https://www.duolingo.com/DreamOfFlying

Why are there several different ways of saying my, in Russian

I cant figure it out, sometimes it puts around 3 or 4 different ways of saying my.

September 1, 2017

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua

Different genders and different cases.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Qiunnn

It can depend in the context that you use it in, case for example

http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/pronouns.php

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DreamOfFlying

Ok, so they use one kind for one word only?

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster

No, possessive pronouns (my, your, etc.) change depending on word gender and case.

Мой стакан - my glass (drinking glass) - стакан is a masculine word and so мой is used. Моя собака - my dog - собака is a feminine word and so моя is used. Моё место - my place - место is a neuter word and so моё is used.

This is just in the nominitive case (the default case of a word), and so the possessive pronouns can change further in those other cases.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DreamOfFlying

What do you mean by a masculine or feminine word?

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster

Words in Russian have three genders. This page will explain them: http://masterrussian.com/nounsandcases/gender_and_number.htm

The possessive pronouns are declined based on gender and case like I explained.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster

Masculine and feminine do not refer to how a male or a female would speak it, but rather it is just a feature of the word. The same system is in Spanish, French and some other Romance languages (except they do not have neuter or cases).

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DreamOfFlying

Ok. I somewhat get it, but I don't get why they have masculine and feminine. I mean, does only a man say it the masculine way?

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMartian

It does not change by who says it, but rather who you are speaking about. I am a Male, but if I said, My woman, I would use the feminine noun of 'my.' Since I am talking about a woman. If I was to talk about a man, I would use the 'manly' or masculine noun for my. So it does not change depending on who is speaking, but rather changes depending on the person, place, or thing you are talking about.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DreamOfFlying

Ok great, I understand.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JessicaYoung3

so slavic languages have grammar cases and often omit things from English with the articles and some prepositions so for example a the if for to of etc. are all determined by the case you use. so when you say letter about David both David and letter have an ending of a single case which will imply its about David and not written to David. I hope that makes sense.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMartian

As wambatua mentioned, different genders and different context. Same as French and many other languages.

Mon, ma, and Mes are all different ways of saying 'My' in French. The masc. version; The fem. Version; and the Plural version.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua

Not "context" as such. Different grammatical cases - genetive, dative, nominative...

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMartian

Yes, but all of those change the context of the sentence.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wombatua

They do, but I'm not getting the idea that the original poster was clear on the specifics of cases, and cases matter quite a bit in Slavic languages. To me, "context" is too broad a term to use here.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMartian

They kind of intertwine. And sometimes Broad is better. When I say context, it is pretty much a folder, that includes all of your topics for gender, grammar, nominative, ect. That would leave the user with the 'general,' answer, and he could further look into the matter to 'open' the folder, and see when the use of the word 'my,' changes, based on the sentence.

September 1, 2017
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