https://www.duolingo.com/xO.Lx

Prepositions "в" and "на"

  • 14
  • 11
  • 5

Всем здра́вствуйте!

Today I realized that I didn't know these prepositions as I thought I did. I did a lot of excercises (in LearnRussian), but, somehow, my brain just can't absorb the information it needs. Specially in the second task.

Any help with it?

1 year ago

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

Basically, you should learn which words use "в" or "на". However, you can sometimes predict which one to use.

в - школе, офисе, клубе, магазине, театре, России, Испании, Нью-Йорке, ресторане, семье. Here "в" means 'in'. where? INSIDE where? inside which building, country, city. In family - в семье (used as in English)

на - работе, концерте, встрече, юге, сайте, обеде, бирже "на" here answers the question where? AT work, AT the concert, AT the meeting, AT lunch, AT the stock exchange (kind of conceptual, your activity) на юге (in the south) - you should remember to use "на" with cardinal points (north, south, etc) на сайте - on the website, на usually means 'on surface', you don't say 'IN the website' in English too, but on the website. just remember it - website like surface, can be seen ON flat screen.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

If you use на школе, на офисе, на клубе, на магазине, на театре, на ресторане - that would mean that you are actually standing ON top of the school, office, club, shop, theater building, restaurant (on the roof) and maybe watching stars from there. :) or... you've got an advertisement hanging ON the wall of these buildings.

if you say: в работе, в обеде - that would mean: inside the work (inside your thesis, essay) В работе есть ошибки. - There are mistakes in the work. As opposed to: Я на работе. - I am at work. Or consider this: В моем обеде муха. - There is fly in my lunch(food). Он ушел на обед. - He is at lunch, he went to have lunch. В семье три человека. - There are three members in the family. На нашей семье порча. - There is curse on our family (our family is cursed).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

What about на фабрике? :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xO.Lx
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5

На фабрике is correct. Because I've read that there are some exceptions that you need to memorize, as irregular verbs. This also happens with станция (на станции).

Am I correct? :c

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

Yep. What I meant to say is that although rules can generally help you, it is still much better to memorise correct usage. I can give you more less obvious examples with на: на кухне (kitchen), на заводе (works/plant), на вокзале (train station).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

Being Russian myself, I can say that I never use rules or think about which preposition to use in this case, and noone taught us these rules (about на and в) at school or in Russian subject. The best advice here is to ... just listen to conversations, read books and just memorize it, you're right.

На кухне/В кухне нет стульев. There are no chairs in the kitchen. Usually we say на. Both are correct.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xO.Lx
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5

So you are trying to say that you (a native Russian person)didn't study these things? Wow, that's awesome!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

xO.Lx, are you saying you studied when to use which preposition in Spanish? :))

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

Yes, I think these prepositions I learned intuitively since childhood while talking to family members and watching cartoons. You hear them - and then memorize (if you have good listening memory). I don't think that English people study their own prepositions at school separately - like in, on, at (on Monday, at the railway station, in prison, but at school). It is intuitive for natives. However, I have a hard time learning these in English, and only practice helps (same with English articles).

At school in Russian subject we learned declensions in 3rd grade, then cases later on (Иван Родил Девчонку, Велел Тащить Пеленку - first letters stand for cases' first letters :P). I sometimes refer to cases wiktionary to check myself in rare cases of rare words. Then we learned different verb forms in 6-7th grades. People usually SPEAK correctly, but these rules are learned in order to WRITE correctly. Some irregural rules were also learned, but soon after that forgotten by everyone. :D Orthographic dictionary was my friend (how to write words correctly/spelling).

And finally, when you are mature enough (8-9 grades), you learn how to use hyphens, dashes (- : ; ), all these punctuation rules for direct speech " ", where to put dash, when to use spacebar, when not (то же, тоже, что-то, то, не, ни).

AND the most important and still my favourite subject is... 'Difficult sentences', I am not sure if they are called so in English (the ones with several subjects). These rules are quite logical and can be mastered if you use good old soviet study books and make tables for yourself. :) How, when and where to use commas in these sentences. I can tell you that very very few people write and put commas correctly. Usually they never put commas where needed (adults, even educated people in other areas), and I notice that. Good students, Russian teachers, writers and journalist are the only ones who are good at these and pay attention. Others just slept through these lessons long time ago, I guess. :D

We also learned how to correctly pronounce some tricky words and where to put stress, most people also forget these rules as soon as they learn them. I personally like to point out the mistakes and even correct myself. That's just my favourite topic and I'm interested in that, even though I'm not a linguist at all. For example, you should say "Он позвонИт мне" instead of "Он позвОнит мне."

And in final grades (10-12) we just wrote a lot of essays and compositions (500-600 words - in order to master our written language. Even Russian students hated them wholeheartedly, but these were sometimes interesting to write if topics were tricky.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

I know many professionals who know perfectly well where to put their commas so to speak. On the other hand, just try to read Russian media, even important and influential -- most of the journalists (with very few exceptions) make too many mistakes (on top of having no idea what they are writing about).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

TimK68747, maybe, in the end, that depends on a person. I also notice many mistakes in the internet media, where everything has to be typed very fast and as soon as possible. Some experts don't care for the grammar but are good at what they're doing. Others are just educated enough to write almost everything correctly, and that's a big bonus into their karma.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mellamoriva

There are few predictable situations and a gray zone of the impredictable. Talking about the predictable ones: 1. if it's a process, you use HA: на лекции, на экскурсии; also “at work”: even if you mean “my office” the word still means a process; exeptions: отпуск, экспедиция, командировка. 2. if it's an open space like a stadium of tennis camp, you use НА.

Some types of open spaces: 3. a street/road ecc.: на улице, на площади, на бульваре, на большой дороге (the most important exceptions: в переулке — it's not considered an open space; я в дороге – i'm on my way); 4. cardinal points: на севере; 5. bodies of water, if you're not swimming inside: на море, на реке; 6. other flat geographic objects: Pole, island, continent + planet (yes, I know it's not exactly flat, but it's better not to enter much deep inside:)); 7. some places that could be flat and open centuries ago, but not now: the place where you change hourses - > station (вокзал, станция, остановка); at the same place you leave letters and packs to send them far away with the next hourse course - > почта; the place where you cook with the open fire - > kitchen (кухня); the place where people come with their donkeys and hourses to sell what they product - > market (рынок); 8. orizzontal entities in your house: этаж, балкон; 9. on the top of one mountain: на горе; but if there are more than one, it's more like a forest of mountains: в горах.

Then, there are some cases that I can't explain and still didn't find anyone who can: 1. university vs. faculty: в университете на факультете; 2. I'm on my … year: at school vs. at the university: в первом классе, на первом курсе; 3. на родине; на фабрике / заводе. Just no bloody explanation:(

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

I'm sure one can invent an explanation for every single case of usage. The fact that you (or I) can't means that we're just not inventive enough.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

I guess it's just better to hear the speech and memorize the usage because we never apply any rules and were not taught to do so in these cases. Just heard that everyone says: на курсах, в классе, not otherwise, and remembered it. :)

If you say "на университете" - that would mean 'on top of the building of the university or on its walls'.

В факультете - I guess it is hard to say consonants B Ф together, so it is not used.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

What about в филармонии? :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1Pozin2
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 637

Я иду на концерт в филармонию. Здесь филармония- здание.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

Context:

angelania2016: В факультете - I guess it is hard to say consonants B Ф together, so it is not used.

TimK68747: What about в филармонии? :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

My guess is that vowels "е, ё, и, ю, я" always make consonants before them sound softer, therefore, it sounds more smooth.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimK77777
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 12
  • 827

My guess is that vowels "е, ё, и, ю, я" always make consonants before them sound softer, therefore, it sounds more smooth.

Ok, then what about в фокусе?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peter594672
  • 22
  • 18
  • 13
  • 94

Okay, you're right, there's totally no logic, and any general rule has plenty of exceptions, and those trying to deal with it will have to deal with it, and all.

However, angelania2016 has made quite an awesome lot of excellent (and totally usable, although there should be a tag saying "use with care" attached) points while walking an extra mile to help the confused out. Please admit it, will you?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1Pozin2
  • 25
  • 25
  • 8
  • 637

Great job! What about location on surfaces of some things: на столе, на полу, на потолке, на стене, на тарелке, на кровати. And not only on surfaces - on parts of a body: на голове, на носу, на пальце, руке, ноге, пятке, на реснице, губах, на языке. But what about - на вилке, на игле. Is there any surfaces?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelania2016

Yes, it's same in English: on the table, on the floor, on the ceiling, on the wall, on the plate, on the bed. On = На. There is something ON your head, nose etc... On the surface of something. There is some dust ON the fork, ON the needle = На вилке, на игле пыль.

Chemical particles IN fork, IN needle = в вилке, в игле химические частицы.

1 year ago
Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.