"Нам не хватало денег на два дивана."

Translation:We did not have enough money for two couches.

November 23, 2016

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почему хватало а не хватали?


because when something doesn't exist, either in whole or in part, the neuter negation is used.


What's the difference between didn't and did not?

Great value for money, really. My love for Duolingo grows by the day.


Wondering this too. Regretting paying when issues like this aren't fixed years on.


The Russian course is not an official Duolingo product; it's maintained by volunteers. For the last year or two there haven't been enough of them, but I do see some things get fixed. Even without that, it's still pretty good value for money.


well, considering it's free, it's great value


Why use на два диввна as compared to для два дивана?


"Хватает/не хватает денег на an object of your buying" always works with на.

But You can say "хватает/не хватает денег для покупки двух диванов". Для покупки = for buying" and after that you can place an object of your buying:

для покупки двух диванов.

Pay attention that after the using "для doing smth" you have to use genitive case: для покупки двух диванов.


What's the difference between a couch and a sofa?


Only that the first word is apparently derived from French and the second from Arabic. They are synonyms. You can check Wiktionary.


Can one also say у нас нет достаточно денег?

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"У нас нет достаточно" does not sound right. You can say "у нас недостаточно денег" or " "у нас нет достаточного количества денег" (we don't have the sufficient amount of money).


To make these into the past tense, as the sentence in this exercise is, would one say "У нас было недостаточно денег на два дивана" and "У нас было нет достаточно количества денег на дивана"? The translator program I use is telling me that the second sentence should be "У нас было недостаточно количества денег..." and I'd love to know what you think and just generally to know if this is the correct way to put these into the past tense.


Why is this in past tense? There is no был type word or ли ending of words


«хватало» is past tense, neuter, is it not? It would end in «-ли» if it were past tense plural.


My question is related - why is it neuter/singular when денег is plural??

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That's because деньги (plural) is not a subject of this sentence (which is apparent from the fact that денег is not nominative). It is actually a direct object, and objects don't determine the verb forms. This Russian sentence does not actually have an explicit subject, which means that its implicit subject is something like English "it" and hence the verb is neuter & singular. In general, this is quite common in Russian sentences with a "missing"/implicit subject, particularly in those describing a state of something (or things in general):
Мне было холодно. (I was cold.)
Нам повезло. (We were/got lucky.)
У нас не было еды. (We did not have food)

As a result, "нам хватает X"="There is/are enough X for us" always uses singular хватает (in any tense), while X is either singular uncountable or plural countable.


Its in past tense because не хватало(didnt have enough). Хватало is in past tense here so был would have been redundant.


Suggestion: "enough" should be optional here. It's understood from context, and my reflex was to translate without it. (I admit to liking concise speech and writing.)


Without "enough" it would be a little bit diferrent sentence with the same meaning:

We did not have money for two couches = у нас нет денег на два дивана.


I think you are exactly wrong. Without "enough" you are implying that you don't have the right kind of money to make the purchase (food stamps, for example) but you are omitting the reason. Using "enough" specifies that you don't have a sufficient quantity of money. The difference is, if the price was cut, you could make the purchase but if "enough" is left out, you can't make the purchase no matter what the price.


Your reasoning is logical, but colloquial expressions are not always strictly logical. In my (long) experience as an English native speaker, "we did not have the money for two couches" clearly and unequivocally means we did not have enough money. If we had money but the wrong kind, we would say something different, such as "we don't have the pounds sterling to buy two couches". I think any Canadian, Brit or American would be familiar with this.


So in the present tense хватать always appears as хватает. In the past tense, does it always appear as хватало?


Yes, that's right. When it means "was (not) enough" it's always "(не) хватало". Literally this sentence is "to us there was not enough of money... " That's why "нам" is in the dative; "денег" is in the genitive; and "хватало" is singular neuter.

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