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Thread: себе самому изменял - what does this mean?

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    себе самому изменял - what does this mean?

    I am trying to translate the song где ты раньше был by Валентина Толкунова, and I am getting hung up on these lines:

    Где ты раньше был, целовался с кем,
    С кем себе самому изменял,
    С кем себе самому изменял.

    I know изменять takes a dative and can mean 'cheat on' or 'betray,' but I don't understand the grammatical function and meanings of себе and самому. Can anyone help?

    I translated it roughly as "With whom were you betraying yourself?" But I don't know what each word does, means, and why.

  2. #2
    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    себе, reflexive pronoun, refers to the previous defined subject/object, and so here is ты. And so it is the you of the first line, себе being dative form in this case. самому is like very or self (m. dative form), and so "С кем себе самому изменял" is like "with whom you were betraying your very self". (or simply 'your self') But not posed as question. As statement.

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    thanks! this is helpful and clear!

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    the initial pronoun, the subject you can treat not just as ты, but ты сам, you yourself
    and so both are declined

    in the translated version it may look as 'With whom were you cheating on your own self?'

    С кем себе самому изменял technically can exist without the declined сам just fine, сам only makes the sentence more complete

    so any pronoun in reflexive is declined as себя/себе/собой etc, but can also take the form of себя самого/себе самому/собой самим etc or сам себя/сам себе/сам собой etc

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