"Наша семья - большая."

Translation:Our family is big.

December 14, 2015

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Note: Since “big” is here used as a predicate adjective, one would ordinarily use the predicate (short) form in Russian. But «большой|большое|большая|большие» is exceptional in not having its own predicate form «*бóлеш|*бóльшo|*большá|*больши́». So instead, one either uses the attributive (long) form, as in the given translation, or substitutes that of «великий|великое|великая|великие»=“great”: «вели́к|велико́|велика́|велики́».


семья looks an awful lot like семь but I can't understand how there would be a relation -- or do most Russian parents have five children? :)


I think the number was even bigger at one time, but nowadays it's typically western with 1-2 kids. Семья and семь is a funny coincidence which is fairly exploited, like writing as "7я".


I think I read somewhere that it represents the standard family: three children, two parents and two grandparents.


Would that be the maternal or the paternal grandparents, or how does it work?


That I don't know.


This is a mare coincidence. The Slavic word for family comes from the same root that gave the English home. Back in the pre-historic times it was pronounced with a palatal in the beginning, which in the Germanic, Italic, Celtic, and Greek languages equalized with the ordinary k, while in the Balto-Slavic and in the Indo-Iranian it has evolved to a sibilant sound - in Russian, in particular, it has become just s.

PS семья is unrelated with семя (seed), either. The later comes from the word for "sowing".


If я is already a soft vowel, why does м need a ь?


Don't mix up with семя=semen. Saying семья is like saying separate семь я. With consonant+ь/ъ+vowel this ь/ъ works as a separating sign.


Why is "we have a big family" acceptable but my "we have a large family" wrong?


Sounds like an oversight - 'Our family is large' is accepted.


My answer is correct!

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