14 votes

How can I say "start both hourglasses" in Russian?

You could say: Переверните и те и другие песочные часы (одновременно). The numerals два, три, четыре, оба don't play well with plural-only words like часы, весы, брюки, ножницы, сутки. You can ...
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12 votes
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Why is «Какого цвета» in genitive case?

Nominative doesn't work for the same reason it doesn't work in this English statement: *The dress is red colour. But we can make it work using 'of': The dress is of red colour. I don't know why ...
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10 votes
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Странная форма прилагательного "дорогой"

Стоить может управлять винительным падежом, «стоит одну копейку», но может управлять и родительным, когда речь идёт не о денежной стоимости, а о ценности, важности, т. е. в переносном значении: «Это ...
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  • 25.8k
8 votes
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How to complete "налей мне" and "отдай мне обратно": "чаёк," "чайка," or "чайку"?

With "Налей мне..." any of the three options can be used: ... чаек. Pour me THE tea. ... чайку. Pour me SOME tea. ... чайка. Same as чайку, more preferred if you are younger. Partitive (чайку) ...
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6 votes
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"Ветер" in genitive - why "ветра", not "ветера"?

The disappearing vowel is called a fleeting / mobile vowel («беглая» гласная). Some words have them, most don't. If a noun has a fleeting vowel, then it will obey these rules: A fleeting vowel can ...
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6 votes

Поводов или поводьев?

There are different meanings of the word-- one of the reins",a long, narrow strap attached at one end to a horse’s bit, typically used in pairs to guide or check a horse in riding or driving, and a ...
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  • 20.5k
6 votes
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Поводов или поводьев?

It's поводов. Поводьев is the genitive of a pluralia tantum (=no singular, like "scissors") noun поводья, meaning "reins". EDIT: People have pointed out in the comments that поводья does get used in ...
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6 votes

Why is "зуб" in genitive case in the following comparison?

The explanation is very simple - you must use genitive after больше and меньше as well as after много and мало or telling an exact number (у меня десять пальцев и сто тысяч волос).
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  • 4,194
6 votes
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Почему у групповых топонимов в родительном падеже обычно нулевое окончание (Мальдив, Альп, Курил)?

Old Russian used endings -ъ, -ь for nouns with historical -o stem in gen. pl.: изъ Варягъ въ Грѣкы, изъ Грѣкъ по Днепру, святыхъ отецъ etc. This means the modern zero-ending in words like татар, армян,...
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  • 47.6k
6 votes

Мужчина, который хочет надёжных отношений

I am not sure about the exact rules. But maybe with example it can be more understandable. For instance, if you want to say "A person who wants an apple", it can be Человек, который хочет яблоко. ...
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  • 259
6 votes

Мужчина, который хочет надёжных отношений

It's a legacy of "ждательный" case (sorry, I don't know its Latin name). It is used in the sentences after the verbs "ждать", "хотеть", and others that have similar sense. Sorry to say, but in modern ...
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  • 494
6 votes
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"не люблю шутки" vs. "не люблю шуток"

Is there any general rule in Russian that regulates cases when direct objects can switch from Accusative to Genitive? Not in a perfectly codified form, not that I know of. Rosenthal has a whole ...
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  • 47.6k
5 votes

Why do many military unit types have weird declension?

Zero ending in Genitive plural could be a remnant or influence of both Church Slavonic, where both forms seem to be equivalent, and Old Russian, where it was characteristic of the words we now inflect ...
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5 votes

"Short of" in Russian

The genitive is because of не. Я видел ваш чемодан but Не видел я вашего чемодана! (Не видел я ваш чемодан! is also correct.) Она прожила семь лет but она не прожила и семи лет Она не дожила трёх ...
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  • 8,397
5 votes

"Сейчас у меня есть мало время" or "Сейчас у меня есть мало времени"?

"Сейчас у меня есть мало времени" sounds grammarically correct, but it is lexically strange. We don't say so. It can fall into two meanings, each of them expressed separately. 1) I am short of time ...
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  • 4,376
5 votes
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Почему 'я хочу серьезных отношений'?

Rosenthal et al., "Пунктуация и управление в русском языке": хотеть чего и (при конкретизации объекта) что. — Хочешь золота али жемчугу? (Лермонтов). — Хочу только свою книгу. This means ...
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  • 47.6k
5 votes

Why is «Какого цвета» in genitive case?

In Russian, the question about the color of the dress has at least 3 possible answers: (1) Платье красное. ~ Красное платье. (2) Платье красного цвета. ~ Красного цвета платье. (3) Цвет платья – ...
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  • 25.8k
4 votes

Why use Genitive for "something" to say "принести/bring someone something"?

It is so called отделительный падеж, which is in most cases same as родительный падеж. Принеси мне фрукты - bring me fruits. Принеси мне фруктов - bring me some fruits. You may use both, but using ...
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  • 8,397
4 votes
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"Short of" in Russian

The use of Genitive (which is rather Abessive) is linked to the negation of the verb. The quoted phrase does sound idiomatic (as Abessive case does in Russian), but it would still sound right if ...
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4 votes

"Машина девушки" and "машина у девушки" - what's the difference?

I would assume that "девушка" in these sentences stands for someone's girlfriend though it could be some other girl. машина девушки is most simple – "my girlfriend's car" машина у девушки is usually ...
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  • 2,749
4 votes
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Чего: Usage and Meanings

It seems you are aware of the main and most frequent usage of чего meaning что (colloquial). That's not the case with your sentence. Чего морочить голову?(What for, why)--Why should you worry about ...
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  • 20.5k
4 votes

Why is детей in the Gen. and not the Nom. in this у + Gen. + Nom. construction?

"Сколько" – as a word denoting the quantity of something – takes a genitive noun by default. An associated genitive noun (like "детей") is often separated from "сколько" rather than being placed ...
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4 votes
Accepted

два тела, два села - where is the accent placed?

You are right, the numerals два (две), три, четы́ре, о́ба (о́бе), полтора́ (полторы́) are followed by nouns in the genetive singular which is те́ла and села́ - see the declension tables for те́ло and ...
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4 votes

About sugar, tea and raisins and their partitive case (сахару, ча́ю, изюму, кишмишу)

It's not in any way obsolete or outdated. You use the partitive with a) mass nouns, and b) when you are talking about some unspecified or arbitrary quantity of the thing these nouns define. I believe ...
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  • 47.6k
3 votes

Странная форма прилагательного "дорогой"

В данном случае употреблён распространённый, но вызывающий некоторые споры словесный штамп ("дорогого стоит"), который не нарушает падежных правил (родительный падеж уместен), но которому говорящие не ...
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  • 11.8k
3 votes
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не верю + Дательный падеж?

Shouldn't it be in Genitive, seeing as it is "possessed" by her? This is not how genitive works. It marks the possessor without modifying the possessee in any way. "Man" is in Dative case. ("...
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3 votes

Why do many military unit types have weird declension?

Actually de-facto, form like гусаров, партизанов, солдатов are perfectly legal but have slightly different meaning. Here's a quote: Существительное, одушевлённое, мужской род, 2-е склонение (тип ...
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  • 37.4k
3 votes

Why do many military unit types have weird declension?

One theory maintains that these exceptions from the regular pl.G. ending rule can most of the time be classified as collective nouns (not exactly the same phenomenon as well-known English collective ...
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  • 2,383
3 votes
Accepted

Genitive case after quantity words

That's countable vs. uncountable. Use singular for uncountable objects, like много снега - a lot of snow, and plural for countable, like много снежков - many snowballs. This is similar to much vs ...
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  • 4,244
3 votes

Why use Genitive for "something" to say "принести/bring someone something"?

The genitive in this case comes from the omitted 'some quantity of...' which in Russian is typically expressed using an indefinite numeral like немного, несколько. Those numerals agree with a noun in ...
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  • 11.8k

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