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"Какая фамилия у этого писателя?"

Translation:What is the last name of this writer?

March 6, 2016



Why is какая used instead of что? I always thought какая was more for "what kind of" or "which".


Because "что" is not equal to "what", it has a little bit narrower meaning, it can't be used when you talk about object attributes, for example. So "какой" has all the meanings of the word that "что" doesn' have. Also "which" is rather "который", but we use "какой" pretty often as well. Hope it explanes something :)


It might be clear if you translated the sentence more literally: "Which/what last name does the writer have?"

In reverse, you wouldn't use какой to ask "What are you eating?" = что вы едите?, because it's not attached to anything in particular, but "what food are you eating?" = Какую еду ты ешь?


Is it true translation and is the same meaning? I'm neither native English or Russian speaker but this comes much more natural《What surname does this writer have?》


Better "what is this writer's surname/last name/family name". "What surname does this writer have" sounds unnatural to me.


Using "writer's name" is much more natural English than "name of the writer", which is more poetic, formal, or stylized ("stylized" means "out of the ordinary", done in an unusual way). It can be used to good effect if you want to lend artistic weight to what you're saying. For example, there's a movie titled, "In the Name of the Father". That would sound a lot less imposing and weighty or profound if it were "In the Father's Name".

Another thing: Duo's Russian course uses the Russian word Это and it's English translation "this" far, far more frequently than you would encounter it in American or British English. Most of the time, you'd see 'the writer", not "this writer". But since "the" doesn't exist in Russian, I'm not exactly sure what's going on with the prevalence of это/this. I wonder if Russians actually use it so much, because it seems like a substitute for "the", so why don't they just go ahead an invent a word for "the", since Duo is indicating that "this" is used like "the" so much.


What is wrong with translating the following:-- "what is the writer's surname?"

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