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I don't quite understand the reason for why Мое instead of Моя is used. Could somebody explain it to me?

2 Answers 2

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Имя is neuter noun, not feminine.

There is a set of similar neuter nouns: имя, вымя, пламя, семя, время, темя, стремя, знамя, племя, бремя etc.

All of them originate from PIE words with -men suffix. Such words were neuter in PIE also. In Proto-Slavic -en and -n̥ becomes -ę nasal vowel and later -я.

Thus

PIE e̯neo̯mn -> имя

PIE see̯mn -> семя

PIE ĝneo̯mn -> знамя

PIE bhermn -> бремя

etc.

You still can see the -мен- part in oblique cases and plural: времени, временем, времена etc, as well as adjectives: временный, беременная.

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Имя belongs to a special group of 11 nouns ending in -мя, all of which are of the Neuter gender:

бремя, время, вымя, знамя, имя, пламя, племя, семя, стремя, темя, голомя

All of them also decline in a special way:

       sing.       plur.
_____________________________       
Nom.   врéмя       временá
Gen.   врéмени     времён     (but: семя́н, стремя́н)
Dat.   врéмени     временáм
Acc.   врéмя       временá
Instr. врéменем    временáми
Prep.  врéмени     временáх

All the 11 nouns (including имя) have the same case endings as время, except that:

  • семя and стремя differ slightly in the genitive plural
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  • Why just 10? You missed бремя, for instance.
    – Anixx
    Oct 20, 2015 at 2:44
  • @Anixx - Thank you! They are really 11, no more of them exists in Russian.
    – Yellow Sky
    Oct 20, 2015 at 3:24
  • There is also полымя, although it is just native Russian version of пламя.
    – Anixx
    Oct 20, 2015 at 3:29
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    There is also письмена which only has plural.
    – Anixx
    Oct 20, 2015 at 6:01
  • Ну вот есть ещё одно: рамя ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BC%D1%8F
    – Anixx
    Oct 20, 2015 at 12:21

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