Translation:The paper is on the shelf near the computer.
Why isn't lay accepted. If I wanted to say "the paper is on the shelf" that doesn't require a verb.
"The paper is on the shelf" has a verb: "is", the conjugated form of "to be"
It is like that in order to actually learn the difference between the Russian words for being in a place
But is it paper as in a sheet of paper or the material? Because since some previous sentence used лист бумаги to say sheet of paper I figured бумага meant paper as the material. That's why I translated this sentence as "There is paper on the shelf..." instead of "The paper is..." but it was marked as wrong.
Бумага can mean a sheet of paper, several sheets of paper, a pack of paper or just paper as material. In this sentence it is not clear what exactly we mean: there is paper you can use for printing? there is the document you are looking for? there are some sheets or paper you can write on? those are all possible options for this one
I think it should be accepted and you should report it (the popup translation for лежит includes 'there is'). But I think that this sentence with лежит should really be 'The paper is…' - describing the location of the thing you're looking for, rather than 'There is paper…' - a neutral description, which would be 'Есть бумага…'.
"There is paper on the shelf" is a very odd way to answer the question "Where is the paper?"
It was just a translation for me (in the Android app), not an answer to a question.
Agreed, but there are situations where it would be the normal response: "Is there any paper?"
Yes, that may be true. However, it's the perfect answer when you ask "Is there any paper?" "There is paper on the shelf."
Because paper is a mass noun. Saying "a piece of paper" would work though. If you just say "a paper", without any other context, I would assume you were referring to a newspaper.
It's not exactly clear. According to Google the most likely possibility is that it's derrived from Italian "bambagia" ("cotton"), however there are other versions.