Sunday, August 12, 2012

Russian self, linguistically speaking

  Today we'll look at the Russian word for self – сам. Below are examples of its use, words with the same root and more.

сам - oneself, itself (masc.)
само - oneself, itself (neut.)
сама - oneself, itself (fem.)
сами - oneself, itself (pl.)

с самим собой - with oneself
разговаривать с самим собой - to talk to oneself

сам по себе - by itself, by oneself, alone
Кошка гуляет сама по себе. - A cat is walking by itself (i.e. choosing her own way).

Я сама связала этот шарф. - I knitted this scarf by myself.
Я сам! - I'll do it alone/by myself!
Машина едет сама. - The car is driving on its own.
Он любит говорить только о самом себе. - He likes to talk only about himself.
Сделай это сам. - Do it yourself.
Сами они из Австралии. - They themselves are from Australia.
Он сама невинность. - He is innocence itself.
Само собой я сделаю это. - Of course I'll do it.
Он сам не знает, что говорит. - He himself doesn't know what he is saying.
Сам Пушкин не смог бы написать лучше. - Pushkin himself wouldn't be able to write (it) better.
Им самим нетрудно это сделать. - It's not hard for them to do it by themselves.

Complex words with -сам- root:

самоучитель (literally selfteacher) - self-teaching guide
самоучка - self-taught person
самолёт (literally itself flying) - airplane
самокат (itself rolling) - kick scooter
самоанализ - self-study, self-analysis
самовар (itself boiling) - samovar
самозванец (self called) - impostor, pretender
самоубийство (self killing) - suicide
самочувствие (self feeling) - health, well-being
самообман - self-deception, self delusion
самовольный - self-willed, willful, unathourized
самоуверенный (self believing) - confident
самостоятельный (self standing) - independent, self-sustained
самодельный - self-made, homemade, handmade

Don't confuse with:

самый красивый - the most beautiful
то же самое - the same
оно самое - exactly that, that thing, yes

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