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"Дівчата і хлопці"

Translation:Girls and boys

October 11, 2017

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carl_Ramrod

Is "Дівчата" neuter (instead of the expected feminine)? I'm judging by the plural ending.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deniko
  • 1668

The singular form of "дівчата" is "дівчина", and it is feminine. However, there is a colloquial word for "a girl" with the same root - "дівча", and it is neuter!

But you're right, "дівчата" does look like a plural of a neuter word. It could well be that etymologically "дівчата" was formed as the plural of "дівча", but I can't be sure. Just treat it as an irregular plural for now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sagitta145

Дівчата is plural, so technically, it doesn't have any gender :) From the point of view of the grammar for sure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carl_Ramrod

This doesn't seem right to me. I made a note that masculine plural nouns tend to end in "-и" or "-і," feminine plural nouns tend to end in "-и" or "-і," and neuter plural nouns tend to end in "-а" or "-я." Is this an oversimplification?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sagitta145

You are right here in the sense that дівчата comes from дівча -> дівчато (?) -> дівчатко which is neuter. But it is also plural for дівчина which is feminine. And in this case it follows the same declension patterns as the plural of neuter words (e.g. кошенята). Sorry, didn't quite understand what you wanted at first ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carl_Ramrod

Google Translate gives... дівча -> girl дівчато -> girl дівчатко -> girl дівчина -> girl

Yikes! What's the difference between these words? Do they have different shades of meaning? Which one should I use in which situation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarryLord1

I'll just mention in passing that words for young people are often neuter e.g. German Mädchen. In Slavic languages, the ancient root "dit-" gives neuter nouns like Russian дитя (now archaic, but with plural дети, the usual modern word for "children").

I wouldn't say that дівчата (being plural) has no gender. Perhaps the gender is not visible in Ukrainian, but some Slavic languages distinguish gender in the plural. For example, in Serbian "The men left" would be Мушкарци су отишли but "The women left" would be Жене су отишле.

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