Она (часть вторая)

by Don  

The Russian word она can be translated into English as she or it. It is translated as she when referring to a human being. It is translated as it when referring to an inanimate object. When referring to an animal, it can be translated either as she or it. The word is declined like this:

Nom она
Acc её
Gen ей
Pre ней
Dat ей

Here are some sample sentences:

— Когда она родилась?
— Она родилась в тысяча девятьсот девяносто третьем году.
“When was she born?”
“She was born in 1993.”
— Я ищу мою книгу по физике. Ты не знаешь, где она?
— Да, она в книжном шкафу.
“I'm looking for my physics book. Do you know where it is?”
“Yes, it's on the bookshelf.”
— Наша собака убежала. Вы её не видели?
— Она не убежала. Она спит за машиной вашей соседки.
“Our dog ran away. Have you seen her?”
“She hasn't run away. She is sleeping behind your neighbor's car.”

Actually, sometimes она and its other case forms can be translated as ‘them.’ How can that be? Well, it turns out that many berries and vegetables in Russian are referred to by feminine singular collective nouns. When that is the case, it is best to translate them with they/them. For instance:

— Ты любишь клубнику?
— Да, я её очень люблю.
“Do you like strawberries?”
“Yes, I love them.”
— Я только что купил картошку за двадцать пять рублей.
— Правда? На рынке она стоит только восемнадцать.
“I just bought potatoes for 25 rubles [per kilo].”
“Really? At the market they just cost 18.”

1 comment

Comment from: Arseny [Visitor]

Of course, form ея is obsolete, but ею/нею I often hear in oral speech.

Don adds: Arseny means that ею/нею can be found as alternative instrumental forms.

12/06/10 @ 12:34

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