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Thread: Russian word order confusion?

  1. #1
    Новичок annhiene's Avatar
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    Russian word order confusion?

    The general thing that I've heard is that the SVO (subject/verb/object) pattern is Russian is usually correct, but it could change depending on what you want to put emphasis on.

    But then I see things like this: ''Я буду тебя ждать.'' (I will wait for you.)

    It's like SVOV. Like, ''I will you wait.''

    Is there one of the Russian cases that explains this or anything? Thank you everyone!

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annhiene View Post
    The general thing that I've heard is that the SVO (subject/verb/object) pattern is Russian is usually correct, but it could change depending on what you want to put emphasis on.

    But then I see things like this: ''Я буду тебя ждать.'' (I will wait for you.)

    It's like SVOV. Like, ''I will you wait.''

    Is there one of the Russian cases that explains this or anything? Thank you everyone!
    Well, the object here put inside the compound predicate but the sentence is correct, though "я буду ждать тебя" is also OK. As well as many other combinations of those words ("Yoda style" etc.)

    I am not sure how to "explain" that. It just works.

    Though you are recommended to use templates rather than to play with word order as THERE ARE forbidden combinations and sometimes word order can add to the meaning unpredictably.

    Yes, the system of grammatical cases encourages free word order by adding info to a word. Even in English "I will for you wait" looks more comprehensible than "I will you wait". I think.
    Yulia65 likes this.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    As you said we change word order to emphasise words. In written Russian emphasized information comes at the end of sentence. In your example "ждать" is emphasized.

    Когда ты приедешь, на остановке тебя будет ждать отец (not me, not your brother, it will be father who will wait for you).
    Что бы ни случилось, я тебя ждать буду (will wait for you no matter what, i won't leave).
    fortheether likes this.

  4. #4
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    "тебя" - местоимения, для них другие правила, чем для существительных. Местоимения-дополнения чаще всего ставятся перед глаголом.

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    "тебя" - местоимения, для них другие правила, чем для существительных. Местоимения-дополнения чаще всего ставятся перед глаголом.
    Никто мне не нужен, я буду ждать тебя.
    (тебя, а не соседа, принца, Брэда Питта)

  6. #6
    kib
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    I woulld add that word order (especially in speach) is affected by a kind of rythm. The number of unstressed syllables between two stressed ones. In the sentence я буду тебя ждать there are usually two stressed syllables: 'буду and ждать. And you need less effort to pronounce the two stressed syllables between three unstressed ones than, for example, in word order like я буду ждать тебя, where there's only one unstressed syllable between the two stressed. (Although, of course, you can say that sentence with one stress on ждать.)
    Я изучаю английский язык и поэтому делаю много ошибок. Но я не прошу Вас исправлять их, Вы можете просто ткнуть меня носом в них, или, точнее, пихнуть их мне в глаза. I'm studying English, and that's why I make a lot of mistakes. But I do not ask you to correct them, you may just stick my nose into them or more exactly stick them into my eyes.
    Всё, что не делается, не всегда делается к лучшему
    Но так же не всегда всё, что не делается, не делается не к худшему. : D

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kib View Post
    I woulld add that word order (especially in speach) is affected by a kind of rythm. The number of unstressed syllables between two stressed ones. In the sentence я буду тебя ждать there are usually two stressed syllables: 'буду and ждать. And you need less effort to pronounce the two stressed syllables between three unstressed ones than, for example, in word order like я буду ждать тебя, where there's only one unstressed syllable between the two stressed. (Although, of course, you can say that sentence with one stress on ждать.)
    First time I hear it. WHere may I read about it?

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Russian word order is more flexible, English is pretty inflexible. In Russian you put the new information (what you want to stress is new to your reader or listener) at the end of a sentence. In English we have to use different methods. In the below, the new information is underlined.

    Ваня читает книгу. Vanya is reading a book. This is the unmarked sentence, meaning no particular emphasis on anything. It answers the question Что делает Ваня?
    Книгу читает Ваня. It is Vanya (not Dima) who is reading a book. Кто читает книгу?
    Ваня книгу читает. Vanya is reading a book (not burning it). Что делает Ваня.
    Читает книгу Ваня. A book is being read by Vanya. Кто читает книгу?
    Читает Ваня книгу. Vanya is reading a book (not a magazine). Что читает Ваня?
    I think these are right. Maybe native speakers could correct anything that seems wrong.
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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Russian word order is more flexible, English is pretty inflexible. In Russian you put the new information (what you want to stress is new to your reader or listener) at the end of a sentence. In English we have to use different methods. In the below, the new information is underlined.

    Ваня читает книгу. Vanya is reading a book. This is the unmarked sentence, meaning no particular emphasis on anything. It answers the question Что делает Ваня?
    Книгу читает Ваня. It is Vanya (not Dima) who is reading a book. Кто читает книгу?
    Ваня книгу читает. Vanya is reading a book (not burning it). Что делает Ваня.
    Читает книгу Ваня. A book is being read by Vanya. Кто читает книгу?
    Читает Ваня книгу. Vanya is reading a book (not a magazine). Что читает Ваня?
    I think these are right. Maybe native speakers could correct anything that seems wrong.
    Well, that makes sense, but you're stretching it I think. For example, if I wanted to empasize that it's Vanya who is reading a book I would most likely just say Ваня читает книгу but I would put more stress on the word Ваня, would make it higher in pitch, rather than saying читает книгу Ваня in flat intonation
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    Well, that makes sense, but you're stretching it I think. For example, if I wanted to empasize that it's Vanya who is reading a book I would most likely just say Ваня читает книгу but I would put more stress on the word Ваня, would make it higher in pitch, rather than saying читает книгу Ваня in flat intonation
    Immagine a teacher in the classroom:

    "А теперь книгу читает Ваня!"
    ______


    Я купил шкаф.
    В шкаф я повесил свой любимый костюм.
    И этот мой костюм сожрала чертова моль.
    Моль я потравил дихлофосом.
    Теперь мой новый шкаф воняет.
    А костюм пришлось выкинуть.

    You may ask "What the hell is this for". The idea is that in the sentence we have information already known (1) and new information (2), or the part where we know what the sentence is about (1), and the part where the further statement about this entity is givven (2). The first part is called topic, the second part is called comment. Now if you look at the examples again you will see how topic turns into comment and takes the place at the begining of each sentence. Also the topic part can be ommited often.

    - Что ты купил?
    - (я купил) Шкаф. Повесил (в шкаф) свой любимый костюм. А его моль сожрала. Потравил (моль) дихлофосом. Теперь (в шкафу) воняет.
    - А что с костюмом?
    - (костюм) пришлось выкинуть.

  11. #11
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoax View Post
    Immagine a teacher in the classroom:

    "А теперь книгу читает Ваня!"
    ______


    Я купил шкаф.
    В шкаф я повесил свой любимый костюм.
    И этот мой костюм сожрала чертова моль.
    Моль я потравил дихлофосом.
    Теперь мой новый шкаф воняет.
    А костюм пришлось выкинуть.

    You may ask "What the hell is this for". The idea is that in the sentence we have information already known (1) and new information (2), or the part where we know what the sentence is about (1), and the part where the further statement about this entity is givven (2). The first part is called topic, the second part is called comment. Now if you look at the examples again you will see how topic turns into comment and takes the place at the begining of each sentence. Also the topic part can be ommited often.

    - Что ты купил?
    - (я купил) Шкаф. Повесил (в шкаф) свой любимый костюм. А его моль сожрала. Потравил (моль) дихлофосом. Теперь (в шкафу) воняет.
    - А что с костюмом?
    - (костюм) пришлось выкинуть.
    Who said that I didn't agree with that? More than that I said that this thing makes sense. I just wanted to point out that the word order is not the only instrument we use to emphasize something. There is also intonation, word stresses as opposed to syllable stresses and so on, But again this thing generally works, that's true
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  12. #12
    Почтенный гражданин Hoax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    Who said that I didn't agree with that? More than that I said that this thing makes sense. I just wanted to point out that the word order is not the only instrument we use to emphasize something. There is also intonation, word stresses as opposed to syllable stresses and so on, But again this thing generally works, that's true
    Who said that i told it to you and not to the people learning language? For you it was the first part before the line, just an example to show that all depends on a situation :P
    iCake likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by annhiene View Post
    The general thing that I've heard is that the SVO (subject/verb/object) pattern is Russian is usually correct, but it could change depending on what you want to put emphasis on.

    But then I see things like this: ''Я буду тебя ждать.'' (I will wait for you.)

    It's like SVOV. Like, ''I will you wait.''

    Is there one of the Russian cases that explains this or anything? Thank you everyone!
    " Я БУДУ тебя ЖДАТЬ" is a sentence about the future.
    Future actions in Russian can be expressed:

    (1) either by the PERFECTIVE form of the verb:
    -- я ПОДОЖДУ тебя;
    -- я ПОДУМАЮ;
    -- я ПРОЧИТАЮ эту книгу и ВЕРНУ ее тебе;

    (2) or by the IMPERFECTIVE form of the verb:
    -- я БУДУ тебя ЖДАТЬ (or я БУДУ ЖДАТЬ тебя, as It-ogo rightly explained);
    -- я БУДУ ДУМАТЬ;
    -- я БУДУ СМОТРЕТЬ этот фильм повторно;
    -- я БУДУ ЧИТАТЬ каждый день на английском.

    Your example " я БУДУ тебя ЖДАТЬ" has the verb "ждать" in the Future Imperfective form.
    "БУДУ ЖДАТЬ" is, semantically, one action, and therefore one verb in the compound future tense-form,

    but because it is compound in form (helping verb "буду" + the notional verb "ждать"),
    equivalent to the English " I WILL BE WAITING for you", it may seem as if you have two different verbs.

    The object of the verb "тебя" in your example is sandwiched between the helping verb "буду" and the notional verb "ждать".

    It all depends upon your perspective: whether you analyze this sentence from the point of view of semantics, or syntax, or morphology.
    Last edited by Yulia65; June 24th, 2013 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Typo

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    By the way, there is a song titled " Я тебя всегда буду ждать".
    In it you will see the flexibility of the Russian syntax.
    Follow the direct object "тебя" throughout the song:
    --------

    Я тебя всегда БУДУ ЖДАТЬ. (subject + direct object + adverb + Verb in the imperfective future)
    За твою любовь все отдам
    Я тебя всегда БУДУ ЖДАТЬ ( subject + direct object + adverb + Verb in the imperfective future)
    И не буду верить слезам.
    ....

    А я тебя ПОДОЖДУ. ( subject + D.O. + Verb in the Perfective Future)
    Я БУДУ ЖДАТЬ тебя. ( subject + Verb in the Imperfective Future + D. O.)
    Твои услышу шаги
    И сердце вздрогнет опять
    И я всегда БУДУ ЖДАТЬ (subject + Adverb + Verb in the Imperfective Future)
    И верить и вспоминать....

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    Старший оракул
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    I agree with everyone here.
    In addition, there is a useful rule of thumb for beginners in Russian.

    If the sentence is logically unmarked (no special emphasis), there is a general tendency to put an object after a verb if the object is a noun:
    Я вижу дерево. Я слышу музыку. Я не понимаю твоих слов. Я помогаю другу. Я знаю это уравнение.
    And there is a tendency to put an object before a verb if the object is a pronoun:
    Я его вижу. Я тебя слышу. Я тебя не понимаю. Я ему помогаю. Я это знаю.

    Certainly, I am not going to say there is any strict rule about that. There are no strict rules, and the opposite word arrangement is possible and can be used. That is only a hint for a beginner how to construct a phrase with a flat unmarked intonation to sound the most neutral and natural way.
    Lampada and Yulia65 like this.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    If the sentence is logically unmarked (no special emphasis), there is a general tendency to put an object after a verb if the object is a noun:
    Я вижу дерево. Я слышу музыку. Я не понимаю твоих слов. Я помогаю другу. Я знаю это уравнение.
    And there is a tendency to put an object before a verb if the object is a pronoun:
    Я его вижу. Я тебя слышу. Я тебя не понимаю. Я ему помогаю. Я это знаю.
    This seems to be broadly consistent with the tendency to emphasize new information by moving it to the end of the sentence. Since a pronoun refers to an already-mentioned noun, by definition it's not "new," so it tends to be moved farther from the end of the sentence.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Ability to shuffle words is a very nice feature for poets.
    Слова песни Пристань твоей надежды, текст песни
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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