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Thread: My, your, our vs. his, her, their

  1. #1
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    My, your, our vs. his, her, their

    Okay here's something to think about...

    In Russian if I want to say my, your or our I have to choose between "мой, моя, моё, мои" "твой, твоя, твоё, твои" "наш, наша, наше, наши" "ваш, ваша, ваше, ваши" depending on the gender/plurality of the noun.

    But if I want to say his, her or their I have to choose between "eго, её, их" depending on the gender of the person/how many people there are.

    Whereas in romance languages, using French as an example, all of these things depend solely on the gender/plurality. If the noun is masc. you use the masc. form of my, your, our, his, her their, if the noun is fem. you use the fem form, and if it's plural you use the plural form of these.

    So why doesn't Russian do the same thing, i.e. use his, her, their depending on the gender / plurality of the noun insted of the gender/number of the pronoun...or conversely why not use my, your, our depending on who is speaking...i.e. men talk about everything as мой and women talk about everything as моя?

    I asked my girlfriend this question and she couldn't think of an answer...but it is something to think about...
    http://quickandsimplerussian.blog-city.com/
    I'm engaged to the most wonderful girl in the world, my Lana!!!

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    Re: My, your, our vs. his, her, their

    Basically, what you're saying is that Romance languages have identical possessive pronouns for "his" and "her". I think the fact that Russian has separate pronouns for "his" and "her" is better than the Romance idea of having the two the same. The only difference between these and the "мой, твой, наш, ваш" lot being that they don't decline with the gender of the object, (which frankly just saves time when learning all the possessive pronouns).
    "Музыка, всюду музыка.
    Линия перегружена.
    Пространство между нами сжимается.
    Все, что можно уже нарушено."
    -- "Пространство между нами" by Ядерный сок

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    Re: My, your, our vs. his, her, their

    Quote Originally Posted by tdcinprc
    So why doesn't Russian do the same thing, i.e. use his, her, their depending on the gender / plurality of the noun insted of the gender/number of the pronoun...or conversely why not use my, your, our depending on who is speaking...i.e. men talk about everything as мой and women talk about everything as моя?

    I asked my girlfriend this question and she couldn't think of an answer...but it is something to think about...
    Well, it is a weird question to ask. The language is a fact, it's just it. It's there, happens to be as it is. Why did it turn out like this - nobody know for sure... When I was starting to study Friench, I was very confused by its possessive pronoun system. And I asked: "Why it's so odd? Don't you, people mix - which pronoun belongs to whom?" Well, I just had to get use to it...
    Find your inner Bart!

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    I agree with Gerty - never ask why a language works in some particular way. Otherwise you would be constantly asking why this? and why that? You could just as well ask Why isn't English just like Russian?

    Ask How? and you will get workable answers. Not Why can't a Russian say "I have a pen" (hint for beginners: it's not *я имею ручку)? but How does a Russian say "I have a pen"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    ... я имею ручку
    That annoys the hell out of me.
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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    Yeah, I agree it does make his/her/their easier to learn, but at the same time I would think that they would use the same system for both sets of possession...ie i'm a boy i always say мой anything...you're a girl you always say моя everything...

    I do see that this probably just is because it is, but i'm just wondering if historically it was ever different. I do recognize how a russian could ask the same about french, and may even go so far as to add that the russian makes more since b/c it identifies if it's his or her pen without context, whereas in french you have to know the context and know if you're talking about a boy or a girl if you see something "son stylo" could be his could be hers whereas "его, её ручка" clearly marks if it's his or hers.

    У меня есть ручка... I was pretty amazed that Russian doesn't use "to have" or "to be" in such cases as I have a pen, or I am a pen...not to mention how I felt when I learned there were cases...or when I first learned about gender in a language when I took french class...

    Just lots of interesting characteristics of language i think...
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    Usually свой takes the place of её, его, and их, to avoid any confusion.

    он любит его жену. - He loves his wife. (Whose wife? Could be another guy's wife.)

    он любит свою жену. - He loves his OWN wife.

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    hmm... I knew "Cв~" was used to mean ~self, through seeing it sometimes in other places, but I haven't gotten far enough in my book to see how it's used, didn't know it was used to replace his/...etc.

    Seems Russian is much less ambiguous than French...probably less ambiguous than a lot of languages since it marks everything for case...
    http://quickandsimplerussian.blog-city.com/
    I'm engaged to the most wonderful girl in the world, my Lana!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdcinprc
    ie i'm a boy i always say мой anything...you're a girl you always say моя everything...
    Works when there is no gender at all. Otherwise it is tremendously funny, in both meanings of this word.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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