4

What does it mean? It looks like something to turn nouns into adjectives, but so far I've only seen it in things that could have been possessive phrase. Is there a difference between -ин and using the ordinary genitive case?

1
  • 1
    It corresponds exactly to "'s" in phrases "mother's house" and "cat's house". – shabunc Sep 3 '13 at 18:59
4

Semantically I do not see any difference. The suffix -ин is used to express posessiveness. So:

кошкин дом = дом кошки
мамин дом = дом мамы

Grammatically you can't add more attributes to cat or mother because they've become an attribute themselves.

дом моей мамы = ?
дом серой кошки = ?

Also you can't form possessive adjectives that way freely. There are many exceptions and other ways to express possessiveness:

Петька - петькин
Катька - катькин (and other names formed like this apply for this rule)
Нина - нинин
лиса - лисий
заяц - заячий

So if you have nothing else to add about mother, go ahead and use мамин.

2

This is analogous to the two ways of expressing possession in English:

mother's house vs. the house of the mother

мамин дом vs. дом мамы

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.