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Thread: Genitive case is about the direct object?

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    Genitive case is about the direct object?

    Hi guys!
    I wrote this sentence: видеть брата. Му friend said I need to use the genitive case, but is not accusative case? Брат in the sentence is the direct object, so is accusative since genitive is about possession, am i right? I know видеть брата is not a good sentence, because in the accusative and genitive the complement for брат will be 'a'.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    It is direct object and it should be accusative.

    For animate nouns accusative and genitive forms are similar an it can be confused, especially by native speakers, who often don't pay much attention to the theory.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Thanks a lot It-ogo!

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Renataf, consider the sentences:

    Ольга видит брата.
    "Olga sees (her) brother."
    Павел видит сестру. "Pavel sees (his) sister."

    In the first sentence, it may be unclear whether the masculine and animate noun брат is in the genitive or the accusative -- because the gen. and acc. singular forms happen to look identical for masculine nouns that are also animate.

    But in the second sentence, the feminine noun сестра is very unmistakably in the accusative, сестру -- if it were genitive, it would be сестры. So based on this, you can be sure that брата is also accusative (not genitive), just like сестру, because the two sentences are totally parallel in their grammar.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Подающий надежды оратор Robert Swain's Avatar
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    I am only in my second year of Russian, but we have just started to study the accusative and genitive cases... So I might be able to help.

    The way I have learned it, the accusative case is about the direct object.
    книга
    Я читаю книгу.

    Where the Genitive case is about possession. The sentence that I was introduced to the genitive case was-
    Я учусь в институте иностранных языков. I go to school at the institute of foreign languages.

    иностранных языков is changed from Иностранные языки.

    I don't know if I've helped at all, but that is all I know at the moment.
    Learning Russian through independent study and school classes. Currently in a Russian 2 class.

    Славься отечество,
    Наше свободное!

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    Thanks Throbert McGee and Robert Swain! I think my friend got confused and considered that genitive case is about direct object, nevertheless thanks for helping.

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    I up this thread because I have some doubt about genitive as well.

    I was studying my grammar book and there are some sentences construction about genitive I do not understand.

    1) Я был в гостях у друга --------- what is for this у + genitive without a negation or the verb ectb? it is not possession as well... what does it mean?

    2)I have to translate some sentences frome Italian, translated are (I read the transaltions in the book solutions) << Вчера был день рожденна Тани, сестры Олега. В гостях у Тани были друзья Тани и Олега >>

    Again I don't understand the sense of that у + genitive (is it something like "in her place?!" ) and that ending, сестры : why genitive? Oleg must be genitive no doubt about it, but Tanja shouldn't be nominative?!
    "The sister" I think must be nominative, so--- сестра , and Oleg genitive. What am I misleading?


    3) other sentence: << на столе лежат книги Марио >>

    why that ending for Mario, like the nominative? On the book ther is the same sentence for the person name << Марко >>



    thank you guys



    p.s. << в гостях >> What construction is? I still don't have studied that ending... just out of curiosity

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    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    I up this thread because I have some doubt about genitive as well.

    I was studying my grammar book and there are some sentences construction about genitive I do not understand.

    1) Я был в гостях у друга --------- what is for this у + genitive without a negation or the verb ectb? it is not possession as well... what does it mean?

    2)I have to translate some sentences frome Italian, translated are (I read the transaltions in the book solutions) << Вчера был день рожденна Тани, сестры Олега. В гостях у Тани были друзья Тани и Олега >>

    Again I don't understand the sense of that у + genitive (is it something like "in her place?!" ) and that ending, сестры : why genitive? Oleg must be genitive no doubt about it, but Tanja shouldn't be nominative?!
    "The sister" I think must be nominative, so--- сестра , and Oleg genitive. What am I misleading?


    3) other sentence: << на столе лежат книги Марио >>

    why that ending for Mario, like the nominative? On the book ther is the same sentence for the person name << Марко >>


    thank you guys



    p.s. << в гостях >> What construction is? I still don't have studied that ending... just out of curiosity
    You are right: "у друга", "у Тани" mean here "at his/her place".

    Вчера был день рожденна Тани, сестры Олега = Вчера был день рожденна Тани (сестры Олега).
    Вчера был день рождения Тани - the birthday of Tanja
    Вчера был день рождения сестры Олега - the birthday of the sister of Oleg (a.k.a. Tanja)

    "на столе лежат книги Марио". We don't decline some foreign names and some loan words.
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    I up this thread because I have some doubt about genitive as well.

    I was studying my grammar book and there are some sentences construction about genitive I do not understand.

    1) Я был в гостях у друга --------- what is for this у + genitive without a negation or the verb ectb? it is not possession as well... what does it mean?
    When there is a preposition before a noun, it is always the preposition which governs the noun case. So, "у" always requires genitive.
    Prepositions should not be translated directly from one language to another one. But there can be some hints to understand them.
    The preposition "у" is more or less like English "at": Стол стоит у стены. - The table is (stands) at the wall. "Стена" is in genitive because of "у": у стены.

    We often use this preposition to express possession as well: У меня есть книга. (At me there is a book. = I have a book). У моей сестры есть сумка. (At my sister there is a bag. = My sister has a bag).

    The same preposition is also used to convey the idea "at someone's place" (although the word "place" is dummy and it is not used in Russian translation): Я был у друга. - I was at my friend. (= At my friend's place). У нас не курят. - At us (= at our place) (they) do not smoke. = Please do not smoke at our place. Какая у вас погода? - What is the weather at you? (= at your place, in your country, in your city etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    2)I have to translate some sentences frome Italian, translated are (I read the transaltions in the book solutions) << Вчера был день рождения Тани, сестры Олега. В гостях у Тани были друзья Тани и Олега >>

    Again I don't understand the sense of that у + genitive (is it something like "in her place?!" ) and that ending, сестры : why genitive? Oleg must be genitive no doubt about it, but Tanja shouldn't be nominative?!
    "The sister" I think must be nominative, so--- сестра , and Oleg genitive. What am I misleading?
    1. Please notice: день рождения.
    2. В гостях у Тани is literally "in guests at Tanya". As I explained it above, yes, it is "at her home". "В гостях" is a fixed expression "when being someone's guest".

    3. Вчера был день рождения Тани, сестры Олега. = Yesterday was birthday (lit. Day of Birth) of Tanya, of sister of Oleg. Here "сестра" is used to clarify who Tanya is, that is why "сестра" repeats the same case as "Таня": the birthday of Tanya (i.e. of Oleg's sister).

    And "сестра" just cannot be in nominative as you suggest, since it is not a subject of the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    3) other sentence: << на столе лежат книги Марио >>

    why that ending for Mario, like the nominative? On the book ther is the same sentence for the person name << Марко >>
    Foreign names ending in -о, -е, -и, -у, -ю, -э cannot be declined. Theoretically, in "книги Марио", the name "Марио" IS in genitive. But all the cases of this name just coincide: Марио, Марио, Марио, Марио, Марио, Марио.

    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    p.s. << в гостях >> What construction is? I still don't have studied that ending... just out of curiosity
    As I mentioned it above, it is a set expression. Actually, there are two forms: "в гостях" (location) and "в гости" (direction).

    "В гостях" (literally, "in guests") = not at home, at someone's place, being a guest there. A person at who you are staying (i.e. the host) is specified with the preposition "у". Or, it can be used without specifying a host: Не забывай, что ты в гостях! = Do not forget you are in guests (not at home)! It is a common saying to remind someone that a guest should respect the host's rules.

    "В гости" (literally, "to the guests") means direction. The person to who you go is specified using "к" (+ Dative): Я иду в гости к другу. = I am going to guests to my friend (i.e. I am going to see my friend, to his place). It can also be used without specifying the host: "Мы идём в гости" = We are going to pay visit (to someone).

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    And now you are prepared to translate this popular joke:
    БУДЬТЕ КАК ДОМА, НО НЕ ЗАБЫВАЙТЕ, ЧТО ВЫ В ГОСТЯХ!
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

  11. #11
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    wise joke


    perfect, thank you very much.

    I' m just not pretty sure if I have to construct a sentence by my self if I am able to understand when to use the genitive in cases like the << сестры >> in << Вчера был день рождения Тани, сестры Олега >> , beacause in Italian something like that really doesen't sounds natural, but now at least the solutions of this grammar exercise are clear

    thanks again

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