двигать что-л / чем-л

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jos.dan

Senior Member
Spanish (Guatemala)
Всем привет!

I think I understand when I should use the accusative case with двигать, and when I should use the instrumental case, but just to be sure, are the following sentences correct?

Я двигаю карандаш.
Я двигаю компьютер.
Я двигаю руками.


Is the instrumental case only used when talking about moving body parts?

Заранее спасибо)
 
  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Basically yes. With body parts it's the instrumental case, otherwise the patient gets the accusative case (of course, the instrument may be also present then, predictably getting the instrumental case: я́ дви́гаю ка́мень па́лкой).
     
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    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Всем привет!

    I think I understand when I should use the accusative case with двигать, and when I should use the instrumental case, but just to be sure, are the following sentences correct?

    Я двигаю карандаш.
    Я двигаю компьютер.
    Я двигаю руками.


    Is the instrumental case only used when talking about moving body parts?

    Заранее спасибо)
    No, the body parts are not the answer.
    The difference between the examples 1 and 2 and example 3 is that the role of the words карандаш and компьютер in the sentence is different than "руками". The words карандаш and компьютер are passive patients of the action двигать, hence the accusative, while руки is an instrument you perform the action with, hence the instrumental. You can also say " Я двигаю компьютер руками" (Trago el (al) ordinator (con) los manos), where Spanish prepositions "al" and "con" correspond to the different cases in Russian. A body part can also be an instrument in the grammatical sense.

    I know that "al" is ungrammatical in this sentence, but I put it here to show how it works.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    The words карандаш and компьютер are passive patients of the action двигать, hence the accusative, while руки is an instrument you perform the action with
    In "я двигаю руками" (without a direct object), "руки" are exactly the patient (Eng. "I move my hands"), which was the point. For a comparison, "я двигаю свои руки" is actually impossible, at least as long as your hands aren't detached from your body and you don't move them with something else.

    However, it should be noted that adverbial phrases of direction make the accusative actually the default case for the patient anyway (cf. "я двинул руку к кобуре":tick: vs. "я двинул рукой к кобуре" :confused: ).
     
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    MIDAV

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Я двигаю карандаш.
    Я двигаю компьютер.
    I think we can use instrumental with карандаш but not with компьютер. Подвигать карандашом is OK with me, same as подвигать мышкой, подвигать шваброй, подвигать рулем (sic!) etc. I would say anything that is small enough to be considered quasi an extension of your arm/leg, you can use instrumental with it.

    Indeed, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between подвигать мышкой and подвигать мышку. They seem like perfect synonyms to me.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Yes, these variants are possible, but they're far from being synonymous. If this model is applicable, it normally indicates that the object is moved for some purposes lying outside of it (or without any purpose at all), and moved in some sort of connection with your hands. For example, "подвигать руль" will be hadly possible at all, because you always move the steering wheel only to turn the wheels, and always move it by holding it with your own hands. (Note that "подвигать" is also somewhat sensitive to the presence of prepositional phrases describing the surface - "подвигать чем-л. по чему-л." has a considerably wider applicability than "подвигать чем-л.".) I would understand "подвигать карандашом" as moving the pencil in the air while holding it in your hand, while in the case of "подвигать карандаш" I would imagine a lying pencil which you move along the surface.
     

    nizzebro

    Member
    Russian
    the difference between подвигать мышкой and подвигать мышку
    I would say that in the case of accusative (мышку) there is some indication that the person is aware of the mouse (probably even looking at it), while мышкой suggests that they are focused on something else - their work or thoughts.

    I personally feel that "instrumental case" as a term reflects a view that is too narrow. A more general notion would be something like "objectified manner of action", that is when you are able to conceptualize such manner as a separate item. Compare "бежать быстро" и "бежать скачками" - the latter is an adverb too, but, being formed by the instrumental case, reflects the fact that each jump is something you can perceive as a separate thing, in contrast to the notion of speed - which, as a property, is only perceived via its effects.
     
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