с + accusative

djwebb1969

Banned
English - England
Dear all, I found this in wiktionary at the 3rd meaning of с:

for
, about (indefinite time or number) (+ accusative case)

but there were no examples.

Are these right:

for a year: с год
about 10 roubles: с десять рублей

That's the only way I can interpret that definition
 
  • bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech we have the same preposition s (se) = с (со), used mostly with instrumental and genitive.

    The usage with accusative is very rare (se tři metry = about three metres) except "s koho" (= с кого, it is accusative, no genitive) and "seč" (= со что): Teď se ukáže, kdo s koho. (roughly: Теперь проявится, кто с кого. = ... who in comparison with whom is better/greater)

    Essentially the preposition с with accusative expresses comparison:
    Он ростом с меня (с тебя, с вас, ...).
    мальчик с пальчик
     

    djwebb1969

    Banned
    English - England
    Bibax, thanks for the explanation. My problem is that the use with the accusative to express comparison is not listed in dictionaries.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Bibax, thanks for the explanation. My problem is that the use with the accusative to express comparison is not listed in dictionaries.
    It is very rare and seems to be only used with units of length (but I may be wrong). "Со что" definitely does not exist and "с тебя/меня/etc." could also be analyzed as the genitive.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    It is very rare and seems to be only used with units of length (but I may be wrong). "Со что" definitely does not exist and "с тебя/меня/etc." could also be analyzed as the genitive.
    Высотой с дерево/глубиной с море/длиной с этот овраг/толщиной с бочку/объёмом с цистерну. Definitely the Accusative.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Высотой с дерево/глубиной с море/длиной с этот овраг/толщиной с бочку/объёмом с цистерну. Definitely the Accusative.
    That's a good point. Is it possible to compare time, weight, speed, or anything other than size?
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech "s + acc." is either archaic or dialectal (except s koho/seč = с кого/со что).

    There are some sayings or proverbs, for instance:

    Lépe míti moci s hrst než pravdy s pytel. (Eine Hand voll Gewalt ist besser als ein Sack voll Recht.)
    Лучше иметь мощи/власти с горсть, чем правды с мешок. (my attempt to translate it in Russian)

     

    djwebb1969

    Banned
    English - England
    Thanks for the examples. Just to check I'm not on the wrong track, does глубиной с море mean "as deep as the sea"? I did a degree in Russian that I completed in 1995, so it is 19 years since I studied any Russian...
     

    djwebb1969

    Banned
    English - England
    I'm going through Nicholas Brown's frequency dictionary of Russian, a dictionary of 10,000 words organized by frequency, as a way of revising, but I'm finding the simple words at the beginning like c at the beginning are not as simple as they look!
     

    Icetrance

    Senior Member
    US English
    Time: дорога длиною с жизнь, поспать часа с два.
    Weight: весом тонны с три.
    Speed: скоростью где-то с черепаху.

    Hello! :)

    Can you say "поспать час с один/часа с пол"?

    (sleep for about an hour/one-half an hour?)
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    Hello! :)

    Can you say "поспать час с один/часа с пол"?

    (sleep for about an hour/one-half an hour?)
    No, you can't. Sometimes we say "поспать с часок <с часик>/ с полчасика". (diminutive forms of час, полчаса).
    More common construction: поспать часок / полчасика (without "c") /часа два (пару часов)

    Мне бы сейчас не помешало (c) часок (or "часик") поспать / поспать (c) полчасика.

    P.S. Please note that the numeral "один" is usually being omitted in spoken Russian.

    два часа = two hours
    часа два (reverse word order) = about two hours
     
    Last edited:

    Icetrance

    Senior Member
    US English
    No, you can't. Sometimes we say "поспать с часок <с часик>/ с полчасика". (diminutive forms of час, полчаса).
    More common construction: поспать часок / полчасика (without "c") /часа два (пару часов)

    Мне бы сейчас не помешало (c) часок (or "часик") поспать / поспать (c) полчасика.

    P.S. Please note that the numeral "один" is usually being omitted in spoken Russian.

    два часа = two hours
    часа (c) два (reverse word order) = about two hours
    Thank you!:)

    I never really heard it - that's why I asked. And one more thing: Adding the "c" in bold letters above does what to the phrase? Does it formalize the style? I know it doesn't change the meaning of course.
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    Thank you!:)

    I never really heard it - that's why I asked. And one more thing: Adding the "c" in bold letters above does what to the phrase? Does it formalize the style? I know it doesn't change the meaning of course.
    Rather the opposite. All these constructions with "c" belong to informal language.
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    Hello! :)

    Can you say "поспать час с один/часа с пол"?

    (sleep for about an hour/one-half an hour?)
    Since с already expresses rough comparison, the approximate reversal is impossible here. Пол- is more or less a prefix, so it can't follow the noun it modifies, you'd need половина for that.
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    Since с already expresses rough comparison, the approximate reversal is impossible here. Пол- is more or less a prefix, so it can't follow the noun it modifies, you'd need половина for that.
    Actually, I'd not call "часа с пол" construction impossible. It is occasionally used for stylistic colouring and here below is a couple of examples:
    Пройдя и болтая в таком темпе часа с пол, они свернули в магазин, над которым горело голографическое табло с рекламой «Прогрессивная техника»
    Мария Николаевна по опыту знала, что муж дождется прибытия великого князя, побудет еще часа с пол и скажет ехать домой
    However, I agree that this variant is absolutely nonstandard and to be avoided.
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If someone actually said it (rapidly), "пол (=the floor)" would be my best guess.

    Мы часа с пол разговаривали. ( :eek: and :cross:)​
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    Perhaps grammatically speaking it isn't impossible as it's not completely turned into a prefix yet, still skirting the line of being a nominal and having a syntactic (allowing things like "пол прошлой недели") rather than a morphemic link. Stylistically speaking, it's another matter.
     
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