17

I read about a flower which is called "Иван да Марья". I am assuming, that "Иван" and "Марья" are Russian names, since they start with capital letters and "Марья" sounds like an English name "Maria". What does "да" mean though? I know of it as "yes". Does it have other meanings? Because thinking of it as "yes" in this context does not make a lot of sense to me!

  • 1
    As a side note, Ivan is derived from Hebrew Yohanan, which in modern English turned to John. – bipll Jun 11 '16 at 15:05
  • 2
    For sheer completenes, your particular combination of names can form a specific single word иван-да-марья, which is a (quite common) folk name for some flowers. It is, in a way, an idiom (perhaps because it sounds great). You'll see "да" between any other names less commonly (in favour of the more neutral "и"), or even if you render Марья in a more common way Мария or Маша: "Иван да Маша" sounds somewhat dodgy, like any distorted idiom (though it's formally correct). – Zeus Aug 6 '16 at 14:41
27

The word "Да" has got various functions in Russian.

  1. In your example

Иван да Марья (Иван и Марья)

it is a conjunction which means "и". As a conjunction it can also mean "но" ("but")

Солнце светит, да не греет ("The sun is shining, but it isn't warm").

In this case we put a comma in front of "да".

2.As a particle "да" can denote agreement.

-- Вы говорите по-русски?" ("Do you speak Russian?)

-- Да. ("Yes, I do").

It can also express being surprised:

-- Я говорю по-русски. ("I speak Russian.") --Да ладно? ("Really?")

It can also mean "by the way" when it is at the beginning of the sentence.

Да, совсем забыл, напиши ему письмо. ("By the way, I forgot to tell you, write him a letter.")

As a particle it helps to form imperative sentences.

Да будет так!("Let it be so!" if translated literary, but that's also one of the possible translateions of "Amen!")

Or like here:

Да здравствует свобода!(Long live freedom! )

It can be used for putting emphasis on a sentence.

Да не хочу я ничего! ("I don't want anything!", a bit stronger than just "Не хочу я ничего!" which would be translated in English in the same way)

  • So what is the origin of the word?) – VCH250 Aug 5 '16 at 20:03
  • 1
    Etymology. Originated from Old Slavonic *da.. Related to Indo-European pronoun do- díns), compared to Greek δή, ἐπειδή «итак, после того, как», ἤδη «уже», Latin dēnique «с этих пор, затем», dōnec «до тех пор, пока». See Фасмер.Этимологический словарь русского языка. – V.V. Aug 5 '16 at 20:41
2

"Да" means "and" in this case, so it's Ivan and Maria (see also "тишь да гладь", "вокруг да около").

Sometimes it can also mean "but": Я старался, да не смог - I tried but I couldn't (do that).

  • 1
    I think, it would be nice to specify here which exactly of meanings of the word "but" is discussed. :-/ – bipll Jun 11 '16 at 15:21
  • @bipll What different meanings of "but" in my example you can think of? – Abakan Jun 11 '16 at 16:00
  • So is it specification by example? – bipll Jun 11 '16 at 16:29
  • 1
    @bipll So is it question dodging? – Abakan Jun 11 '16 at 16:36
2

"Да" means "and" in this case. But its outdated form, now we usually don't use "да" in means of "and"

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.