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Thread: word order

  1. #1
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    word order

    Do these sentances make sense all of them, or just one, or none?

    If more than one make sense, what is the difference?

    Знает ли Игорь о собрание?
    О собрание ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрание?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: word order

    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    Do these sentances make sense all of them, or just one, or none?

    If more than one make sense, what is the difference?

    Знает ли Игорь о собрание?
    О собрание ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрание?

    Thanks
    First of all, don't forget about cases:

    Знает ли Игорь о собрании?
    О собрании ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?

    The last doesn't make sense for me.
    First: Does Igor know about the meeting?
    Second: "Is it right that Igor knows about the meeting?" or something like: "What does Igor know about? About the meeting or about something else?"
    My English isn't so good, зато с русским все в порядке ))
    I'll be very thankful, if you correct my mistakes.

  3. #3
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    From what I know, russian is pretty stict about the placement of ли. It should always be the second word in a sentence or clause.

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    Actually, the third one makes sense too, and is grammatically correct except for that ending that Pranki corrected . It means "Is it Igor who knows about the meeting?" However, only first one really sounds natural. 2nd and 3rd one sound like exercises from a grammar book, a Russian would never say that.

  5. #5
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    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    Is the person, who knows about the meeting, Igor? (or maybe it's Sergey?)
    Anyway it sounds not good.

  6. #6
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    СобраниИ

    Знает ли Игорь о собрании?
    О собрании ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    except for that little mistake with the case of собрание all three sentences are perfectly ok and I would even dare say that depending on your intonation and context they can all mean exactly the same thing, actually you could even say something like
    Игорь о собрании знает ли?
    or
    О собрании Игорь знает ли?
    if you wanted to sound like a cross between master Yoda and a chinese philosopher.
    The first sentence is the default though.

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    Re: СобраниИ

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    Знает ли Игорь о собрании?
    О собрании ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    except for that little mistake with the case of собрание all three sentences are perfectly ok and I would even dare say that depending on your intonation and context they can all mean exactly the same thing
    I am afraid I can't agree. They are ok from the viewpoint of formal grammar, but no matter how you try to pronounce them, only first one will sound naturally in Russian. So saying they are perfectly ok is somewhat misleading for a foreign student of Russian.

    And they most certainly can't mean the same thing. The position of "ли" makes all the difference.

    "Знает ли" -- the question is whether or not he knows.
    "О собрании ли" -- the question is whether it is the meeting or something else that he knows about.
    "Игорь ли" -- the question is whether it is Igor or somebody else who knows about it.

    So they definitely do not mean the same thing.

  8. #8
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    ALL of them sound naturally. It depends whether you use them or not. I don't see any problem in that, just more complex then the first pattern.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Re: СобраниИ

    I am afraid I can't agree. They are ok from the viewpoint of formal grammar, but no matter how you try to pronounce them, only first one will sound naturally in Russian. So saying they are perfectly ok is somewhat misleading for a foreign student of Russian.
    c'mon, when I said perfectly ok I did mean grammar and I even specifically made mention of master Yoda, if we assume his way of speaking is normal then leave us where would that?

    And they most certainly can't mean the same thing. The position of "ли" makes all the difference.

    "Знает ли" -- the question is whether or not he knows.
    "О собрании ли" -- the question is whether it is the meeting or something else that he knows about.
    "Игорь ли" -- the question is whether it is Igor or somebody else who knows about it.

    So they definitely do not mean the same thing.
    well I can't really speak in this forum can I? what you're saying is that ли always follows the word that the question is about. It's an interesting observation, something I never really realized. Then as long as we keep to this rule the sentences
    О собрании знает Игорь ли?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    Знает Игорь ли о собрании?
    О собрании Игорь ли знает?
    will all mean exactly the same thing provided they're all stressed on Игорь, right?

  10. #10
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    Hey, I didn't make my post to pick at you. This thread was started by a foreign speaker. In your reply, you made a couple of statements which are, frankly speaking, misguiding and/or careless. I replied to it to clarify a few points, mostly for the benefit of foreign students of Russian. E.g. you said, I quote,
    Quote Originally Posted by Igorfa100
    Знает ли Игорь о собрании?
    О собрании ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    except for that little mistake with the case of собрание all three sentences are perfectly ok and I would even dare say that depending on your intonation and context they can all mean exactly the same thing
    How a foreign student can realize from this statement that you meant grammar only? You said they were perfectly OK, and that's it.

    You also said that depending on the context and intonation, these 3 sentences can mean the same thing. Again, this misguiding for a foreign student. They can't. Not in Russian spoken by a Russian speaker, anyway. Well, I can certainly imagine a scene in a movie where a foreigner struggling with Russian speaks like that, but I guess the person who started this thread is interested in learning Russian spoken by Russians .

    And by the way, your remark about Master Yoda seems to refer to your own example: "О собрании Игорь знает ли?", not to these 3 sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    Then as long as we keep to this rule the sentences
    О собрании знает Игорь ли?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    Знает Игорь ли о собрании?
    О собрании Игорь ли знает?
    will all mean exactly the same thing provided they're all stressed on Игорь, right?
    This is perfectly correct (3rd one sounds very bad, though - the word order makes it almost impossible to understand). But again, these sentences are not the same as those 3 in your first post and in the original post of this thread, right?

    "Well I can't really speak in this forum can I?" Where does this come from? Don't get on the defensive on the first sign of disagreement .
    Or do you think I can't speak in this forum? :P

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru
    Hey, I didn't make my post to pick at you.
    well if your first post didn't pick on me this one certainly does. but it's all right, your point is taken, but far as I can recall and see the question that started this discussion was whether all the sentences listed made sense, they all do make sense, don't they, the second part was about the difference between them, on that one I agree I was rather sloppy in my reply


    How a foreign student can realize from this statement that you meant grammar only? You said they were perfectly OK, and that's it.
    well far as making sense is concerned they are all perfectly ok, aren't they?

    You also said that depending on the context and intonation, these 3 sentences can mean the same thing. Again, this misguiding for a foreign student. They can't. Not in Russian spoken by a Russian speaker, anyway. Well, I can certainly imagine a scene in a movie where a foreigner struggling with Russian speaks like that, but I guess the person who started this thread is interested in learning Russian spoken by Russians .
    well can't they? I mean the original ones,
    Знает ли Игорь о собрание?
    О собрание ли знает Игорь?
    Игорь ли знает о собрание?
    if you don't emphasise the word that immediately precedes ли and just say them all fast enough with a rising intonation the difference will only register with the most nitpicking of native speakers, the majority will just interpret it as a question about whether or not Igor knows about the meeting. Word order only works to change the meaning when it's intoned properly.
    as for the way russians speak Russian, thing is that all the inflexions do allow a rather loose word order and sometimes words come out in extrememly weird sequences, especially from hung over Russians and hung over Russians are not really a rarety, neither in russia nor elsewhere. Weird word orders don't often occur in writing but I'd say in speech they're relatively common, especially in informal discussions where thoughts will often be popping up in your head faster than you can get them out, in such circumstances sentences will often begin with the words that are remembered first, objects, occasionally even prepositions and it's not always done for emphasis. One real life example from my own first hand experience that comes to mind
    лучшая книга на эту тему никогда не может быть написана, она даже не может быть подумана об.


    And by the way, your remark about Master Yoda seems to refer to your own example: "О собрании Игорь знает ли?", not to these 3 sentences.
    I brought up master Yoda because his speech(btw is he actually a he or somethign else?) is an example of tossing words around in a sentence without any real intention to change the meaning in any way. When he says something like "talk to whom on your way back did you?" he's not really shifting the emphasis or changing the meaning, his question meains exactly as the more usual "who did you talk to on your way back ?" So the point is that the meaning depends not only on how you arrange your words but also on how you say them. At the same time rearranging the words doesn't always automatically change the meaning. sure ли is a powerful tool of focusing attention on particlular words in a question but it doesn't always work on its own.

    [quotekgu2k93]Then as long as we keep to this rule the sentences
    О собрании знает Игорь ли?
    Игорь ли знает о собрании?
    Знает Игорь ли о собрании?
    О собрании Игорь ли знает?
    will all mean exactly the same thing provided they're all stressed on Игорь, right?
    This is perfectly correct (3rd one sounds very bad, though - the word order makes it almost impossible to understand). [/quotekgu2k93]

    c'mon you can't be serios about it being difficult to understand, in Russian poetry you come by sentences like this by the bucketload and have no trouble understanding them.


    "Well I can't really speak in this forum can I?" Where does this come from? Don't get on the defensive on the first sign of disagreement .
    Or do you think I can't speak in this forum? :P
    as you can see I'm not on the defensive I'm always on the offensive and you certainly can speak on this forum, I mean, who am I to say that, but so you'll have peace on this one, hereby you have my official permission to do so, you certainly seem to have a gift for noticing things about languages so that were you to refrain from posting here or elsewhere, I dare say, that would be a tremndous loss not only to this forum but to the human race in general. so keep on keeping on.

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