6

Here is a question in a test:

Как корректно закончить следующие предложения?

  1. Налей мне ... .

(а) чаёк (б) чайка (в) чайку

  1. Отдай мне обратно ... .

(а) чаёк (б) чайка (в) чайку

I am at a loss as to how to answer this and why. With Sentence 1, I see that the third variant is much more common than the first two, but this by itself doesn't necessarily mean that the first two variants are ungrammatical. With Sentence 2, I suspect that the use of the partitive case, (в), is wrong because the entire tea is implied by отдай мне обратно. I guess the genitive case, (б), can be excluded likewise.

So I guess I should choose 1в and 2а as the only correct variants, but I am unsure.

Which variants should I choose?

  • 3
    #1 - every option seems correct, #2 - only option (a) - "Отдай мне обратно чаёк" (unless we are talking about a seagull). – Alexander Nov 27 '19 at 19:00
  • 5
    Given your previous example with the snakes, 2в is also a plausible answer here ("give me the seagull back") – Quassnoi Nov 28 '19 at 1:16
  • 2
    If option (в) had stress sign it would be more obvious if it's seagull or some tea. – user28434 Nov 28 '19 at 9:38
  • I would answer 2в because it is unlikely the diminutive to be used with such request. So it is about a seagull. – Anixx Nov 30 '19 at 18:51
8

With "Налей мне..." any of the three options can be used:

  • ... чаек. Pour me THE tea.
  • ... чайку. Pour me SOME tea.
  • ... чайка. Same as чайку, more preferred if you are younger.

Partitive (чайку) and Genitive (чайка) have almost completely merged in modern Russian with the genitive taking over: in Купи сахару/сахара, меду/меда, порошку/порошка the ending -у sounds outdated (mid 20th century or earlier). The last words to retain the partitive ending -у are those ending in -к: чаек, коньяк, лучок, etc. Those can take either ending 50/50.

You are competely right: after "Отдай мне ..." only чаек is possible. Unless we are talking about seagulls :-)

(Thanks @Alexander!)

  • Is there some reason the partitive case cannot be used with отдать? – Wilson Nov 29 '19 at 9:19
  • @Wilson, yes, отдай мне implies you want all of the tea back, not just part of it. – Sergey Slepov Nov 29 '19 at 9:30
2

I would add my two cents to Sergey Slepov's good answer saying that although all three are possible I would personally use only the partitive case here. It sounds much more correct and it's not about age, it's about a good correct russian. I think it suits everyone no matter what age they are.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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