"Я не помню имя директора."

Translation:I do not remember the director's name.

December 9, 2015

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Gotta love the ever-shifting word stress in Russian: one pronunciation mistake may make a sentence grammatically incorrect (or, still worse, change its meaning altogether)! With the stress on the last syllable (as in the recording), директора means "directors" (plural nominative). In the singular genitive and accusative forms the word's second syllable is stressed (диРЕКтора).


Лол You are right. Omg I am so shocked right now. Damn how am I gonna remember that. Why is it not директоры but директора in Nominative Plural.


Some consonant-ending masculine nouns have the stressed -а (-я) as their plural ending instead of the expected -ы (I think the whole plural paradigm is then ending stressed).

Some nouns had it for centuries (глаз→глаза, лес→леса, голос→голоса, вечер→вечера, остров→острова). Around 1870–1900 the ending has spread to a lot more commonly used nouns, like поезд, доктор, профессор, адрес, паспорт. I also use it for вектор, сервер and драйвер, as a lot of professionals do (the standard plurals are векторы, серверы, драйверы)

Originally, it was a dual ending, so paired objects (eyes, horns, river banks) used it naturally when Russian lost the dual number.


I'm sorry to say that the intonation is badly given in many occurrences.


Why is имя not имю in this sentence? It also happened in another sentence where it was still in nominative "я не знаю его имя" It seems in this second example that it would either be accusative or genitive (because of 'не знаю' being negative.


"Имя" is kind of irregular. Even though it ends on a Я, it's a neuter noun, so the endings are different.



oh duh! Ok sorry that was a stupid question lol I forgot that it was n. and not f. Thank you!


Contrary to what it may look like, the noun "имя" is not a masculine/feminine first-declension noun, but a heteroclitic neuter noun. You are correct in assuming that the verb "помнить" takes a direct object in the accusative; it's just that the noun's singular accusative form matches its singular nominative form.

Here's the complete declension table for "имя": Wiktionary/имя

Most nouns ending on "-мя" fall into the same category: бремя, время, вымя, знамя, имя, пламя, племя, семя, стремя, темя. They all have somewhat peculiar case endings.

[deactivated user]

    Why was my response "first name" not considered correct?


    "Я не помню имени директора" is also correct, right?


    is директора genitive?


    Are both the words for name interchangeable in this sentence?


    Why is it correct? You mean that директора is also a genitive plural? Имени директора/ names of the directors?


    It is the Genitive singular.

    In Slavic languages, the direct object of a verb may switch to the Genitive when the verb is negated. It is not generally the case in modern Russian but was quite widespread as late as in the late 19th century:

    • Я знаю имя → Я не знаю имя / имени.
    • Я вижу папу → Я не вижу папу/ папы.

    (of course, for animate masculine nouns like брат or мальчик, and all animate nouns in the plural, these forms are identical)

    Today it depends on a number of factors such as the desired stylistic effect, the verb itself, stronger or more abstract negation etc. In the 19th century you just switched to the Genitive every time:).


    Oh yeah now I remember that we had a similar sentence earlier. Я не знаю ответ/ответа ( на это вопрос). Genitive case in negation. Grazie Shady! I am slowly beginning to get the hang of russian but I need more practice. Im proud of myself


    Funnily enough, I didn't remember имя

    [deactivated user]

      "I can't remember" is at least as idiomatic as "I don't remember" (and means the same thing). I move to add it to the list of acceptables…


      Я не могу вспомнить имени(имя) директора.


      Agreed - this would be a more common thing to say in English.


      I can't remember the director's name... Not accepted


      What is the translation?


      Huh? You can see the translation above ^^, it’s ‘I do not remember the director’s name.’

      The literal translation of «Я не помню имя директора» is *‘I not remember name of director’, but what is not an accepted translation since it is not grammatically correct in English.


      Amusingly - or aggravatingly, as the case may be - in the app at least, the correct answer/translation is not always shown if you got it wrong, depending on the type of exercise


      Hmmm. The app likes "I do not remember" but considers "I don't remember" incorrect, even though the contraction is one of the options it provides! Lol.

      • 1145

      дирЕктора" is correct, not "директорА"


      I don't remember the last name of the director. How is this incorrect?


      Я не помою директора?

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