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  5. "You have to be ashamed."

"You have to be ashamed."

Translation:Вам должно быть стыдно.

December 16, 2015


  • 1191

Why is "Ты должен быть стыдно" wrong?


It should be Тебе должен быть стыдно


But the hints suggested ты должен. (Unfortunately the hints are not always right.)


The hints are not wrong here. It's just that sometimes a different translation of a phrase requires a different translation of the whole sentence for it to make sense, and hints can't help you with that.

"Ты должен" has to be followed by a verb, whereas "стыдно" is an adverb. So you'd have to rephrase: "ты должен стыдиться", which is grammatically correct but not as idiomatic. "Стыдиться" is a verb that means "to be ashamed".

And if we use the verb "быть" after "ты должен" we'd get "ты должен быть" which is "you have to be", so the hint is technically correct again but doesn't work with "стыдно" because it's a different sentence structure. You'd need to translate "ashamed" as a participle instead of an adverb which is "стыдящийся" (or "стыдящимся" because it would have to be in the instrumental case after "быть"), but "ты должен быть стыдящимся" is an incredibly clumsy sentence that no Russian, except for inept translators from English, would ever use.


I wrote "Тебе должен быть стыдно" and it was not accepted


it works with тебе должно быть стыдно idk why

  • 1191

I think it is должно because there is no subject, and in such cases the neutral conjugation is used.


No Nathaniel, I don't think it would match the person saying it -- it's not an adjective describing the person (like 'I am necessary to do something'...or 'you are necessary to do something' if we think that должен would agree with the gender of the person being spoken to).

Rather the sentence translates into 'It is necessary for me to do something', which is why тебе takes the dative case (i.e. for you) and why должно will not change; It's a predicate in this sentence, "It is necessary for you to be ashamed".


"You have to be ashamed" sounds weird in English. It should be "You should be ashamed".


Huh. You know, only after reading Connor's comment, it occurs to me.. This is the only example I can think of where, rather than "should" or "have to", the otherwise arguably antiquated "ought" is the English word most commonly used:
"You ought to be ashamed."


Reading "you ought to be ashamed" in a philosophy/ ethics class would make a lot of sense!


Why is быть explicitly required here?

[deactivated user]

    Because it's the way Russian grammar works. Sorry, I don't know what answer you expect. We never omit быть as an infinitive.


    Why not вам должны?

    [deactivated user]

      «Вам должны́» means 'someone owes something to you'. «Вы должны́» means you should/ need/ must / owe something.


      I typically see должен with Nominative, and the example sentences on Wiktionary also use nominative. Why is Dative used here?


      Think I answered my own question here - the sentence "you are ashamed" is "Вам стыдно", which uses the dative. "Должно" is neuter because there is no subject, or the implied subject is neuter. Not sure what I was thinking!


      But there must be a вы должны version as well, isn't there? Maybe вы должны быть стыдные?


      No, I think you're getting confused.

      Try think of the sentence as "It is necessary for you to be ashamed."


      • 'it' is the subject (omitted in Russian along with 'is', as быть isn't needed in the present tense),
      • должно is the predicate expression (i.e. the "adverb" that goes with 'is')
      • тебе (for you) is the indirect object (hence dative)
      • to be ashamed / быть стыдно --> what's necessary for you, infinite tense.

      I hope it's easier to analyse it this way if we change the English sentence like I've done here! DuoLingo is looking for a semantically correct translation that would actually be used in English, hence "You should be ashamed!" is clearly better, despite more tricky to analyse to understand the Russian version.


      Just in the preceding exercise a similar sentence was formulated this way: они братья, и должны быть похожи; so, in analogy, "Вы должны быть стыдны" must be correct too


      Those are completely different situations and they work differently. "Вы должны быть стыдны" would mean something like "You should be shameful", whatever that means.


      Thank you Kundoo. I've just now realized that "to be ahamed" is totally different from "to be shameful" in English. I suppose the same holds for "стыдно" (ashamed, but as adverb) vs "стыдный" (shameful). So, "I am ashamed" is "Мне стыдно"


      Is it because стыдно acts as an adverb that we have to use the verb быть in this instance?


      Well...because it (as an adverb) is playing the role of a predicate (something that goes with 'to be' like 'you are nice' or 'I am old'). In English you would always use some form of 'to be'. The same applies to Russian except for the present tense where you omit it. Here, we're in the infinite tense (both English and Russian), so 'to be' it is.

      Быть или не быть...to quote Hamlet.

      Or 'Бить или не бить' if you're considering whether to beat/hit somebody or not... ;-)


      bit or byt is not accepted for быть. How to write with latin letters?


      Try to add ' after the t. It's usually what they use to represent the ь or palatalisation in general. Without the apostrophe you get an unpalatalised t and a different word: "быт" which means "everyday life", "everyday routine", "domestic life", etc.


      Быт = the beat of life :-)


      You should be ... better english


      Why wouldn't "тебе нужно" work in this context? I feel like it's a better translation as нужно is "must" vs должно which means "should." It does sound kind of weird even to me but you typically wouldn't hear someone say "you have to be ashamed" either.


      "Нужно" doesn't work here grammatically. Also "нужно" is not "must", it's "need".


      Ohh ok I see. thanks!

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