"Whose vegetables are these?"
Translation:Чиї це овочі?
Hi. I did not understand why the correct answer is чиї це овочі and not чиї ці овочі. Дуже дякую!
They mean the same thing, but they differ in the grammatic structure. «Це» is a free-standing pronoun, while «ці» is a modifier to «овочі». Here's a graphical scheme:
- In Чиї це овочі? 'Whose vegetables are these?', це is a free-standing pronoun, the subject, and овочі is the predicate (чиї is the modifier for «овочі»).
- In Чиї ці овочі? 'Whose are these vegetables?', овочі is the subject (ці is the modifier of овочі), and чиї is the predicate.
The grammatical structure is a bit obscured because we move the question word to the beginning of the sentence.
Grammatically, «чиї» works as an adjective (however, it's not placed before noun because it is a question word and goes in the beginning). Like an adjective, it can:
- modify a noun (as in Чиї це овочі, it modifies овочі), or
- it can stand on its own (as in Чиї ці овочі?, it doesn't modify anything). You can think of it as of an adjective with a noun omited: Чиї ці овочі? = Чиї [овочі] ці овочі? 'Whose [vegetables] are these vegetables?'
I hope this explains why «Чиї це овочі» = 'Whose vegetables are these?', and «Чиї ці овочі» = 'Whose are these vegetables?".