The Accusative and Genitive with Negation in Russian

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LilianaB

Banned
Lithuanian
I am just wondering what is happening with the Accusative and the Genitive with negation in Russian. I have observed a trend favoring the Accusative with negation, which I do not think is correct.
 
  • LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Unfortunately, I cannot type in Russian from this computer. Just try to translate: I saw an elephant, and I did not see an elephant. I took a book. I did not take the book, into Russian, and you will see what I mean. I am sorry, I cannot type in the cyrillic right now. I think it would be better shown in sentences, I see a dog, I do not see a dog, than with an elephant, because the Accusative and the Genitive from an elephant are the same.
     
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    gvozd

    Senior Member
    I saw an elephant, and I did not see an elephant. I took a book. I did not take the book, into Russian, and you will see what I mean.
    Questions of the accusative case: кого? (if subject is animated), что? (if subject is inanimated)
    Я видел (кого?) слона. Я не видел (кого?) слона.
    Я взял (что?) книгу. Я не брал (что?) книгу.

    Still have no idea what you are wondering...
     

    gvozd

    Senior Member
    I understood. If you want to express negation you use the genitive case more often than the accusative. But not always.

    Я не вижу (кого?) собаки.
    Я не вижу (чего?) книги.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Many educated people, even on TV, use the Genitive with negation. In Polish for example it is totally unacceptable to use the Accusative with negation. It is considered a Germanic influence and is always marked incorrect. Shouldn't it be:
    я не видел никакой собаки?

    I think it would be better illustrated with a pencil, in Russian, because a dog may still be considered a person. If you could kindly try it with the translation of a pencil. I do not see a pencil
     
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    gvozd

    Senior Member
    Many educated people, even on TV, use the Genitive with negation. In Polish for example it is totally unacceptable to use the Accusative with negation. It is considered a Germanic influence and is always marked incorrect. Shouldn't it be:
    я не видел никакой собаки?
    I guess there is a subtlety. But I am not sure.

    Я не видел никакой собаки is perfectly OK.
    Я не вижу собаку can be used if I we seek it in the dark, for example.
     

    gvozd

    Senior Member
    I will tell you honestly, I do not like the second one that much, but many people have favored this form I have observed.
    It's not a question of like or dislike. I guess it depends on the context.

    Beware of dog!
    I do not see any dog! Я не вижу собаки!

    Catch please my dog in the garden!
    I do not see your dog! Я не вижу собаку!
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Thank you. Wouldn't a partitive be in the Genitive in negation, though? OK, think it is, but what about the Noun treated as a whole, the whole sausage as a Direct Object. Wouldn't it be in the Genitive in negation?
     

    alevtinka

    Senior Member
    Chinese (Mandarin)
    Recently, I've read about Partive and Locative case:

    Скoлько у тебR сblру? (Part.) How much cheese do you have?
    У менR мaло сblру. (Part.) I don't have much cheese.

    Скoлько у тебR хлeба? (Gen.) How much bread do you have?
    У менR немнoго хлeба. (Gen.) I have a little bit of bread.

    Here is the lesson:

    http://russian.cornell.edu/grammar/html/le71_78_a.htm
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Dear Alevtinka, I am sorry to tell you this, but you have a mistake in the first and second sentences. The word should read
    cы́pa. The accent got over p accidentally. I do not know how to remove it. I am sorry.
     

    gvozd

    Senior Member
    Of course I do.
    Уж сколько раз твердили миру,
    Что лесть гнусна, вредна; но только все не впрок,
    И в сердце льстец всегда отыщет уголок.
    Вороне где-то бог послал кусочек сыру;
    So why do you think Alevtinka is wrong?
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Ok, you are probably right. I always thought it was сыра. People would say сыра in the Russian stores where I live, but I do not live in Russia.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Ok, you are probably right. I always thought it was сыра. People would say сыра in the Russian stores where I live, but I do not live in Russia.
    This is a part of Krylov's basnya, so it doesn't matter what people say and how.
    It's "сыру".

    And he is not "probably" right; he is right period.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    The question was originally not about the fable but about what people would really use in contemporary Russian. So, what would they say if they want a piece of cheese?
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    OK, I have never heard it. It sounds Polish to me. But of course, you are right. I do not mean the word sounds exactly like Polish cheese, but that the ending sounds more Polish, like miodu - honey. Daj mi miodu.
     
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    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Actually, thinking of it (I did not see where the "сыру" thread came from) - in a way LilianaB is right.

    In this particular case (notice, I am not generalizing) it should be "сыра".
    Because "У меня мало сыра" does not really refer to a portion of a whole. It refers to the total quantity without implying any prior partitioning of a whole.

    When you say "дай мне сыру", you imply that there is a block of cheese, and a piece of it will be sliced of and given to you, hence "partitive".
    But "у меня мало сыра" refers solely to the cheese you have, whether on your slice of bread, or in your fridge, or on the cheese board.
    I don't think "сыру" should be used here.

    Sorry, LilianaB. I think you are correct at least in part. Unless you meant to totally deny the "сыру" at all (I am not talking of Dative) . ANd BTW yes, some people will use "сыру" even here. Partitive is a bit murky, and I its usage is intuitive.

    PS. Also realize that partitive is a "spoken" case, not the "written" one. It is allowed to be used in the spoken language and it is looked down upon in the literary written one.
     
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