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Mario
Professional Teacher
Жёны I am reading the story of Isaak, from the bible and how Abraham sent a servant to look for a wife for him in a different town where his relatives lived. The sentence where the servant is praying to God for a signal to know who is the woman that he has chosen for Isaak says "пусть та женщина, которую ты выбрал в жёны Исааку, начерпает воды для меня и моих верблюдов". I do not understand why the word жена is in nominative plural. Please answer in English and if you have time enough to give examples, please translate them into English so I can see how the expressions or structures are used.
Feb 5, 2014 6:00 AM
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Answers · 14
First off, "в жены' is accusative plural (not nominative). The expression 'выбирать в' always needs a plural form, even if you mean only one person. "выбирать в жены / в мужья" (but: "выбирать мужа / жену); выбирать в депутаты, выбирать в друзья. Выбрать кого-то себе в учителя -- to choose a teacher. I think it implies not the plural form by itself, but the general idea 'of being someone', 'belonging to a particular group'. Like: there are women, some of them are wives, you're becoming one of them = I make you one of them.
February 5, 2014
set expression
February 5, 2014
Maybe I'm not right.. But I think there is no grammatic rule why the word "жена" is in nominative plural. It's just Russian idiom, phraseologism. We say "брать кого-либо в жёны", "выбрать кого-либо в жёны" that means to take smbdy to be wife..
February 5, 2014
Mario
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