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I have a sentence,

Он видел вокруг красивые, живописные места, невысокие горы, леса, реку Волгу.

and translating is not hard, and I think the meaning is,

He saw beautiful, picturesque places, short mountains, forests around the Volga river.

Now I looked up the preposition (or adverb?) вокруг and I see that two sources say the genitive case comes afterwards. So I see that the forests, mountains and places are direct objects of the verb видел, hence accusative, and I think these objects are seen around the river, so these latter words (adj. and noun river) should be genitive...?

I guess that, due to some freedom in word order, that the sentence could also be written as(?),

Он видел красивые, живописные места, невысокие горы, леса, вокруг реку Волгу.

which more clearly (correctly?) associates the river to the preposition.

So why not,

Он видел вокруг красивые, живописные места, невысокие горы, леса, реки Волги.

as the proper sentence?

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  • Why do people answer questions and not vote them up? So strange)
    – VCH250
    Apr 2 '18 at 5:43
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Он видел вокруг красивые, живописные места, невысокие горы, леса, реку Волгу.

The accusative is correct, he saw (what?). Вокруг here is an adverb, not a preposition.

Saw (where?) around, or nearby– вокруг. It isn't connected with the direct object in the accusative. Compare it with the following, where вокруг is a preposition

Земля вращается вокруг солнца

Вокруг (чего?) солнца (genitive).A preposition can't stand far from the noun it belongs to. So, if it (вокруг) were a preposition, ( the nearest noun is места), but the sentence wouldn't make sense.

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3

The meaning is

He saw beautiful, picturesque places, short mountains, forests, the Volga river around himself.

And no, the word order is not SO free.

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  • wish they would have wrote: "...вокруг себя..." so I would have known it was "around himself".
    – nate
    Apr 2 '18 at 18:48
  • 3
    @nate "Он видел вокруг..." is translated as "He saw ... around himself". Himself is assumed, since no other information is provided. "Он видел вокруг реки Волги..." would be translated as "He saw ... around Volga river". It's similar to English "He looked around", which is understood as "He looked around himself".
    – Vitaly
    Apr 2 '18 at 19:34

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