"Yes, the house is there."

Translation:Так, дім там.

December 4, 2016

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/NikoletaDe

When should and shouldn't I use "є"?

December 4, 2016

[deactivated user]

    «Є» is used when 'existence' (or 'having') is part of new information:

    • «Так, дім там» — the listener knows the house exists somewhere, and the new information is: the house is in a known place. «Там» is the peace of new information, and it's placed in the end.
    • «Так, дім там є» — the speaker doesn't know if the house exists in a known place. The new information: the house indeed exists. «Є» is the piece of the new information, and it's placed towards the end.

    Sometimes you can combine two pieces of information in one sentence: 'X exists' and something else about X. Then, you'd use «є», but wouldn't put it in the ends of the sentence. For example:

    — У ко́гось є запальни́чка? 'Does anyone have a lighter?'
    — Так, запальни́чка є у ме́не. 'Yes, I have a lighter.' (this answer combines 2 pieces of information: 'Yes, someone indeed has a lighter.' and 'That someone is me'. So, we use «є».)

    When existence/having is not emphasised, you don't use a lighter:

    — У ко́го запальни́чка? 'Who has the lighter?'
    — Запальни́чка у ме́не. 'I have the lighter'. (this answer tells just one piece of new information: 'The someone who has the lighter is me.')

    In the second sentence, it's assumed that there is some lighter. We know that it exists before the conversation started. So, we don't use «є» because the lighter is known to exist, we just ask who keeps it.

    N.B. The above is true for the literary Ukrainian (as well as for Russian and Belarusian, which use «есть» and «ёсць» similarly). Literary Ukrainian is based on Central Ukrainian dialects, but due to education and mass media, it's now spoken throughout Ukraine. Some Western Ukrainian dialects use «є» differently: they use it anywhere where English uses 'is', like Polish does. This seems to be the preferred way of speaking among US and Canadian Ukrainians, who speak mostly Western dialects.

    December 5, 2016
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