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Thread: Animation

  1. #1
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    Animation

    I just have a question about animation... I know that in the plural, the accusative is the same as the nominative for inanimate nouns, the same as the genitive for animate nouns. But today I was thinking about the sentence, "I ate the rest of the mussels." What do you do with "mussels"? Is it an animate noun, even though I presumably ate dead mussels

    And what about plants?

  2. #2
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    Re: Animation

    Even though the mussels were presumably dead , you'd still treat the word the same - as an animate noun (animate=animal, whether it's alive or not). And, as I understand it, plants are always inanimate.
    P.S. - Исправление ошибок в моих текстах на русском всегда приветствуется

  3. #3
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    Sometimes grammar requirements may contradict the common sense. For example, such words as покойник, мертвец (both mean a dead man in Russian) are treated as they were animate: Я увидел покойника (мертвеца) "I saw a dead man". Although труп (corpse) is grammatically inanimate: Я увидел труп.

    Yes, plants are inanimate in any case.

    But there are also some kinds of biological animals which are difficult to recognise how they have to be treated grammatically. For example, микроб, вирус can be treated as both animate or inanimate: Мыло убивает микробов (микробы seems to be possible, too) "The soap kills microbes", Учёные изучают вирусы (this sounds more natural, but I cannot say вирусов is impossible here) "The scientists investigate viruses".

    As for your example, I think both:
    Я ел мидий. Я ел мидии. "I ate mussels" are possible as well, since mussels are not perceived as usual animals (unlike pigs, cows, fishes, birds, which are undoubtedly animals by their nature).

    As strange it may seem, the word робот (robot) is animate in Russian.

  4. #4
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    Thanks!

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