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Are we sure that this is a picture of parents...? And a grammar question

So, one of those beloved "choose the image that matches this word" questions yielded this:

Now, I understand that батько means father, and батьки means parents, but I could be wrong. (Someone please correct me if I am!) So...this picture doesn't actually represent parents, does it?

Secondly, can someone perhaps explain the use of the apostrophe in Ukrainian words? It seems kind of random to me and I've yet to see it come up in the tips and notes (I'm slogging my way through Letters 3).

Thanks! I'm enjoying Ukrainian so far, although I have to admit it's been difficult. Finally getting the hang of the letter sounds and typing, at least. :)

May 29, 2015



Yes, images sometimes seem confusing. It is something that we found with the DL image database - they do not always match the search requests exactly. I still remember some unexpected and funny results that I got when trying to add an image to quite straightforward and common nouns..)) We wish contributors could upload their own pics, but so far that is not an option :/


Oh, I see. That seems like it would be frustrating. :/ Okay! Next time I come across it, I'll find the handy dandy report button.


We use the apostrophe in Ukrainian words after "б, п, в, м, ф, р" before "ї, є, ю, я". Exsamples: п'ять, м'ясо, бур'ян, він б'є, комп'ютер....


Thank you! Very nice to have a rule for that.


I was glad to help


Yeah, батько and тато mean father and dad respectively. The picture seems to be a mistake. I would report it. The apostrophe is used to let you know to pronounce both letters individually. Take the word м'ясо. The "m" and the "ya" are pronounced separately as opposed to mushed together. Someone else might be able to explain this better.


Thank you, that makes perfect sense.


Do not report it, we cannot choose which exact picture we get and this can cause confusion. This is something you should report to the staff


JamesB84 explained correctly about how apostrophe influences pronunciation. If you were writing a dictation, you would hear that this word needs the apostrophe. But you are learning here how to write in Ukranian, so you just have to memorize which words have the apostrophe, it's just the part of their spelling


Ahh, thanks! Now when I come across one of those "type what you hear" exercises, I'll remember that. :)


Another thing to remember is that ь makes the consonant soft (palatised) and the ' makes the consonant hard. For example, the word п'ю is not pronounced like the word "pew" because our tongue curls a bit when we pronounce the p. Compare the difference in the p in the word "pew" and "poo" (sorry this is the only example I could think of haha) because the apostrof is there, we pronounce the p as in "poo" and follow it with "you". A trick to do this is to keep your tongue flat and rested at the bottom of your mouth.

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