The expression "Вот где собака зарыта" can be translated, as far as I know, as (that is) where the shoe pinches. The literal translation, of course, doesn't match.

So far, my literal (vague) translation amounts to "there is where the dog buries (something)", making reference to an issue that was hidden and suddenly emerges.

I cannot find what kind of word is зарыта, though. That is, it seems to be derived from the verb bury, "зарыть" as lingvo, wiktionary and gramota point out. But what kind of word is зарыта? it doesn't seem to be a conjugation of зарыть, and if so my apologies for not finding it.

  • 2
    краткая форма отглагольного прилагательного "зарытый" в женском роде
    – КуЪ
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 9:33
  • 1
    @КуЪ, А почему не пассивный залог?
    – Dima
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 15:12

3 Answers 3


зарытa is the passive voice of the verb зарыть, present tense, feminine. So it literally means "buried". This is similar to закрыта from закрыть or залита from залить.

The adjective would be зарытая.

  • It is definitely past tense. In present it would be "зарываема".
    – Anixx
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 11:06
  • зарываема is from зарывать, i. e. imperfective aspect. зарыть is perfective aspect. And this is present tense. была зарыта is past tense, and будет зарыта is future.
    – Dima
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 13:16

The literal translation is "That's where the dog is buried," and the meaning is "This is the core of the issue" or "That's where the answer is."

  • and зарыта is ... ?
    – c.p.
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 23:32
  • зарыта is buried
    – Eugene S
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 5:57
  • @EugeneS yes, thanks, I could infer that. But nothing ensures me that after translating "buried" back to Russian I get the same conjugation of the verb (sometimes it cannot exist at all, e.g. translating strictly literally into German the phrase "I'm doing X-thing" is impossible.) So I was rather asking about the exact kind of word.
    – c.p.
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 18:09

As @ruskie.info and @Eugene S have written, "зарыта" means buried. It's an adjective derived from the verb "to bury" and it is declined regularly:


  • я зарыт
  • ты зарыт
  • он зарыт/она зарыта/оно зарыто


  • мы зарыты
  • вы зарыты
  • они зарыты
  • I think you are conjugating here, rather than declining.
    – Dima
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 15:07

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