On twitter they say "ЧИТАЕМЫХ" and "ЧИТАТЕЛЯ" Is this pattern productive starting with the root of the verb (ЧИТА) and applicable to other verbs?

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    Wow. Have never seen the English word readee. Does it really exist? And as for читаемый, this is not a noun at all. It is passive and means "being read" (like "A book is being read"). And last - the stem is "чит", not "чита".
    – petajamaja
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 16:33
  • The -ee suffix is productive, especially in legal jargon, maybe less so in other areas, ref. english.stackexchange.com/questions/9501/ee-and-er-word-endings Okay, that makes sense. Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 18:19
  • I know this suffix, we've learnt e.g. words "employee", "referee" etc. Thanks for the link, I'll read it for sure, it is a very interesting topic.
    – petajamaja
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 19:27
  • @petajamaja: The word readee does not exist. You'd have a hard time finding it with Google, which is already a good clue about its nonexistence.
    – KCd
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 2:17
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    @MatthewMartin: sorry, someone already upvoted something, so I got past that dangerous number =)
    – petajamaja
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


In some cases this pattern is productive, for example:

  • "интервьюер" - "интервьюируемый" (interviewer - interviewee)
  • "экзаменатор" - "экзаменуемый" (examinator - examinee)
  • "испытатель - испытуемый" (tester - testee)

and other.

In this case, indeed, both words are nouns, the last one formed by changing the part of speech from passive participle to noun.

However, this rule cannot be used in some situations:

  • when the meaning is not "the person who is being exposed to an action" :

    we can't say "спасатель - спасаемый" (this one is unnatural), "работодатель - работоданный" (this is simply incorrect)...

  • when we are not talking about a person: this happens in your example. A book can be read (for example : читаемая мной книга) and it will be a passive participle, but there is no word for a person that is made to read by his angry mother =)


After a short survey suggested by Anixx, I have found out that, indeed, the passive participle "спасаемый" can be used as a noun (mostly in The Bible). However, I have a feeling that the semantics is slightly different : those nouns derived from passive participle can sometimes mean "somebody who can be (...insert the indefinite aspect of passive participle here)". So I have a feeling that "спасаемый" could mean "the one who still can be saved"...

Any ideas?


The noun "спасаемый" really exists, as shown in Quassnoi's comment.

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    "спасатель - спасаемый" sounds OK Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 21:09
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    Maybe as a passive participle. But I scarcely imagine people on the shore shouting "Спасаемый! Спасаемый! Схватитесь за верёвку наконец!"
    – petajamaja
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 22:20
  • "спасатель - спасаемый" is OK, -1
    – Anixx
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 22:29
  • OK, should I correct it?
    – petajamaja
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 10:20
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    @petajamaja: from Боевой устав пожарной охраны: "130.При проведении спасательных работ в здании повышенной этажности необходимо ... принять меры к предотвращению паники среди спасаемых"
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 12:37

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