"Tim knows your book."

Translation:Тим знает вашу книгу.

November 2, 2015



How does "know" act upon your book, to put "your book" in the accusative? If Tim cut his finger, I could understand "cut" acting upon "his finger". But knowing a book ? How does one "know" upon the book?

Perhaps am not understanding the accusative case. From the notes, it seemed to be saying that the verb had to be acting upon the direct object. Can anyone help me be clear on this sentence? Thanks!

December 2, 2015


This is just how the verb "to know" works. Imagine a language being a theatre. The number of actors they have is limited, so different roles are performed by the same people. If the role does not seem to clearly stick to some archetype, the director just assigns it to the actor they think works best.

For «знать» and «понимать» the director seems to favour the Accusative. Admittedly, it is more obvious for more straightforward actions like "to take a book", "to give a book", "to write a book".

It might not work for a different verb or a different language, though, I think, most European languages will use "know" with Accusative (if they have cases at all). Nevertheless, the use of certain cases by participants, while oftentimes "making sense", is the property of a word meaning the action in the language; it is not an objective characteristic of the action itself.

December 2, 2015


I like the theatre analogy. Thank you.

December 2, 2015


It's actually just the same in English: You say "I know him" (the objective case) instead of saying "I know he".

Ditto in other languages with more extended uses of cases, like Shady_arc writes.

December 2, 2015


It's not necessarily a verb "acting upon" something as rather the book is the direct object of the verb. The accusative case is used when words are in the direct object "slot" of a sentence. Tim knows what? Tim knows your book. Since "your book" is the direct object, "your book" needs to be accusative

November 11, 2018


Shady_arc, I don't know if you'll ever see this post, but thank you! So many times, I've looked in the comments and found consistently amazing and intuitive comments from you. If you're not a teacher, you should be. Thank you for enriching our study of Russian.

July 15, 2019


How do we go about the informal ты in this case. Or do we just not.

December 19, 2018


I think that it's твою but I may be wrong

June 13, 2019


I wrote "твоя книга". Is it also correct and what is the difference?

July 13, 2019


Not really, you should declinate твоя in the genitive case, so that's make твою книгу

August 19, 2019
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