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Thread: Intonation

  1. #1
    Почтенный гражданин Misha Tal's Avatar
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    Intonation

    Please have a look here.
    If I'm not mistaken, around 1:09 he says [something close to]: "...утолять жажду знаний теперь мне не на что."
    In the phrase "мне не на что", the stress falls on "не", rather than on "что". Well, it's reasonable, it is "the absence of anything to satisfy the crave for knowledge with" that's to be accentuated, but still it sounds exotic to my untrained ear.
    One can look up pronunciations in a dictionary. Where to look for intonation?
    "If in the end, Misha, you are destined to lose this game, there is no need for the reason to be cowardice!"

  2. #2
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    Re: Intonation

    Quick tip: In expressions and words like "нé о чем", "нéзачем", "нé за что", "нé на что", "нéкогда", "нéкто", "нéчто", etc. it's "не" that is always stressed.
    Please don't confuse them with "ни о чём", "ни за чтó", "ни на чтó", "никогдá", "никтó", "ничтó", in which is the second word stressed (кто, что, когдá, etc.).
    They differ in stress, spelling AND meaning.

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Re: Intonation

    What do не на что and ни на что mean, respectively? My dictionaries are no help in this case...

    And is there any difference between using не ... не or ни ... ни as "neither ... nor"?
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Re: Intonation

    Мне не на что купить еды - I don't have money to by food with (or, in a more literal translation, I have nothing to buy food with).
    Я эти деньги ни на что не тратил - I haven't ever spent this money for any purposes.

    Another example:


    Я ни о чём с ней не говорил, потому что мне не о чем с ней разговаривать.

    I didn't talk to her about anything because there is nothing about which I could talk with her.


    Can you figure out the difference between "ни о чём" and "не о чем" from this example, or do you want a more detailed explanation?

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Re: Intonation

    So if I get it right it's like the difference between, say, негде and нигде, the former being more like "there is nowhere" and the latter simply "nowhere"?
    Спасибо за исправления!

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    Re: Intonation

    Quote Originally Posted by bitpicker
    So if I get it right it's like the difference between, say, негде and нигде, the former being more like "there is nowhere" and the latter simply "nowhere"?
    Basically, yes. Мне негде спать = I have no place to sleep.

  7. #7
    Почтенный гражданин Misha Tal's Avatar
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    Re: Intonation

    Good reminder from gRomoZeka, and a terrific example (the second one) from translationsnmru. Thanks!
    "If in the end, Misha, you are destined to lose this game, there is no need for the reason to be cowardice!"

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