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Thread: был или была?

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    Старший оракул tohca's Avatar
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    был или была?

    From New Penguin Ex. 11/1 #12
    She had a Russian friend. Should it be
    У неё был русский друг.
    OR
    У неё была русский друг.

    I think it should be the latter, У неё была русский друг, because it is она. But the answer in the book is the former.
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    "У нее был русский друг" is correct.
    Друг (что делал?) - был.

    (Аgain, the same type of sentence as with Natasha's sons. "Друг" is a subject, "был" is a predicate, "у нее" is an object.
    Sorry, if I annoy you. But my syntax analysis theory seems more and more valid to me.
    I'm open to corrections, though. Where are these MR Grammar Nazis, when you need one? )

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    Re: был или была?

    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    From New Penguin Ex. 11/1 #12
    She had a Russian friend. Should it be
    У неё был русский друг.
    OR
    У неё была русский друг.

    I think it should be the latter, У неё была русский друг, because it is она. But the answer in the book is the former.
    "Был" is correct, because "друг" is masculine. You should understand that был != had.

    While it does mean, conceptually, that she had a friend, but a literal backtranslation into English is something like "There was her friend". Who was? Friend. That's why you should use the masculine form of the verb.

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    Старший оракул tohca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    "У нее был русский друг" is correct.
    Друг (что делал?) - был.

    (Аgain, the same type of sentence as with Natasha's sons. "Друг" is a subject, "был" is a predicate, "у нее" is an object.
    Sorry, if I annoy you. But my syntax analysis theory seems more and more valid to me.
    I'm open to corrections, though. Where are these MR Grammar Nazis, when you need one? )
    Thanks. No, you certainly can't annoy me when you are so helpful.
    It's just that I can't seem to make sense of the lessons.
    I am confused as I am comparing the sentense:
    У неё была в Лондоне.
    Here it is была and not был (Лондон).
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    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    I am confused as I am comparing the sentense:
    У неё была в Лондоне.
    Here it is была and not был (Лондон).
    Could you please say in English what this sentence is supposed to mean? I'm afraid in Russian it has no sense - it lacks a subject.
    For example, you can fix it like this:
    У неё была подруга в Лондоне - She had a (female) friend in London

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    Re: был или была?

    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru
    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    From New Penguin Ex. 11/1 #12
    She had a Russian friend. Should it be
    У неё был русский друг.
    OR
    У неё была русский друг.

    I think it should be the latter, У неё была русский друг, because it is она. But the answer in the book is the former.
    "Был" is correct, because "друг" is masculine. You should understand that был != had.

    While it does mean, conceptually, that she had a friend, but a literal backtranslation into English is something like "There was her friend". Who was? Friend. That's why you should use the masculine form of the verb.
    Now it does make sense, but my poor head is already spinning. I think I'll take a break from these grammar lessons and concentrate on accumulating more vocabulary for the time being.
    Большое спасибо!
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    Старший оракул tohca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    I am confused as I am comparing the sentense:
    У неё была в Лондоне.
    Here it is была and not был (Лондон).
    Could you please say in English what this sentence is supposed to mean? I'm afraid in Russian it has no sense - it lacks a subject.
    For example, you can fix it like this:
    У неё была подруга в Лондоне - She had a (female) friend in London
    I meant to say "She was in London".
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    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    I meant to say "She was in London".
    Она была в Лондоне.

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    У нее были русские друзья?

    или

    У нее было русских друзей?

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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    У нее было русских друзей?
    Так говорили только одесские евреи в начале прошлого века. =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    У нее были русские друзья?
    или
    У нее было русских друзей?
    "У нее были русские друзья" is correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    У нее были русские друзья?

    или

    У нее было русских друзей?
    У нее были русские друзья
    or
    У нее было много русских друзей
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    У нее было много русских друзей
    Или "У нее не было русских друзей".

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    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    У неё была в Лондоне.
    Here it is была and not был (Лондон).
    Она была в Париже!

    http://www.bard.ru/cgi-bin/mp3.cgi?id=426.12
    http://www.bard.ru/cgi-bin/mp3.cgi?id=1092.05
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=6WfxEPM3u5o
    http://vv.nexus.org/vv/17/vv17_13.mp3

    Наверно, я погиб: глаза закрою — вижу.
    Наверно, я погиб: робею, а потом
    Куда мне до неё — она была в Париже,
    И я вчера узнал — не только в нём одном!

    Какие песни пел я ей про Север Дальний!
    Я думал: вот чуть-чуть — и будем мы на ты,
    Но я напрасно пел "О полосе нейтральной" —
    Ей глубоко плевать, какие там цветы.

    Я спел тогда ещё — я думал, это ближе —
    "Про юг" и "Про того, кто раньше с нею был"...
    Но что ей до меня — она была в Париже,
    И сам Марсель Марсо ей что-то говорил!

    Я бросил свой завод — хоть, в общем, был не вправе, —
    Засел за словари на совесть и на страх...
    Но что ей до того — она уже в Варшаве,
    Мы снова говорим на разных языках...

    Приедет — я скажу по-польски: "Прошу, пани,
    Прими таким как есть, не буду больше петь..."
    Но что ей до того — она уже в Иране,
    Я понял: мне за ней, конечно, не успеть!

    Ведь она сегодня здесь, а завтра будет в Осло...
    Да, я попал впросак, да, я попал в беду!..
    Кто раньше с нею был и тот, кто будет после, —
    Пусть пробуют они, я лучше пережду!
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    Старший оракул tohca's Avatar
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    Thanks for another lovely song and the lyrics too. Apart from the title, she was in Paris, the rest of the lyric is still beyong me. But it does help to be able to follow the song with the lyrics infront of. Maybe oneday ......
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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    Thanks for another lovely song and the lyrics too. Apart from the title, she was in Paris, the rest of the lyric is still beyong me. But it does help to be able to follow the song with the lyrics infront of. Maybe oneday ......
    One day certainly! Just keep listening to good Russian songs and Russian will sink in.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    Quote Originally Posted by tohca
    Thanks for another lovely song and the lyrics too. Apart from the title, she was in Paris, the rest of the lyric is still beyong me. But it does help to be able to follow the song with the lyrics infront of. Maybe oneday ......
    Она была в Париже.

    Она is the subject, therefore the verb была is in the feminine form because it agrees with its subject она.

    У неё есть друг.

    У неё literally means "by her", "at her". The subject of a sentence is the thing that's in the nominative case. Друг is the subject here.
    Literally it means "At her there is a friend".

    So in the past it's У неё был друг because друг is the subject and it's masculine so the masculine form (был) is used. У неё has got nothing to do with the verb here, it doesn't affect the form. Examine the grammar of the Russian, not the grammar of the English translation.

    У неё был друг.
    She had a (male) friend.

    У неё была подруга.
    She had a (female) friend.

    У неё были друзья.
    She had friends.

    To summarise, in the construction
    У кого-то есть что-то (present) [Someone has something]
    У кого-то было что-то (past) [Someone had something]

    the verb agrees with the thing possessed, not with the possessor.
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

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    Старший оракул tohca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Она была в Париже.

    Она is the subject, therefore the verb была is in the feminine form because it agrees with its subject она.

    У неё есть друг.

    У неё literally means "by her", "at her". The subject of a sentence is the thing that's in the nominative case. Друг is the subject here.
    Literally it means "At her there is a friend".

    So in the past it's У неё был друг because друг is the subject and it's masculine so the masculine form (был) is used. У неё has got nothing to do with the verb here, it doesn't affect the form. Examine the grammar of the Russian, not the grammar of the English translation.

    У неё был друг.
    She had a (male) friend.

    У неё была подруга.
    She had a (female) friend.

    У неё были друзья.
    She had friends.

    To summarise, in the construction
    У кого-то есть что-то (present) [Someone has something]
    У кого-то было что-то (past) [Someone had something]

    the verb agrees with the thing possessed, not with the possessor.
    Теперь яснее. Большое спасибо!
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  19. #19
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    I think my question is along similar lines.

    New Penguin Russian Course, 17/5 question 3

    In 1988 he was forty
    their answer:

    В тысяча девятьсот восемьдесят восьмом году ему было сорок (лет)
    whereas I thought it would be был

    Why is the correct answer the neuter form? What is было agreeing with in this sentence?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ski-ops
    Why is the correct answer the neuter form? What is было agreeing with in this sentence?
    The Russian construction is not "He was 40", but (literally, approximately) "To him it was 40" (~He has 40).

    I think it's neuter because it's numeral and > 1.

    У неё был один сын (сын is masculine, then был).
    У неё была одна дочь (дочь is feminine, then была).
    У неё было десять детей (десять детей is... numeral, i.e. "smth. indeterminate", then было)
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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