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I saw quite a few present passive participles (ending in -емый, -имый) which are translated into English with the suffix -able, -ible.

Like невидимый - invisible, непредсказуемый - unpredictable.

Naturally, not all present passive participles are translated into -able, but does the inverse occur? I mean, can I take any English word ending in -able, such as replaceable, and convey the same meaning in Russian by attaching the suffix -емый/-имый? Does знаменимый exist with the meaning "replaceable"?

  • Заменимый exists, but we can't say for sure about all participles, but the majority exists. Though suffixes can be different – V.V. Feb 18 '18 at 19:43
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I don't think anyone has ever analysed correspondence or did a statistical analysis of translateability between the respective English adjectives and Russian present passive participles, but let's conduct an exercise

the list source

likeable - привлекательный, располагающий к себе
peaceable - миролюбивый
debatable - спорный
pleasurable - приятный, доставляющий удовольствие
adaptable - легкоадаптируемый, легкоприспосабливаемый
inimitable - неподражаемый, неповторимый
capable - способный
adorable - милый, обожаемый
desirable - желательный
justifiable - оправданный
preferable - предпочтительный
disposable - одноразовый, используемый однократно, выбрасываемый
knowledgeable - осведомлённый, знающий
amiable - дружелюбный
durable - стойкий, устойчивый, долговечный
laughable - смехотворный
fashionable - модный
reliable - надёжный
excitable - легковозбудимый
lovable - вызывающий симпатию, заслуживающий любви
believable - вероятный, заслуживающий доверия, вызывающий доверие
excusable - простительный
manageable - поддающийся управлению, управляемый
serviceable - пригодный к использованию
measurable - измеримый, измеряемый
sizeable - внушительный
noticeable - заметный
suitable - подходящий, пригодный
changeable - переменчивый, меняющийся, изменяемый
tolerable - терпимый, сносный
objectionable - предосудительный, недопустимый
comfortable - удобный, комфортабельный, комфортный
payable - подлежащий уплате/оплате, оплачиваемый, взимаемый
impressionable - впечатлительный
conceivable - вообразимый, постижимый
operable - работоспособный, исправный
transferable - переносной, переводной, переводимый, передаваемый

So you can draw your conclusions. Although some do invite translation with present passive participle or could in certain contexts be translated with those, overall the most obvious equivalent would be a simple adjective. Sometimes obstacle could come from the type of a Russian verb which doesn't provide for formation of passive participles like in the case of laughable and Russian reflexive смеяться.

I think the chances are higher for adjectives formed out of actual verbs, because not all -able/ible adjectives have verb counterparts. And also good chances of being translated with Russian present passive participle have English past participles used in present tense.

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  • I don't think durable should be in this list as it's not verb-derived. Good answer though. – Sergey Slepov Feb 18 '18 at 22:23
  • @Sergey Slepov appreciate it, in fact not all of them are verb based, some are derived also from nouns like objectionable – Баян Купи-ка Feb 18 '18 at 22:37
  • Well, from your aforementioned examples, it seems to me that the -able suffix may be equivalent to the present passive participle, whenever -able means ´"possible to be achieved"´. You quoted a few examples in which the -able suffix just converts a noun into an adjective (like comfort - comfortable, knowledgeable, fashionable). But yes, I noticed that a few translations take the past passive participle rather than the present passive. – swrutra Feb 19 '18 at 12:13
  • @swrutra yes, i don't disagree with your observation, one limitation though is that Russian participle may not be suitable for all contexts in which the English adjective is used – Баян Купи-ка Feb 19 '18 at 13:08
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In addition to Баян Купи-ка's answer, some people use the English suffix -able directly with Russian verbs thus producing:

It's a relatively new trend and it's far from being standard Russian. It's more of a slang. It can sound cool when used right. Sort of like my five year old son awarding a new cartoon with a reserved 'Umm, not bad'.

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  • 1
    читабельный appears in print since 1930s, so it is not that new, but indeed it sounds marked, as almost any combination of a Slavic route with a Latin suffix. – J-mster Feb 19 '18 at 10:12

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