У девочки есть книга, но она её не читает.

mrgobby

New Member
English - America
What I don't understand about the sentence is the second half. If I'm understanding it correctly it just means "but she isn't reading [hers]". The "её" part seems kind of unnecessary because if she possesses a book, why later in the sentence say "её"? Wouldn't it still be clear and acceptable to say:

У девочки есть книга, но она не читает.

Or am I misunderstanding the meaning?
 
  • igusarov

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Or am I misunderstanding the meaning?
    I think your understanding of the second half is not quite correct. That half could mean either "but she doesn't read [it]" or "but she isn't reading [it]". Whichever tense is implied by the context, "её" refers to the book, not to the girl. So, "её" is an object of the verb: "read(ing) it".

    Sometimes it is possible to omit the object of a transitive verb if the context makes this object obvious, but not in this case. Because the verb "читать" has several meanings: transitive "to read something", and intransitive "to be capable of reading". Had you omitted the object, the phrase "но она не читает" could be perceived as if you were using this verb in its intransitive sense: "but she cannot read".
     

    Saluton

    Banned
    Russian
    Or am I misunderstanding the meaning?
    Yes, you are. The word её has two meanings: the genitive and accusative form of она (in the given context, it's the accusative form), and a possessive pronoun. As you can see, the meanings are almost the same as those of the English word her, but what you're probably missing is that the pronoun она, unlike the pronoun she, does not refer only to women. It is used to replace any noun of the feminine gender and can thus be translated into English as either she or it. Therefore, её is her, it (like in the given context), its, or hers.
     
    Last edited:

    mrgobby

    New Member
    English - America
    Thank you all for the replies. I had read before that её could also mean its, but my understanding was that it was only possessive, and thus my confusion when it means "it" in the sentence above.

    So would it also be correct to say that if the sentence had a masculine noun being replaced, I would use его? Such as: У девочки есть хлеб, но она его не ест.
     
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