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Thread: это наш-то тихоня

  1. #1
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    это наш-то тихоня

    "это наш-то тихоня!"
    strange phrase, what does it mean? I know what each word means, but I don't understand the phrase.

    Anyone seen it before?

    Rich B

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин Dmitry Khomichuk's Avatar
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    This expression is close in meaning to "в тихом омуте черти водятся". It means that person is calm, hard to notice, "usual" and "gray". But he did something unimaginable.
    It can be used in a good way and in a hard.
    In good: for example he saved someone or won Olympic Games
    I bad: killed someone or destroyed something.

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    "...and that is our calm guy!" (with surprise)
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Thanks Dmitry, that's solved it for me!

    Richard B

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    I was going to leave it there, but I can't! Thanks it-ogo; this raises some questions...

    'наш-то' means (according to the great google, anyway...!) 'our something', so in English it refers to an inanimate object (a thing) rather than an animate one. Bearing this in mind, I wonder why this expression does not use 'наш кто-то' (who, therefore animate) instead of 'наш-то'? Is 'наш-то' just a contraction?

    Is this saying a common idiom (ie worth learning by rote)?

    The other point concerns word order. I would expect (from very little experience) that the word order would normally be 'adjective-noun', but in this case it appears to be reversed. Is this because the adjective 'calm' effectively refers to the phrase 'our someone' rather than just the pronoun 'someone'?

    Thanks for putting up with my nitpicking; this is the best way for me to learn!

    Richard B

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich View Post
    'наш-то' means (according to the great google, anyway...!) 'our something', so in English it refers to an inanimate object (a thing) rather than an animate one. Bearing this in mind, I wonder why this expression does not use 'наш кто-то' (who, therefore animate) instead of 'наш-то'? Is 'наш-то' just a contraction?

    Is this saying a common idiom (ie worth learning by rote)?

    The other point concerns word order. I would expect (from very little experience) that the word order would normally be 'adjective-noun', but in this case it appears to be reversed. Is this because the adjective 'calm' effectively refers to the phrase 'our someone' rather than just the pronoun 'someone'?

    Thanks for putting up with my nitpicking; this is the best way for me to learn!

    Richard B
    It is not always a good idea to translate words separately from sentences.

    1) Particle -то has nothing to do with animate/inanimate.
    2) -то added to relative/interrogative pronouns makes indefinite pronouns as like as in English adding "some...":
    кто - who, кто-то somebody
    где - where, где-то somewhere
    почему - why, почему-то - for some reason
    etc.
    3) with other words -то has a meaning of emotional emphasis and is used in colloquial speech.
    4) In your example "наш" is used as adjective "тихоня" is a noun and "-то" adds some emotional coloration.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Thanks it-ogo, it seems I got that all wrong! I'll be sure to know my nouns from my adjectives before I post next time. Back to my "English Grammar for Dummies" book... When I looked up 'тихоня' in google translate, it said 'demure', which is an adjective. I should be used to seeking another translation by now, I need to get used to using proper dictionaries.

    "1) Particle -то has nothing to do with animate/inanimate." That's okay. What I meant was that because it didn't have'кто' in it I thought it could be used to refer to something inanimate. But your points 3 and 4 make the truth clear for me.

    Richard B

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