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Thread: Если кто-либо об этом узнает...

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Если кто-либо об этом узнает...

    A question for the grammar geniuses here...

    If I wanted to say this sentence:

    "If anyone should find out about this, I would be so embarassed... "

    "Eсли кто-либо об этом узнает....."
    How would I know that the sentence should have "кто-либо" and not "кого-либо" in it?

    (and why is it using the the word "-либо" which everyone says sounds "bookish" and not natural?)

    I picked up this sentence from a website. I think...

  2. #2
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    Re: Если кто-либо об этом узнает...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    How would I know that the sentence should have "кто-либо" and not "кого-либо" in it?
    Это подлежащее.
    It's the subject. I can't imagine any other form (not nominative case) used there.

    кто? кто-либо (subject)
    что сделает? узнает (predicate)

    Если он узнает об этом... — If he finds out about this (not "him", right?)
    Если она узнает об этом... — If she finds out about this (not "her")

    and why is it using the the word "-либо"
    How can we know it without the context? )
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  3. #3
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    Re: Если кто-либо об этом узнает...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    A question for the grammar geniuses here...

    If I wanted to say this sentence:

    "If anyone should find out about this, I would be so embarassed... "

    "Eсли кто-либо об этом узнает....."
    How would I know that the sentence should have "кто-либо" and not "кого-либо" in it?
    As Zaya said, you need to find the subject.

    Who will know?
    кто-либо. (nominative)

    So, it's the subject, and should be in nominative. If it was something like "Если я кого-либо спрошу" it would be...
    Who will ask?
    Я.
    Whom I will ask?
    Кого-либо. (genetive)

    As for "кто-либо" itself sounding bookish... Yes, but sometimes you want to sound bookish, especially when writing a book . It's not some horrible archaism or something, just a word usually used in written language, not spoken one.
    I often edit my posts five times or so, after I've sent them. Sorry for any confusion, feel free to correct me.

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Re: Если кто-либо об этом узнает...

    Ok that makes it a bit more understandable. Hopefully the next time I'll see a sentence like this I'll be able to work it out by breaking it down in this way!

    Thanks a lot Zaya and ac220!


    sometimes you want to sound bookish, especially when writing a book
    True!

    I'll bear that in mind for when I write my new masterpiece best seller in Russian! Move over Dosoyevsky!

  5. #5
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Re: Если кто-либо об этом узнает...

    Либо-versions are really bookish. Use нибудь instead for everyday conversations.
    "либо" is used there because hmm...it's written by someone who doesn't know that "нибудь" exists.

    About the grammar:
    The key thing there is the verb "узнает"

    Узнает has a subject and an object just like any other verb.
    Subject here is supposed to be a human being.
    Object is hmm...some information (you chose prepositional case, let it be so).

    The ending of узнает HERE corresponds to a nominative singular form.
    Thus, use singular/nominative for кто-либо/кто-нибудь.

    It was an explanation from the sight of "why узнаЕТ needs кто-нибудь".

    If you're trying to compose a sentence using this pattern, here's another one:
    I would try to avoid translation from English to Russian.

    The main pattern for this sentence is the next one:
    Если -> condition -> то/тогда -> positive consequence, иначе/в противном случае -> negative consequence.
    Positive/negative are not subjective ones here, but objective ones, that depend on if the condition is accomplished or not.


    The "condition" here is a simple declarative phrase in the future tense, like:
    сегодня будет солнечная погода (imperfective);
    мы поедем налево (perfective), etc.

    The positive and negative consequences use the same phrase patterns as the "condition".
    Мы пойдем гулять;
    Мы заедем в тупик;

    Now let's apply the pattern:
    Если [сегодня будет солнечная погода], то [мы пойдем гулять], а если нет, то [мы останемся дома].

    Now let's rip apart the "кто-нибудь об этом узнает". It obeys the general rules of SIMPLE sentence composition. Learn it.
    It's a simple declarative sentence in active voice preferrable pattern is [subject -> verb -> object]. But any variant is good, except thIS phrase should not begin with a verb. Of course, any additions of time, etc, are allowed at any position, but don't break apart word combinations, like if you chose "маленькая девочка" for the subject, don't insert anything in between the words.

    The verb/action here is the "узнать". The phrase is "dancing" from it.
    The subject here is "some person". It could be any noun/name, and I don't see any reason to use any other case than the nominative one.
    And finally, the object is "это".

    And, excuse me, I'm too lazy now to write more
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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