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: ...
  • 25.9k
16 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. ...
  • 48.7k
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 ...
11 votes

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

Имя is neuter noun, not feminine. There is a set of similar neuter nouns: имя, вымя, пламя, семя, время, темя, стремя, знамя, племя, бремя etc. All of them originate from PIE words with -men suffix. ...
  • 14.3k
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'...
  • 37.6k
10 votes
Accepted

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 ...
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 15.2k
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 ...
  • 48.7k
8 votes

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

Имя belongs to a special group of 11 nouns ending in -мя, all of which are of the Neuter gender: бремя, время, вымя, знамя, имя, пламя, племя, семя, стремя, темя, голомя All of them also decline ...
  • 25.9k
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 ...
  • 4,259
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 ...
  • 21k
7 votes
Accepted

Why use dative in "Сколько тебе лет"?

The dative case marks the indirect object of a verb, but your example does not have a verb. You may think it is a shortened form. Please look at this examples, with a verb: verb ...
  • 2,409
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 ...
  • 1,096
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 ...
  • 25.9k
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 ...
  • 48.7k
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 (...
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 ...
  • 21k
4 votes

Impersonal pronoun (English one/you)

TL;DR: The less impersonal (generic, abstract) the sentence is, the more you tend to use plural for politeness. There is no impersonal pronoun in Russian; impersonality is conveyed with the sentence ...
  • 1,267
4 votes
Accepted

Third Person Plural Pronoun for Inanimate Objects in Accusative Case

Yes, они has the accusative их for both animate and inanimate. (Your intuition is correct about there being a "missing" inanimate form; it was supplanted by the animate one and went extinct. Had it ...
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 ...
  • 48.7k
3 votes

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

On my map the accusative of ничто is still ничто. Example: Из-за кризиса все облигации превратились в ничто. I cannot come with an example where ничто would be in accusative but having the form ...
  • 14.3k
3 votes

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

I think it's usually an adjective but sometimes can be used as a pronoun. Каждый can sometimes be used to mean каждый человек: Каждый делает свой выбор Каждый должен знать свои права I think this ...
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 ...
  • 48.7k
3 votes
Accepted

Inflection of такой, какой

Какая can take any case according to the content of the second clause, as you suggest: Она такая, какая есть. Она такая, какой была раньше. Она такая, какой можно многое пообещать. Она ...
  • 11.8k
3 votes
Accepted

У меня or мне before не- words

They are both grammatically correct, but mean different things: У меня не с кем говорить means "There is none to talk to at my place". Мне не с кем говорить means "I don't have anyone to talk to". ...
  • 48.7k
3 votes

Asking to take photos in Russian

If one is asking complete strangers I'd go with Вы не против, если я вас сфотографирую? - it sounds to me subtly more polite and sort of less insistent rather than можно-form mentioned in the ...
  • 37.6k
3 votes
Accepted

How to properly use these pronouns? То, та

Хорошая литература - (это) та, которая... is a perfectly idiomatic construction The zero link-copula signified with the dash can be replaced with the verb является and by putting the subject into ...
2 votes

Third Person Plural Pronoun for Inanimate Objects in Accusative Case

Both are possible, though the second pair is wrong. "Ты знаешь Лондон?" means "How well do you know the city of London?", so the right answer would be, for example, "Совсем не знаю". Also consider ...
  • 15.2k
2 votes
Accepted

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

Adjectives are describing words which give more information about the object. The determinative adjectives point to the reference of the noun in the context not describing its quality. The ...
  • 21k
2 votes

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

There is no such thing as "typical pronoun". Standing for noun is the most common pronoun function, but full list of functions is pretty huge. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%...

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