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Thread: Do you need both?

  1. #1
    Старший оракул
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    Do you need both?

    While replying to a post by kwatts, a good topic came up. I felt it deserves its own post.

    If want to say "I have 5 nieces and nephews", must you say both племяниц and племяников? Or is there a word for that type of realation in general?

    Same with grandsons and grandaughters. Must you say both внуков and внучек?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I do not know the answer to this question, but it does remind me about the word "sibling".
    I tried asking my friend in Odessa how to say "I have 4 siblings" but she did not know the Russian word for "sibling" and said you have to say "I have 4 brothers and sisters."

    Based on this, I suspect you have to say both "племяниц и племяников".
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

  3. #3
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    Right, there's no one word in Russian for племянник/племянница, внук/внучка.

  4. #4
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    Re: Do you need both?

    Quote Originally Posted by saibot
    While replying to a post by kwatts, a good topic came up. I felt it deserves its own post.

    If want to say "I have 5 nieces and nephews", must you say both племяниц and племяников? Or is there a word for that type of realation in general?

    Same with grandsons and grandaughters. Must you say both внуков and внучек?

    Thanks
    Often you may use masculine plural form (племянники, внуки) if the gender is mixed and irrelevant.

  5. #5
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    Re: Do you need both?

    Quote Originally Posted by pisces
    Often you may use masculine plural form (племянники, внуки) if the gender is mixed and irrelevant.
    True.

  6. #6
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    Re: Do you need both?

    Quote Originally Posted by pisces
    Quote Originally Posted by saibot
    While replying to a post by kwatts, a good topic came up. I felt it deserves its own post.

    If want to say "I have 5 nieces and nephews", must you say both племяниц and племяников? Or is there a word for that type of realation in general?

    Same with grandsons and grandaughters. Must you say both внуков and внучек?

    Thanks
    Often you may use masculine plural form (племянники, внуки) if the gender is mixed and irrelevant.
    I'd say if you say 5 nephews in Russian, most people will take it to mean that you have no nieces only nephews

  7. #7
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    Иван Петровичу уже 105 лет, у него 4 детей, 12 внуков и 67 правнуков.

    It doesn't mean all 12+67 are males.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by net surfer
    Иван Петровичу уже 105 лет, у него 4 детей, 12 внуков и 67 правнуков.

    It doesn't mean all 12+67 are males.
    Of course, because it's very strange if there are no girls among 79 people But if you say "2 внука и 3 правнука", I think, most of Russians will understand it as 5 males.
    My English isn't so good, зато с русским все в порядке ))
    I'll be very thankful, if you correct my mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pranki
    Quote Originally Posted by net surfer
    Иван Петровичу уже 105 лет, у него 4 детей, 12 внуков и 67 правнуков.

    It doesn't mean all 12+67 are males.
    Of course, because it's very strange if there are no girls among 79 people But if you say "2 внука и 3 правнука", I think, most of Russians will understand it as 5 males.
    I disagree. When gender is irrelevant (which should be clear from context), numbers don't matter. You just use masculine due to absence of a general term.
    E. g.
    Иванова Ирина Петровна, ветеран труда, имеет двух внуков и трех правнуков.
    If you start specifying gender, the sentence becomes overloaded with details and hard to read:
    Иванова Ирина Петровна, ветеран труда, имеет одного внука, одну внучку, двух правнуков и одну правнучку.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisces
    I disagree. When gender is irrelevant (which should be clear from context), numbers don't matter. You just use masculine due to absence of a general term.
    E. g.
    Иванова Ирина Петровна, ветеран труда, имеет двух внуков и трех правнуков.
    If you start specifying gender, the sentence becomes overloaded with details and hard to read:
    Иванова Ирина Петровна, ветеран труда, имеет одного внука, одну внучку, двух правнуков и одну правнучку.
    Well, what about the sentence:
    Иванова Ирина Петровна, ветеран труда, имеет одного внука и одного правнука.
    Can you find somebody who will understand it as she has granddaughter or great-granddaughter? If you say numbers don't matter...
    My English isn't so good, зато с русским все в порядке ))
    I'll be very thankful, if you correct my mistakes.

  11. #11
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    I agree with pranki. If I heard "Иванова Ирина Петровна, ветеран труда, имеет двух внуков и трех правнуков. " the first picture in my mind would be that they are all males. On the other hand if I knew that some of her grandchildren were girls and some were boys and I wanted to ask about them all I would say: Ирина Петровна, как ваши внуки?(by "внуки" meaning all of her grandchildren)
    "Happy new year, happy new year
    May we all have a vision now and then
    Of a world where every neighbour is a friend"

  12. #12
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    Внуки is ok

    Russian is an anti-feministic language, so very often masculine words can denote females. If you want to emphasize the sex you use either внук or внучка, again if you talk about grandchildren of someone you know you would use particularly внук or внучка. But in the case with "ветеран труда, имеет трех внуков и правнуков" it's absolutely ok even if two of those are girls. Because we don't care what sex are his grandchildren. But if it's a "touching" article about his loving and loved granddaughters, describing their activities and such, we'd use "внук и две внучки".
    If we want to say about hypothetical grandchild, we surely have to use внуки.

    Будет что внукам рассказать.
    А что твои внуки о тебе подумают?
    Посмотрит твой внук на твою фотографию в молодости и скажет...
    Жизнь - жестянка! Она такая же яркая и блестящая!

  13. #13
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    Numbers do matter -- in a way. It is singular vs plural. If I hear, "У него один внук и один правнук", it is obvious they are both male. However, if I hear "У него трое внуков и пятеро правнуков", I won't necessarily assume they are all male.

  14. #14
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    - Сколько у вас детей?
    - Двое. Мальчик и... еще один мальчик (с) Служебный роман.



    numbers are important.

    But not about numbers, it took me a while to get used to call a banch of girls: guys.
    DO NOT READ MY SIGNATURE!

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