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  5. "Что такое жизнь?"

"Что такое жизнь?"

Translation:What is life?

December 12, 2015

48 Comments


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

We're getting a bit philosophical here


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

russian literature did not appear without reason!


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

Почему такое, а не такая?


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

See tips'n'notes: кто is masculine, что is neuter. It's kinda tricky though, because you say "кто такая Анна?", for example (who is Anne), but you say "Кто пришёл?" (who came?), even you do know that it is a woman. With что you have always neuter, though: Что это? (what's this?), что случилось? (what happened?) etc.


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

I have the same question - I wonder if it's a set expression or something.


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

the first part of the sentence "Что такое?" means what is it. you can put any word after this to ask a philosophical question like the one here: what is (it) life.

IF you write "Что такая жизнь?" you say something like: what is such life. "такая" is now a demonstrative pronoun describing one spesific life, and not life in general.


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

Ah! That makes sense, thank you.


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

Except, it is incorrect to say directly "Что такая жизнь", you'll have to modify it in some way. Look at the comment by Dr.Fandey. But you could say something like "Что такая жизнь значит".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickGeorgo1

Awesome explanation, thanks from 2020!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SHsignups21

I translated it as "what is such a life?" and got marked wrong...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brad.scott

The real direct translation should be "what in the world is life?" "Or what in the heck is life?" It emphasizes the word what and not the noun. Duo does, however, mark that response as wrong.


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

what is life? Memes, Dew and multilinguality. and also Undertale.


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

Asriel! offers hug


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyGoat8

21 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


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

That's half life :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scian4

Life! Don't talk to me about life!


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

was that accepted?


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

Baby don't hurt me


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

So could что такая жизнь? mean "What kind of life is that?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Fandey

It would be better to say "что это за жизнь?" Nobody would say "что такая жизнь". If speaking about the kind of life form (a virus, for instance, is another life form), then it would be "что это за форма жизни".


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

But what about "what life is this ?" , like a complaint ?


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

That involves intonation, but it would be: "(ну) что (это) за жизнь!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JOKOJOKO83

Would it be wrong to just say "что жизнь?" Thanks in advance :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Fandey

It wouldn't be wrong but it is not used in a daily speech. Only in poetry or something like that. E.g.: "Что - наша жизнь? Игра!" (c) "What's our life? A game!"


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

But the question didn't include the "is". Wouldn't что жизнь just be "that life"?

Would что жизнь really be acceptable Russian for "What is life?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Fandey

Well, without any context it could be used only like I wrote above. In a daily speech, one usually says: что такое жизнь? Or что есть жизнь? (In a general meaning of the word "life"). But the second one is less common.

In Russian, the verb "to be" is ommited almost always. The interrogative pronoun is just enough. Look: Что такое химия? Химия - это наука (What is chemistry? Chemistry is a science). Где ты (есть)? (Where are you?). Откуда ты (есть)? (Where are you from?) Когда (будет) обед? (When is the dinner? / When will be the dinner). Он - вор (He is a theft).

In English we definitely should use "to be" forms in such sentences and it causes some difficulties for Russians who learn English))

It could mean "that life" but only as a part of a compound sentence: он думал, что жизнь не закончится никогда = he thought (that) life would never end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P-Code

Duolingo is getting deep.


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

какой смысл жизни?


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

смысл жизни. Watch out the case endings, Russian grammar is trickier than English in this: meaning of life, or life's meaning, is translated by genitive case into Russian (смысл жизни).


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

спасибо тебе!


[deactivated user]

    What's the difference between this and "Что жизнь?"


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

    Well, "Что жизнь?" is pretty much meaningless. It's not how you ask what something is.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyGoat8

    Neurochemicals and survival. Don't mess them up.


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

    I thought this would be "what is such a life?" So how would i ask that in Russian?


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

    "Что такая жизнь?" (see MagneLudvigsen's comment above)


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

    That does not make much sense, at least not in present day Russian. Maybe Что есть такая жизнь? if you are ready to sound very stiff. Or, if that's what you mean, Что это за жизнь / Что это за жизнь такая ? ("What kind of life is that?!")


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

    Что такое жизнь? Детка не делай мне больно, не делай мне больно, больше не надо...


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

    Without your love


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris.Guillen

    What is more common, "  что такое "  or/или " что значить "?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Fandey

    They are interchangeable in most cases. One little correction: "Что значит" should be without "ь".


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

    'what is with this "life" [thing]?' (quotes optional) should accepted


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

    Warning!

    Жизнь- это шмоток хйни на клочке поеоты. ЗагиБок

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