ДЕНЬ ПАМЯТИ ЖЕРТВ ХОЛОКОСТА (Memorial Day of the victims of the Holocaust)

Today ia the Memorial Day of the victims of the Holocaust.
This is the day to remember the victims of the Holocaust and to make contant efforts now and in the future in order the horrible Holocaust not to be repeated any more.

I’ve written an article in Russian about the Holocaust.
Here is the link:

Good read. So, it’s my understanding that the Jews did initially back Hitler? It doesn’t exactly make sense to me, due to my understanding about WW2. Hitler was pretty vocal about his dislike towards certain groups (communists/Bolsheviks and Jews) and it took some time to gradually take away their rights as citizens.

It isn’t in my text that the Jews backed Hitler.
Hitler hated Jews, communists, homosexuals and Gipsy. He called them ‘under-people’ and he exalted the German nation.
Some Jews in Germany were rich and they owned some banks, printing houses and factories.
But Hitler took away from them their property.
Some of Jews could flee, but a great number of them were taken to the concentration camps and were killed there.
This genocide against the certain nation is called the Halocoast.

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I’m just a little confused on this sentence right here:
Совершенно непонятно, почему именно евреев выбрал Гитлер и его сторонники

It is completely unclear why exactly the Jews chose Hitler.

Edit: I definitely misinterpreted it:
It is completely unclear why exactly Hitler chose the Jews.

You have to read this sentence till the end: … в качестве нации для уничтожения!
And not Jews chose Hitler, but Hitler chose this nation for the destruction, for the Holocaust.

I guess I still don’t understand the sentence. I believe you, it’s just my mind can’t interpret it. The syntax is just throwing me off. Maybe you can post the full translation of the full sentence, so I can try to interpret it?

I’m trying to make LingQs out the sentence, but the website today is having another one of its tantrums, and I can’t get the lesson to load on mobile.

Ah, it’s the flexibility of Russian word order that’s the problem

If one follows english word order then I think it’s the difference between
гитлр выбрал евреев
Hitler chose the Jews
the hypothetical
евреи выбрали гитлра
The Jews chose Hitler

Yep yep. The syntax threw me off (The Jews chose Hitler?), but the ending of -ев in евреев made me hesitate, because it looks like an accusative declension.

WE don’t have ‘an accusative declension’!.. We have an accusative case -and this case indicates an object, not a subject!
Taml wrote correctly.
You don’t have apply the rules of English to other languages!..
It’s absolutely incorrect!

WE don’t have ‘an accusative declension’!.. We have an accusative case -and this case indicates an object, not a subject!
Taml wrote correctly.
You don’t have apply the rules of English to other languages!..
It’s absolutely incorrect!

Now you’re splitting hairs on the matter.

This is why I’m asking because the word order in Russian still confuses me.

So thank you TamL for the straight forward answer.

What often throws us non-Russians off is the fact that the accusative of personal nouns is the same as the genitive. Cases, or endings are often more important than word order. I have gotten used to ignoring word order and focusing more on the cases or endings of what I see if the word order doesn’t make sense. So once you see the word “евреев” you know that is the object, not the subject of the sentence, regardless of word order. But habits from our own language are hard to change. You just have to keep going!

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It’s quite frustrating, because no matter where I ask, it’s either “try to translate it yourself than ask people for help” when you ask a question. Then, I attempt to do so with the best of my knowledge, and the responses are “don’t use your English logic for Russian”.

However, it has gotten a lot easier since last year, where i struggled to form basic sentences like “I know him”. So, once again, the input method has proven to be the most effective: Read, read, then read even more, listen a lot, then when in doubt, read again!

Don’t be angry! I had a bad day today. But anyway I don’t mind answering the students’ questions.

I acquired a fairly good grasp of Russian grammar in a traditional classroom setting years ago, so I can’t vouch for input-focused methods for it in the way that Steve can. I have to think some study of the case system, etc., as an exercise, must help. (The little bit of Finnish you see in my banner is from my timid first steps to test input-focused methods on an unknown language with complex grammar.)

In the sentence giving trouble here, good understanding of Russian grammar does make the sentence clear. Probably you’ve got the analysis below under control already, but here it is in minute detail for whoever might benefit.

The core phrase has a subject, a verb, and an object. In the Russian example we find these words presented in this order and in these grammatical forms:

евреев – noun, plural accusative/genitive
выбрал – verb, singular past active (i.e., takes a direct object in the accusative)
Гитлер (и его сторонники) – noun, singular nominative

In Russian the subject is nominative, the verb agrees with the subject, and the object is accusative. Therefore the only possible English word order for those elements is:

Гитлер и его сторонники выбрал евреев.

Hitler (singular nominative) [and his supporters] selected (singular past active) the Jews (plural accusative/genitive).

English relies on the word order since it overwhelmingly does not change the form of the words. It’s the opposite in Russian – since the words by themselves tell you pretty much how they’re used in the sentence, the order that they’re used in the sentence is largely irrelevant. Word order can be modified for emphasis and color (much of which is beyond my level), but the basic parsing of the elements remains the same based on those word forms.

Sure, you’re not going to stop and diagram sentences when a native is yammering at you a-mile-a-minute. But continued exposure will make it easier and easier to handle sentences with non-English word order. In the long run, a fully inflected grammar like Russian’s actually makes it easier to unravel long, convoluted sentences, as well as to remove ambiguity in many instances.

Note & question: In English for “Hitler and his supporters” we would use a plural verb – which would only be apparent in the present tense – but in the Russian here the verb is singular. Is it always so in such a construction?

PS: Thank you, Mrs. Brandt, for making me learn sentence diagramming in 7th grade!

[edit: typos]

The agreement rules between the compound subject and the verb are quite complicated and very often more intuitive than grammatical, but as a general rule: 1) the verb is plural when it follows the compound subject (neutral/standard word order), and 2) the verb is singular when it comes before the subject (inverted word order).

Гитлер и его сторонники выбрали евреев (you can’t say выбрал here)
Евреев выбрал Гитлер и его союзники.

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Interesting. It has seemed that I have encountered another rare exception in Russian grammar.

So, the verb is plural when it’s after the subject, and singular, when it’s before?

No, not just any plural subject. @Bautov is talking specifically about compound subjects. (It will be a few hours before our Russian friends log in and correct me.)

I consider this a detail to keep in the back of my mind but not to get too overwrought about. If I use a plural verb before a compound subject, I’m sure I’ll be understood, even if I come across sounding like the foreigner that I am. It’s easy enough to recognized and handle when on the receiving end of the conversation.

And I wouldn’t call any exception “rare” – not in Russian, and certainly not in English! :wink: In my opinion, once you get over the inevitable difficulty such exceptions cause, the exceptions are a bit like spice in the language. They make it “interesting”.

As a general rule. I think it’s quite safe to follow it. They are often used interchangeably though. More detailed explanation looks like this: Розенталь Д.Э. и др. Справочник. ГЛАВА XLIII.

As @khardy pointed out we are talking about a compound subject, i.e. one which consists of two or more subjects.

And now you can read this article also in the English translation which is made by Richard from Great Britain: