"Does the girl have a brother?"
Translation:У девочки есть брат?
Because the structure of the Russian sentence is not the same as the structure of the English. «Брат» is actually the subject, literally "at girl['s family], is [there a] brother?".
the hint says that girl should be девошка but the answer was девошки, why?
Де́вочка is the nominative case, but after «у» you use the genitive case.
Hi Szeraja, I thought a feminine singular noun ending in a 'а' becomes 'ы' ? why is it 'и' here? i'm a bit confused. I thought, 'mama' becomes' 'мамы' in genitive, or have I got this wrong? thanks for your help! you always explain things really well in the comments.
It's not because of the gender, but because девочка ends with к. Same for nouns that end with г and х.
Take a look at the general spelling rules of Russian: http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/spelling_rules.php In this case, мама becomes мамы because мама ends with an а. Девочка or Девушка become девочки or девушки because the normal ы changes to и after certain letters.
I don't understand why you can say either девочки or девушкы! Could someone please explain? Are these two different cases or two accepted spellings or even two different words????
These are two different words. «Девочки» (nominative case «девочка») refers to the younger girl, «девушки» (nominative case «девушка») refers to the older girls. The exact distinction is a bit blurry: 10-year old girl is definitely «девочка», 20-year old girl is definitely «девушка», for 15-year old girls you can usually use both.
Great! Thanks! This leads me to another question though: Why is the ending in и for девочки and in ы for девушкы ?
The correct ending is «девушки», «девушкы» is a mistake.
If the word ends in -ка (also -га, -ша, -ща, -ча, -ха), the genitive form would have -и. The consonants like К, Г, Х don't have soft/hard distinction in native words, so they are almost never followed by Ы. You can only see a combination like кы, гы, хы in foreign foreign loanwords (e.g. Кыргызстан 'Kyrgyzstan').
It is compulsory use "есть"? I have the impression that sometimes Russians don't use it. Or am I wrong?
It is mandatory when the topic of the sentence is the very existence of something (as here).
I'm typing in US keyboard. I know I can switch to Russian. But I type quicker in English. In any case I was marked wrong for writing est without the soft sing. But the Commas are not accepted. I know I can type estь combing the two, but this is klunky. Should I report this as an error, or live with it.
I'm a student, so I may well be wrong, but i think the soft 'ь' on the end of 'ест' means to have, but without it, it means you eat. Native speakers might know better though.
no you are correct. estь is what I'm typing for those answers
Yes, there seems to be some bug with this particular word. In general, the transliteration option for the course works quite well and systematically and you can choose whether or not to use the apostrophes for the soft signs, etc (I usually just omit them).
This word, "есть", however, does not seem to transliterate properly. I've tried all possible variants of latin characters that I can think of and it always gets failed.
The rest of the course seems to work fine and, fortunately, "есть" seems to occur less frequently as the course progresses.
thanks a lot!
«Э́того де́вочки» is ungrammatical, 'this girl' should be «э́той де́вочки» (этой is a feminine form, этого is masculine). However, the English sentence doesn't have 'this', so probably Duolingo won't accept this variant.
I'm just a beginner, but "этой" means "this." I believe your sentence means something more like: "Does this girl have a brother?" as opposed to "Does the girl have a brother?"
To make everything more confusing, the 'English for Russian speakers' course translates the definite article with этот/эта/это, as if 'the' and 'this' were the same thing... :x
That explains a lot of the strange comments I've seen pop up in this course... :-/
Well, est means 'eats' and est' means '[there] is' (literally, 'to the girl there is brother?'). The difference is in the pronunciation of t.
У девушкы was accepted as "almost correct". I thought fem. "a" changed to "ы".
Some consonants (г, к, х, ч, ш, щ, ж) don't have soft-hard pair. After them we almost always use а, и, у, е, о and almost never use я, ы, ю, э, ё.
For ч, ш, щ, ж, the distinction doesn't even exist. For г, к, х it is appearing: it was impossible in the past (before е and и, к/г/х were always soft, otherwise hard), but now more and more words appear which do make this distinction. It is, however, not very widespread yet.
The words that use кя/гя/хя, кы/гы/хы, кю/гю/хю, кэ/гэ/хэ, кё/гё/хё are usually foreign loanwords, like Кыргызстан 'Kyrgyztan', Эйяфьядлайёкюдль 'Eyjafjallajökull'; but there's a native verb ткать 'to weave' which has forms like она ткёт 'she weaves', ты ткёшь 'you weave' which also break the above rule (they used to be тчёт and тчёшь in the past, but a dialectal words with кё were borrowed into the literary language).
But when declining nouns, you never use кя, кы, кю, кэ, кё. Only ка, ки, ку, ке, ко.
Many thanks for your detailed explanation. I'm sure I've put девочки in the past, yet for some reason went for девушкы. Glad I queried this!
According to declension tables, the a at the end of девочка should change to ы for genitive case, but the "Russian Spelling Rules" require that а -> и after к, so it is девочки (genitive fem. sing.) rather than девочкы. It took me a while to figure that one out.
szeraja_zhaba has a much more thorough layout of this point in this discussion.