by Bella  

My favorite fruit is the strawberry- клубника. When I was a very young girl in Russia, we had a neighbor who used to grow them in her yard. So my love of the red berry developed early. I will admit to being picky and preferring things with real strawberries over anything that is strawberry-(shudder)flavored.

Я обожаю клубнику.
I adore strawberries.

Notice in that sentence I am using the accusative singular to mean "strawberries." In most situations, people will assume you are speaking of more than one strawberry. The way in America when one says “strawberry pancakes,” we can be pretty sure it is not pancakes with a single berry on top. The most common words for most other berries work the same way; that is, the singular form means “berries en masse”:

У меня так много клубники, что нет места в холодильнике.
I have so many strawberries, that there is no room left in the refrigerator.

I am also quite convinced that any dessert is improved by adding strawberries to it. For example, Crème Brule with a fresh strawberry on top is heaven.

Крем-брюле лучше с клубникой.
Crème Brule is better with strawberry.

And there is nothing in the world like a fresh strawberry dipped in some high-quality dark chocolate. Yum!

Я не могу жить без клубники.
I can't live without strawberries.


Don comments: As mentioned above, most berry words in Russian are singular words that encompass quantities of the berries; i.e., they are singularia tantum like the word ‘money.’ Such words induce singular verb and adjectival agreement, and they generally cannot be used with cardinal numbers. In other words, just as in English you cannot say “one money” or “two moneys,” so in Russian you are not supposed to say «одна клубника» or «две клубники» in the sense of “one strawberry” or “two strawberries.” (Some people still do say it, though.)

Amazingly enough, conversational Russian has a couple of other words that mean “a single berry of the type клубника,” and they are клубничка and клубничина. Thus one can say одна клубничина, две клубничины, одна клубничка, две клубнички.


Comment from: Alexey [Visitor]

Gamelton, if it’s big enough, it would be rude (in respect to the berry [-:) to use the diminutive form клубничка.

Never met “клубничина” in real world though.

12/23/10 @ 03:54
Comment from: gamelton [Visitor]

In my opinion “клубничина” sounds a little bit unceremoniously towards such a juicy berry. :P

12/12/10 @ 09:56

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