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Thread: Questions about declining initials...

  1. #1
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    Questions about declining initials...

    I'm working on my homework for class. We are learning how to ask for directions.

    I need to say in Russian "Please tell me how to get to МГУ?". The exercise does not spell out the name of the Moscow State University but uses the initials.

    МГУ needs to be in the accusative case but how to you decline intitals?

    So would I say:

    "Скажите, пожалйста, как попасть в МГУ?"

    Do I need to do anything with the initials or is what I've written correct?

    Thanks for your help!

    Allison

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    Initials are usually indeclinable, especially ones that do not make a word that fits Russian grammar.

    МГУ ending in a У sound is indeclinable.

    However I've seen СПИД (which ending in a consonant, fits as a masculine noun), declined, e.g. СПИДа, although I'm not sure if this is correct or not.
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    Re: Questions about declining initials...

    Quote Originally Posted by ancestry
    "Скажите, пожалуйста, как попасть в МГУ?"
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Thank you. I did catch that typo after I posted the message. I don't type very well using my Russian keyboard.

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    However I've seen СПИД (which ending in a consonant, fits as a masculine noun), declined, e.g. СПИДа, although I'm not sure if this is correct or not.
    Yes, this is correct. We say, for example, something like:

    Очередной имярек (=John Doe) умер от СПИДа.
    Please correct my mistakes if you can, especially article usage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim84
    However I've seen СПИД (which ending in a consonant, fits as a masculine noun), declined, e.g. СПИДа, although I'm not sure if this is correct or not.
    Yes, this is correct. We say, for example, something like:

    Очередной имярек (=John Doe) умер от СПИДа.
    Is it correct in writing or just speach?
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    Is it correct in writing or just speech?
    :P

    Both in writing and speech.
    Please correct my mistakes if you can, especially article usage.
    My avatar shall be the author I'm currently reading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim84
    Is it correct in writing or just speech?
    :P

    Both in writing and speech.
    So what's the deal then? If it ends in a consonant you throw up an ending; if it's a vowel, you ignore it? Or is it just random?
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    Well, you can't just decline an initial as it is the INITIAL letter of the last word. МГУ : У - университет. Since when do you decline the first letter of университет? (Correct answer: never)

    Right?

    You don't say Я поеду в СШУ
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    You don't say Я поеду в СШУ
    Тогда уж в СШЫ (Штаты)
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim84
    Is it correct in writing or just speech?
    :P

    Both in writing and speech.
    So what's the deal then? If it ends in a consonant you throw up an ending; if it's a vowel, you ignore it? Or is it just random?
    МГУ are initials. Эм-Гэ-У. It's not a word, and also ends in an У which doesn't fit with Russian grammar.

    СПИД is pronouced just like it's a word спид. It looks and sounds just like a masculine noun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Well, you can't just decline an initial as it is the INITIAL letter of the last word. МГУ : У - университет. Since when do you decline the first letter of университет? (Correct answer: never)

    Right?
    No. TATY may be right in saying it's sort of assumed a single-word form in спид, but it's still an abbreviation -- синдром приобретенного иммунодефицита. So, I put to you the question, when do you decline a letter in the MIDDLE of a word? Sometimes... back atcha...
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    Yes, TATY is probably right. СПИД can be declined because it's an acronym (pronounced like one word спид), not initials, while МГУ is initials (pronounced by letters Эм-Гэ-У) as TATY said.
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    [quote=Бармалей]
    Quote Originally Posted by "kalinka_vinnie":3swtrsyk
    Well, you can't just decline an initial as it is the INITIAL letter of the last word. МГУ : У - университет. Since when do you decline the first letter of университет? (Correct answer: never)

    Right?
    No. TATY may be right in saying it's sort of assumed a single-word form in спид, but it's still an abbreviation -- синдром приобретенного иммунодефицита. So, I put to you the question, when do you decline a letter in the MIDDLE of a word? Sometimes... back atcha...[/quote:3swtrsyk]

    When do you do it in the middle of a word? Not seen that. My explanation is pretty sound.

    If it's an acronym (e.g. NATO and AIDS are acronyms, BBC and USA are not), and the resulting word fits Russian grammar, decline it.

    It's like foreign names. If the name fits you decline it. If it doesn't you leave it be.

    Я знаю Джона (John)
    Я знаю Шилу (Sheila)
    Я знаю Беверли (Beverly)

    Now, I'm not sure what happens with an acronym that ends in an A.
    Say there was an organistion called ДИПА?
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    Я знаю Шилу (Sheila)
    In Russian this name usually looks like Шейла.

    Now, I'm not sure what happens with an acronym that ends in an A.
    Say there was an organistion called ДИПА?
    I don't know but I'd suggest it would be always written as ДИПА (undeclined), but in informal conversation you could probably hear something like ДИПу, ДИПе etc.
    Please correct my mistakes if you can, especially article usage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    When do you do it in the middle of a word? Not seen that. My explanation is pretty sound.
    иммунодефицита = the ид in спид. So the "д" that gets the -a suffix is either in the middle or the beginning of the word depending on which position you want to take (whether you consider it to be the technical single word that it is or if you want to argue that it's actually just two words forming a compound word)-- which would contradict what KV was saying -- which is who my comment was intended for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Бармалей
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    When do you do it in the middle of a word? Not seen that. My explanation is pretty sound.
    иммунодефицита = the ид in спид. So the "д" that gets the -a suffix is either in the middle or the beginning of the word depending on which position you want to take (whether you consider it to be the technical single word that it is or if you want to argue that it's actually just two words forming a compound word)-- which would contradict what KV was saying -- which is who my comment was intended for.
    It the same in English though.

    NATO's actions. The 's is added in the "middle". The whole point is СПИД functions just like a word, so what it means is irrelevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    It the same in English though.

    NATO's actions. The 's is added in the "middle". The whole point is СПИД functions just like a word, so what it means is irrelevant.
    ????
    NATO= North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which means you would say "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's spokesman said 'blah blah blah.'" What middle are you talking about?
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    My comment stil holds, you don't decline the initial itself. Maybe I didn't explain myself clearly enough, but you can NOT replace the initial with another letter for your declenation purposes, because then you misspell the whole word.

    США != СШУ
    Adding an 'a' to the end of the word is fine, since you don't change the initial...
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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