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Thread: Subjunctive 'by'

  1. #1
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    Subjunctive 'by'

    I was wondering about the position of the subjunctive 'by' element in questions. Can it intervene between question words?

    Would a sentence like this be possible:

    Kogo by kogda ty xoces' priglasil?
    'Who would you want to invite when?'

    Can you have two subjunctive clauses together, for instance:

    Kogo by kogday ty xoces' ctoby ja priglasil?
    'Who would you want me to invite when?'

    Are both the above possible? Or neither?

    Forgive me for my ignorance. Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    Старший оракул
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    I am having trouble understanding your question. Can you write in cryllic? The russian with latin letters are very difficult for me to understand.

    Kogo by kogda ty xoces' priglasil?
    Кого бы когда ты хочешь пригласил?

    Kogo by kogday ty xoces' ctoby ja priglasil?
    Кого бы когда(?) ты хочешь чтобы я пригласил

    Your sentences don't make sense to me, in English or Russian. Что ты имеешь ввиду? Я не понимаю. What does "subjunctive" mean?
    Vrei să pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei
    Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei
    Chipul tau si dragostea din tei
    Mi-amintesc de ochii tai

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by loumy
    Kogo by kogda ty xoces' priglasil?
    'Who would you want to invite when?'
    At first, I think, placing two interrogative words (“who” and “when”) so closely (in grammatical sense) looks not very accurate in Russian. Better to separate them by a conjuction “и”.
    At second, after “бы” element a verb must be in past tense, i.e. “хотел” instead of “хочешь”
    And, eventually, after verb “хотеть” must be a verb in indefinite form, i.e. “пригласить” instead of “пригласил” (it's like in English, “I want to eat” and not “I want eat”)

    Taking this into account, we get such sentence:

    Кого и когда ты бы хотел пригласить? (Кого ты бы хотел пригласить, и когда?)

    About position of the “бы” in sentences I can say it's quite arbitrary, but it cannot be the first word. The sentence above I can say differently:

    Кого и когда бы ты хотел пригласить? (Кого бы ты хотел пригласить, и когда?)
    Кого и когда ты хотел бы пригласить? (Кого ты хотел бы пригласить, и когда?)
    Кого и когда ты хотел пригласить бы? (not the best, but the meaning is obvious anyway) (Кого ты хотел пригласить бы, и когда?)

    Kogo by kogday ty xoces' ctoby ja priglasil?
    'Who would you want me to invite when?'
    Again, better separate “кого” and “когда” by “и”, make proper verb forms.

    Possible variants:

    Кого и когда ты бы хотел, чтобы я пригласил? (Кого ты бы хотел, чтобы я пригласил, и когда?)
    Кого и когда бы ты хотел, чтобы я пригласил? (Кого бы ты хотел, чтобы я пригласил, и когда?)

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    Thanks for your in-depth replies. They're really helpful and interesting.

    I promise to try harder with the Cyrillic in future.

    The subjunctive gives infomation about the likelihood or factuality of a situation. It seems quite formal in English, and is used less and less. For example,

    If I were you, I'd leave early.
    (If I was you, I'd leave early.)

    The government insisted that he finish the job quickly.
    (The government insisted that he must finish the job quickly.)

    If you're interested, this page will tell you more: The Subjunctive in English

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by loumy
    (If I was you, I'd leave early.)
    That is my biggest pet peeve.
    Corrupting young minds since May 6, 2004.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackMage
    Quote Originally Posted by loumy
    (If I was you, I'd leave early.)
    That is my biggest pet peeve.
    Mine has to be apostrophes. I once saw a sign in a department store in Australia which said:

    Babie's

    ARGH!!!!

  7. #7
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    Was it something like, "Babie's Cafe" or something?
    Corrupting young minds since May 6, 2004.

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    Sadly, no. It was
    Clothing:
    Children's
    babie's


  9. #9
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Loumy

    I think your question was like, is it ok to say

    If I you were, I'd early leave.

    So, would you say that in English? Your quote sounds just as weird in Russian. Because your proposals sound off the wall to me, and even tho I'm not Russian I have worked with it (not like Yeltsin worked with document) for больше, чем сорок лет.

    Why are you asking this question? Did something pique your interest, a theoretical question contravening what you've read in your textbook, perhaps?

  10. #10
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    He's been asking a whole bunch of them, he's doing some linguistics thing.

    больше, чем сорок лет.
    Chaika, in which situations would you put the comma after больше? Would something like "больше сорок лет" be correct as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    Would something like "больше сорок лет" be correct as well?
    Больше сорока лет
    Я танцую пьяный на столе нума нума е нума нума нума е
    Снова счастье улыбнулось мне нума нума е нума нума нума е

  12. #12
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    yes iirc bol'she + gen. is an acceptable colloquial replacement for bol'she chem
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    Why are you asking this question? Did something pique your interest, a theoretical question contravening what you've read in your textbook, perhaps?
    I'm comparing questions and word order in a number of languages for a Linguistics project, and Russian is one of the ones I'd like to cover, so I'm not specifically a learner of Russian but I would like to learn more about questions in Russian (which must be a pretty strange situation, I admit).

    As I have no 'feel' for Russian myself, I'm following up information I've read in linguistics papers on the matter with Russian speakers on this forum so I'm not relying on just one source of information. The specific issues that made me raise my original query were these assertions about Russian questions:

    - All question words appear at the beginning of a question.
    - The only thing that can split up this grouping of question words is the marker of subjunctive mood 'бы', which will appear after the first question word.
    - 'Movement' of a question word out of a subordinate clause to the beginning of the sentence is only possible if the subordinate clause is in the subjunctive mood or contains a non-finite verb form.
    (Related issue: differences are reported in the linguistics literature RE how many question words you can 'extract' from a subordinate clause and put at the front of a multi-clause sentence. One source I found says only one, so something equivalent to 'What do you want to send?'; other sources say more than one is OK, e.g. 'What do you want to send to whom?' perhaps)

    I wanted to figure out if you could split up the grouping of question words which had been moved out of a subordinate clause, i.e. could you put 'бы' between two question words which had 'moved out of' a subordinate clause.

    I didn't mean to come over all mysterious with my original query, I just wasn't sure that anyone would be tempted to read past the first sentence if I'd made the above my first post in this thread. But maybe I should have given more background.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    yes iirc bol'she + gen. is an acceptable colloquial replacement for bol'she chem
    The comma is what threw me off, though. I didn't realize you had to have it in there in such a situation.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    The comma is what threw me off, though. I didn't realize you had to have it in there in such a situation.
    You should always write comma before "что", "а", "но", "чем" and so on. Perhaps somebody could give us the whole list.
    Я танцую пьяный на столе нума нума е нума нума нума е
    Снова счастье улыбнулось мне нума нума е нума нума нума е

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