4

If an adjective precedes multiple nouns of different number/gender but describes all of them, which form of the adjective should be used?

Or must an adjective be repeated when describing the nouns to avoid misunderstandings?

1
  • I think in this situation the adjective would simply be in the plural: счастливые муж и жена. – ghostarbeiter Mar 30 '16 at 3:10
3
  1. "Любимые мальчик и девочка" = both are beloved. Correct, but rare form, because it's easy to mess it with 2.
  2. "Любимый мальчик и девочка" = only the boy is beloved. Rough implication that the girl is not beloved. This form is often used for jokes.
  3. "Любимый мальчик и любимая девочка" = both are beloved. Correct and most common form in collocation.
  4. "Мои любимые: мальчик и девочка", "мальчик и девочка, которых я люблю", "любимые дети" and etc. are common in books, since 3 seems excessive on writing.

Misunderstanding when number/gender is equal is a known issue. Speakers try to aviod it. The most famious disambiguation is "Письма знакомой из Киева не заменят фотографии его любимой и милой дочери Марии". In "фотографии его любимой и милой дочери Марии" following meanings are possible:

  • Photo of his beloved person, and sweet daugther Maria.
  • Photo of his beloved and sweet person, and daugther Maria.
  • Photo of his beloved and sweet daugther, and Maria.
  • Photo of his beloved and sweet daugther Maria.

And lots of other meanings. They say, it's more than 1000 meanings possible.

3
  • Каждый завод и фабрика, российская печать,телевидение и радио. – V.V. Mar 30 '16 at 10:14
  • "Каждый" is a pronoun, not an adjective. – Nadia Solovyeva Mar 30 '16 at 10:20
  • Есть правило согласования определения с однородными членами. Все не так просто. – V.V. Mar 30 '16 at 10:43

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.