"There are wolves and bears in the forest."
Translation:В лесу волки и медведи.
Hmm, could one prefix this translation with Есть? Like to emphasize that they are there.
I'm sure I'd have been marked wrong for missing out есть in an earlier lesson. Where IS the consistency here?
is it grammatically correct to write it in the reverse manner - aka "волки и медведи в лесу" ?
It's grammatically correct, but it means a different thing. With the neutral intonation, they mean these things:
- «В лесу́ во́лки и медве́ди» 'There are wolves and bears in the woods' is a sentence that tells us something new about the woods: that there are wolves and bears there.
- «Волки и медведи в лесу» 'The wolves and the bears are in [the] woods' is a sentence that tells us something new about the wolves and the bears: the fact that they're in [the] woods.'
English marks known information with 'the', and newly introduced information with 'a'. Russian puts old information near the beginning of the sentence, and new information towards the ends.
Please note that you can also mark new information by the intonation. «В лесу́ во́лки и медве́ди» with «в лесу» emphasised by intonation still means 'The wolves and the bears are in [the] woods', however, it adds more stress to 'the woods': as if you want to make sure the listener pays attention to the fact they're in the woods, and not somewhere else. Also, we don't usually mark intonation in writing, so we usually use neutral intonation in writing.
thanks. very insightful, since this probably applies across other sentences of similar form. how is the intonation being typed out though? doesn't seem to appear on the regular keyboard.
On a side note, moderators - so should my alternate answer be accepted?
The intonation is not usually typed, I just marked the emphasised word with italics (which are actually displayed not as italics but as oblique font for me, but anyway) — not sure if that displays correctly?
Marking intonation is a pretty complex linguistic task, and there's more than one system for this (one of them is described here; the intonation I call neutral is the pitch accent L*, the emphasised is the pitch accent HL*), but native speakers don't usually know any. We sometimes mark the emphasised word with italics, bold text or uppercase, but usually we don't mark anything at all.