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Thread: существо

  1. #1
    Новичок
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    существо

    Does the word существо have a special status? At line 9 in this lesson: http://www.princeton.edu/russian/SLA...sson%20003.pdf
    someone is killing a существо (a creature). Then the creature should be in the accusative, shouldn't it? However, I see that it is treated as inanimate (else, it would be какого-то злого странного существа).

    I looked at http://starling.rinet.ru/morph.htm. They have three variants of the word. The first one means "essence" and is thus inanimated. No problem with that. The third one means "нечто живое" and is treated as inanimate, thus the accusative singular is существо. This could explain what I found in the Princeton lesson. The second one is really weird. It also means "нечто живое" and is supossed to be animated, but the accusative isn't identical to the genitive. Instead, it borrows from the nominative in the singular (существо instead of the expected genitive существа) and from the genitive in the plural.

    So, if anyone could explain whether существо really is such a strange word or if everything above is plainly mistaken I will be very grateful.
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  2. #2
    Властелин
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    Существо as a word is always inanimated
    After all, even animal is inanimated in Russian!

  3. #3
    Властелин wanja's Avatar
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    "Существо" - is an animato word, but it is if neutral gender.
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