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It seems in this sentence:

Она не верила своему мужу.

"Man" is in Dative case. Is this because he is the one the verb is "acting" upon, i.e. the receiver of the action or is it another rule, governing the "believe" verb?

In addition, why is this not in Genitive case, seeing as there is negativity/denial?

Lastly, why is "история" in Dative in this case:

Я не поверил ее истории.

Shouldn't it be in Genitive, seeing as it is "possessed" by her?

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    I think it's in Dative in both cases as Dative answers on question "она не поверила кому? чему?".
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 22:05
  • there was a question only it was about the Acusative vs Dative cases. And it has a very good answer . Shortly it says, that you should simply remember which case to use with a verb and not rely on this rule of "acting upon"
    – d.k
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 22:21
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    @user907860 how about "верить в бога"?
    – Dima
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 0:05
  • @Dima, признаюсь, этот случай в голову тогда не пришел
    – d.k
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 1:20
  • It's something like showing a sign, signal of belief to X. Many Russian verbs of signals, signs require dative. Showing belief to X.
    – VCH250
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 11:11

3 Answers 3

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Shouldn't it be in Genitive, seeing as it is "possessed" by her?

This is not how genitive works. It marks the possessor without modifying the possessee in any way.

"Man" is in Dative case.

("Husband" actually; "man" is мужчина.)

Is this because he is the one the verb is "acting" upon, i.e. the receiver of the action or is it another rule, governing the "believe" verb?

Actually it's just a specific verb governed in a specific way. Same as in English, you listen to someone, rather than "listen them", for what seems to be no particular reason — while in Russian, the object of слушать is in the accusative, not dative.

There is a tendency for verbs describing states of mental receptiveness — верить, доверять "to trust", внимать "to heed" — to take a dative object, but while it may explain the original reasons, it's not really useful in predicting whether you'll need dative or accusative.

In addition, why is this not in Genitive case, seeing as there is negativity/denial?

The negative genitive only comes into play where the affirmative would use accusative — meaning, additionally, that the point is moot with masculine animate nouns such as муж, since their genitives and accusatives are identical.

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The relationship in both of your examples is the same, so the case is the same. It doesn't matter that истории is inanimate. (However, in some circumstances animate and inanimate words may change differently in the same grammatical case).

Why Dative? Well, we can invent some mental bridges that can help to remember it, but the point is that this sort of relationship requires Dative in Russian. You might call it 'acting upon' (there is nothing 'possessive' in it), but I'm not sure it's 100% accurate. In school, we learned it was a 'give to' sort of relationship.

"истории", BTW, is not the best example because its Genitive and Dative forms are identical. But compare e.g.

Я не поверил ее совету.

(Genitive would be 'совета').

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    What about "не верить в кого-то или во что‐то "?
    – V.V.
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 9:33
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    @V.V., this is an entirely different relationship. Like the English 'believe <who>' and 'believe in <who/what>'. 'I believe you' and 'I believe in you' have different meanings.
    – Zeus
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 14:59
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Without long explanations: верить + Dative.

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