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What's the difference between the following patterns and how are they rendered in English?

  1. Яблоки в холодильнике?
  2. В холодильнике яблоки?
  3. Есть яблоки в холодильнике?
  4. Яблоки в холодильнике есть?

1 Answer 1

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Of course, there is some difference:

  1. Яблоки в холодильнике? Are the apples in the fridge? (or maybe somewhere else, on the table, in the basket)?
    You're asking about the place. The logical stress is on the last word.
  2. В холодильнике яблоки? Are there apples in the fridge? (not any other fruits like peaches or plums)
    The stress is on the last word. You're asking about the fruit because you're not sure.
  3. Есть яблоки в холодильнике? — Are there any apples in the fridge?
    Just a general question about the availability of apples in the fridge.
  4. Яблоки в холодильнике есть? — In English, it's exactly the same question: Are there any apples in the fridge?
    It's about their availability as well, but the last word is stressed and sounds more emphatic.
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  • What a great answer; something for English learners and Russian learners 👍🏻🤩
    – CocoPop
    Feb 11 at 16:38
  • @CocoPop Can the fourh sentense have a tinge of a little expostulation, admonition, rebuke? Something like this: "I wish it would finally go down so as for me to find those darn apples in this fridge at last, somehow, whenever!"
    – Eugene
    Feb 11 at 17:29
  • @Eugene Given the right intonation, almost anything can be a rebuke. But yes, if you stress "are" at the beginning of the question, it can be a rebuke of sorts: Are there any apples in the refrigerator? (especially if you doubt there are or if other times, you've looked for apples there and they've been gone).
    – CocoPop
    Feb 11 at 18:24
  • @CocoPop Thank you! (by the way, is my sentense "I wish it would finally go down so as for me to find those apples in this fridge" correct? I've had a doubt as to the "...so as for me to find..." part. Maybe it should have been brought in like: "...so as for my finding..."?)
    – Eugene
    Feb 11 at 18:36
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    @CocoPop So do I, to tell the truth. As you might have guessed I have always tried purposedly to "screw in" something unconventional, unidiomatic when phrasing different thoughts, ideas (not only in English, thus staggering my interlocutors). The principal point of mine is: "Leave out idiomacy, go into using language as a mason uses bricks". But grammaticality is everything, of course.
    – Eugene
    Feb 11 at 19:37

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