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I'm definitely a beginner so apologies in advance for what may be silly questions.

This is about this sentence, particularly around the use of в:

Мне смысла в этой жизни и без Кузинатры хватает

According to Wiktionary, в is used with locations, directions, and time. But here it's used with this life which doesn't seem to fit into any of those 3.

Can you clarify what в means here and in what cases are этой and жизни. The spelling alone is not sufficient as they both match many.

Also, what is the subject in this sentence (or of the propositional phrase)? In easier examples, like Он идёт в теа́тр, it's straightforward to see the subject (in nominative case) is Он, but here there is Мне which is either accusative or prepositional case, so I'm confused to say to least.

This is from a cartoon with transcript.

Below is the quoted dialog:

Ка́рыч:  Тогда́ тебе́ нужна́ Кузина́тра ("Кузина́тра" is only a name).
Бара́ш:  Кака́я ещё Кузина́тра?
Ка́рыч:  Кузина́тра, даю́щая смысл.
Бара́ш:  Даааа! Она́ мне нужна́! Но где её иска́ть?
Ка́рыч:  Э́то о́чень далеко́. 
Бара́ш:  За смы́слом хоть на край све́та (6). Веди́ меня́!
Ка́рыч:  Нет, мне в таку́ю даль пере́ться (7) не́ за чем. Мне смы́сла в э́той 
жи́зни и без Кузина́тры хвата́ет.

Thanks!

  • texts as a learning vehicle make sense when they're preceded by grammar of which they're an example, on the referenced website i didn't notice any grammar attached to these transcripts and the texts themselves grammatically are not plain enough for a beginner, because they weren't designed as such – Баян Купи-ка Feb 4 '18 at 21:49
  • this is an impersonal sentence, with no subject, you're welcome to explore answers dealing with this topic under the tag impersonal, i don't think this is a beginner level and will dare to opine that you may have approached the learning not from the most efficient end... the translation would be to me there's enough sense in this life even without Kuzinatra and в этой жизни here has the same meaning as in this life in the translation – Баян Купи-ка Feb 4 '18 at 21:56
  • 1
    Just for completeness: “Кузинатра” is a (now rather obscure) joke coming from mistranslated “What’s green and red and goes round and round and round?” <…> “A frog in a Cuisinart” (Trumps of Doom by Roger Zelazny). – Roman Odaisky Feb 8 '18 at 1:07
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what is the subject in this sentence (?)

In Russian, there's a type of sentence with no subject (impersonal sentence) and your example belongs to it. In English translation, such sentences take a subject like 'there' or 'it'.

To understand how it works literally, it might be useful to slightly change the word order in your Russian sentence, just by moving the verb хватает from the very end (where that verb sounds emphasized) to a neutral position, just after the pronoun мне. It makes possible to match elementary Russian and English phrases:

(1) Мне хватает смысла (2) в этой жизни (3) и без Кузинатры.

(1) There is enough sense for me (2) in this life (3) without Cuisinatra as well.

As you can see, the English version has the subject 'there', without a counterpart in the Russian sentence, while other words can be matched almost literally:

мне хватает = [it, there] is enough... for me;

смысла (genitive case) = sense;

в этой жизни = in this life;

без Кузинатры = without Cuisinatra;

и (in this context) = as well.

what в means here (?)

As you can see from the comparison of parts (2), в means in here (inside, within - possible in some other context).

in what cases are этой and жизни (?)

The noun жизнь and the pronoun эта are in the prepositional case.

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In this particular example 'в' is 'in'. That's how you specify your context or, if you wish, scope. So there are two possibilities there: "мне смысла жизни мало" or "мне смысла в жизни мало". Both are very similar, though the second one could but not necessarily has to be understood such that it references to the personal life of the author, not the Life as a phenom.

But as a beginner, please remember: "в" mostly always means "in". So you might say "в такой ситуации" - "in such a situation" or "в возрасте" which would mean that someone is not so young. Russians tend to use "в" quite a lot and not all of the usages can be literally translated with help of "in", but essentially the meaning holds: to be inside of something.

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