I have a broken arm: сломанная or сломана?

Solovey

New Member
English
Hello everyone, my first post here.... :)


I want to say "I have a broken arm" (that is, the bone is broken and will heal in a few months)

and I thought it would be written as "У меня сломанная рука"

But a Russian friend of mine said it is in fact: "У меня сломана рука"

Сломана is the short-form of a past passive participle, and I thought these short-forms (like short adjectives) can only go after the noun?!

Every textbook I have says short-form adjectives must always go after the noun .. maybe it isn't true? Or is this just a special case?

Thanks!
 
  • Ptak

    Senior Member
    Rußland
    Hi, Solovey, and welcome.
    I don't know about rules, but I definitely can tell you that "у меня сломана рука" is a natural and common way to say in Russian what you mean.

    "У меня сломанная рука" is grammatically correct, but sounds a bit unnatural and rather means very literally "I have a broken arm", and for a Russian it is not even clear whose arm you 'have'. It rather means "I possess/own a broken arm". I don't know how odd it sounds in English, but I hope you'll understand the point.

    "У меня сломана рука" means exactly "My arm is broken", that is what you want to say.
     
    Hello everyone, my first post here.... :)


    I want to say "I have a broken arm" (that is, the bone is broken and will heal in a few months)

    and I thought it would be written as "У меня сломанная рука"

    But a Russian friend of mine said it is in fact: "У меня сломана рука"

    Сломана is the short-form of a past passive participle, and I thought these short-forms (like short adjectives) can only go after the noun?!

    Every textbook I have says short-form adjectives must always go after the noun .. maybe it isn't true? Or is this just a special case?

    Thanks!
    From your example it looks like it is not true, and both sentences are fine. Usually, you can freely reorder syntactic units in Russian sentences (with the risk of changing the emphasis):
    "[У меня] [сломана] [рука]" :tick:
    "[Рука] [сломана] [у меня]" :tick:
    "[У меня] [рука] [сломана]" :tick:
    "[Рука] [у меня] [сломана]" :tick:
    "[Сломана] [у меня] [рука]" :tick:
    "[Сломана] [рука] [у меня]" :tick:
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    Hello everyone, my first post here.... :)

    I want to say "I have a broken arm" (that is, the bone is broken and will heal in a few months)
    and I thought it would be written as "У меня сломанная рука"
    But a Russian friend of mine said it is in fact: "У меня сломана рука"
    Сломана is the short-form of a past passive participle, and I thought these short-forms (like short adjectives) can only go after the noun?!
    Every textbook I have says short-form adjectives must always go after the noun .. maybe it isn't true? Or is this just a special case?

    Thanks!
    Your friend is right. Althought your verbatim translation "I have a broken arm" -> "У меня сломанная рука" is pretty correct, we never use "I have a broken arm" construction in Russian. To express the same meaning we say something like "My arm (leg, collarbone) is broken" <У меня сломана рука (нога, ключица)>.
    "Сломанная рука" is fine, but it is used as follows:

    Моя сломанная рука болит по ночам.
    Моя сломанная нога хорошо срослась. <My broken leg has knitted well.>
    ...etc.
     

    Solovey

    New Member
    English
    Thanks guys, you are extremely helpful, and I understand now the difference between the two constructions.

    If I find some other situations where the short-form adjective or PPP most commonly precedes the noun I'll post it here.


    btw, your English is exceptional! I hang out with quite a few Russians where I live and none of them could write so well. Well done!
     

    ExMax

    Senior Member
    Well done!
    Hey, I want to be a good boy too, so let me put my five kopecks! :)

    Solovey (Nightingale? :) ), you wrote, "short-form adjectives must always go after the noun ".
    You can consider “сломана” as “a participle, as is” (but not an adjective!), or you can classify “сломана” as a verb (present tense, feminine, third person singular, perfective, ...). Therefore, you can put it either before a noun, or after a noun in your example. And I can support the opinion of my compatriots that you have different emphases in your examples. But both of your examples are correct.
     
    Last edited:

    russian99

    New Member
    US
    Russian
    Dear Solovey,
    In Russian short-form adjectives (and past passive participles) are used to describe a temporal condition while the long-form adjectives are used for the permament ones. So У меня сломана рука means that you're expecting it to heal, right? And У меня сломаная рука describes something that is going to stay that way and that's going against the general reason and thus sounds strange to a native speaker.
    About the word order. Don't forget that as a rule the new or the most important information comes in the end of the Russian sentence. Did you want to let somebody know that you have a broken arm/not a leg/not a jaw as a matter of fact? Than you say: У меня сломана рука. If you wanted to explain that you can't move your arm/can't play baseball/etc because it's broken than you would say: У меня рука сломана.
     
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