Is it

  • Has time stopped you?
  • or Have you stopped time?
  • or could it be Has time stopped for you?

I'm not sure how тебя or genitive case works.

  • Did you mean agent/patient rather than object/subject?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 22:13
  • Fair point - my grasp of Russian grammar is such that I wouldn't know which to ask even if I'd remembered the difference.
    – EtTuBrute
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 8:19
  • Girabbit: agent/patient is not about grammar, it's about semantics. For instance, in English, "a dog bites a man" and "a man is bitten by a dog" switch subject and object but keep agent (dog) and patient (man) intact. Subject and object, on the other hand, are purely grammatical concepts. If you want to know what the phrase means (rather than how to build it), you want to know agent and patient, i. e. who does what to whom.
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 8:27
  • The word order of this sentence is unnatural. The phrase looks awkward with this word order.
    – Anixx
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 11:27

3 Answers 3


The subject is undoubtedly время, it is in the Nominative case, a typical case of the subject, and in Russian the subject cannot be in Genitive, unless it has some quantitative attributes (like три человека - "three people", несколько лет - "several years"), or the sentence is negative (Его там нет. - "He is not there.").

У тебя is an indirect, prepositional object. Genitive is used here because after the preposition y nominal phrases must be in Genitive, y governs Genitive. Actually, subjects cannot be preceded by prepositions in Russian.

So, your third variant of translation ("Has time stopped for you?") is the most correct one. Whether у тебя should be translated as "for you", or "with you", or "around you", or "in your parts", or in some other way can be determined only by the context of your sentence, but it is, unfortunately, lacking.


I'd like just to add: your first variant corresponds to "Время остановило тебя?" (subject ВРЕМЯ in Nominative, direct object ТЕБЯ in Genitive) and you second one "Ты остановил время?" (subject ТЫ in Nom. and direct object ВРЕМЯ in Gen. - here, you should not be confused by the identity of Gen. and Nom. forms in ВРЕМЯ, it happens).

  • 2
    "Время остановило тебя?" - тебя is Accusative, not Genitive (although Acc. and Gen. coincide in тебя). "Ты остановил время?" - время is Accusative, not Genitive (Gen. of время is времени).
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 20:07
  • By the way, direct objects cannot be in the Genitive case, they are only in the Accusative.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 21:55
  • Totally wrong answer, please delete.
    – Anixx
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 15:22

"Has time stopped for you?" is the only variant that fits.

  • "У тебя" here is the same "у тебя" as in "У тебя в доме нет окон" = "There are no windows in your house" or "У тебя мама пилот"= "Your mother is a pilot". That is, it generally describes "some situation that refers to you or things related to you"
  • "Время" is obviously the grammatical subject, as it is in the Nominative.
  • "остановилось" (stopped/has stopped) is the verb. Since it is reflexive by morphology, it is virtually impossible for that verb to have an object, as it intrinsically suggests that the action is performed "on itself", "in general", "to each other" and so on. There are very. very few verbs on "-ся" that can take an Accusative object, and this is usually just one of the variants. I can only think of "бояться" (to be afraid of): it is mostly Genitive in literature, but colloquially oftentimes Accusative is used.

Finally, the sentence itself sounds non-native. Could you calrify what was the source?

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