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Thread: Знать as a predicative

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    Знать as a predicative

    Hello.

    Кому и знать горечь зависимости, как не бедной воспитаннице знатной старухи?

    Does it translate word-by-word to something like "To whom is known bitterness of dependancy, if not to ..."? I had never seen such use of the word знать. Is it common and can you do it with other verbs?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    (У)знать горечь of smth is very common (maybe a bit bookish though).
    I do not quite understand what confused you.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    (У)знать горечь of smth is very common (maybe a bit bookish though).
    I do not quite understand what confused you.
    What confuses me is the 'кому'. Also I think I did not post in the right subforum, is there any way to correct this ?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    What confuses me is the 'кому'.
    Well, using dative like that is very common in Russian... I'm not sure I can explain it well, but I can provide some examples:

    Мне/тебе/им виднее = Мне/тебе/им лучше знать = I/you/they [should] know it better.
    Кому идти за пивом? = Who is to go for buying beer?
    Тебе решать = It's up to you.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Zubr, infinitives sometimes take dative subjects. Here is an example from Гроза:

    «Буре быть». “There will be a storm.”

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Well I guess this is my first encounter with yet another cool feature of russian.
    Is there a difference in meaning between
    кому идти за пивом and кому хочется идти за пивом
    or
    Тебе решать and Тебе надо решать

    Does it make sense to say that these forms are plain modal constructions, except without modal adverb?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    Well I guess this is my first encounter with yet another cool feature of russian.
    Is there a difference in meaning between
    кому идти за пивом and кому хочется идти за пивом
    or
    Тебе решать and Тебе надо решать

    Does it make sense to say that these forms are plain modal constructions, except without modal adverb?
    It seems to me that "кому идти за пивом?" presumes that someone is going to go, and we're just figuring out who that will be, while "кому хотется идти за пивом?" asks if anyone has a desire to go. I'll admit to being kind of new at this, but it seems to me that the first is more direct, and more "Russian", while the second is more passive and more "American".

    In the second, there seems to be a clear difference in meaning, because "Тебе решать" seems to say "it's up to you," or "the choice is yours," while "Тебе надо решать" adds necessity and says that "you need to make a decision". The second adds a sense of consequence.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    кому идти за пивом? - whose turn to go is it? who should go?
    кому хочется идти за пивом? - who wants to go?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by randem
    "кому хочется идти за пивом?" asks if anyone has a desire to go.
    More specifically, in this context it asks if there are any volunteers to go.
    Also in this context, the verb "идти" doesn't sound good. It would better be "сходить" or "пойти".

    The phrase as it is, with "идти", is perfect in a different kind of context, as a rhetorical question meaning "nobody wants to go".

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Thanks for all your answers. All this is very interesting.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Ok I should have thought of this before. How can you use this if the verb you need already governs a dative complement? As in "Guys whose turn is it to help me with ... ?"
    Кому это мне помочь избавиться от трупа?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    As in "Guys whose turn is it to help me with ... ?"
    [s:2lmofwrn]Кому это мне помочь избавиться[/s:2lmofwrn] Чья очередь помогать мне избавляться от трупа?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    How can you use this if the verb you need already governs a dative complement?
    Кому и помочь мне избавиться от трупа, как не тебе? - "Кому и + inf." is standard expression. It means "Who will do it, if not [you]?"

    Кому хочется помочь мне избавиться от трупа. - "Кому" is a complement for "хочется" here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    Guys whose turn is it to help me with ...
    Кому помочь мне избавиться - wrong.
    Кому сегодня помогать мне избавляться от трупа? - OK, more or less. I think it has to be an imperfective verb.
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Proverb: Чему быть, того не миновать. Something like "one can not avoid his fate".

    I think this kind of phrase expresses the fatality of the situation. Кому идти за пивом? - Who is destined to go for beer? Who's lot is to go?
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    Кому это мне помочь избавиться от трупа?
    I realised just now that this actually makes sense.
    But it means something different: To whom should I help... (Who is it that I should help...). "Это" is unnecessary; it emphasises some kind of emotion, like irritation or irony.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    I see all this is subtle and I won't cope with it without heavy grammatical insight. Hope this topic is dealt with in Wade's book.
    At least the use of кому и seems straightforward, I'll just go look for some more examples and it will do.

    Thanks all.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    I've heard of something similar with известен e.g. ей он известен. Знать is just used with the dative sometimes; not sure if there's a grammatical rule to explain it. BTW, get that Wade book, it's great. Don't quite know how I would research this question though (in Wade.)
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Let me know... = Дай мне знать...
    Almost word by word correspondence.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Ему не ответить этот вопрос. He can't answer this question.
    Ему не отвечать этот вопрос. It is not for him to answer this question.
    Вам сейчас нам отвечать за ваши преступления. You are now to answer (before us) for your crimes


    Am I doing it right?

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    Re: Знать as a predicative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    Ему не ответить на этот вопрос. He can't answer this question.
    The phrase itself is correct but rather sonorous. Like if he can't answer this question because he left this world forever.

    Ему не отвечать на этот вопрос. It is not for him to answer this question.
    He will never answer this question any more.

    Вам сейчас отвечать перед нами за ваши преступления. You are now to answer (before us) for your crimes
    ОК. But the style is sonorous. Almost like "Thou art now..."
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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