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Thread: Water

  1. #1
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    Water

    Ok so, trying to figure out how to order water correctly. That means first understanding the word water in russian.

    1. Does the singular form of water - вода - imply a drop of water, or a quantity of water? Would you ask for water in the singular form or plural form? Like I'm assuming a bottle of water implies that it would be plural, thus you want воды, not вода.

    2. If you wanted to say, I love water, as in, the drink itself, not a certain amount of it, would you say я люблю воду or воды. Also, where is the accent on воду?

    3. If you asked for water, at a restaurant for example, and said можно мне пожалуйста, ...

    How would you form this? Could you simply say water, or would you need to specify a bottle or glass to sound more fluent/natural? Also, what case is the word water in?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Declension of вода.

    Nouns such as вода, чай, сахар, масло, вино, металл etc are normally used in the Singular only.

    In the Plural, these nouns have the different meaning:
    во́ды - various kinds of water
    мета́ллы - various kinds of metal
    etc



    Я люблю воду́. (Singular, Accusative)
    Я люблю пить воду́. (Singular, Accusative)

    You should also note, that Russian has the Partitive Case, which is rarely mentioned in textbooks:

    бутылка воды́. (Singular, Partitive)
    Принесите воды́, пожалуйста. (Singular, Partitive)
    Можно мне, пожалуйста, воды́. (Singular, Partitive)

    Partitive is used instead of Genitive or Accusative, when we speak about some limited amount of X, not about all the X on the planet. Partitive looks like Genitive for most nouns. For some nouns, Partitive looks like Dative:
    налить чаю
    стакан сахару
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    > Я люблю воду́.
    > Я люблю пить воду́.
    "o" is stressed here.

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    You know... I've seen the word partitive, but I haven't actually learned about it. I've just been mistaking partitive for genitive.

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    > I've just been mistaking partitive for genitive.
    Partitive is also called "second genitive", and school program joins them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex80 View Post
    > Я люблю воду́.
    > Я люблю пить воду́.
    "o" is stressed here.
    wait, so which is it? I thought у was stressed, hence the accent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedFox View Post



    Я люблю воду́. (Singular, Accusative)
    Я люблю пить воду́. (Singular, Accusative)

    Is the accent definitely on the у? I've heard it both ways, so I want to double check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedFox View Post

    You should also note, that Russian has the Partitive Case, which is rarely mentioned in textbooks:

    бутылка воды́. (Singular, Partitive)
    Принесите воды́, пожалуйста. (Singular, Partitive)
    Можно мне, пожалуйста, воды́. (Singular, Partitive)

    Partitive is used instead of Genitive or Accusative, when we speak about some limited amount of X, not about all the X on the planet. Partitive looks like Genitive for most nouns. For some nouns, Partitive looks like Dative:
    налить чаю
    стакан сахару
    Russian is unique in constantly sneaking in more cases when you think you are starting to grasp the first 6... Where can I learn more about this partitive? What distinguishes it from genitive? Would we always use this case in the examples you used? I thought this whole time these were dative case sentences, then thought maybe accusative, now I see that it's actually partitive.. Hm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedFox View Post
    Declension of вода.

    Nouns such as вода, чай, сахар, масло, вино, металл etc are normally used in the Singular only.

    In the Plural, these nouns have the different meaning:
    во́ды - various kinds of water
    мета́ллы - various kinds of metal
    etc



    Я люблю воду́. (Singular, Accusative)
    Я люблю пить воду́. (Singular, Accusative)

    You should also note, that Russian has the Partitive Case, which is rarely mentioned in textbooks:

    бутылка воды́. (Singular, Partitive)
    Принесите воды́, пожалуйста. (Singular, Partitive)
    Можно мне, пожалуйста, воды́. (Singular, Partitive)

    Partitive is used instead of Genitive or Accusative, when we speak about some limited amount of X, not about all the X on the planet. Partitive looks like Genitive for most nouns. For some nouns, Partitive looks like Dative:
    налить чаю
    стакан сахару
    Also, does it sound better to say "a bottle/glass of water" or could you just say "can I have water" and it still sound ok?

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    > wait, so which is it?
    "o" is stressed in that example, stressed "у" is mistake.

    > Also, does it sound better to say "a bottle/glass of water" or could you just say "can I have water" and it still sound ok?
    Both sounds ok. You should note: russian language is in love with omitting words, if context is clear.

  11. #11
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kburr View Post
    Russian is unique in constantly sneaking in more cases when you think you are starting to grasp the first 6... Where can I learn more about this partitive? What distinguishes it from genitive? Would we always use this case in the examples you used? I thought this whole time these were dative case sentences, then thought maybe accusative, now I see that it's actually partitive.. Hm.

    Short answers from a non-Russian:

    The partitive that resembles the masculine dative (i.e., with -у/-ю) is extremely rare now. Historically, there were many dozens of masculine nouns that had this special form, but in in modern speech, чаю and сахару are probably the only examples you're likely to hear. Otherwise, the partitive will look just like the genitive, regardless of the noun's gender (and in the case of "tea" and "sugar", it's perfectly acceptable to say чая сахара, the normal genitive forms).

    Basically, the partitive expresses the idea of "a small quantity" (i.e., "a bit of; a little; some; a morsel of") without needing to use a quantifying word like немного ("a little") or кусок ("a piece") or ломтик ("a slice") before the noun. In other words:

    Я выпил воды (partitive genitive) means the same thing as Я выпил немного воды, namely "I drank a little water" or "I drank some water".

    On the other hand, Я выпил воду (normal accusative) is closer to "I drank the water" (it might have been just a little water, or might have been quite a lot).

    Similarly, Она съела сыра (partitive genitive) means "She ate a little bit of cheese", and you could express more or less the same idea by saying Она съела тонкий ломтик сыра, "She ate a thin slice of cheese." But Она съела сыр (accusative) can suggest a large amount of cheese.

    One important thing about the partitive is that it's used with mass nouns (i.e., "water, wine, cheese, flour, chocolate, sour cream...") that can be divided into portions but that don't usually have a specific number such as "one" or "five" or "thirteen" in front of them, but not with singular count nouns (i.e., "an apple" or "an egg"). However, plural count nouns can be used in the partitive -- for instance, яйцо is "an egg," and its genitive plural яиц can be used partitively to mean "a few eggs".

    Hope this helps!
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  12. #12
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    By the way, regarding the stress-shifts in вода -- quite a few other common feminine nouns, such as рука (hand/arm), нога (foot/leg), and голова (head) follow a rather similar pattern of stress shifts, though unfortunately the pattern is not always exactly identical throughout the entire declension. For instance:

    Nom. sg. вода, рука, нога, голова
    Gen. sg. воды, руки, ноги, головы
    Acc. sg. воду, руку, ногу, голову
    Nom./Acc. pl. воды, руки, ноги, головы
    Gen. pl. вод, рук, ног, голов
    Dat. pl. рукам, ногам, головам (BUT водам, not водам)

    In the singular, all these nouns behave identically (stress on the ending except in the accusative, where it shifts to the first syllable), while in the nominative plural, the stress also shifts to the first syllable -- thus distinguishing it in pronunciation from the genitive singular, though the nom. pl. and gen. sg. have the same spellings. However, "water" breaks the pattern a bit in the dative, instrumental, and prepositional plurals.

    Anyway, I wouldn't fret about totally memorizing the individual declensions of all these nouns right away; just be aware that the stress-shift you see in nom.sg. вода and acc. sg. воду is a pattern you're going to see again!
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