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Thread: Can't figure out this construction...

  1. #1
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    Can't figure out this construction...

    I have a translation exercise to do, but I can't figure out exactly how to translate this sentence:

    Катя спросила у Лены, что ей делать?

    I know it's "Katya asked Lena..." but I'm unsure on the second part. Who is 'ей' referring back to, and what does it mean? I'm sure this is rather elementary, but I can't get my head around it.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Can't figure out this construction...

    Hi, Ryan91

    1. "Катя спросила у Лены, что ей делать?" literally means "Katya asked Lena, what she [Katya] should do". Although it doesn't sound English, it gives the following idea
    "Katya asked Lena what was the way out?". It might be more English.

    2. If we say "Катя спросила у Лены, что она собирается делать?" or more exactly "Катя спросила у Лены, что Лена собирается делать", it means that "Katya asked Lena, what Lena should do".

    3. Please compare
    "Катя спросила у Лены, что ей делать?" - "Katya asked Lena, what she [Katya] should do".
    "Катя спросила у Лены, что она собирается делать? - "Katya asked Lena, what Lena should do".
    "Катя спросила у Лены, что Лена собирается делать" - "Katya asked Lena, what Lena should do".

    Sorry for my poor English, if any.

  3. #3
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    Re: Can't figure out this construction...

    The rule is ( pronoun in the dative case ) + ( infinitive of the verb ) implies what the subject should do, in a sense.
    i.e. - Что ему читать? - What shall/must he read?
    А чё ещё мне сказать?)
    Correct my mistakes and I will give you +1 internets.

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    Re: Can't figure out this construction...

    Quote Originally Posted by msbll
    "Катя спросила у Лены, что Лена собирается делать" - "Katya asked Lena, what Lena should do".

    Sorry for my poor English, if any.
    собирается - rather "is going to do" than "should do"
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  5. #5
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    Re: Can't figure out this construction...

    Katya asked Lena what she was supposed to do.

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    Re: Can't figure out this construction...

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Douglas
    Katya asked Lena what she was supposed to do.
    Да. Katya turned to Lena for help and asked Lena's advice.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can't figure out this construction...

    Quote Originally Posted by John_Douglas
    Katya asked Lena what she was supposed to do.
    Да. katya turned to Lena for help and asked Lena's advice.

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