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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.

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    краткая форма отглагольного прилагательного "зарытый" в женском роде – КуЪ Apr 16 '13 at 9:33
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    @КуЪ, А почему не пассивный залог? – Dima Apr 16 '13 at 15:12
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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.

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  • It is definitely past tense. In present it would be "зарываема". – Anixx Apr 17 '13 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 Apr 17 '13 at 13:16
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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."

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  • and зарыта is ... ? – c.p. Apr 15 '13 at 23:32
  • зарыта is buried – Eugene S Apr 16 '13 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. Apr 17 '13 at 18:09
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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:

Singular:

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

Plural:

  • мы зарыты
  • вы зарыты
  • они зарыты
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  • I think you are conjugating here, rather than declining. – Dima Apr 16 '13 at 15:07

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