"I did not say that."

Translation:Я этого не говорил.

December 9, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Why are both сказать and говорить accepted? And why are both это and этого accepted?


I tried «Я это не сказал» and it was accepted, but I'm wondering why does the suggested translation use the genitive этого? And does using the accusative like I did sound strange?


Yes, the accusative doesn't sound natural here. This makes me think of the way "de" is used in French. In a negation: j'ai un stylo -> je n'ai pas de stylo (у меня есть ручка - у меня нет ручки). Or for the ordinary genitive: la voiture de mon frère (машина моего брата). Putting aside rules and just looking at the usage you sometimes can notice some curious similarities:)


That's an awesome observation, I didn't realize how deep the link between "de" and Russian genitive is! There's even the partitive role that "de" is primarily known for: "donne-moi l'eau" -> «дай мне воду» but "donne-moi de l'eau" -> «дай мне воды». This could come handy for intuition purposes, I'll need to do some research to see how far this parallel goes :-)


Well, I can tell you that, for a French person, learning/practicing Russian on the English DuoLingo app does not help! I really wish they would add this language to the French Duo!!


Amen to that. Le nombre de fois où je me suis déjà pris la tête sur la grammaire ou l'ordre des mots pour ensuite réaliser que... c'est la traduction directe du français en fait... M'enfin!


On ne peut qu'être d'accord. Mais la gymnastique a son charme.


je pense ça, moi aussi. la site anglaise est la seule que j'ai jamais utilisée et comme ça, j'ai appris des tonnes sur une langue que je pensais je connaissais déjà assez bien.


J' espere qu' un jour il y a Duolingo russe par les personnes parlant allemandes :)


For similar reasons of grammatical similarity, I would love to be able to learn Korean on a Japanese DL course. A bridge too far, I suppose... まるで、「遠すぎた橋」かな?Да, вероятно, мост слишком далеко!


Have you come to any conclusions yet?


In Old French the prepositions de and ad (related to Modern French à) were used to introduce a case called prepositional genitive directly inherited from Latin genitive, so this isn't just a coincidence :-)

Modern French having lost the morphological distinction between the nominative and its oblique forms (except, interestingly, in some pronouns: je [nominative] / me [dative] / moi [accusative] for example) doesn't mean the cases aren't still present in the actual grammar! And since both Russian and French ultimately stem from Proto-Indo-European, it stands to reason that their cases share a lot of uses.


Thank you, this is really interesting!


Your parallel with French is enlightening! Thank you!


Seems I got caught off guard by the beautifully complex rules of genitive as a direct object yet again. According to szeraja_zhaba's awesome translation of a Gramota.ru article on the topic found in this thread, you should use genitive for a pronoun when it depends on an antecedent as here. I swear I'll remember those someday.


They refused " я это не сказала"!


I did not say of that


The question accepts both:

Я не говорил этого


Я етого не говорил

But which would be the more common usage?


It is difficult to say. I'd personally prefer the second.


Я слышал, что он говорит <<я етого>>, где я живу


"етого"(yetogo/yetovo) is the wrong writing of "этого". "етого" and "ентого"(yentogo/yentovo) are mostly used in an ironic context. Russian has a vague word sequence, that means both sentences means exactly the same thing, and can be used just for a change.

You can also say

Не говорил я этого.

Этого я не говорил.

Этого не говорил я



Why is the genitive "этого" used here?


Both это and этого are acceptable. If you ask me, это fits better.


Does этого have something to do with the negative aspect of this sentence given that этого is a genitive declension?


So would it be correct to say "я эето не сказал."


Why is говорить used here instead of сказать?


Why not "я не этого говорил"?


The placement of не matters. It should go right before the thing or the phrase you want to negate.

You could, in principle, say Я не это говорил. It would be parsed as "I said not that ", i.e. "That is not what I said" (what I said was something else).


Isn't the verb Сказать correct to use here? Thanks!


For people asking about этого genitive vs это accustive, the latter being what we would normally expect here, from what I've read on the forums, there are at least two situations where the genetive is used where we would expect the accustive (namely, for a noun acting as a direct object):

Partitive role: by now in the course, Duo has already established this to us rather clearly. When it comes to food/drink, when you mean "SOME food," without being particular as to which specific sample or specimen of food, you use the genetive. To not use the genetive here is basically to use the definite article.

Я хочу воды = i want some water. Я хочу воду = i want the water.

Negative abstract role: I've only encountered one discussion about this, but i believe it pertains here. When the direct object is abstract (non tangible, non sensible), and is receiving a NEGATED verb, it is put into the genetive. Obviously, here in this exercise, whatever the speaker didn't say is being treated as abstract, and is put as genetive.

What really eludes me here is the use of готовить as opposed to сказать.


This confuses me. If говорить uses the Accusative case, doesn't that imply that I would want to say something animate? Why can't I use это?


How would they translate differently in English?

Я не говорил это Я не говорил этого


They translate the same.


Thank you for the quick reply! I was wondering about the difference between это and этого


Я так не сказал is wrong?


Can " я же не сказала " give the same meaning ?


so anytime it's a negation, i use genitive?


Unfortunately, you don't. Russian has been moving away from that for quite a while.

Some verbs always do that: you always switch to the Genitive when the verb is negated (e.g. "иметь" —the formal verb for "to have"). Such use is also associated with more affirmative and strong negative. Verbs with abstract objects often do that, too (e.g. "не обращать внимания" ~ "to pay no attention").

Other than that, we use the Accusative by default. It is just that "это" is a fairly generic word and sounds a bit more natural here in the Genitive.


Do you mean Russian used to always use the genitive in negative sentences? Nowadays Polish still does it, accusative verbs always take the genitive case when making a negative sentence.


understood, thanks friendo.


Why not Я так не сказал ...


Why does this exercise only accept the imperfective говорил and not the perfective поговорил? Wouldn't я не говорил mean something more like "I was not saying" than "I did not say"?


Поговорить means to have a quick talk, a quick conversation. The perfective you're looking for is сказать.


Поговорить does not have the meaning of "to say".


What would "я это не говорил" mean?


it would mean, "i did not say that", with emphasis on "did not say".


What is the difference between using этого говорил and говорил это


Using этого is more common.


Why not "я не этого говорил"?It was marked wrong


It is either Я этого/это не говорил or, maybe Я не это говорил (which, arguably, does not translate to the sentence in the title).


Wow! I noticed that, as some have mentioned, it also accepts это as an alternative to этого. Sure enough, looking at the conjugation of этот in Wiktionary, the accusative form actually depends on whether it refers to a masculine animate or inanimate noun, or to something else (masculine inanimate would be этот, while neuter and feminine nouns don't care about animate vs. inanimate). I guess the underlying noun in this case could be thought of as either masculine or neuter (or even feminine??), and perhaps as either animate or inanimate! The этого choice implies the referent is a masculine animate noun, though (it would be этот if inanimate masculine). Using это actually implies it's neuter, in which case it actually is the same whether animate or inanimate. Since it accepts это, does anyone know if it would be technically wrong to use, say, эту, for a feminine referent (either animate or inanimate)? It seems like an implicit referent would be "something that you say," or "то, что вы говорите," and the choice would depend on the animateness and gender of "something" (i.e. of the "то")? I guess since that's neuter, это is more correct, and we're spared from having to decide if it's animate or not... Linguists??


It is just the Genitive form. In Slavic languages, Accusative objects of negated verbs often switched to the Genitive. However, in modern Russian this is generally not the case.

Some verbs often use the Genitive when negated, especially more abstract verbs with abstract uncountable objects (e.g., "не обращать внимания"="to not pay any attention"). Sometimes is makes for a stronger negation.

Это and то are somewhat more affected with verbs like "see", "hear" or "know" than normal nouns. A native speaker might use "Я не понимаю этих докладов" occasionally but "Я этого не понимаю" is very common in comparison.

It was much more consistent in 19th century literature, but not 100 % Genitive even then:

  • Пожалуйста, не задержите ответа.
  • Природа действовала на меня чрезвычайно, но я не любил так называемых её красот, необыкновенных гор, утёсов, водопадов.
  • ... сказал я по-французски, чтобы не понял нашего разговора [Денисевич], который не знал этого языка.
  • Если я сегодня ему стула не уступил, так в другой раз я ему, пожалуй, десять стульев уступлю.
  • Я не знаю той максимальной суммы, которую Вы хотите затратить ...
  • Лёд крепок и глубок; нужно его скалывать и тотчас же уносить куски далеко в сторону, чтобы не загромождать площади.


Oh! So I guess I was barking up the wrong tree... DL is actually accepting either the genitive этого here, following this fading pattern from traditional Slavic grammar, OR это, the accusative (mimicking nominative) that is more consistent with the way the underlying noun would be treated, since both are common in modern Russian? I'm guessing это is a form of этот, at least in origin, but is it somewhat different in this very common meaning of this/that, which no longer changes with the referent's gender?



When you replace the whole situation with это it does not have any particular referent (like in "We are done for but she does not understand that just yet").

If you need to refer to a particular object just mentioned, you use он, она, оно or они.


I understand very well, now. This is really valuable. Thanks so much, Shady_arc!


Accepts every possible answer except я не этого говорил?? Moving on to Spanish or something else now..


Yeah, that one is wrong.


Is я этого не говорил really wrong?


No. It's the answer !


Я не етого говорил?


I think it really should be perfective "Я этого не сказал".

I would translate "Я этого не говорил" as "I didn't use to say that" or "That's not what I was saying" which is a bit different to "I did not say that"

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.