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рыба - рыбы

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by dePrades, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. dePrades Senior Member

    Catalan and Spanish - Catalonia
    Если я хорошо поняла,

    у слоба "рыба" есть мн. ч., когда мы относимся к живому существу

    1) Видишь всех этих рыб в море?

    но только ед.ч., когда мы относимся к смертному существу

    2) Я предпочитаю есть рыбу из соображений здоровья.

    Но, когда мы ловим, мы думаем о них, как будто они уже умершие?

    3) ловить рыбу.

    Наверно это заметно, но по испански мы говорим о живых рыбах до того, что они не в магазине.
     
  2. cheburashka Gena Senior Member

    Russian
    Меня этот вопрос тоже интересует. Поискал ответ в словарях, но ничего не нашел, поэтому выскажу свое личное мнение.
    Я думаю, если говорится о рыбе как о пище, то используется только единственное число - рыба, независимо от того живая она или нет.
    Если же говорится о рыбах не как о пище (например имеем в виду отдельные экземпляры или биологические виды), то используется и единственное и множественное число - рыба/рыбы.

    Например:
    В моем аквариуме много красивых рыб. Здесь имеем в виду отдельные экземпляры рыб.
    В этом озере обитает много видов рыб. Здесь имеем в виду биологические виды.
    В этом рзере много рыбы. Здесь имеем в виду рыбу как пищу.

    Еще пример:

    -Ты куда идешь?
    -Ловить рыбу.
    (У меня нет дополнительных вопросов, я понимаю, что человек идет за пищей)

    Но

    -Ты куда идешь?
    -Ловить рыб.
    -Зачем?
    (У меня возник дополнительный вопрос, поскольку я думаю, что человек хочет использовать рыб не как пищу, а для каких-то других целей)

    По-моему в английском языке существует аналогичное явление - fish/fishes.
     
  3. morbo Senior Member

    Русский
    It doesn't matter whether a fish is alive or long since gone; what really matters - as was correctly mentioned in the previous post - is whether we talk about it as an idividual or a food item.
    The noun "Рыба" is used as a count noun when we talk about a fish as an individual, and we can pluralize it if we talk about a group of fishes - if it's somehow important that the group is composed of individual fishes. But when we talk about food, fishes - for the most part - lose their individuality once and for all. It is now just edible biomass - and we only care about it as such. When we catch fish, discuss it as an industrial item, eat it - it's only biomass that matters. The same happens with other creatures: "корова" (a cow) is transformed into "говядина" (beef), "свинья" into "свинина" (pork). There's a truly wonderful example (from Langacker 1991) to illustrate the transition from an individual entity into biomass: "After I ran over the cat with our car, there was cat all over the driveway."

    "Ловить рыбу" normally impies that you are fishing for food or sport, so "рыба" is used as a mass noun, but it is possible that you catch your pet fishes for some purpose, and then it will be something like:
    "Перед тем как сменить воду в аквариуме, Пете приходится вылавливать рыбок по одной."

    Again, if they were your pets, the plural form can be used to talk about dead fishes:
    "Получив в подарок сомика, Петя запустил его в аквариум к остальным рыбкам и ненадолго отвернулся. Через некоторое время сомик принялся выплевывать задушенных рыбок; они плавно всплывали на поверхность, поблескивая разноцветной чешуей."

    But when the sense is that of biomass, only the mass noun form is used: "Браконьеры неторопливо собирали оглушенную рыбу с поверхности озера".

    As for the russian terms in the dictionaries, there are the following:
    "Вещественные существительные" for nouns like "рыба" (mass noun reading), "опилки", "кошатина" (there seems to be some overlap with yet another term, "собирательные существительные").
    "Конкретные существительные" for nouns like "рыба" (count noun reading), "шепка", "кошка".

    upd:
    I forgot to mention that my use of the plural form "fishes" for individual fish here does not reflect its use in English (where it is plural for a group of individuals of different species, not just individual fish), but otherwise the post would be even more incoherent. So here it's something like "a fish" for an individual, "fishes" for a group of individuals, "fish" for biomass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  4. dePrades Senior Member

    Catalan and Spanish - Catalonia
    Спасибо за ответы.

    For me it's quite strange that when you go to fish for sport you consider fish as biomass... but I would have to get used to this idea ;)

    Thanks again!
     
  5. morbo Senior Member

    Русский
    Lest I give you a terribly wrong impression of the whole thing, I'd like to clarify a couple of points. The fish caught in a sport fishing session are almost always considered en masse, and there's a special word for it - "улов" (except when one catches particularly outstanding fish, which prompts him to treat each of them "individually"). There's no clear-cut line separating the use of "рыба" as "a lot of fish considered en masse" from "fish as industrial material", and maybe people fishing for sport care about each and every one of their fish. Perhaps I overstretched the idea of "fish as biomass" a bit. However, only the singular form is used in all those cases for fish, dead or alive.
     
  6. dePrades Senior Member

    Catalan and Spanish - Catalonia
    Thanks morbo... you helped me quite a lot, even the whole idea is a bit "strange" for me and I need time to digest it. I try to profit time, as for example when waiting for the bus, to think about Russian and fishing and about them counting fishes or simply weighting their baskets with fish ;)
     
  7. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Russian
    I've read this thread for two days, and now I'm about ready to give up trying to figure out a generic rule. Sometimes you use singular, sometimes you use plural... All I can do is give you several examples of seemingly similar cases where singular and plural should be used.

    "Ловить рыбу" = "to fish" - singular because the word "рыба" here is used as the name of meta-species. Like, this sentence emphasize that one is going to catch fish, not birds, beasts, insects, plants etc. Any kind of fish, any quantity of fish.

    "Ловить карпа, щуку, окуня, ..." = "to fish for carp, pike, perch, ..." - likewise, the name of any species of fish is always singular.

    "Нужно быстро поймать тех трёх рыб, что выпрыгнули из аквариума" = "Hurry up and catch those three fishes that has jumped out of the fishbowl" - plural because "рыба" is used to denote individual specimens (three of them), not the species at large.

    "Ловить судака нужно только вечером или утром" = "Zander should be fished only during morning or evening hours" - this one is a rule about catching a specific type of fish. "Судак" is used in singular, as the name of the species.

    "Именно в таких местах удаётся ловить судаков почти предельного для данного вида размеров" = "It is at places like this that zanders of extreme, for its species, size could be caught" - this one is about catching individual fishes of the outstanding size. "Судак" is used in plural, to refer to the specimens.

    "Пойду наловлю пескарей на наживку" = "I'll go and get some minnows to make the bait" - plural, but obviously I don't care which individual specimens I'm going to fish. Any of them would do, I just need some for use as a bait for the zander.

    "Караси в сметане" = "crucians fried in sour cream" - here it is plural again. But this sentence obviously refers to the food, not individual fish. And I believe it would remain plural even if the dish contained only one fish.

    "Ловить тритонов, лягушек, змей, мух" = "hunt for newts, frogs, snakes, flies" - plural, despite the fact that all these are species names.

    "Ловить насекомых" = "catch insects" - likewise, always plural. But "насекомое" clearly refers to a large class of animals, much like "рыба" does. Then why don't we say "ловить насекомого"?

    "Курица" - always singular, whether it denotes chicken meat or a bird.

    "Цезарь с курицей" = "Caesar salad topped with chicken" - always singular, no matter how many chicken pieces are in.

    "Копать картошку" = "dig potatoes" - always singular. Technically it has plural form, but I would rather use "пять картофелин" to refer to several tubers. For some reason "дай мне пять картошек" sounds colloquial.

    "Собирать помидоры" = "pick tomatoes" - always plural. Of course you can use singular to refer to a distinct item, like "этот помидор протух" ("this one is rotten").

    "Собирать малину" = "pick raspberries" - always singular. Like, "малина" is a collective name for all those individual berries in your bucket.

    "Собирать яблоки" = "pick apples" - always plural. For some reason there's no collective name for apples.

    "Собирать грибы" = "hunt for mushrooms" - always plural, no matter how many mushrooms or species of mushroom one has picked (or is going to pick).

    "Жюльен с грибами" = "mushrooms baked in cream" always plural, even if there is only one mushroom per portion.

    "Креветки, мидии, устрицы" = "Prawns, mussels, oysters" - always plural, dead or alive, food or not. Unless you're referring to a distinct individual. Like, "see that one with a crooked leg?"
     

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