was expressed in the dative case.


..Soo 'молока' as some of the (well known/offered) milk, and ' молоко' as one of the ( offered) drinks. Sooo the tighter the choice, the more common the case (grammatical) which could lead us towards maybe nominative if we go into a molecular level or subatomic.. no no I'm just kidding. But the broader choice has more cases (about eight I think..) to offer; I'm just getting philosophical :-)))


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


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

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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.


Why? What is the difference between the reflexive хотеться and the previously learned form хотеть?


It's the difference between want and would like.


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


Thank you, I wanted to write that, too.


Why is it кошке, and not кошка?


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.


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?


-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".


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


Unfortunately, I do not think it always makes it Dative

I washed myself - Я умылся

He shaved himself - Он побрился.

What makes it Dative here is the rule:

[Dative] likes [Nominative] EXCEPT in this case it is not [Nominative] but [Genitive] because it is "some milk"


Good question, if anyone knows please do share this knowledge


Current speaker says молОка. Should be молокА.


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.


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


He dоes say молОка! He even pronounces it with the stressed o sound instead of the unstressed a sound. So what's up with that???


As if cat is ordering milk in hotel


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


Вы отправили репорт?


Why кошкЕ? in dative?


There is a good thread further up this page that explains it.


No, not really. This is for the ones with the same question about "Why dative before хочется" and it is rather constructive: http://webhome.auburn.edu/~mitrege/russian/tutorials/0065.html


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


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.

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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.

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


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?


Fun fact; cats do not in fact enjoy drinking milk, they're lactose intolerant. This myth exist solely because of popular cartoons.

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This myth exist solely because of popular cartoons.

You mean, aside from actual observations of live cats drinking milk? In Russia, where I grew up, offering cats milk was a common thing and most certainly many did not turn that offer down.


Why "would like" here? Several dictionaries say that one of the translations of "хочется" is simply "likes".


There's also the fact that cat is in the dative case, demonstrating a more courteous tone.

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