I started learning Russian in the hopes that I would one day learn this phrase
I relied too much on context and carelessly translated the phrase as "Whose husband is this?"
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)
I came here searching exactly dor 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
Russia has suddenly become very capitalist, if even the flies have owners.
My wonder is regarding the fact that he/she has a pet fly in the first place....
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.
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.
Some grant researchers are missing a mutant pet fly. ‧ ‧ Flies have been key biologic specimens for many decades. ‧ ‧ depts.washington.edu/cberglab/wordpress/outreach/an-introduction-to-fruit-flies/ ‧ ‧ www.virtualimage.co.uk/html/drosophila_genetics_lab.html ‧
I wonder if the Russian sentence is really correct? I would have expected "чья эта муха"
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).
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!"
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!
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!"
Haha oh man I'm definitely glad that Duolingo is so dedicated at teaching us such fundamental and useful phrases :DD
I didn't even think about putting эта even though муха is feminine. Thank you for asking this; I would also like to know.
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
I thought it was a reference to "Wizard Crystal" by Pinkwater. I heard it from the beginning on my car radio on Christmas Eve, in 1988 if I remember correctly. It was so interesting that I stayed sitting in the car in the driveway until the end of the story. As I remember the end: "The next fly is yours. It doesn't get any better than that!"
Maybe some other noun can be used instead of "fly". This is just dumb. Car, cat, seat. Anything that actually makes sense?
Because муха is of female gender as a word. Чья - 'whose' for female, чей - for male, чьё - for neutral (middle) gender.
"Муха" is feminine, that's why the correct translation is "Чья ЭТА муха?", but not "это".
Thanks for the link! How do you find these grammar explanations on Duolingo? I've seen them here and there at the beginning of chapters or somewhere inbetween, but never found a system where to find them.
Thanks glorifico. Because most are irritated by the use of муха, another (and better) example would be e.g. Чья ЭТА машина – whose is this car.
No, see discussions above. Your example and translation is correct, but Чья это машина? is also fine, meaning Whose car is it?
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.
Phil, 'муха' (mUha) does not mean 'flour'! 'Flour' in Russian is 'мука' (mukA).