Questions tagged [pronouns]

Questions about pronouns of all kinds: personal pronouns (me), indefinite pronouns (some), relative pronouns (which) and so on..

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Why "их" instead of "его" in Dostoevsky's Adolescent?

In this passage from Dostoevsky's Adolescent, Arkady is getting worked up about a mistake his sister is supposedly making in Russian. I was wondering what plural их for singular его is about in the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
83 views

How to determine the initial form of the words like "самого", "самой"?

У самого (+ masculine noun in genitive case)... У самой (+ feminine noun in genitive case)... I guess that the initial form of these pronouns may be either "сам"/"сама" or "...
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3 votes
1 answer
160 views

'all of the' vs 'all the' : using весь

I want to say, Almost all of the weeds are in bloom. which, in English, can also be stated (improperly?) as, Almost all the weeds are in bloom. So far is that correct? I think these two would ...
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2 votes
3 answers
219 views

How to properly use these pronouns? То, та

Sorry about the ambiguous title but I don't really know how to ask this in a more linguistic way. This question comes from trying to form sentences of the form The (property) (subject) is the one ...
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4 votes
3 answers
415 views

Asking to take photos in Russian

If I want to say "can I take a photo of you (your face)", how should I proceed? Могу снять фото на вас? Могу снять портрет ваш? Or neither of the aforementioned?
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2 votes
3 answers
82 views

У меня or мне before не- words

Which one is correctly written? У меня не с кем говорить Мне не с кем говорить Thanks!
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  • 2,503
2 votes
2 answers
102 views

Inflection of такой, какой

Within the expression такой, какой must both components be in the same case? Or rather, какой may take another case, according to the content of the second clause? For example: "She's just like she ...
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4 votes
3 answers
146 views

The reason why the reflexive pronoun "себя" is not used despite referring to oneself?

В то время был еще жив человек, который подталкивал меня к осуществлению мечты. {Why not}: В то время был еще жив человек, который подталкивал себя к осуществлению мечты. The speaker is reminiscing ...
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4 votes
3 answers
224 views

"вы с Адамом близки": Why use the plural "вы" to supposedly refer to the casual, singular "you"?

Я начинаю понимать, почему вы с Адамом так близки. The intended meaning: "you{singular, her interlocutor} and Adam are so close" The speaker and her interlocutor are on close enough terms to call ...
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5 votes
3 answers
109 views

clarification on the proper form of a possessive pronoun

Simple question at the end of my textbook (finally)... I'm supposed to provide the proper form for a possessive pronoun in the blank: Где ____ машина! Вы видели ____ машину? Нет, я не видел ____ ...
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9 votes
2 answers
377 views

Often 2 variants of feminine instrumental...?

maybe my title needs some work... but I use Wiktionary a lot for declensions, etc and I often see two forms for feminine instrumental adjectives, but my textbook only ever uses, typically, the 'first' ...
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16 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to say "give to my girlfriend's mother" in Russian?

I know how to use possessive pronouns in Russian: Это моя книга. I also know how to describe a person's possession: Это книга подруги. But how do I combine two persons, such as in this example:...
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5 votes
0 answers
227 views

считывать, считать (heteronyms, AKA heterophones) [closed]

In the Russian language we pronounce the written word считать differently, с-читать или щщитать, depending on what is expressed. (they are heteronyms, also known as heterophones, for English it's ...
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3 votes
3 answers
272 views

Interrogative pronouns taking different case than it's noun

While reading https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Russian/Interrogative_Pronouns it's not clear to me the following example: He talks about the girl who works there - Он говорит о девушке, которая ...
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  • 327
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did "он" suddenly become so much more common?

In the case of English, "she" was used much less than "he", and it still hasn't caught up. In Russian, it looks as if the translation of "he" almost didn't exist, until around 1915. What happened?
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  • 169
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Какой vs что - when asking questions

If I wanted to ask someone, "What sport do you like?" or almost the same thing, "Which sport do you like?" - this latter being used as if a parent was asking a child while they were reviewing a sign-...
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6 votes
5 answers
873 views

Почему так часто "ничего" а не "ничто"? (Why "ничего" and not "ничто"?)

I understand the declension of что --  it's inanimate/неодушевлённый, so of course it should be Nom: что Acc: что Gen: чего Dat: чему Inst: чем Prep: чём Likewise  кто is animate/одушевлённый, so it ...
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4 votes
4 answers
153 views

Why are words such as каждый, другой, etc. classified as determinative pronouns?

Multiple references classify каждый, другой, and иной, etc. as determinative pronouns (e.g. here, here) However, these words seem to function as typical adjectives as in: Я читал каждую книгу. While ...
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3 votes
3 answers
176 views

Third Person Plural Pronoun for Inanimate Objects in Accusative Case

I know that for animate objects the third person plural pronoun is их: — Ты знаешь Мишу и Катю? — Нет, я их не знаю. ( Нет, я этих людей не знаю. ) However, I am not sure if we use the same ...
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  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
416 views

Why is the possessive pronoun for "имя" "Мое", even though "имя" is a feminine word?

I don't quite understand the reason for why Мое instead of Моя is used. Could somebody explain it to me?
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9 votes
3 answers
739 views

Why use dative in "Сколько тебе лет"?

In the following sentence: Сколько тебе лет? Why do you use тебе, the dative form of ты? I think this sentence means "How old are you?" but why not say it with genitive, like: Сколько тебя лет?...
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  • 1,135
3 votes
3 answers
884 views

Impersonal pronoun (English one/you)

Many languages have an impersonal pronoun ("man" in German, "on" in French). In slightly old-fashioned English, the word "one" is used; as in "Where can one get one's hair cut?" Otherwise, "you" is ...
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  • 916
10 votes
5 answers
674 views

How does a traditional family address one another?

In a traditional household, I'm curious.. In what sense do people talk to one another? Does a father talk to his children using "вы"? или "ты"? To the same respect, does a child refer to his parents ...
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  • 508
7 votes
4 answers
7k views

Do gender-neutral pronouns exist in Russian?

I am trying to translate some things into Russia which use pronoun «ze». I would prefer not to have to make stuff up or use footnotes. Is there a gender neutral pronoun in Russian language? (Перевод) ...
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  • 820
5 votes
2 answers
974 views

What is the difference between что-то, нечто и кое-что?

I know they can all be translated as something, and I know that что-то differs from что-нибудь in that it refers to something concrete, but not mentioned (whereas the former refers to anything at all) ...
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3 votes
3 answers
732 views

How do you most commonly use чей/чья/чьё/чьи?

I know it is used as an interrogative pronoun ('Чей это дом?') - "whose", but I've also seen: For example -Turn one's attention to something обратить чье-либо внимание на что-либо I understand ...
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8 votes
7 answers
3k views

"У меня оба часов/обеи часы/обои часы сломались"?

У меня оба часов/обеи часы/обои часы сломались. What' s the correct way of stating the fact that both of my watches are not functioning?
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7 votes
3 answers
686 views

Сhoosing between твоих and своих

When should твоих be used and when should своих be used? What are the reasons for picking one over another?
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19 votes
6 answers
3k views

Possessive constructions: "мой" vs. "у меня"

What is the difference between the following sentences: Мой папа в командировке. У меня папа в командировке. How can I explain to foreign students when to use "мой" or "у меня"?
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12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is мною used here instead of мной?

In this line: он сел наземь между мною и Верой
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25 votes
6 answers
3k views

What's the difference between -либо and -нибудь?

The pairs кто-нибудь and кто-либо, когда-нибудь and когда-либо etc. have slight differences in meaning, and each particle is used in specific settings, but I can't quite pinpoint what the difference ...
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7 votes
2 answers
381 views

Proper use of ничто when answering

This question might arise from a misunderstanding from my part, but here I am to solve it once and for all. From my russian courses, I remember my classmates answering "ничего" to questions meaning "...
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28 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is correct: "их" or "ихний"?

My wife always corrects me when I say ихний or ихних instead of их. However, I've seen these pronouns in classical literature many times (Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky). Which form is correct in ...
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