Can someone, please, explain the difference between дитини and діти ? I thought "дитина" was "child" and "діти" was "children", but now "дитини" seems to be used interchangeably with "діти".
Дити́на is singular, ді́ти is plural.
But after numbers ending in 2, 3, 4 (but not 12, 13, 14), you use дити́ни. This is actually illogical. In the past, Ukrainian had a dual number. When it disappeared, most dual words were replaced with plurals, but after numbers they were replaced with the forms that sounded similar. For most nouns, this was the nominative plural form, but дити́на is an exception.
(To further complicate the matter, dual forms became used with 3 and 4, not just 2. Because people started to think these are forms for small numbers.)
I'm very impressed with your knowledge of the language! I've started opening the discussions just to see if you've got a new nugget of wisdom for me hahaha
Gee, I would have put: "Ми маємо три дитини." OR "Ми маємо троє дітей." [If there's both boy(s) & girl(s).]
"У нас є три дитини." sounds very awkward. It sounds like you're talking about 'someone else's children' that are staying at your home (impersonal), rather than 'the children of your own family' (personal).
Just an observation....
Ukrainian has both «у нас є» and «ми маємо», both are perfectly valid. Some dialects might prefer one over another, but that’s just your dialect and not Ukrainian in general.
"У нас є три дитини." doesn't sound Ukrainian, it sounds as if a Russian person tried to express themselves in Ukrainian, and failed
Taras Shevchenko wrote «Та не кажи добрим людям, // Що є в тебе мати» in his poem «Катерина». Was he a Russian person who tried to express himself in Ukrainian and failed?
Але Тарас Шевченко таки ж не писав "У нас є три дитини." It really sounds awkward. And it is not only my opinion, as you can see. One comes here to learn a beautiful and proper language. Так хочеться навчатися красивої, літературної мови, а не якогось суржика...
And it is not only my opinion, as you can see
Yes, it’s also an opinion of a person who suggests replacing «гуляти» with «іти на прохід», «дивитися телевізор» with «дивитися в телевізор», «коричневий костюм» with «бронзовий костюм», «дивитися фільм» with «дивитися на фільм»... Sure, you’re in a good company! That’s totally representative of how Ukrainian is spoken in Ukraine (not really)
а не якогось суржика...
«У нас є три дитини» is not a surzhyk.
Oh, I can see, I really am not in a good company... Let's keep calm and not discuss another person behind their back in such a tone. What does it matter if that other person made mistakes previously? Perhaps they are not a native speaker. There is no need to be so defensive. I will trust you on this expression, but if this is the way people speak in Ukraine now, it makes me sad. As for surzhyk, there is so much of it in the unit on transportation, both in Ukrainian and in English. I am grateful that someone is trying to teach Ukrainian, but the way that topic was represented, made me sad, too.
I can’t answer your last post (the depth of the posting got too big), so I’m writing here.
Zonia is a native speaker of Ukrainian, she just happens to speak Canadian Ukrainian. She has been pretty vocal in her attempts to find ‘mistakes’ in this course, where most mistakes are not really mistakes but differences between Canadian Ukrainian and Ukrainian of Ukraine.
it makes me sad.
What makes me sad is that people are ready to denounce a large part of Ukrainian just because it looks similar to Russian. Sure, «маємо» is great and it should be taught (and it is taught here). But using «є» to express possession is not something that Russian brought, it has existed for a long time too.
That being said, I do agree that this course has numerous problems (my personal pet peeve is в/у and і/й, «жити у Одесі» just sounds wrong to my ear).
I completely agree with you about «жити у Одесі» and especially "їхати у Одесу" . It sounds horrible to me. I lo-o-ove «є», and «маємо», because those sound so Ukrainian! Born where Ukrainian was forbidden for centuries and survived only in songs, I know much too well about the domination of Russian over Ukrainian, which, from my early childhood, outraged me. I always loved singing sad and beautiful Ukrainian songs and reading classics. I must say thank you, because your words about my dialect sounded so flattering. If a native speaker like you said I had a dialect, I can be proud. Because never I lived among a dialect, but rather among people not caring a tiny bit about Ukrainian. For many years now, English pushed my other 3 languages from my mind, so I came to DL to renew them. My dialect is what I was taught at school by caring teachers, and from books and songs. That's why russified sentences cut my ears.