1

I saw the following sentence in a book and wondered if the inverted number and demonstrative had any marked emotive influence on the utterance, or is it just a neutral alternative:

“И вот две эти отвратительные ведьмы сидели и потягивали свой лимонад, время от времени покрикивая на Джеймса, чтобы он работал быстрее.”

Excerpt From: Роальд Даль. “Джеймс и Персик-великан.”

1
  • 1
    The original sentence is "And there they sat, these two ghastly hags, sipping their drinks, and every now and again screaming at James to chop faster and faster." – Vitaly Jan 19 '16 at 13:58
3

That's a hyperbaton (inversion used to put emphasis on the first word).

Both variants are grammatically correct, but this sentence stresses slightly that the hags were two, no less, no more.

It's not that important for this very phrase (most probably, the translator used that to convey similar thing in "there they sat"), but in something like this:

Генерал на мгновение скис, красивое его лицо потемнело

it's used to stress that the face is first "good-looking", then "his".

3

эти две отвратительные ведьмы

Emphasis is on эти. These hags, not others. Those mentioned before. Maybe they are acting separately at different times and places or against each other.

две эти отвратительные ведьмы

Emphasis is on две. They are two, it is notable that they are two, a pair, acting together. First you see two objects and then you figure out they are the hags in question.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.