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  5. "I will be in Ukraine for two…

"I will be in Ukraine for two years."

Translation:Я буду в Україні два роки.

May 27, 2015



I got the multiple choice exercise and had the options: Я буду в Україні два роки. Я буду на Україні два роки.

I marked both as correct because their corresponding Russian versions would both be correct. However, I know that many Ukrainians consider it an insult when "на Украине" is used in Russian.

So the question is, is saying на Україні completely wrong in Ukrainian, or was it just marked wrong because it's not considered a nice thing to say?


When I was in school (1980s) "на Україні" in Ukrainian was the only acceptable option, at least in my region. Then in 1990s it changes in both Ukrainian and "Ukrainian Russian" to "в Україні"/"в Украине" for mostly political reasons, but I don't want to go deeply into it.

Right now even for me (for a person who was used to "на Україні" from birth to his early 20s) "в Україні" sounds correct and "на Україні" sounds weird.

However, for the course sake I would make "на Україні" as an acceptable option if not the option of the first choice.


Why can't I say "у Україні"?


In Ukrainian "у" and "в" are usually synonyms. Native speakers tend to choose "у" between two consonants:

"Будеш у Києві?" - "Will you be in Kiev?"

and "в" between two vowels:

"Я приїхала в Анкару" - "I came to Ankara"

If "в/у" is to be used between a consonant and a vowel, you can generally use both of them, although "в" sounds a bit better to my ear:

"Нестор в Анкарі" - "Нестор у Анкарі" - Nestor is in Ankara.

But if one or both of the vowels is "у", you should definitely use "в" to harmonize the sentence:

"Їду у Україну" sounds terrible to native speakers.


How does one say "for" in Ukrainian? Is it "за", "на", or "для"?


I would say that "на" is "on/onto"(I don't know how can it be translated as "for" tbh). And "для" is always "for", but, "for" is not always "для".

Literally, "за" does not mean "for", but is more like "behind"

"За мною" = Follow me. But it litreally means "Behind me", and is short form of "Йди за мною / Йдіть за мною"(literally: go behind me)

Let me give you an example that uses "за" and "для":

"За мене" = (vote / avenge) for me, hard to explain this one, maybe it is just an expression that has no explicit relation to "behind". "Для мене" = (to do something / to make something) for me.

"Проголосуй за мене" - vote for me. "Проголосуй для мене" - vote for me / vote, do it for me please.

In most cases, I would say that "for" translated as "для".


дякую за ваше пояснення!

as above, I've seen "за" used in expressions of gratitude, like "дякую за ваше пояснення", "thank you for your explanation."

I remember seeing photos of tanks in the Great Patriotic War, adorned with slogans like "за Родину" (for the Motherland). Is this also used in Ukrainian?

Also, I've seen "на" used as "for" in expressions like, "Що ви бажаєте на сніданок?", "what would you like for breakfast?"

Thanks for clarifying my understanding.

All the best


Hm, "за" could be something like "(what have been this done) for", while "для" could be "(what/who does it stand) for"

So when you say "Дакую ЗА ваше пояснення!" it means, "Thank you, because you have explained blah-blah-blah", I thank you, because you did it

"Для" sounds more like "this gift is For you". Now I guess "Для" is more like a gift, while "За" is more like a payment.

You can say "для Родини" but it's more like "This tank has been built For the Motherland, as a gift", so when you can't say "Дякую ДЛЯ вашого пояснення!"(gramatically can) because it would mean something like "I thank to your explanation, not to you", and so when you say "Дякую ЗА ваше пояснення!" you thank as a payment for explanation.

"Що ви бажаєте на сніданок?", well as the expression, it means "what would you like for breakfast?" but it doesn't say the same thing the same way, the "на" is used as "at" here, and "на сніданок" means not "for breakfast", but more like "at the breakfast time", because "снiданок" means "the time when one's having breakfast" so it's something like "What do you wish at the breakfast time?", бажаєте = "(you) wish"

I hope you can understand it at least a bit better now, also, excuse me for my bad english.

P.S. "за Родину" it's russian, but the "за" word is the same in both languages.

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