"Чья это муха?"

Translation:Whose fly is it?

December 16, 2015

105 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I started learning Russian in the hopes that I would one day learn this phrase


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

I relied too much on context and carelessly translated the phrase as "Whose husband is this?"


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

I've also noticed that the two words look humorously alike.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelania2016

Ilya Kabakov's painting is titled 'Whose Fly is This?'. It reads: "Anna Evgenievna Koroleva: Whose fly is this?; Sergei Mikhailovich Khmelnitsky: That's Nikolai's fly". The object in this case is a painted representation of a fly. Just as a fly can belong to no one, or is so insignificant that no one would care to claim it (except apparently Nikolai), the painting belongs to no one. Its original owner has discarded it and only an anonymous Garbage Man, or a Man Who Never Threw Anything Away would think to try to identify its owner. (http://www.3dlit.org/practice/kienholz_kabakov/Kienholz_Kabakov.html)


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

I came here searching exactly for the answer to why Duolingo has so many fly-related questions and it turned out to be far, far deeper than I had suspected, and thank you very, very much. :y


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

Well, that's... interesting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monica129025

Thank you so much for the art clarification. This explains so much why this silly question is here. And i love art. Have a lingot ♡


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

So you mean all these sentences with a fly in them relate to a piece of art? I had Impression that this was more something that we from outside do not understand directly e.g. something like drinking tea from glasses - something I hardly ever done in the West but what I know is what people in the East (Turks and Poles) do.


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

Thank you so much for this :)


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

Thanks for the laugh, that was epic.


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

Russia has suddenly become very capitalist, if even the flies have owners.


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

Спасибо. Очень весело.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akuhime-sama

This sounds like conversation amongst frogs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derPolyglott98

My wonder is regarding the fact that he/she has a pet fly in the first place....


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

In biology I had my own fruit flies. We raised our own from two parents, then they laid eggs, gree up. We knocked them out with chloroform and looked at them under the microscope.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave168907

An epicure while dining at Crew, found quite a large (fly) in his stew. Said the waiter: "Don't shout and wave it about. The others will be wanting one, too!"


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

When my older son was about three years old, we had a routine. Me: What's this fly doing in my soup? Him: The backstroke, daddy!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul440929

When the fly landed in his Sambuca

At a famous taverna in Lucca,

Ivan, to make clear

He was still in good cheer,

Cried "Это известная муха!"


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

I wonder if the Russian sentence is really correct? I would have expected "чья эта муха"


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

It is correct. It's "это" because it's a particle, not a form of "этот". I think this article may help you to understand better: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%8D%D1%82%D0%BE


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewm
  • 1410

Is it the most common / only possible word order? I would expect Чья муха это?


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

You could say it like that. It would sound weird, but still correct.

Also: "Это чья муха?" (sounds normal), "Это муха чья?" (reaaaally weird), "Муха это чья?" (less weird), "Муха чья это?" (normal; gives off a feeling like it isn't the first time someone asks whose fly it is but they still didn't get an answer). Not sure if Duolingo will still accept all those variants, but they all are correct in Russian (even if some sound really weird).


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

Hmm, maybe Это муха чья? would sound better as: Это муха - чья?


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

But I am not that good in Russian, I may be wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/p8c

but not accepted as of 2020 04 12


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

And yes, the word order in the Duolingo answer is the most common.


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

Who claims possession of a fly? This is a stupid sentence...


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

Stupid...sure, but it serves a pedagogic purpose. It first makes a grammatical point. Then, by being factually stupid, funny, weird, implausible, etc., it gets you to think about it, and that makes you more likely to remember it. Hey, DuoLingo, banish the banal, strike the stale and trite, and bring on the weird and wonderful examples. I love them.


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

Another reason could be that it is an example of how to use the principle of the different spellings in sentences when you ask a question. Also, it serves as incentive for me personally. I always come into these with pen and paper waiting for the next hilarious statement to be made.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1Wild_one

I usually screen shot it to share


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RandomPrecision1

Maybe they're entomologists!


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

Or fly fishermen.


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

It possibly refers to a series of paintings of a fly by Ilya Kabakov, which has someone asking the question "Whose fly is this?"


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

Agreed. And anyway, in Soviet Russia the fly claims you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin135869

Муха1: Чей это человек? /// Муха2: Не знаю. Может быть, он дикий.


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

I had my own flies in Biology class.


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

could this mean "whose is this fly"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewm
  • 1410

no, then it would have to be эта муха


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tkkim5
  • 1958

We are learning Russian joke here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manuelferr361378

"Чья это муха?" or "Чья эта муха?"


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

Hello! I'm a Russian speaking. The right is «это» in this case. But if you want to ask the same with «эта» you should put it first: «Эта муха чья?» Sorry, I tried really hard but still don't know how to explain


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

Note that if you want to switch around «муха» and «чья» in that sentence, you also have to exchange «эта» for «это».

«Эта муха чья?» -> «Это чья муха?»


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia302555

Точно. Это нельзя объяснить - это надо запомнить!


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

I didn't even think about putting эта even though муха is feminine. Thank you for asking this; I would also like to know.


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

Haha oh man I'm definitely glad that Duolingo is so dedicated at teaching us such fundamental and useful phrases :DD


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

Its mine, can you please send it back (air mail).


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

I left my pet fly somewhere. Glad you found it.


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

So чей is used for masculine nouns and чья for feminine ones?


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

You are correct. And чьё is used for the neuter. Чьё это пальто?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaLizzy3

Because people own flies


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

I had my own fruit flies in Biology class.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deltaray3

Does fly mean something else in Russian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mPzq66495

Nothing else. We use it for insects. However you can also use "муха" as nickname for pets.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/m1y5Z

and what about "bow tie"? in Polish for example муха is "fly" but also can be "bow tie"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia302555

Он под мухой = he is drunk


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlyKay1

Me, lost mine and searched for it everywhere :(


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

Is it common in Russia to have a fly as a pet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WESAMAL-Ha1

This is a very funny question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fabio44431

Non è mia di sicuro.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yarik12

Почему fly без артикля?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelania2016

whose by itself is an adequate determiner for the object


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

The real question is у кого есть муха? In what world does somebody own a fly lmao


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

Where is Jeff Goldblum when you need him


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mewgirl88

Being a fly owner is a responsibility...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kocmohabt99

Maybe some other noun can be used instead of "fly". This is just dumb. Car, cat, seat. Anything that actually makes sense?


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

See above conversation


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

What a weird question...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelania2016

Because муха is of female gender as a word. Чья - 'whose' for female, чей - for male, чьё - for neutral (middle) gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LinguaFranca359

Чей, чья, and what else??


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

Чей, чья, чьё, чьи, чьих, чьей, чьего, и много других. Добро пожаловать)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phil682939

Муха also means flour - only difference between муха (flour) and муха (fly) is which syllable gets the stress. "Whose flour is this" actually makes more sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelania2016

Phil, 'муха' (mUha) does not mean 'flour'! 'Flour' in Russian is 'мука' (mukA).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Natalia302555

Myxa = fly Мука = flour


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

Я должен признаться. Это моя муха.


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

Too late, now this fly belongs to EVERYONE. It's OUR (НАША) fly.


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

My bad i pet fly escaped


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

In Polish mucha can mean a bow-tie. Is it similar in Russian? It would make this sentence slightly more practical but also less funny


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roman139697

Leave the fly alone! It's the fly that flew by himself! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Slenderman_55

Me and my pet fly just be vibin'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas34114

How would you differentiate between "Whose fly is it?" and "Whose is this fly?" in Russian? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelania2016

"Whose fly is it?" "Чья это муха?"

"Whose is this fly?" "Чья эта муха?"

"Эта" is used because "муха" is a feminine word. You can also say "Чья вот эта муха?", while directly pointing at the fly.


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

Why not "Whose fly is this?"?


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

Duolingo supposed to use other familiar word than WHOSE FLY IS THIS! Very useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alon345527

Can I write "Чья муха это"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelania2016

Yes, but I'm not sure if Duo accepts it.


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

I'm not going to lie this is pretty relatable


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

Can someone explain to me why the word "Чья" ends with different letters , i started to recognize a pattern but i need help


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

Because it's a genitive form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vanderlei37415

yes, because this is a question that would occur in normal conversation!!!!!!!!!! Come on, Duolingo team, what about a little meaningfulness????????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monica129025

Because it is a reference to a cultural heritage artwork:

Ilya Kabakov's painting is titled 'Whose Fly is This?'. It reads: "Anna Evgenievna Koroleva: Whose fly is this?; Sergei Mikhailovich Khmelnitsky: That's Nikolai's fly". The object in this case is a painted representation of a fly. Just as a fly can belong to no one, or is so insignificant that no one would care to claim it (except apparently Nikolai), the painting belongs to no one. Its original owner has discarded it and only an anonymous Garbage Man, or a Man Who Never Threw Anything Away would think to try to identify its owner.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vanderlei37415

Thanks, I feel humbled.

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