Suffixes of adjectives

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Suffixes of adjectives

Postby machine_head » Mar 28th, 15, 18:02

Hi everyone! I love Russian language for being so expressive but sometimes all the numerous suffixes just drive me crazy. I'm trying to understand the difference between the following adjectives:
холодненький / холодновато / холоднущий
The word "холодновато" is also an adjective, right? Like in this sentence: Сегодня холодновато.
What sounds "colder": Сегодня холодища or Сегодня холоднуще?

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Re: Suffixes of adjectives

Postby Taras » Apr 5th, 15, 18:25

Hey there,
'холодненький' is a diminutive-hypocoristic form of 'холодный'. A diminutive-hypocoristic adjective means that the speaker wants to express their love (meaning 'fondness and being willing to take care') for the object and thinks the object is cute. Besides when using a diminutive-hypocoristic adjective, the speaker usually considers the object small. The object is usually considered small since small objects are more likely to cause a person to feel fondness than large objects.

That is why 'холодненький' means 'cold and cute' and expresses the speaker's love for the object. In addition, 'холодненький' is usually considered small by the speaker. For example, if a person comes across a kitten in the street, then sweeps the kitten up and feels that the kitten is cold, the person might say 'Какой же он холодненький!' ('How cold it is!'). If a girl comes back home from the street when it's cold outside, her mom might say 'Ты такая холодненькая!' ('You are so cold!').

Other diminutive-hypocoristic adjectives are used similarly. For instance, a father speaking to his son may say 'Какой ты у меня умненький!' ('What a clever son I have!'). It is worth mentioning that diminutive-hypocoristic adjectives are rather sentimental, and that's why males use them hardly ever and such adjectives are rarely used by females too. The adjectives are usually used in moments when the speaker's love for the object is quite strong.

'Холодновато' is either an adverb (like in the sentence 'Он холодновато относится к тебе' -- 'He gives you the cold shoulder a little bit') or a diminutive form of the predicative 'холодно' (like in the sentence 'Сегодня холодновато.' -- 'It is quite cold today.'), but 'холодновато' is not an adjective. It's just the terminology of the Russian language.

The way how the sentence 'Сегодня холодновато.' has been created, seems to be the following. Probably several centuries ago Russian speakers said a phrase like

'Сегодня погода существует холодновато.' ('The weather today exists in a cold way.')
'Сегодня погода есть холодновато.' ('The weather today takes place in a cold way.'),

and then such phrases were contracted to 'Сегодня холодновато.'. However, it's only my supposition.

Other sentences without a subject might also be created in a similar way. For example,

'Сегодня тепло.' ('It's warm today.')
may be derived from
'Сегодня погода (существует/есть) тепло.',

'Это хорошо.' ('It is good.')
seems a contracted version of
'Это (существует/есть) хорошо.'.

The phrase 'это есть хорошо' is used even now, but seldom and mostly in a bit humorous way.

'Холоднющий' and 'холоднущий' are colloquial adjectives which both mean 'very cold' and are used now and then. The former seems to be used more often. 'Холоднюще' is also sometimes used, but 'холоднуще' is very rare -- Google gives only 3 (!) references to this word.

'Сегодня холодища' can be translated as 'the weather is very cold today'. 'Сегодня холоднюще' and 'сегодня холоднуще' both mean 'it's very cold today'. So the three phrases 'сегодня (холодища/холоднюще/холоднуще)' are equally cold.

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