figurative use of объехали?

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by tristein, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. tristein Member

    American English

    I have a couple of questions about the following sentence, taken from

    Почти – потому, что два десятка светофоров на Ленинградском шоссе от Москвы до Клина объехали через Новорижское шоссе, затем по "второй бетонке" (А-108) повернули на Клин, там и выехали на М-10 (это и есть сама трасса Москва-Петербург).

    1. Is
    два десятка the grammatical subject of the sentence?
    2. Is
    светофоров the agent of the action объехали?
    3. Does
    объехали translate literally as "drive around"?
    4. How does the prepositional phrase через Новорижское шоссе fit into the meaning of the sentence?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. turkjey5 Senior Member

    English - USA
  3. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Yes, I agree, however, I wanted to add that it is a colloquial sentence, so you do not really see a perfect grammatical structure here, not that anything is wrong with this sentence. In Russian, in fact, you don't need a perfect sentence structure for the sentence to be grammatical, sometimes. Run-on is more of an English term. It is a complex sentence structure where some parts were dropped (or are not visible on the surface) -- this is why it may not seem clear to you.
  4. Budspok Senior Member

    Lübertsy, Russian Federation
    We made a detour using Novorizhskoe expressway to by-pass a couple of dozens of traffic lights between Moscow and Klin at Leningradskoe road.
  5. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    "Объехали" here is not used figuratively. In the context of road traffic and road signs "объезд" means "detour". That's quite official, and you can see it in Traffic Regulations and at road construction sites (photo). So, "объехали" literally means "we've made a detour". But I like turkjey5's translation "avoided" much better in this particular case. It really conveys the intent of the author.

    "Через Новорижское шоссе" can be used in colloquial, but it is not strictly correct. It's ok to use "через" in the sense "through" if it is followed by the name of some way point. Like in "мы объехали Зеленоград (city name, object) через Истру (city name, key waypoint on the detour route)" = "we've avoided Zelenograd by driving (through / by) Istra". However, the name of the road should have been used with preposition "по": "объехали Клин по Новорижскому шоссе" = "made a detour along the Novorizhskoe highway", "объехали город по кольцевой дороге". Preposition "через" makes the phrase sound as if that highway is something small, which is a bit confusing.
  6. Sobakus Senior Member

    I think через simply means "by way of, using" here, so whether it's a forest path or a country doesn't matter.

    Also, "светофоров" (being in the Genetive) is the object of "два десятка" (Acc.), which in turn is the object of the sentence. But that's due to the peculiarity of numerals in Russian.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  7. tristein Member

    American English
    Thanks all, you've been very helpful! Thanks for the link, igusarov!

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