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Thread: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    The sentence "Чья это книга?" appears in grammar lessons on lots of online sites. Shouldn't it be "Чья эта книга?"

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    The sentence "Чья это книга?" appears in grammar lessons on lots of online sites. Shouldn't it be "Чья эта книга?"

    это can be a demonstrative pronoun in which case it declines or it can be a particle (частица) in which case it's undeclinable; the latter translates as "this is" or "these are"

    это новая книга = this is a new book
    эта книга новая = this (demonstrative) book is new
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    The logic of your thoughts is that ЭТО equals THIS and you rightfully corrected it to ЭТА to suit the case, making the sentence mean “Whose this book is ?” But the thing is that ЭТО in your original sentence is just an amplifying particle that strengthens the preceding interrogative pronoun Чья, giving the sentence more of a “Whose, on God’s green earth, book is this?” sense.
    Some examples:
    Что это такое движется там по реке?
    Что это ещё за чертовщина?
    Что это вы себе позволяете, милостивый государь?

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    Note that when чей is some complement in your phrase (so you decline it) you don't need this это: Чью книгу ты брал?

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    You could safely put it in there and nobody would get hurt too.
    Чью это книгу ты брал?

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    Johanna, see this blog entry:

    http://shininghappypeople.net/rwotd/blo ... 10/29/-290

    About halfway down your question is addressed, although the whole of the article may be helpful.

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    Thanks everyone!

    My knowledge of formal grammar is quite bad despite me trying to improve it. So it's difficult to understand some of the terminology in the answers.

    I broadly understand the situation though, and I'll read through the article that doninphxaz refers to.

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    I will help you, Johanna.

    1-чья 2-это 3-книга?
    1-whose 3-book (is) 2-this?

    "this" is in the syntactic position of a noun.
    Unlike 1-this 2-book = 1-эта 2-книга, where "this" is in the position of an adjective.

  9. #9
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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    Это = this is (or is this)
    Это - книга. This is a book.

    Чья whose
    это is this
    книга book
    ?
    Предполагаю что
    Это книга Ивана? = Is this Ivan's book?
    но
    Эта книга Ивана? = Is this book Ivan's?
    М.б. другими словами. Кто-нить поправьте меня, пожалуйста.

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    Re: "Чья это книга?" Isn't that incorrect?

    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    Предполагаю что
    Это книга Ивана? = Is this Ivan's book?
    но
    Эта книга Ивана? = Is this book Ivan's?
    М.б. другими словами. Кто-нить поправьте меня, пожалуйста.
    Is this Ivan's book? and Is this book Ivan's? are (pretty much) identical in their meaning; the difference would be of stress:

    Это книга Ивана = This book belongs to Ivan (with stress on whose book it is)
    Эта книга Ивана = This particular book belongs to Ivan (with stress on which particular book)
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

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