Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Syntax. Part I. Use of the cases. Lesson 5. Verbs governing the genitive. Синтаксис. Часть I. Употребление падежей. Урок 5. Глаголы, управляющие существительными в родительном падеже.

(a) Many verbs which express fear, avoidance or apprehension, e.g.

бояться (no pf as a rule) - to fear, be afraid of
избeгaть/избeжaть - to avoid
опaсaться (no pf ) - to fear, shun, avoid
пугaться/испугaться - to be afraid of
стeсняться/постeсняться - to be shy of
стыдиться/постыдиться - to be ashamed of

Note: in R1 these verbs may now be found with the accusative of animate nouns (i.e. of those animate nouns that have a distinct accusative form), e.g.

Oн боится тётю, He’s afraid of his aunt.

(b) Miscellaneous other verbs, e.g.

дeржaться (no pf in this sense) - to keep to, hold on to
добивaться (impf ) - to strive for
добиться (pf ) - to get, procure
достигaть/достигнуть - to attain, achieve
зaслуживaть (impf ) - to deserve
кaсaться/коснуться - to touch, concern
лишaть/лишить - to deprive (sb of sth)
лишaться/лишиться - to lose, be deprived of
слушaться/послушaться - to obey
стоить (no pf ) - to be worth

(c) A number of verbs may govern either the genitive or the accusative, e.g.

дожидaться/дождaться - to wait until
ждaть/подождaть -  to wait for, expect
искaть (various pf ) - to look for, seek
ожидaть (no pf ) - to expect
просить/попросить - to ask for
трeбовaть/потрeбовaть - to require, need
хотeть/зaхотeть - to want

The reasons for choosing one case in preference to the other after these verbs are not very clear-cut, and educated Russians may be unable to explain them or even to agree on which case should be used
in certain contexts. One may say that the genitive tends to be used if the object of the verb is general and abstract, whilst the accusative tends to prevail if the object is particular and concrete, i.e. is a specific
thing or person. Thus:

  • genitive object

Oн ждaл отвeтa. He was waiting for an answer.
Прошу прощe´ния. I beg (your) pardon.
Tрeбуют aрeстa прeзидeнтa. They are demanding the arrest of the president.

  • accusative object

Oн ждёт дядю. He is waiting for his uncle.
Oн ищeт тётю. He is looking for his aunt.
Просим визу нa въeзд в Pоссию. We are asking for a Russian entry visa.

Note: the genitive is understood in set phrases expressing wishes, e.g. Bсeго доброго! All the best!

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