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Thread: Beginners dilemmas....

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    Beginners dilemmas....

    Hey all,

    I’ve been trying to get my head around the use of the different cases in Russian. I’m having a hard time understanding the difference between the nominative case and the accusative case.

    The information I read said that the nominative case answers the question “who?” or “what”. For example студент читает

    The accusative case designates the object of an action. For example Я читаею газету

    Based on the above definitions, couldn’t the nominative case be used in the second example? Can someone explain what the difference is in another way to the above?

    Thanks!

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    In the second case, the nominative is already used when you say 'Я'. Nominative=subject, and the subject of the sentence is 'I,' thus that is the nominative.

    As for the other the newspaper, it would be accusative. I learned it, that if you are talking about something (the object, as you said), then it's accusative.

    Dunno if that's much help to you.
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    Я читаю газету
    I read the newspaper

    "I" is the subject of the sentence. The subject of the sentence is in nominative form. (Я)

    "read" is the verb (читаю notice the spelling)

    "newspaper" is the direct object of the sentence. The direct object of the sentence is in accusative form. (газету notice the ending)
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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    Nominative is something doing the action
    YOU are reading a book.
    HE is eating cake.
    THE CAT sat on a mat.

    Accustive is what ever is on the recieveing end
    I read a BOOK
    The man ate a SANDWICH

    The object needs to be the direct object for it to take accustive. The Accustive is the direct object of a sentance, while the nominative is the subject of the sentance.
    Я знаю
    Что делаю
    Вилкою
    Пирогу

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    Last edited by Darobat on Mon Mar 5, 1759 1:19 am; edited 243 times in total

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    You have to read your grammar book. In English we have only two cases, and they are not often different. Mostly with pronouns.

    So , you say
    Ann saw him.
    You don't say Him saw Ann.
    So in English it's obvious that "him" is the object of the verb, a/k/a accusative singular masculine pronoun. Our nouns and adjectives don't have a way to show their accusative form, they are the same in nom. or acc.

    But you can say Anna saw the cat, and also The cat saw Anna. The only way you know who was doing the seeing is word order. Not so in Russian, where you can say Аня видела кота as well as Аню видел кот, where the first means Anne saw the cat. and the second means The cat saw Ann. The word order is the same, but the nominative and accusative endings show who was seeing whom. (The word order shows other information, which I ignore here.)

    IN English you only know by word order: who sees whom here:
    Ann sees John.
    John sees Ann.

    Russian cases are much more complicated.

    I can tell you that I learned my English grammar in Spanish class. Before that I was clueless. Looks like you will be taking a similar English grammar class!

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    English has 3 cases.
    Nominative, Genetive, and Objective. However, the objective case is only present for pronouns.

    The objective case is the technical name for the case that describes everything not nominative or genetive.
    Я знаю
    Что делаю
    Вилкою
    Пирогу

    How to Post

    Last edited by Darobat on Mon Mar 5, 1759 1:19 am; edited 243 times in total

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    Thanks for the info. Would I be correct in interpreting this informatoin as the word ending in Russian (ie the case) essentially serves the same purpose as word order in English? I am completely clueless when it comes to English grammar, but its amazing how much you learn about the grammer of your native language when studying another!

    Спасибо!

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    longers, yes. English has very rigid word order. Subject verb object. But because Russian has grammatical endings that indicate who's the actor and who's the one being acted upon, its word order is far more flexible, and it is used to add nuances to a sentence. In English we have to add a bunch of words to convey that nuance.

    Аня видела Машу.
    Ann saw Mary.

    Машу видела Аня.
    It was Ann who saw Mary. (not Tom who saw Mary).

    Аня Машу видела.
    Ann *saw* Mary. She didn' shoot him, for ex.

    That's as far as I can take it, but a native speaker can tell us whether
    Видела Аня Машу.
    is even possible, and if so what it means exactly.

    Russian is classified as a "synthetic" language, because all kinds of grammatical info is crammed into a word, and English is called an "analytic" language, because all the info is extracted into separate words.

    If you take a word like видела you know 1) verb, 2) past tense, 3) feminine. But if you take an English word SAW, what do you know? Could be a noun even!

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    vxp
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    That's as far as I can take it, but a native speaker can tell us whether
    Видела Аня Машу.
    is even possible, and if so what it means exactly.
    Almost.
    Видела ли Аня Машу?

    Thats a question, that simply asks has Ann seen Maria
    but without the "ли" you can't really say Видела Аня Машу.
    I mean, you can.. You *will* be understood just fine
    It just sounds weird, and unnatural, and not the way we speak

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    If you take a word like видела you know 1) verb, 2) past tense, 3) feminine. But if you take an English word SAW, what do you know? Could be a noun even!
    Although Russian loves exceptions
    Кровать - It ends in '-ать'. That means it's the infinitive of a verb! WRONG! It's a noun meaning "bed".

    Мужчина - It ends in an 'a', therefore its feminine. WRONG! It's masculine and it means "man". (One might expect such a word to be masculine)

    Прошлое - It ends in the neuter adjective ending "ое", that means its an adjective. WRONG! It's a noun that declines like an adjective and means "the past".
    Я знаю
    Что делаю
    Вилкою
    Пирогу

    How to Post

    Last edited by Darobat on Mon Mar 5, 1759 1:19 am; edited 243 times in total

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    vxp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darobat

    Прошлое - It ends in the neuter adjective ending "ое", that means its an adjective. WRONG! It's a noun that declines like an adjective and means "the past".
    Not completely true
    Прошлое лето for instance

    it could be an adjective..

    --Ростовчанин

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    Ya, but it's also a noun. Most adjectives aren't also nouns.
    Я знаю
    Что делаю
    Вилкою
    Пирогу

    How to Post

    Last edited by Darobat on Mon Mar 5, 1759 1:19 am; edited 243 times in total

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    vxp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darobat
    Ya, but it's also a noun. Most adjectives aren't also nouns.
    True

    But it is extremely easy to make adjectives out of a noun

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    adjective-noun - my favorite is насекомое 'insect'. I think it's animate, so that means

    я вижу насекомого. ???

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    vxp
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    adjective-noun - my favorite is насекомое 'insect'. I think it's animate, so that means

    я вижу насекомого. ???
    насекомое

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    Quote Originally Posted by vxp
    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    adjective-noun - my favorite is насекомое 'insect'. I think it's animate, so that means

    я вижу насекомого. ???
    насекомое
    It is a neuter animate noun.
    Apparently neuter animate nouns take the nominative form in accusative case. Unlike masculine animate nouns which take genative form in accusative case.
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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