Arnaud
double negation Question 1: In the sentence "Наверное, никогда невозможно с точностью указать минуту, когда пришла к тебе любовь", I don't understand the structure "никогда невозможно": if it's never impossible, it means that it's possible, and I feel that the author wanted to say that it's never possible to say when true love happens to you. Why is it not "всегда невозможно" or "никогда возможно" ? Or perhaps I don't understand the sentence correctly and please give me the correct translation, in that case. Question 2: "И я никак не могу пройти двором": is the instrumentral case always used in modern russian to mean "throught the yard" or is it archaïc now and you have to use the dative по двору or another verb/structure ? Just want to now if it's still in use or archaic. Thanks
Feb 11, 2016 5:54 AM
Answers · 8
А double negation is very common in Russian. For example: I know nothing - Я ничего не знаю "Никогда невозможно" means "never possible", so you understood the sentence correctly. You have to use a second negation with "никогда". I have never seen this movie - Я никогда не видел этот фильм "И я никак не могу пройти двором" I have never heard this structure in the real life. It's archaic phrase. "И я никак не могу пройти через двор" sounds better.
February 11, 2016
1. Вы поняли предложение правильно. В русском языке встречаются двойные отрицания. Двойное отрицание равно отрицанию. Данное выражение - "никогда невозможно" употребляется только в таком варианте. 2. используется в современной разговорной речи
February 11, 2016
It was an excellent question! Best wishes to you in your Russian learning! P.S. Paris !!!!
February 11, 2016
Answeirng your question..... Never, nobody, nothing and other combinations with ни- like "ни ты ни он"='neither you nor he' trigger double negative. You may have an arbitrary number of ни-s: "ни ты ни она никогда никому не причиняли никакого зла" = ...Ever caused Any harm to Anybody. Specifically they _need_ the predicate to be negated. 'Negated' means: 'contains НЕ', words like 'отсутствует' or the ones with prefix без- don't count as negative!!!
February 11, 2016
Arnaud, could you please explain in more detail this: "There are also double negations in french like "я никак не могу", but not the kind of "Никогда невозможно" "? Actually, "никогда невозможно" belongs to a kind of double negations which we aren't always comfortable with.
February 11, 2016
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Arnaud
Language Skills
English, French, Russian
Learning Language
Russian