Глаз (часть четвёртая)

by Don  

The eyes are the mirrors of the soul, but sometimes something robs them of that ethereal connection. For instance, we can get something in our eye. In Russian this often includes the word соринка, which means ‘a little bit of junk’:

У меня соринка в глазу. Не поможешь достать? I've got something in my eye. Can you help me get it out?

After someone has had too much to drink, the eyes may become bloodshot:

— Почему твои глаза покраснели? “Why are your eyes bloodshot?”
— Ну, как тебе сказать? У меня аллергия. “Well, how can I say this? I have an allergy.”
— Понял. У тебя аллергия на трезвость. “I understand perfectly. You're allergic to sobriety.”

Глаз (часть третья)

by Don  

Yesterday we mentioned that the word глаз declines like this:

SgPl
Nomглазглаза
Acc
Genглаза, глазуглаз
Preглазе, глазуглазах
Datглазуглазам
Insглазомглазами

Note the alternative forms of the genitive case. The forms in -у are ‘second genitive’ forms which appear nowadays in certain stock phrases like «с глазу на глаз» ‘privately, confidentially’:

Мы должны поговорить, но не по сотовому. Давай поговорим с глазу на глаз. We need to have a talk, but not on the cell phone. Let's speak privately.

‘To believe one's eyes’ is a stock phrase expressed with the dative plural:

Она ведь была таким уродливым ребёнком, но вот она вернулась в деревню такой красавицей! Я не мог поверить своим глазам. Y'know, she had been such an ugly child, but here she returned to our village such a beauty! I couldn't believe my eyes.

Глаз (часть вторая)

by Don  

Yesterday we mentioned that the word глаз declines like this:

SgPl
Nomглазглаза
Acc
Genглаза, глазуглаз
Preглазе, глазуглазах
Datглазуглазам
Insглазомглазами

Note the alternative forms of the prepositional case. The prepositional form in -у is a ‘locative’ form, which appears after the prepositions в and на when they indicate location. Thus I might say:

У меня соринка в глазу. I have a speck in my eye.

But if I'm talking about an eye, then the form in -е appears:

У моего брата разноцветные глаза. Я хочу сказать тебе о его левом глазе. My brother's eyes are different colors. I want to tell you about his left eye.

Глаз (часть первая)

by Don  

Luludya withdrew her lips from mine, gazed up at me soulfully and whispered:

У тебя такие красивые глаза, как у верблюда! Your eyes are as pretty as a camel’s!

Several hours later, in the exhausted aftermath, it struck me that perhaps some Americans might have taken those words the wrong way, had they been in my oh-so-fortunate place. Camels have the most beautiful eyelashes of any animal. It is no surprise that a Gypsy woman in the throes of passion would say such a thing. And upon reflection it strikes me that all the best things in life are born in love, so it is only suitable that Luludya's love for me should elicit a blog entry on eyes.

The Russian word for eye is глаз, which declines like this:

SgPl
Nomглазглаза
Acc
Genглаза, глазуглаз
Preглазе, глазуглазах
Datглазуглазам
Insглазомглазами

Old Russian in addition to singular forms and plural forms had ‘dual’ forms, which were used to indicate things that came in pairs. For masculine nouns like глаз, that ending was -а, producing Old Russian глаза ‘two eyes, a pair of eyes.’ Nowadays that form has generalized to the plural form. We'll deal with the alternative forms of the genitive and the prepositional soon.

When you describe someone's eyes, the most common common colors are these:

У моего брата голубые глаза. My brother has blue eyes.
У её сестры зелёные глаза. Her sister has green eyes.
У моего племянника карие глаза. My nephew has brown eyes.
У вашего соседа серые глаза. Your neighbor has gray eyes.

When one is with one's beloved, it is absolutely essential to compliment the eyes, and since Russian intonation is different from English intonation, one must practice the phrases over and over again so that they sound sincere. Intonation construct (IC) 2 is often used for emphatic statements, so one could make the following compliment:



IC 5 is used for oohing and aahing, so one could pose the compliment thus:



Now we should probably address the issue of... damn... Luludya is calling my cell phone. Half a mo... Ohmigoodness, she just said:

У тебя лапы, как у медведя! You have paws like a bear’s!

Gods! Is it any wonder that I love this woman? I must go to her immediately! Grammar must wait until tomorrow!

Голубой

by Don  

Russian has two words for blue, and the one that is the equivalent of light blue is голубой, which declines like this:

Masc Neut Fem Pl
Nom голубой голубое голубая голубые
Acc * голубую *
Gen голубого голубой голубых
Pre голубом
Dat голубому голубым
Ins голубым голубыми

In its primary meaning the word means the same as its English equivalent:

Она любит носить голубые свитера. She likes to wear light-blue sweaters.
Она сегодня в голубом свитере. Today she is wearing a light-blue sweater.
Банк находится около пятиэтажного голубого здания. The bank is located near a five-story, light-blue building.
Сегодня небо без облаков, ясное и голубое. В такие дни у меня такое хорошее настроение. Today the sky has no clouds; it's clear and blue. On days like this I feel so good.

The word also has an alternative slang meaning, which is ‘gay, pertaining to homosexuals’:

— Я так люблю Гришу. Он будет моим парнем!
— Даже не надейся. Разве ты не знала, что он голубой?
— Правда? Чёрт подери. Я должна была знать. Он ведь так хорошо одевается.
“I really like Grisha. He's going to be my boyfriend!”
“Don't even think it. Did you seriously not know that he's gay?”
“Really? Goddammit. I should have known. He dresses so well.”

Interesting enough, голубой in this sense can only be applied to men, not to women.

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