"Я ничего не знаю о ней."

Translation:I don't know anything about her.

November 15, 2015

51 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Superuncia

What case is "ней" in? When should we use it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/csharpmajor

It's the prepositional form of она. You use it... well... with prepositions.
Note that the dative and instrumental forms of она are also either ей or ней depending on... stuff. So don't get confused ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo

"ей" turns to "ней" when used with a preposition. The same is true for all personal pronouns starting with "е". Ему - к нему, её - у неё, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dore.m

What's difference between её and ей, since they both "her"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

ей is better thought of as "to her".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DjZixel

её it is for example a thing "it is her book ( это её книга.)" ей it answers the question whom. I have to help her Я должен помочь ей


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

That's really not correct. If the question is: Whom do I love? then the answer is I love her/Я её люблю. In fact, whom (which is accusative) is better paired with её and "to whom" is paired with ей.

Your example only works because the two verbs have different grammatical properties. "help" takes an accusative object while "помочь" takes a dative object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elsantodel90

I understand that "ничего" is the genitive, with "ничто" being the accusative (same as nominative). But I would have expected accusative here since знать acts directly on "ничто". So now my understanding of "direct object" has to be revised.

Is it because it is a negative sentence? Does the genitive always pop up like that in the negative or is it only for что/ничто? Does it happen for other verbs apart from знать?

This sentence makes me think that it will probably be like:

Я знаю Марию "I know Maria"

Я не знаю Марии "I do not know Maria" (genitive appears because of the negative? I am copying the example sentence here... I thought accusative was used also in the negative).

And the same for люблю I guess... I need the help of an expert now :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dotters

It seems that ничего is now preferred to ничто even for genitive and accusative uses outside of literary work and idiomatic speech.

This thread on the topic (or what I could manage to understand of it, anyways :-P) is pretty interesting: http://rus.stackexchange.com/questions/37548/Ничто-не-интересует-или-ничего-не-интересует


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carlosdeso7

would я не знаю ничего о ней work as well? or is it necessary to write ничего first?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo

This sounds less natural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DjZixel

For me it sounds normal. I am a native.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zebby.mann

We need a tie breaker on this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ema439209

Can this usage of ней refer to any feminine noun? So in other words translate in English to "I know nothing about it"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TorkilEli

I failed this miserably and it said I succeeded. I literally said "Я ничего и- aah ❤❤❤❤.."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmaRoshan

Duolingo here tryna train us for KGB interrogation huh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Next Duo teaches you how to say ....I wasn't even there that day......


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amanda809684

Why "I don't know nothing about her" is wrong? Is there any English mistake on this sentence? (A no native speaker here)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

In English, a double negative as you constructed here turns it into a positive. A double negative is where two negatives are attached to the same thing in a sentence.

Think of it this way:

I know nothing about her. That means you know .......nothing about the person.

When you say I don't know...... nothing about her you are saying everything that follows don't know is false. That means knowing nothing about her is not true. Therefore you do know something about her.

Always, always avoid double negatives in English. As you yourself have experienced, they are confusing as to their meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amanda809684

Oh, now I see. In my native language (portuguese) is common to use the double negative so that's why I got confused. But thanks for the explanation. A lingot for you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SortedSand

"I do not know about her" or "I do not know anything about her", Where do you get the "anything" from?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo

Ничего = nothing (not anything).

I do not know about her = Я не знаю о ней


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EEPixie

Could "I know nothing about her" be an accurate (not literal) translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

It's accurate and in fact just as literal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abewdejong

I do not know is ok beside i don't know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Griboedovich

May I write "I know about her nothing"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dotters

In standard English objects of a preposition usually follow the direct object. I wouldn't say what you wrote is necessarily incorrect, but it sounds very odd.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memoryy721

No. Write "I know nothing about her"

The word order matters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ColeHullfi

Why does ничего come before the verb here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Usually object pronouns come before the verb in Russian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dotters

They're two different words. Нечего means "there is nothing," as in «Нечего сказать.» = "There is nothing to say." Note that the vocal stress also falls on different syllables.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don163650

I think the better translation is "I know nothing about her.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Both versions are equally valid.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GranvilleS6

This is what Alex Salmond said.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidM886339

This is a massive amount of grammar, more than I can cope with. Most people (you children for example) don't learn language this way. What I can't understand is the word order... I nothing not know about her ? Is there a simple explanation that non language majors can understand? I studied engineering to avoid grammatical nuances. My brain is exploding...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

You are trying to figure it out. Don't bother. Just do it. It is what it is so just remember how it goes.

Once you are comfortable in the language then go back and try to figure out the rules so you what are you are doing when it comes down to writing and speaking sentences that are more than a half dozen words at most. Until then your spelling and accent will be what makes it hard for people to understand you, not some minor grammar error or word order violation.

Language learning is the opposite of engineering. Language is all about....don't sweat the details.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidM886339

I think that is good advice. It's hard not to want to probe the details...I'll spend less time on the discussion topics and just memorize the sentence...thx


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

No, no. The discussion topics are a valuable part of Duo's learning method. But it's like looking at a movie review by a film critic. You can learn a lot just by reading it. But you can't let it get in the way of watching and enjoying the movie. It can be helpful but not neccessary.

What you want to do with the comments is....oh, so that's why I always do that..... Or....oh, so that's why people look a little puzzled whenever I say that. Not....I have to know all this stuff before I can communicate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidM886339

I'm willing to try that. I'm two years into the course, and feel I've hit the wall. I have Russian relatives and I can understand a little bit, but struggle with spontaneous reply.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

Read more, talk more. The first will help you increase your vocabulary. The second will teach you what not to say because no one understands it.

Talk more by taking interesting sentences that you can handle and simply repeating them out loud. By interesting, I mean helpful.

Take a Duo example and work with it. Expand it, saying it each time.

I have an apple......he, she it we etc has/have an apple. Everyone has an apple, Some people have an apple, a lot of people have a lot of apples, forgot their apples, threw their apples away, have rotten apples, beautiful apples. And so on.

That way when you come across similar example in Duo, you can say ...been there, done that... At some point, your choice of words will change the word order (according to the Duo example) Don't try and figure out why. Just notice that the change altered the word order.

After a while, instead of apples you can try things that your friends might talk about. Like cars or game or football teams. Try saying Ronaldo sucks. Learn the sound of someone saying ...what??!!?? Trust me, saying something like that will not draw any comments about your grammar or word order. You will immediately be schooled on what you should say instead and how to say it. When you make a credible attempt at doing so, you will get many complements on your newly acquired ability to make sensible comments about football.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidM886339

Thank you. I'll give it a try.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Basically there are two things going on here. 1) Russian will always use не in negative sentences. If there's another negating word (nothing, never, none,...) that will be added as double negative. 2) If there is another negative word it sounds best to stick it up front before не.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelJoh56245

The guy saying "о ней." sounds pretty bad. Like the words are overlapping, or maybe he is thumping his throat when he says it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterSchmidt0

Why is "I do know nothing about her" wrong? (I'm not a native speaker)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelJoh56245

In English you could say “I do know ‘something’ about her.” But, even here you would rarely use “do.”

Usually you would say “I don’t know anything about her.” Or “I know nothing about her.”

Your sentence is not wrong. Just, nobody says it that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterSchmidt0

Thanks four your explanations. I'm always struggling a lot due to my bad English. I've the same kind of problem in my Spanish course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

"do" is necessary to form questions and negations. In other cases it's not normal but it can add emphasis to a sentence. So if you said "I know nothing about her" and someone else said you were lying, you could emphatically say "You have to believe me, I do know nothing about her!".

What might trip up non-English speakers is that in English "I know nothing about her" is not a negation in English because the word "nothing" has absorbed the negative word. In most other languages I've seen this would still be a negation, maybe there would be a double negative like they do in Russian and Spanish. But in English, if you paraphrase the sentence to avoid the use of "not" (like "I know nothing about her") then it's not a negation so "do" is not required.

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