https://www.duolingo.com/Matthew376161

What is the difference between ты and вы?

I am still relatively new to learning the Russian language, I understand most of it, but I'm still having problems determining the difference between the two. Any help would be much appreciated.

2 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Olja.
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"Ты" is singular. "Вы" is plural (вы), or formal (Вы).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/svatousek

Also politeness.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RikVlasblom

Thank you for the answer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo
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ты is used to one person only. Only use it if you're family, you know this person well, animals or children.

вы is used for addressing more than one person, elders, people you don't know well, strangers or in professional circumstances

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Smartboots
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"ты" is singular informal "you". "вы" is singular formal "you" and also plural "you". Example: Ты можешь мне помочь? (informal speech) Can you help me? Вы можете мне помочь? (formal speech) in english it sounds the same: Can you help me? Мальчики, вы можете мне помочь? (plural) Boys, can you help me?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill147479
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Ты is singular or referring to a familar friend (like “tu” in French) Вы is plural you or referring to someone respectfully (like “vous” in French)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
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Both French translations begin with "t" and "v" too? What an interesting coincidence

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill147479
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Yeah. Russian does have some loanwords from French (eg billet (ticket) becomes билет), but this is just a coincidence.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
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Yes, back in the day everyone in Europe spoke French as a second language. There are French loanwords everywhere, but it's so unlikely with such basic ones as "you", that it can only be a coincidence.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Mod
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Both are from PIE.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
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Even if it stems directly from PIE (which I don't know) it still amounts to a coincidence to me taking into account the amount of time, distance and everything that goes on in every language :-)

Dutch has two words, but somehow managed to lose the original "du" (ты) and it is "jij"/"je" now with the formal one being "u". English doesn't even have anything except "you". Now add the German "du" and "Sie". And these are the languages that are supposed to belong to the same West Germanic branch let alone the Indo-European family. Then all of a sudden people say "tu" and "vous" in France and "ты" and "вы" in Russia. Just wow :-)

Though it should be noted that I only know something about some Germanic languages. Maybe there are more surprises for me in the Romance ones.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RikVlasblom

Thank you for this question.

1 year ago
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