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28 votes

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

Actually, the year is not "around 1915", but the beginning of 1918 when the orthography reform began. Before 1918 "он" was written as "онъ", and naturally before 1918 "он" was not used. Have a look: ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

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

Russian has the T-V distinction. This means that you use the plural version of "you" (вы) when addressing a person who is senior, superior, or just someone you're not too acquainted with. ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
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14 votes

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

Your guess is both grammatically correct and idiomatic: Я хочу́ подари́ть э́ту кни́гу ма́ме мое́й подру́ги (на Рождество́). You used the dative case for ма́ма -> ма́ме 'to mother' and the ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
13 votes

Перевод they в единственном числе

В русском языке род не всегда связан с полом. Род местоимения должен соответствовать роду соответствующего существительного. Если вы пишете "пользователь", то должны называть его "он", не зависимо от ...
Anixx's user avatar
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11 votes
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Often 2 variants of feminine instrumental...?

The -ою/-ею forms are older and sound archaic/poetic. -ой/-ей is the modern form, reflecting the same trend towards loss of semantically weak final vowels that turned -ти infinitives into -ть. With ...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

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

You guess is absolutely correct, technically there's an other valid option: Я хочу подарить эту книгу подругиной маме. But while this is grammaticaly valid talking of specifically word подруга it'...
shabunc's user avatar
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9 votes
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Почему так часто "ничего" а не "ничто"? (Why "ничего" and not "ничто"?)

Negation of existense (i.e. "no such thing") in Russian requires Genitive. Ничего is Genitive. That's it. Accusative Ничто is a special object. It isn't nothing. It's Nothing. But the difference may ...
Matt's user avatar
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9 votes
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"Я тоже" vs "мне тоже"

Those two versions simply represent the pronoun я in two of six grammatical cases. Examples: -- Я хочу есть. -- Я тоже хочу (есть). (nominative) У сестры новый телефон. У меня тоже (новый). (...
Alex_ander's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Asking to take photos in Russian

It's можно вас сфотографировать? Фотографировать is Russian for "photographing", "taking a picture", and it has a direct object in accusative, so there is not need to recourse to ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
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8 votes

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

so it seems logical to discard the inexplicably plural "вы" in favour of the casual, singular "ты": This premise is wrong. It is plural "вы". It is absolutely legit to use "вы" referring to a single ...
Abakan's user avatar
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8 votes
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Откуда взялось местоимение «её» и куда пропало «ея»?

Сведу всю вышеупомянутую информацию в один ответ. В праславянском языке не было личных местоимений 3-го лица, их роль выполняли различные указательные местоимения, самыми распространёнными из которых ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Difference between “нac" и "наш”

The literal translation of the phrase "Нас зовут Миша и Маша" is not "Our names are Misha and Masha", but "We are called Misha and Masha". I.e. "зовут" is a verb. And so "we are called" = "нас ...
Ivan Olshansky's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Difference between "свою" and "твою"?

Свой is used as a possessive pronoun for the agent (not necessarily subject) in the sentence. Я люблю свою маму Солдату приказали принести свою винтовку (солдат is not a subject but still the ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 54.5k
7 votes

Often 2 variants of feminine instrumental...?

The usual ending of feminine adjectives in the instrumental is -ой or -ей. Летом мы лакомились вкусной ягодой. Вода была горячей-прегорячей. Feminine adjectives can have the ending -ою,-ею in ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.6k
7 votes
Accepted

"что" as a relative pronoun

The use of «что» meaning «который» in reference to a person in modern Russian is either archaic or poetic. Modern fiction, as well as colloquial speech, tends to avoid such structures. But you can ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.6k
6 votes

"Скучаю по вас" или "Скучаю по вам"?

Традиционно правильно по вас, но в современном языке есть тенденция к замене предложного дательным, и эта двойная норма отражена в словарях. Развёрнутые ответы даны в теме Скучаю: по вам, по вас или ...
Баян Купи-ка's user avatar
6 votes

Перевод they в единственном числе

Проблемы нет, потому что в каждой конкретной ситуации можно предложить разные варианты. Хочу напомнить о том, что в русском языке существуют «нейтральные существительные», такие как «человек, ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Ambiguity of personal pronouns

Indeed, if "Он" refers to "облик ваш и взгляд", it should be a plural, right? Generally speaking, yes. There are some compound nouns, nominalized phrases that include the ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 54.5k
5 votes
Accepted

clarification on the proper form of a possessive pronoun

Ваш is a possessive pronoun and as such has to agree in case with the noun it defines. This means that in your example, where машина is in sg. acc., the pronoun should be in sg. acc. as well, so вашу ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
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5 votes

clarification on the proper form of a possessive pronoun

"Вашей" is definitely wrong, it should be "вашу": Нет, я не видел вашу машину. The direct object of the sentence, "машину", is in the Accusative case, that is why its attribute should also be in ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
5 votes

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

I'm answering this question even though it's old because it seems to me that though there are already several interesting answers, none of them is simple and direct. Words ending in -нибудь refer ...
David42's user avatar
  • 1,096
5 votes

"Я тоже" vs "мне тоже"

The usage of я тоже and мне тоже confirming the previous sentence or that of the other partner in a conversation entirely depends on the verb meant and the case required. The pronoun can be used in ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.6k
5 votes
Accepted

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

The initial form (and the stress) depends on the meaning: са́мого, са́мой (from са́мый) usually come before an adjective to form the superlative: са́мого лу́чшего, са́мой краси́вой. самого́, само́й (...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
5 votes

"что" as a relative pronoun

Any of the combinations in тот/та, кто/что … can be used (as long as they reference people, of course), but тот, кто … and та, что … are preferred: Тот, который and та, которая can also be used, and ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 54.5k
4 votes
Accepted

Interrogative pronouns taking different case than it's noun

A relative clause in Russian is joined by a pronoun, the relative pronoun который "who, which, that". Actually, который is a conjunction, joining a subordinate clause. Который introduces a sentence ...
V.V.'s user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Перевод they в единственном числе

They - это они. Если вы хотите придерживаться тех же стандартов гендерной нейтральности, что приняты в некоторых сообществах пользователей (далеко, кстати, не во всех), то можете преспокойно писать "...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 37.9k
4 votes

Перевод they в единственном числе

Можно, хотя бы в части случаев, использовать безличный пассив - "было сделано". Если какому-то пользователю надо связаться с со службой поддержки, то это легче будет сделать через веб-сайт.
SimonE's user avatar
  • 134
4 votes
Accepted

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

You can say either: Почти все из сорняков в цвету or Почти все сорняки в цвету Those are quite close in meaning, but the former can clarify the meaning when the noun is uncountable. Весь персонал ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 54.5k
4 votes
Accepted

ничей versus ничьего

Ничей means "no one's". It's a pronominal adjective (местоименное прилагательное), and, as such, has to agree in number, case, and gender with the noun it defines (взор). It is true that ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 54.5k
3 votes

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

Себя refers to the last (implied) agent in the clause. В то время был еще жив человек, который подталкивал себя к осуществлению мечты. This would mean: Back then the man was still alive who had ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
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