"Tim knows your book."
Translation:Тим знает вашу книгу.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.