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During a Duolingo Russian lesson the other day, I translated the following:

"My place is at home,"

with

"Моё место домой,"

but the answer given was:

"Моё место дома."

A Google search seems to indicate that both are legitimate sentences, but my version -- using "домой" instead of "дома" -- does not seem to be used very often. Does anybody know what the differences are between these two versions of this sentence?

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    "Мое место домой" is not a correct sentence. – Abakan Jul 6 '17 at 21:03
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    one may think of it as one more case when some concept in English is conveyed by prepositions and in Russian - by endings. The difference between дома/домой is exactly the difference between in/into (both are "в" in Russian) and on/onto (both are "на"). There is no at/at-to pair though. One is idea of location, another is idea of targeted movement. – Arioch Jul 7 '17 at 8:43
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    The difference for me is associated with case: nominative-дома; accusative- домой. Or you can remember them by the questions they answer: <<Где? Дома. Куда? Домой.>> – MAA Jul 7 '17 at 20:24
  • Моё место домой = My place is to home. Is it correct? Obviously, not. – Anixx Jul 8 '17 at 22:31
  • "to home" is not "домой" in English. You don't say "I'm going to home" this is absolutely wrong. You say "I'm going home". So from this fact the OP's confusion stems from, I think – user907860 Jul 9 '17 at 15:34
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I suppose, your confusion stems from the fact, that in English different use cases of "home" can be translated to Russian as either "домой" or "дома". Like in:

  • "I'm going home" — "Я иду домой"
  • "I'm home (at last)" — "Я дома (наконец-то)"

In Russian "домой" and "дома" are absolutely different words.

The word "домой" means a direction to home and answers to the question "where" in English, but "куда" in Russian, like:

  • это дорога домой — this is a road to home
  • я иду домой — I'm going home

The word "дома" means a place, location and also answers to the question "where" in English, but "где" in Russian, like:

  • я дома — I'm home
  • мое место дома — my place is at home

That is they are not interchangeable and the only correct translation for "My place is at home" is "мое место дома", except a case, where the phrase "my place" means one's home itself, like "do you have a TV at your place". But in that case the phrase "My place is at home" would look very strange in and of itself.

  • what the difference between this and answers already provided? – shabunc Jul 9 '17 at 20:07
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    @shabunc, I read your answer and decided that it is not enough concise and clear. So I decided to provide mine, this isn't forbidden, right? – user907860 Jul 9 '17 at 21:42
  • well, even if it will be I will be strongly against it ) it's totally fine, just like asking "how exactly this differs from previous questions" ;) I actually forgot that one of the answers was mine - usually just scan through the answers themselves when in "mod mode". – shabunc Jul 9 '17 at 22:07
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    I actually held out on giving the green checkmark because the answer that was initially given went off on a tangent about the Russian case system and was written in a way that seemed to assume I knew nothing at all about it. Granted, I still have a lot more to learn about the Russian case system, but it was a bit irrelevant to the question and I found the tone of it presumptuous and condescending. Therefore, the green checkmark will be awarded to user907860. I hope my bluntness on this matter is not offensive and, instead, those who read it will appreciate the honesty in it and learn from it. – Lisa Beck Jul 25 '17 at 20:20
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No, they are not interchangeable at all. Домой means "home, homeward" (as in "go home"), and дома means "at home" (as in "stay at home").

Thus, "моё место дома" is indeed correct, because it answers the question "where is my place"? At home.

Now you can just memorize these forms the way they are but at some stage of learning Russian it's just inevitable to need to learn more about Russian cases.

See there are no cases in modern English at all (only some traces like "who"/"whom"/"whose") but you just know what's the difference between "at home", "by home", "to home" etc. - it's just something you've actually memorized - some of information that is passed by prepositions in English is passed by the cases. It's just the way it is.

Well, it's even more tricky, technically, "домой" and "дома" are adverbs, not nouns, so it's not correct to talk of cases but actually those are historically just "frozen" forms of noun дом.

And, to introduce even more confusion, those are "frozen" form of so called smaller cases - one that are not used for all nouns but there are some remnants of ancient, richer than modern, conjugation system.

So, just accept it the way it is ;)

  • "домой" and "дома" are adverbs, not nouns Дома is both adverb and a noun (Genitive case of дом). – Matt Jul 8 '17 at 10:34
  • and дома means "at home" I would note that "дома" is not always "at home", it can be simply "home". Like "I'm home", when one has come home and is saying this as he closes his door, for instance – user907860 Jul 9 '17 at 16:05

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