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Thread: nondescript suffix (-то)

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    nondescript suffix (-то)

    I understand the meaning of commonly used pronouns with the (-то) suffix, such as что-то, кто-то, где-то, и т.д. But what is the effect on the stem word when the suffix is attached to other parts of speech? Does it have a dilutive effect on the meaning of the word, so as to mean "somewhat...[stem word]" ?

    For example,
    очень-то "somewhat" instead of "very"?

    Я люблю-то красные машины. "I somewhat like red cars" ?

    I believe that I have seen this used this way (but I could be confused), and I have not been able to find any source that explains this.

    Спасибо

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    Почтенный гражданин delog's Avatar
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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    - Я купил тебе синюю машину. [I have bought blue car to you.]
    - Но люблю-то я красные! [But I like red (cars)!]

    I don't know how clearly to explain this. Hm... In this case -то has been added to change by places a subject and a predicate. But exists a lot of another cases.
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by hudozhnik
    I understand the meaning of commonly used pronouns with the (-то) suffix, such as что-то, кто-то, где-то, и т.д. But what is the effect on the stem word when the suffix is attached to other parts of speech? Does it have a dilutive effect on the meaning of the word, so as to mean "somewhat...[stem word]" ?
    Oh, my! It is surprisingly difficult to formulate.

    1)No, your guess is wrong. It's a different function than in case of non-personal pronouns.

    2)Let me try. "-то" implies a contraposition and marks a word as a subject of this contraposition.

    У меня синяя машина, но люблю-то я красные.
    I have a blue car but what I like are red ones.

    У нас синяя машина, но я-то люблю красные.
    We have a blue car but what I like are red ones.

    У меня синяя машина, но красные-то я люблю больше.
    I have a blue car but what I like more are red ones.

    У меня синий велосипед, но машины-то я люблю красные.
    I have a blue bicycle but cars are what I like to be red.

    Contraposition may be hidden.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Подающий надежды оратор randem's Avatar
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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Is there an accompanied intonation with this? For instance, when indicating a contraposition in English, we stress the words. Does the same thing happen in Russian?

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by randem
    Is there an accompanied intonation with this? For instance, when indicating a contraposition in English, we stress the words. Does the same thing happen in Russian?
    Surely. I think it is exactly the same way. In all my examples I'd stress both the underlined word and last word in the sentence. Maybe even the first part of contraposition in the left part of sentence (which I underlined in English) but it is not so clear.

    And yes, I think a word with "-то" is always stressed (but non-personal pronouns).
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    The "-то" itself is always unstressed. It sounds almost like "та".
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Some examples with hidden contraposition.

    "А король-то голый!" - "The king is naked!"
    (Implies that everybody else are dressed.)

    "Вырос-то как!" - "He is so grown-up!"
    (Implies that <last time> he was not so grown-up.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    The "-то" itself is always unstressed.
    That's it.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    -то imparts some sort of emphasis on words in Russian, and in terms of semantics it as "freer" than "же" in terms of its location in the sentence.

    In addition to all the explanations people gave, you can use it as well to strengthen an emphasis. For example:

    "Вот в этом-то и дело" - "THAT's where the problem is"

    It also add emotions to the word it emphasizes, especially when asking question. Compare:

    "А что ты там делаешь?" "what are you doing?"

    "A что ты там там делаешь-то?!" - "Just what the hell are you doing?!" It has a strong nuance of surprise, mixed with anger.
    "С чий очи сънувам, чий е този лик обречен?
    Смъртен глас ми се причува и отеква с вик далечен
    Как да зърна да погледна, чуждий образ да прегърна,
    на лицето ми студено грях в надежда да превърна.."

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeed
    "A что ты [s:6sf3714b]там[/s:6sf3714b] там делаешь-то?!" - "Just what the hell are you doing?!" It has a strong nuance of surprise, mixed with anger.
    Тю! Сейчас напридумываете. Кстати, кто знает, что такое "тю"?

    "A что ты там делаешь-то?!" - What are you doing there?! (It means: What are you doing? Just curious.)
    "А что ты-то там делаешь?!" - What are you doing there?! (It means: Why are you there? I didn't expect to see you there.)
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Some examples with hidden contraposition.

    "А король-то голый!"

    "Вырос-то как!"
    I don't see any contraposition here. These are examples of Yazeed's "strengthen and emphasis".
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by Полуношник
    I don't see any contraposition here. These are examples of Yazeed's "strengthen and emphasis".
    Finally I agree with Yazeed: "-то" and "же" are just to mark a semantic and intonational stress. Contraposition is a particular case (though most frequent one).
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Wow. What an excellent job by the multi-linguists explaining something that is so subtle and difficult to explain through written words. Your effort is much appreciated. Thank you.

    Yazeed made a comparison to "же". If I may ask one follow up question:
    What is the difference between:
    Ты же меня простил...
    and:
    Ты меня простил...

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    That's easy. "Же" here acts as a reminder of some sort, like ведь, but stronger.

    Позвони мне, у тебя же вроде мой номер есть.

    Я же говорил, что так нельзя!

    So, ты же меня попросил means like "you asked me, remember?"
    "С чий очи сънувам, чий е този лик обречен?
    Смъртен глас ми се причува и отеква с вик далечен
    Как да зърна да погледна, чуждий образ да прегърна,
    на лицето ми студено грях в надежда да превърна.."

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by delog
    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeed
    "A что ты [s:3s1mwqtb]там[/s:3s1mwqtb] там делаешь-то?!" - "Just what the hell are you doing?!" It has a strong nuance of surprise, mixed with anger.
    Тю! Сейчас напридумываете. Кстати, кто знает, что такое "тю"?
    В смысле придумываю?
    "С чий очи сънувам, чий е този лик обречен?
    Смъртен глас ми се причува и отеква с вик далечен
    Как да зърна да погледна, чуждий образ да прегърна,
    на лицето ми студено грях в надежда да превърна.."

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeed
    That's easy. "Же" here acts as a reminder of some sort, like ведь, but stronger.

    So, ты же меня попросил means like "you asked me, remember?"
    But what about the following?

    "Ты меня обидел, и ты же меня простил."
    It was you who offended me and it was you who forgave me.

    "Я тебя обидел, ты же меня простил."

    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeed
    В смысле придумываю?
    "A что ты там делаешь-то?!" <> "Just what the hell are you doing?!" = "Какого чёрта ты делаешь?!"

    "what the hell" is too rude interpretation of a suffix -то. Actually, there is no anger in that sentence. In this case -то means slight curiosity mixed with slight amazement. А что ты там делаешь-то? Ума не приложу, чем это ты там можешь заниматься?
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Я благодарен всем за полезную помощь.

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    >Actually, there is no anger in that sentence.
    Then you could say What the heck are you doing? As long as you don't say What the HECK are you doing? it will not be taken as angry but more curiosity.

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    Re: nondescript suffix (-то)

    Quote Originally Posted by hudozhnik
    Я благодарен всем за полезную помощь.
    Нет, мы теперь так просто не отстанем.
    Помощь - она сама по себе полезная и говорить "полезная помощь" - это масло маслянное (wooden wood - только что придумал вот такой английский аналог, надеюсь он ясен).
    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    What the heck are you doing?
    I like this translation. It is quite close to original.
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

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