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"Я хочу сказать несколько слов."

Translation:I would like to say a few words.

January 2, 2016

30 Comments


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

I assume then that it's несколько what requires genitive. Is that right?


[deactivated user]

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

    Why is "I want to say some words" not accepted?


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

    I was taught that wine = Вино and some wine вина; milk = Молоко, some milk = молока, etc. The "some" is implied by the "a" ending. This may need confirmation from a Russian expert. Немного = a few, little.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smithmo147

    it's the old problem of rules versus usage. Also, you can't translate words literally. 'Some' would be perfectly acceptable in English to express the idea given in Russian. But the computer simply does not have all possible answers in its database.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Magnus596522

    A ending means Genitive singular and can be used like some wine, some milk. With feminine it must be и/ы ending


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

    "some words" is valid English here. I hope it's been added to the database by now.


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

    shouldn't "i would like to" be "я хотел/а бы..."


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

    That's a closer translation imo (at least in meaning) and it is the more formal/official way of expressing that thought.


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

    So why is слов in the genitive case here? I thought genitive had to do with ownership?


    [deactivated user]

      After «несколько», you use the genitive.

      Showing ownership is just one of the functions of genitive.


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

      It's a "partitive genitive" and is used after words indicating quantity like «много» or, in this case, «несколько». You can also find this in languages like Latin. (Numbers also use the genitive case in Russian, though it's a bit more complicated.)


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

      That's true, but in this situation it's just «несколько» governing the case.


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

      Why isn't "Я был хочелос сказать несколько слов" accepted?


      [deactivated user]

        Several reasons:

        a) хоте́лось (and it's present-tense form, хочется) is an impersonal form, unlike хочу, so you need dative case (мне 'to me') and not nominative (я),
        б) хоте́лось is a past tense,
        в) был is a past tense marker which is not needed since хоте́лось is already in the past tense (also, it's ungrammatical because it refers to я and хоте́лось is an impersonal form, so you can't use я, only мне); and the English sentence is in the Present tense.

        «Мне хо́чется сказа́ть не́сколько слов» should be accepted.


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

        Thank you very much, I kind of got mixed up because on Memrise it said it was something like "I would like" but I'm not exactly sure


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

        Perhaps you were trying to write "Я бы хотел сказать несколько слов." It has the same meaning but sounds more polite than "я хочу" and must be accepted as a correct answer indeed.


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

        Why is not accepted, i like to say a few words?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

        Because the verb is "to want", and "would like" is an idiomatic translation of "to want", to make it more polite. The Russian verb isn't actually "to like".


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Makepeace8

        I translated it as "I should like to say a few words" and was marked wrong. This is a standard usage (and, indeed, I was even told it was the right one when growing up, though "would" is probably at least as common in use). Could this be added, please?


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

        I rarely ever hear people say "should like to"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juzik92

        Why "Я хочу" cannot be translated as "I want to"? That's the exact meaning. If I wanted to say "I would like to", in Russian it would be "Я хочел бы".


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

        Isn't 'a couple' the same as 'a few'?


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

        A couple is 2, a few is typically 3 (maybe more), if we're being literal. A couple of words would be пару слов.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

        "a couple words" meaning "a few words" is very colloquial English. People use it as a synonym for "a few", but that's not accurate. It reeks of false humility, too, because you just know the person is not going to say just two words - or probably not just 20. It's also a kind of slang. Not really appropriate here.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

        To share some research:

        несколько can function as a pronoun (Wiktionary) meaning "a few, several, some [+ genitive]" (the use in this exercise), (for declension table, see: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BD%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%BA%1D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BA%D0%BEor)

        or as an adjective meaning "a few, some, several" (Katzner's Russian-English Dicitonary)

        or as an adverb meaning:

        1. somewhat, slightly, rather; some
        2. multiple, a couple
          (Wiktionary, Katzner)

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thom844913

        I thought you should translate "would like" as хочется?


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

        What's wrong with "i want to speak a few words?" OK, a little polite, but perfectly correct English.


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

        @PsychoDad - "Say a few words" is a set expression in terms of giving a small speech or presentation. A person might "speak a few words" if they have a limited vocabulary in another language but it doesn't have the same meaning as the Russian sentence.


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

        OK, thanks. I actually meant to write "say" a few words, but for some reason wrote "speak," which I agree is not colloquial in English. No idea about Russian!

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