"Who was here at night?"

Translation:Хто був тут уночі?

March 27, 2016

7 Comments


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

Isn't було correct because "Who" is an unknown gender?

March 27, 2016

[deactivated user]

    No, «хто» is treated as a masculine word.

    March 28, 2016

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

    I see. So is it masculine by default? We really don't know if who is a man or woman.

    March 28, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      Yes. The grammatical gender depends on the word. «Кто» is a masculine word, so you use masculine verb forms with it. Likewise, in «Що за люди́на була́ тут уночі́?» 'What kind of person was here at night?', you use feminine verb forms, because люди̂на 'person' is feminine.

      It doesn't matter if the person is actually male or female, it just depends on the gender of the word.

      Also, neuter gender is not normally used about people. If you do so, it would mean comparing the person to a thing, and this would be pretty offensive in most cases.

      March 29, 2016

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

      Thanks as always! Your example sentence brought another question. Can you say also "Яка людина була тут уночі?" I read that який-яка-яке mean which/what/what kind. I see you used "що за" which I'm not familliar with.

      March 29, 2016

      [deactivated user]

        Yes, «яка» works too.

        «Що за» means roughly the same thing as «який». It was borrowed from German «was für», so it doesn't make much sense in Ukrainian: usually, «за» is used with Instrumental or Accusative case, but «що за» is used with all the cases. You can't break this expression into two words because it was borrowed from another language.

        March 29, 2016

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

        Would "ночью" work in the place of "уночі"?

        September 24, 2018
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