играют в гостях у

vidar

Senior Member
UK
English - England
Пеппа и Джордж играют в гостях у бабушки с дедушкой.

I understand what в гостях means but i don't get the meaning of having the word играют in there.

What is the meaning? My effort is '(they) are playing at grandma and grandpa's where they are visiting.' since the literal translation doesn't seem to make sense: '(they) are playing as visitors to grandma and grandpa's'.
 
  • nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I'd recommend to think of these - 'в гостях' and 'в гости' as of set phrases - adverbials of location (even though they are rather about a situation in regard to the subject):

    Где он?- В гостях у брата. - location,situation; гости is used here as the locative case
    Куда он идёт? В гости к брату. - direction - but гости is used as the nominative.

    Actually, it is a very specific usage (e.g. его забрали в солдаты) which is rare, only в гостях/в гости is so common.

    Otherwise, declension differs:
    '(they) are playing as visitors to grandma and grandpa's'.
    = (они) играют в гостей бабушки и дедушки. (here, it is the accusative: играют в ковбоев, в астронавтов, в войну, в шахматы, в футбол). Also quite unusual pattern, specific to the verb играть.
     

    Şafak

    Senior Member
    I understand what в гостях means but i don't get the meaning of having the word играют in there.

    What is the meaning? My effort is '(they) are playing at grandma and grandpa's where they are visiting.' since the literal translation doesn't seem to make sense: '(they) are playing as visitors to grandma and grandpa's'.

    The original sentence is just weird. On my first read I didn't even understand it.
    I'd say: Пеппа и Джордж (typical Slavic individuals, judging by their names) играют у бабушки с дедушкой.
     

    Şafak

    Senior Member
    the literal translation doesn't seem to make sense: '(they) are playing as visitors to grandma and grandpa's'.
    I don't quite follow. Why do you think this would be the literal translation?
    If I had to translate the sentence literally, I'd write: "They are playing while being guests at grandma and grandpa's place".
     

    stam-adam

    Senior Member
    Russian
    vidar, your understanding is correct, but the phrase itself sounds very unnatural. "В гостях" is not needed here: when you say "у кого-либо" - дети у бабушки, Катя у Маши и т.п. - most often it's already clear that they are visiting (except in a work-related context like Петя у врача, я у портнихи etc., but the meaning is the same: for a moment of time the person is in someone else's place (if it is not "у себя": Директор у себя, но сейчас занят - The manager is in his office, but he is busy, you can't see him right now).
    Actually, in most cases I'd even omit the word "играют" because that's what kids normally do (the same as when I say "я в ресторане" I'd not precise that I'm eating), maybe except in some particular context, like there is an excellent playground in the grandma's courtyard, so I left kids to play there while myself I go shopping in the neighborhood, then I could say: Дети играют у бабушки, а я пока пробегусь по магазинам. Or if it's about a particular game: Дети у бабушки - играют в пинг-понг.
    As to the expression "в гостях", it is most often used without precision, for example someone calls me and I reply: Извини, я сейчас не могу говорить - я в гостях, потом перезвоню (here, I don't need to explain whom exactly I'm visiting, the point is that I'm sitting with other people at their home and it's not a good time to talk on the phone with someone else, I'll call back later from home). The only "natural" context for "в гостях у ..." I can think of would be a title or something like this. For example, there was a TV program for kids "В гостях у сказки" - this would sound natural with someone's name too. In other cases, if I want to put an accent on "visiting", I'd use a verb: Дети гостят у бабушки с дедушкой.
     
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    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    The only "natural" context for "в гостях у ..." I can think of would be a title or something like this.
    This collocation often appears in spoken language:
    "Не хочу есть - я в гостях у брата поел уже"
    "я поел ещё когда был в гостях у брата".
    "я сейчас в гостях у подруги, потом позвоню"

    So it depends on what you call natural. I'm not sure the cause of this collocation is word shift and emphasis. Rather there's some issue with the verb гостить which does not work well in language, because it can have a long-term (staying at smb - not just visiting) meaning.
     
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    Şafak

    Senior Member
    This collocation often appears in spoken language:
    "Не хочу есть - я в гостях у брата поел уже"
    "я поел ещё когда был в гостях у брата".
    "я сейчас в гостях у подруги, потом позвоню"

    So it depends on what you call natural. I'm not sure the cause of this collocation is word shift and emphasis. Rather there's some issue with the verb гостить which does not work well in language, because it can have a long-term (staying at smb - not just visiting) meaning.

    I’d still drop “в гостях” in all your examples, dear friend.
     

    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I’d still drop “в гостях” in all your examples, dear friend.
    However, note that 'я сейчас в гостях у подруги' is not the same as "я сейчас у подруги", and, 'я у брата поел' can sound weird as well (as if the eaten belongs to his brother).
     

    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    This is so implausible.
    A little extreme, I agree;
    Still I think that the original sentence is not good only because в гостях appears as a modifier of the meaning of играют.
    There should be a copula - "быть в гостях у..." - or, at least its imitation as " (будучи) в гостях у..., (делал что-то)".

    In short, 'в гостях' is describing the subject's state, not the action they perform.
     
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    stam-adam

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Не хочу есть - я в гостях у брата поел уже"
    "я поел ещё когда был в гостях у брата".
    "я сейчас в гостях у подруги, потом позвоню"

    So it depends on what you call natural.
    All those phrases are correct, yet they appear unnatural to me in the sense I don't see a reason why one would speak this way. To an invitation for a meal people would usually say: Спасибо, я только из гостей / из-за стола. If they ask, I'll tell them, that it was my brother's birthday, and his wife just got a new cooking book, so I can't even think of more eating for the next few days :D , but anyway it will not be all in one phrase. Otherwise, in Russian cultural context, it's enough to say Я из гостей to make it clear that I'm not hungry. Maybe if one day this cultural context changes, you'll need to precise that you were offered a meal while visiting.
    Generally, abundance of unnecessary details in speech conveys some tension, like someone trying to keep calm in arguing, or it can be used to emphasize an unusual situation. For example, I could say "Я был в гостях у брата" if my brother is back from a hard circumstances and I'm impressed that now I can visit him at his home and not in hospital or prison. But in common life people usually tend to speak in a simple way. Well, IMHO, the very fact of this thread shows that extra details in a phrase help to more confusion rather than understanding. ;)
     
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    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    To an invitation for a meal people would usually say: Спасибо, я только из гостей / из-за стола.
    I wish I could always hear courteous phrases like this around.

    I don't see why that is so objectionable.
    Only one tiny intonation change, that is, a delay, would make the original phrase sound much less weird:

    Prototype:

    Кстати, что делают наши Пеппа и Джордж - и где они?
    Пеппа и Джордж играют. Они в гостях у бабушки с дедушкой.

    And, now:

    Кстати, что делают наши Пеппа и Джордж - и где они?
    Пеппа и Джордж играют - в гостях у бабушки с дедушкой.
     
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    hopeItSoundsGood

    Member
    Russian
    I understand what в гостях means but i don't get the meaning of having the word играют in there.

    What is the meaning? My effort is '(they) are playing at grandma and grandpa's where they are visiting.' since the literal translation doesn't seem to make sense: '(they) are playing as visitors to grandma and grandpa's'.
    The verb "играют" is used there to provide us more details on what they are doing while paying a visit to their grandma and grandpa, that's to say, they are not just visiting their grandma and grandpa, they are playing there.

    Hope it helps.
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    the literal translation doesn't seem to make sense: '(they) are playing as visitors to grandma and grandpa's'.

    "В гостях у бабушки с дедушкой" means "(while) visiting one's grandparents at their place":

    :tick:Вчера дети были в гостях у бабушки с дедушкой.
    :tick:В гостях у бабушки с дедушкой дети познакомились со своей родной тётей.
    Indeed, the sentence "Пеппа и Джордж играют в гостях у бабушки с дедушкой" is odd pragmatically (at least, without context), as kids don't only play at their grandparents' place. Apart from that, the construction itself is generally passable:

    :tick: Дети не высыпаются в гостях у бабушки. Может быть, играют допоздна?
     
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