A good question, but one that is a bit difficult to answer. The short answer is probably this: The more different two languages are, the more likely it is that a word-for-word translation just won't make sense. I have a feeling someone, on some part of the planet, has analyzed the translations of "уже" into English and put them in a nice book somewhere that you might even be able to find on Amazon.
Chances are, if such a book exists, it is probably written in Russian for Russian speakers and is way too advanced for those who would be reading this here. I did do a search for something that might answer your question, but I did not easily find any specific mentions of "уже" in terms of any rules that preclude the inclusion of it in an English translation. I will post this question up at the Russian StackExchange, however, to see if it gets a response. The link to that question is here:
and maybe by the time you see this, someone will have answered it. In the meantime, here's a good discussion thread from Quora that touches on this subject a bit:
Apart from that, I do know that the word "уже" is one of those words that helps you contextualize meaning. When you see it, it can mean that an action has been completed, and therefore you need to use a perfective verb, but I don't know if this Russian course here at Duolingo gets into that. If it does, I would imagine that it's a few lessons up the tree branches. (A strengthening lesson led me here, so I can't say for sure (yet) what this lesson is testing me on, but I know I personally haven't gotten to any level that talks about "уже" with respect to verbs, so what's ahead in this course is pure speculation on my part at this point.)
Regardless, your question was a good one, and if you want more details on it, either someone here or perhaps someone at the Russian StackExchange will provide more of an explanation on this particular word than what I've been able to give you here.
Isn't it close to "anyway" here.. Like "soon it will be the beginning of march anyway"
I think it makes sense, but it's not how it's usually phrased. Normally, we'd say something such as "Soon it will be the beginning of March already." Of course, in both English and Russian, "soon" and "already" are somewhat redundant together; we probably use both for emphasis.
Um, no, they are contradictory. "Soon" means it has not yet happened but will in the near future, while "already" means it happened in the (usually near) past (and may still be ongoing). Adding 'already' into the English sentence makes it nonsensical. It's like talking about something being "near far". Pick one. The same event cannot have already happened and be happening soon. You can have one instance of an event has already happened, and another new instance happening soon, but you wouldn't ever say that about something like "the beginning of March".
I took a guess that it was idiomatic usage, since I could find no way to construct a sensible sentence with both 'soon' and 'already' in it, and had to guess at what the most probable actual meaning was — and fundamentally, my guess at the meaning was correct, but Duolingo marked it wrong because it didn't like my exact wording.
@phil: This is colloquial. Can you really tell me you haven't heard this? Like many colloquial expressions, the meaning is not derivable in a simplistic manner from the constituent words. But here's a sketch of the sense: if "soon" it will "already" be the beginning of March, then the beginning of March is even closer than "soon". So it's really soon.
I think this is US east coast, perhaps influenced by New York Jewish from the last century ("So leave already!"). That's obviously not where I am, but I like the expression. There is more to English, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your high school English classes.
Note to non-fluent English speakers: of course, be careful using colloquialisms, as any non-native should be. Don't use them in formal situations or when a misunderstanding might be serious. Misuse may cause injury, death or cancer. May contain nuts. ))
Can't you say something like "When you will arrive I will be already there"? It doesn't mean you were there in the past relative to now, but in the past relative to the moment you're refering to. I don't think it's logically contradictory, it might just be linguistically unusual
Not quite; I'd rephrase as "When you arrive I will already be there".
- "When you arrive..." is present progressive used to refer to the future, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uses_of_English_verb_forms#Present_progressive, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uses_of_English_verb_forms#Dependent_clauses
- "... I will already be there" : at the time specified by the dependent clause, the condition will have been true for an unspecified time.
My guess is it's something to do with emphasizing the anticipation of something to come. Also, notice this sentece doesn't use《будет 》
I'm curious if this specific excercise is in any other learning structure other than "type what you hear" or "type in English" - I've noticed DL will avoid certain learning structures with some expressions because other answers would technically be correct. Think of it as DLs attempt to expose you to some of the little nuances in Rusky tongue.
Well, I would assume a close version of what you have suggested is correct because it was provided as an answer. That version was:
Soon it is the beginning of March.
Why yours wouldn't be accepted, I don't know, but if you don't get an answer in this discussion thread, and it happens again, report it.
"Soon it is the beginning of March" sounds quite odd to me (native speaker). Sometimes in English you can use the present to mean the future ("soon i am going to bed"), but I don't think you can do it with "to be". It has to be the future: "Soon it will be the beginning of March". But that was rejected. ((
"Soon it is the beginning of March." doesn't sound quite right. "Soon it will be..." or "the beginning of March is soon" are better.
I think the problem is that the actual event, i.e. the beginning of March is in the future and shouldn't be referenced in the present tense. It's okay to say "is soon" because soon is a period of time stretching forward from the present. As an object, it exists in the present and future simultaneously.