In this sentence:

Книжная индустрия выдержала удар пандемией (source)

why is пандемия in the instrumental? I understand that the sentence means "The book industry endured (survived) the hit of the pandemic". Therefore, I would use the genitive for пандемия. The sentence is also said in the video, however the speaker speaks so fast that the case is hard to make out.

Any thoughts?

3 Answers 3


In this very case it is rather problematic to tell if it is a mistake or an intended pun. The Instrumental case names an instrument, and удар пандемией alludes to удар плетью or удар кулаком and describes an instrument used in a similar way. This usage is metaphoric and implies there is something or someone active which struck the industry using the pandemic as a weapon. Why not? Mass media quite often use and abuse metaphors in headlines.

  • 1
    Ah now I understand it, it required a change in perspective: "удар пандемией" is what is attacking. Thanks!
    – Matti P.
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 7:26
  • In addition, the Genitive is possible (and much neutral) there too: "выдержала удар пандемии" (like "удар молота", "порыв ветра", etc).
    – artptr
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 9:01
  • @artptr - Sure, Genitive is the default case there, the OP needed explanations about the possibility of using Instrumental in that sentence.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 9:14
  • This is perfectly clear and natural. Only the pandemic here doesn't act as a second subject, but as an instrument of the hit - the hit is the second subject (not in the grammatical sense). The hit with what, with the help of what, with what tool ? Удар пандемией, удар молотком... Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 18:52

As it stands, I'd translate the Russian sentence into English as "... hit by the pandemic" rather than "... hit of the pandemic."

Whether or not it's the intended meaning isn't completely clear from the context. It doesn't look like the linked text is trying to use any metaphors, so it might well be just improper Russian. Not every native speaker speaks properly.

  • Thou art not Russian, the Arseny ? :> This is an absolutely correct Russian language. :) Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 20:37
  • @Пилум It's correct grammatically, but not stylistically. Pandemic isn't an object with which you can hit, but it's an object that can hit
    – Arseny
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 20:58
  • A bit like saying "If I was you" in English. Technically, the grammar is correct, but from the context you can tell you should say "If I were you"
    – Arseny
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 21:04
  • Арсений... ... как я выше писал в комментарии к ответу Yellow Sky - в данном случае вторичный субъект (в философском смысле) это именно - удар.А пандемия - это его, удара - инструмент. Ты можешь считать это немножко метафорой, если тебе так нравится (таких "метафор" в русском одна на другой едет и третьей погоняет; я даже за образность это не считаю), однако эта конструкция совершенно нормальна и обычна в русском языке. Удар пандемией, удар молотком. Про "если бы я был тобой" я вообще не понял. Я явно не был тобой или на твоем месте, и вообще мне кажется - не русский ты, пардон муа :)) Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 21:14
  • Имя у тебя, конечно, интересное. :) Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 21:14

This is just another case of typical journalists vocabulary: use loud, crying words to bring more drama into the view.

The following sentence is particular version of the above:

Книжная индустрия пережила пандемию

However, it doesn't hook audience, from news-makers perspective.

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