Совместная жизнь (замужем)

by Don  

Today we will talk about the word замужем, which means ‘married.’ The word is used to refer to women being married. If you look it up in most dictionaries, you will see it is noted as an adverb. I hate that association. What it really is is an indeclinable feminine predicative adjective that is non-specified for number. So why don't dictionaries just label it that way? Because the abbreviation ifpatinfn is ugly. Even lexicographers are slaves to fashion, pointedly ignoring the instructions of grammatical luminaries like myself. It maddens me.

Let's say you have just run into your old friend Angelina, who for some recent work-related reason has learned to speak Russian. You could have this conversation with her.

— Ну, Анджелина, где твой муж?
— Мой муж? Я не замужем.
— Но я думала, что Брэд твой муж.
— Ну, как тебе сказать... Мы живём вместе, у нас трое родных детей и ещё трое усыновлённых, но официально мы не вступили в брак.
“So, Angelina, where is your husband?”
“My husband? I'm not married.”
“But I thought Brad was your husband.”
“Well, how should I put this... We live together. We have three of our own children plus three adopted ones, but we have never offically gotten married.”
— Почему ваша дочка не замужем?
— Она считает, что мужики вообще ленивые, агрессивные, и не соблюдают чистоту.
— С этим трудно поспорить.
“Why isn't your daughter married?”
“She thinks guys are lazy, aggressive, and don't know how to keep anything clean.”
“That's hard to argue with.”

If you are talking about more than one woman, замужем does not change form:

— Твои сёстры замужем?
— Да, все три уже замужем.
“Are your sisters married?”
“Yes, all three are married.”

If the woman you are talking to is one whom you address in вы form, then замужем does not change form:

— Алла Борисовна, вы замужем?
— Нет, я уже не замужем.
“Alla Borisovna, are you married?”
“No, I am no longer married.”

Of course, once you know the person is married, you will want to know to whom she is married, for which purpose you will could use the preposition за followed by the instrumental case:

Людмила Александровна замужем за Владимиром Владимировичем. Lyudmila Aleksandrovna is married to Vladimir Vladimirovich.

With that in mind, theoretically one could have the following conversation:

— Ира, ты замужем?
— Да, замужем.
— За кем ты замужем?
— За бывшим соседом, Димой.
“Irina, are you married?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Who are you married to?”
“To my former neighbor, Dima.”

Although that conversation is perfectly grammatical, it is also a bit odd. Instead of using the за кем construction, most Russians will make it simpler:

— Ира, ты замужем?
— Да, замужем.
— А кто твой муж?
— Наш бывший сосед, Дима.
“Irina, are you married?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Who are you married to?”
“Our former neighbor, Dima.”

1 comment

Comment from: Karl Natanson [Visitor]

Exemplary elucidation!

10/06/13 @ 03:13

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