Because собака is declined there... I don't even know how you'd translate that back to English (of dogs how are you?). Regardless the point is it doesn't make much sense in either language. If you want to ask how someone's dog is you could say Как ваша собака?
To me this sounds like "how do you have a dog?" Like you were surprised to hear that somebody had a dog because it was assumed that they were incapable or not permitted to have one.
Yes. And "Сколько у вас есть собак" too. But "Сколько у вас собак" is prettier.
From the notes of Basics 2:
Omit ”есть” if the existence of the object is obvious or not the point — very typical for describing traits or a number of objects (“Tom has a beautiful smile/large eyes”, “She has a very fat cat”). This also applies to expressing temporary states and illnesses (“She has a migraine”).
"How many dogs do you have?" Could indicate that the person in question has at least one dog. The point here is not if that person has a dog or dogs, but how many dogs this person has. I think this is the reason why you would not use есть here.
Your choice is more official, the choice from the task is more colloquial. Report it next time.
Less common way to say this in English, but entirely OK, should be accepted. Report it.
I don't consider it less common. That might just be British, or maybe even just me, but I use this all the time. It should certainly be reported, anyway.
To me it's grammatical but doesn't make sense. It sounds to me like the dog owns you instead of the other way around.
How many have you of dogs. Such a fascinating way to think and phrase an idea/question.
Could an answer also be "How long do you have your dogs?" ? Just curious. I thought it would be "how long do you have your dog" at first but since it's plural it would have to be dogs. If it's in any way correct of course.
No. Your choice has another meaning. It would be "сколько у вас собаки?" (plural) or "сколько у вас собака?" (singular). Another way to say your choice:
"How long do you have this dog?" - "Как давно у вас эта собака?"
"Сколько уже у вас эта собака?" or "сколько у вас уже эта собака?"
Сколько у вас эта собака находится?, or also with "уже" (the same meaning) "сколько уже у вас эта собака находится?" / "Сколько у вас уже эта собака находится?".
"Сколько у вас собака (or собаки) по времени?", or also your choice with "уже" with the same meaning "сколько уже у вас эта собака (/эти собаки) по времени? / "сколько у вас уже эта собака(/эти собаки) по времени?"
As you can see the sentence from the task has "собак" in the genitive case and your choice has "собаки" in the nominative case.
If you want to ask about the quantity of dogs you have to get the "dogs" in the genitive case:
"Сколько собак у вас живёт?"
If you want to ask about the quantity of time (how long, etc) you have to get the time in the genitive case:
"Сколько времени у вас живут собаки?"
If you want to ask about the quantity of dogs you have to get the "dogs" in the genitive case: "Сколько собак у вас живёт?"
Why живёт and not живут when собак is genitive plural and I am obviously asking about more than one dog?
Сколько becomes the subject (like много) - that is considered neuter singular.
What is the difference between "Сколько у вас собак?" and "Сколько у тебя собак?"
It seems to me that the potential difference would be that "вас" is plural and "тебя" is singular resulting in a sentence addressing one person, "How many dogs do you have?" or a sentence addressing multiple people, "How many dogs do [you all] have?"
You've halfway got it. The difference between "вас" and "тебя" is the same as between "вы" and "ты" or French "vous" and "tu". "Вас" is either plural or polite singular. "Тебя" is informal singular.
how the order of the words goes in a sentence? i yet to fully understand it and this sentence just reminded me how much so. can someone explain to me the guidelines or send a link who do?
It is the Genitive plural. Много, мало, нет, несколько, сколько, немного and numerals over 5 combine with the Genitive plural.
In the Nominative, large numerals essentially behave like nouns. Compare the following structures:
- корзина яблок = a basket of apple
- ящик овощей = a crate of vegetables
- вагон труб = a carriage of pipes
- полная машина кошек = a car full of cats (or a carful of cats)
- пять яблок = five apples
- восемь труб = eight pipes
- тысяча кошек = 1000 cats
- много кошек = many cats / a lot of cats
- Сколько кошек? = How many cats?