3

If you take a look at the book «Верховный алгоритм: Как машинное обучение изменит наш мир», in the first line of page 191, you'll read:

"..., что объективной реальности вообще не существует"

Why is реальность in its genitive form? Shouldn't it be nominative: ("объективная реальность вообще не существует"), as here реальность is the subject of verb существует?

3
  • 1
  • You are meeting the phenomenon called "negative genitive," which is a phrase you can search for to find further discussion of this construction in Russian.
    – KCd
    Dec 30, 2017 at 12:53
  • it's also known as Abessive or Caritive and Privative case Jan 3, 2018 at 13:54

1 Answer 1

3

This is a type of sentence which is called impersonal (subjectless).

Please take a look.

With negation of the verb существовать this form of sentence is especially common.

It's also a normative pattern for negation of the verb быть (бывать). While there's me is translated as я есть, there's no me is translated as меня нет where меня is Genitive of я.

The English there's (no) me is also a subjectless type of sentence.

1
  • So English actually follows same pattern as Russian by using objective case. They should say "It is I". "It's me" is incorrect from grammar point of view, because "to be" requires use of nominative "I": "It was I who allowed Alliance to know the location.."
    – Swift
    Oct 5, 2020 at 0:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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