Why do some sentences behave so strange?
I've done some Duolingo tasks where I have been told to translate things like: "Tom is going to school". Using my russian grammatic knowledge I figure that the sentence should have the features of a locative case.
I translate and get: " Том ходит в школе". However I get that wrong and the corrections goes by "Том ходит в школу".
Why is there a "у" in the end instead of an e?
Would really appreciate some help here!
в школу = to school; в школе = at school. Also "goes" is "ходит" (without "ь").
школе = locative case; школу = accusative case (note that only singular -а/-я ending words have a special accusative form, otherwise they copy nominative or genitive).
Locative (aka prepositional) case is only ever used with the prepositions: о, при, в, and на. But note that the prepositions в and на can use other cases to give a different meaning. When you see в/на + (loc) this means location. When you see в/на + (acc) this means direction. Я хожу в школу(acc) means "I go to school", as in the direction of motion. Я живу в школе(loc) means "I live at school", as in the location of where you live. It is not uncommon for a single preposition to take different meanings depending on the case of the word coming after it, so pay attention to that!
I believe that all words besides feminine -ь and double vowel (i.e. -ия) endings have a -е ending in locative. The exceptions I mentioned end in -и instead. Ex: школа > школе; Сибирь > Сибири; Россия > России. There is also a small group of masculine words that take an -у ending in locative, as in мост > мосту.
I have my own question, but I don't think it warrants its own thread so I will post it here in case it can be answered by anyone:
Could you say я иду в школе в твоём городе to mean "I am going to the school in your city" or is there a better way to word that?
"I am going to the school in your city" (either going right now, or intending to go, say, in the next school year) = я иду в школу в твоём городе. "I am walking in a school" (already being physically in that school) = я иду в школе в твоём городе. Although it sounds somewhat unnatural, and I would say "я хожу по школе в твоём городе". "I go to school in your city" (on a regular basis) = я хожу в школу в твоём городе.