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Thread: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

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    Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Once again, this is one of those things that I know what the literal difference is between the two, but I still a little shaky about what the difference really means (if that makes sense). If someone could explain it. Also, here are some examples that it would be great to translate and tell me why it is accusative and dative and why (object of the sentence is in blue).

    "Look at him!"

    "Give me those books!"

    "I never understand him."


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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrm
    Once again, this is one of those things that I know what the literal difference is between the two, but I still a little shaky about what the difference really means (if that makes sense). If someone could explain it. Also, here are some examples that it would be great to translate and tell me why it is accusative and dative and why (object of the sentence is in blue).
    Using blue for the accusative (and the English direct object) and purple for the dative (and the English indirect object):

    "Look at him!" Посмотри на него! (Correcting myself -- I had used the imperfective imperative смотри.)

    "Give me those books!" Дай мне эти книги!

    "I never understand him." Я никогда не понимаю его.

    And I would add the example:

    "The dog is helping the blind man find the shoe." Собака помогает слепому мужчине найти туфлю.

    In this example, notice that there is no "indirect object" in the English sentence -- rather, there are two direct objects. But the Russian has object nouns in both the dative (мужчине) and the accusative (туфлю).

    In other words, sometimes the Russian dative corresponds to the English indirect object (as in "Show me the picture", Покажи мне картину), but there are many verbs -- such as помогать, помочь ("to help") that by their nature require the dative to express what is logically the "direct object" in English.
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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    1. Look at him.
    Посмотри на него.
    The "посмотреть" verb needs a reference with a number of prepositions available for use with it.
    You used the "посмотреть" in the meaning of the "to look" verb. I remind that there are several different meanings, as well. I'll describe them later, if you want me to.
    The "на" preposition, you have used, has 3 general meanings that I can remember right now: AT, TO and ON, each of which needs its own case.
    The "на" in either meanings of "at" and "to" does need the accusative case, because they answer the "куда?" question.
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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    2. Give me those books.
    Дай мне (вон) те книги.

    The "дай - what"- version needs either accusative, or genitive case, depending on if you can say the "some" word in your language. Here you won't say "Gimme some those books", thus we use the accusative.
    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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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    3. I never understand him
    Я никогда не понимаю его.
    You can say either "I don't understand - what", or "I don't understand - whom". The "whom-version" is not too difficult because the понимаю without prepositions needs accusative/genitive and their endings are identical for animated objects.
    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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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene-p
    depending on [s:279gxo3d]if[/s:279gxo3d] whether you can say the "some" word in your language. Here [s:279gxo3d]you won't say[/s:279gxo3d] you're not saying "Gimme some of those books"[s:279gxo3d],[/s:279gxo3d] -- thus we use the accusative.
    Note that instead of the "long dash" between "books" and "thus," you could also write "(comma) and", or you could use a semi-colon:

    • • You're not using drugs -- thus you found 2001: A Space Odyssey to be overly long and boring.
      • Ramona the rat chewed a hole in my jeans, and thus she does not get to share my delicious, yummy-nummy, oh-so-tasty strawberry yogurt, ha-ha.*
      Yo' momma is SOOOO fat, that light bends in her gravitational field; thus, if she were to cut herself while shaving her mustache, she would bleed Nutella.


    But in any case, thus creates too strong a break in the sentence for the poor little comma to do the job by itself.

    * Unless I forgive her because she's so disgustingly adorable, which is what normally happens.
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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Thank you for corrections and explanations. They work very well for my learning.

    But in any case, thus creates too strong a break in the sentence for the poor little comma to do the job by itself.
    За это спасибо огромное еще раз.

    "Gimme some of those books
    Throbert, I didn't mean this. I meant exactly "Gimme some those books", underscribing that this is a mistake.
    You made the correction here, and the meaning of the phrase has been changed: "Дайте мне некоторые из тех книг".
    Although this is the correct phrase for both languages, its meaning is different. Here's what I meant:

    Nouns in both languages basically can be whether quantifiable or unquantifiable.
    Like quantifiable ones: книга, машина, вертолёт, пулемёт, шоколадка.
    And unquantifiable ones: вода, соль, песок, снег, сталь, шоколад. (Basically they are substances, liquids, and materials)

    There's a rule in English to not use articles with unquantifiable things, and use the "some" word for them sometimes.
    Like: I don't want chocolate. I hate sand (a driver's words ). Etc.
    And there are: Give me some milk; I want some beer. Etc.

    Although things can whether be quantifiable, or not be them, they can transit into the opposite category sometimes.
    Plurals for quantifiables: "Give me the book", but "Give me some books".
    And some bookish examples here:
    Water in a glass -- Gimme the water.
    Water in a sea is being polluted -- Ohh, yeah, the water is being worsened.


    And people who made Russian language falled "aenvy" and thought: why such a diversity there's in English, while the Russian language seems to be boring? What the heck, let's think up something special.
    And they decided to use different cases for quantifiable things and unquantifiable ones, as well as for "transited" cases like "some books".
    And since then we have been saying:

    (In a shop): Дайте мне (вон то) пиво. -- quantifiable, accusative, but:
    (To friends): Я хочу пива. (unquantifiable, genitive).

    That said, "Дайте мне молоко" and "Дайте мне молока" mean молоко in different ways.

    Я хочу шоколадку. Я больше не хочу шоколадок.
    Я (больше) не хочу шоколада

    Моя любимая крыса проела дырку в моих джинсах. Я больше не хочу дырок в своих джинсах, поэтому крыса идёт в блендер.
    (Оль, не докапывайся сюда пожалуйста, это просто для примера. Я понимаю, что "мне больше не нужны дырки" звучит лучше, а "мне больше не нужно дырок" тоже имеет право на существование.)

    Hope that works. Good luck and
    По-прежнему исправляйте мои ошибки, а то я так и останусь дураком (C)Trzechi_Wilmar
    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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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    I am going to borrow from my other post really fast to make this point (sorry Basil it was the first post I could find to make the point, lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    "I was wondering if there was a non-vulgar parallel word to describe a very attractive girl in russian?" (c)
    Мне кажется и "hot girl" в английском тоже не образец высокого штиля. По крайней мере все варианты, которые я привёл, вполне цензурны.
    Why was "мне" used in this fashion? Shouldn't it have been "я" to start to sentence because nominatives start sentences (aka: я думаю....)

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyrm
    Why was "мне" used in this fashion? Shouldn't it have been "я" to start to sentence because nominatives start sentences (aka: я думаю....)
    Мне кажется = It seems to me

    You can skip subject "это" in Russian in this case.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Why was "мне" used in this fashion?
    This is from the same story like:
    "Я люблю - Мне нравится" (I like),
    "Я хочу - Мне хочется" (I want),
    "Я думаю - Мне думается" (I think).

    Except there's no direct form for "мне кажется" (I guess) and there's only an inverted one.
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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene-p
    This is from the same story like:
    "Я люблю - Мне нравится" (I like)
    I think you mixed up something here. There is a difference between "like" and "love" in Russian as well as in English.
    The pair for "Я люблю" could be "Мне любится" (although it's not used and sounds quite obselete).
    As for "Мне нравится", there is no 'active' form of it. "I like" is only "мне нравится" in Russian, as well as in German, by the way ("mir gefällt" is the same construction).

    In Russian, "мне кажется" (it seems to me) sounds less categorical than the direct one "я думаю" (I think), and is more used.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee
    And I would add the example:

    "The dog is helping the blind boy find the shoe." Собака помогает слепому мужчине найти туфлю.

    In this example, notice that there is no "indirect object" in the English sentence -- rather, there are two direct objects. But the Russian has object nouns in both the dative (мужчине) and the accusative (туфлю).

    In other words, sometimes the Russian dative corresponds to the English indirect object (as in "Show me the picture", Покажи мне картину), but there are many verbs -- such as помогать, помочь ("to help") that by their nature require the dative to express what is logically the "direct object" in English.
    Throbert McGee provided a VERY interesting example. I'd like to add my own thoughts regarding this question.

    As I often repeat, different languages use different logic.
    What is considered to be "direct and indirect objects" in English is not always the same in Russian. That was very interesting for me to know that English considers "me" in "help me" is a direct object.

    To avoid possible confusion, I will use terms "material" and "receiver" of an action. "Material" is what is expressed by Accusative in Russian (Я пью воду. - I drink water. Друг видит меня. - The friend sees me.) "Receiver" is what is expressed by Dative (Я сказал об этом отцу. - I told my father about that. My father receives my story. Он принёс мне книгу. - He brought me a book. I receive a book).
    In Russian we say: Он помогает мне. - He helps me. "Мне" is in Dative, because here it means that I am a receiver of his help. The same as in Он рассказал мне. - He told me. (I am a receiver of his story).
    A parallel expression is Он оказывает мне помощь. - He renders me assistance. You see that "me" is not a "material" of the action, it is "a receiver". Оказывать помощь = Помогать, so we get: Он помогает мне.

    A very good example to understand Accusative and Dative is "Show me".
    Покажи мне! (Dative, i.e. "me" is a receiver) if I want you to show me something, so that I could see it.
    Покажи меня! (Accusative, i.e. "me" is a material) if I want you to show me to somebody, so that someone else could see me.

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    I think you mixed up something here.
    I think, too. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтмен
    To avoid possible confusion, I will use terms "material" and "receiver" of an action.
    Hmm, that is so obvious for Russians, that we tend to not notice such things.
    The case is called "Dative" by foregners, which thrashes its real meaning.
    It's ДАТЕЛЬНЫЙ and the name comes from the ДАТЬ word (to give), and it provides a form to answer the question "To give - whom?"

    Now re-read the Bob's post once again.

    Anyway, your explanation was really cool! .

    Ohh, some corrections:
    ...English considers "me" in "help me" as a direct object.
    ...He helps me. "Мне" is in Dative, because it means here that I am a receiver of his help. (Or you needed to underline the here word to express your voice-stress).

    And a funny video. Just for fun:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjAsJfz9dBc
    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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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Someone you reward is certainly a receiver, yet you say наградить кого (чем). Do not expect general laws for the semantic of cases.

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene-p
    The case is called "Dative" by foreigners, which thrashes its real meaning.
    It's ДАТЕЛЬНЫЙ and the name comes from the ДАТЬ word (to give), and it provides a form to answer the question "To give - whom?"
    Note that the word "dative" comes from the Latin verb dāre, which also means "to give." The verb's past passive participle is dātus, from which comes the grammatical term "dative," as well as more common English words like "date" (in the sense of "a given day on the calender") and the computer term "data" (literally, "those things which have been given").

    However, "date" in the meaning of финик, i.e., the fruit of the date-palm Phoenix dactylifera, has a completely unrelated etymology. It comes from the Greek word dáktulos (δάκτυλος) meaning "finger," because of the fruit's shape!
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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Throbert McGee,
    Data in Russian is "данные", which is also something that "дано" (have been given).
    We can also say this: "Мы должны беречь наши жизни, данные нам Богом".

    So, all languages have similarities due to common roots.

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by SAn
    Throbert McGee,
    Data in Russian is "данные", which is also something that "дано" (have been given).
    We can also say this: "Мы должны беречь наши жизни, данные нам Богом".

    So, all Indo-European languages have similarities due to common roots.
    Do not say it about ALL languages, please

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Zubr
    Someone you reward is certainly a receiver, yet you say наградить кого (чем). Do not expect general laws for the semantic of cases.
    I totally agree with you, Zubr. I just tried to provide a simple explanation for beginners so that could get the basic idea. And then, there are nuances, of course! Each language uses its own logic

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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман
    Quote Originally Posted by SAn

    So, all Indo-European languages have similarities due to common roots.
    Do not say it about ALL languages, please
    А я сразу понял, что SAn хотелось выразить! Но, я бы устроил английское предложение по-другому, именно так:

    "All related languages have similarities due to common roots."

    Или:

    "Within any given language family, the languages have similarities due to common roots."
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    Re: Back to the Basics: Accusative and Dative

    А я сразу понял, что SAn хотел[s:1mp4bk64]ось выразить[/s:1mp4bk64] сказать! Но_ я бы [s:1mp4bk64]устроил[/s:1mp4bk64] перефразировал английское предложение по-другому, а именно [s:1mp4bk64]так[/s:1mp4bk64]:

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