Why is «себе» used in this sentence? Вы знаете, он с крыши сарая упал и сломал себе ногу. I would have thought it would simply end with «сломал ногу», why has «себе» been added. Is this to do with the way the verb is used, does it change the meaning somehow? Can you give other examples to illustrate this usage?I've just come across a related sentence: ...исцели ножку ему. Here again we see the dative used as with себе. In both cases the word could be omitted or a possessive pronoun used. So the question is why is себе/ему used, and in what other circumstances would you see this type of construction, perhaps some examples would help with this last bit.
Jul 4, 2015 9:28 PM
Answers · 29
"Он упал с крыши сарая и сломал ногу" and "Он упал с крыши сарая и сломал себе ногу" have similar meaning, because in the first sentence is assumed that he broke his leg, not someone's else. Sometimes, when it is unclear from context it could be important. For example: "Андрей упал с крыши сарая рядом с Павлом и сломал ногу". There are two men (Андрей и Павел) and it is a bit uncertain whose leg is broken. So it is better to clarify: "Андрей упал с крыши сарая рядом с Павлом и сломал себе ногу" (Andrew's leg is broken) or "Андрей упал с крыши сарая рядом с Павлом и сломал ему ногу" (Pavel's leg is broken)
July 5, 2015
Себе here is the object of the verb ''to broke'' and it indicates that the person who broke the leg was this very person. So, he broke HIS leg, not somebody else's. For example, he could fall on you and broke your leg -- упасть и сломать вам ногу, broke my leg -- сломать мне ногу etc.
July 4, 2015
About additional example: It'a typical grammar structure, actually: verb + dative (indirect object, ''receiver'' of the action) + accusative (direct object). The thing is that in Eglish the dative: 1) is usually expressed with the prepositions to or for. Eg: дать кому-либо что-либо -- give something (acc.) to someone (dative), сказать кому-то что-то -- say something to someone 2) and some verbs don't take an indirect object at all (like ''to break'' or ''hea'' as in your examples). That why you are confused. Think of the phrase ''He gave me something'' where ''me'' is the indirect object which doesnt need a preposition, exactly like in Russian. The same with сломать (literally, smth to someone), исцелить (again, literally, smth for/to someone) etc.
July 6, 2015
Привет, Will! You can read my article about the reflexive personal pronoun себя in Russian: All the best, Yana
July 5, 2015 Примеры: Сегодня я купила себе духи. Он хочет себе машину. Они сами себе на уме. Сам себе голова.
July 4, 2015
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