I've noticed several times that Russians will sometimes invert the usual word order, for example as мама твоя instead of the expected твоя мамa, and today I read this caption:

...так что Марфа Игнатьевна раз навсегда давно уже поняла, что в советах ее он совсем не нуждается.

And I wonder if this construction has a different interpretation, emphasis or meaning than the unmarked word order.

1 Answer 1


Yes, it puts a strong emphasis on the word "советах" in your example. It is also accompanied by a corresponding intonation that puts a stress on the word "советах".

Possessive pronouns are also sometimes used after nouns in literary texts (poetry and prose) and songs to make them sound more beaufitul. When used in colloquial speech, this construction is considered to be of lofty style.

This construction is often used with body parts: глаза, руки, ноги...

А тепе́рь в святы́е мощи ве́рю ча́ще, чем живы́м,
А в глаза́х мои́х все ме́ньше синевы́. (А.Розенбаум)

Ездок оробе́лый не ска́чет, лети́т;
Младе́нец тоску́ет, младе́нец кричи́т;
Ездок погоня́ет, ездок доскака́л...
В рука́х его́ мёртвый младе́нец лежа́л. (В.Жуковский)

  • 1
    That's fantastic. And is there a difference between твоя мама и мама твоя?
    – CocoPop
    Jul 16, 2014 at 21:10
  • 1
    Yes, "твоя мама" is a neural expression, while "мама твоя" puts an emphasis on "мама", which can be both positive and negative. Jul 19, 2014 at 14:44

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