Verb of the Week: посвящать/посвятить Posted by Natalie on Aug 17, 2012 in language
Всем привет! [Hello all!] It’s been a while since we have done a verb of the week, so I thought it would be a good idea to write a post about yet another wonderful Russian verb (because there’s nothing like a little Russian grammar to spice up your Friday, right?). I opened my verb book (yes, I have a verb book full of Russian verbs – don’t laugh) and decided on посвящать/посвятить. In the photo: «Белая гвардия» [The White Guard], a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. Trust me, there is a reason why I chose this photo for this post…
The verb посвящать/посвятить means “to dedicate, to devote.” It conjugates as follows.
Now for the perfective:
Now for some sentences (and a little anecdote about how I learned this verb).
Всё своё свободное время он посвящал игре в гольф. [He dedicated all his free time to golf.] I found this sentence while browsing the internet and I liked it because I have an uncle to whom it applies. I’ll have to tell my mom this next time we’re talking about family…
Он посвятил первую книгу своей матери. [He dedicated his first book to his mother.] Notice that in this sentence, the thing that is being dedicated is accusative (книгу) and the person to whom it is dedicated is dative (матери).
This verb can also be used in the sense of letting someone in on a secret, like in this example: Не посвящайте меня в ваши тайны. [Don’t let me in on your secrets.] Notice that it is в + accusative here.
And finally, the reason why I used a photo of роман «Белая гвардия» [the novel The White Guard] for this post: when I was first starting to read literature in Russian, I picked up a copy of «Белая гвардия» and the first thing I saw was Bulgakov’s dedication: Посвящается Любови Евгеньевне Белозёрской [Dedicated to Lyubov Yevgenevna Belozyorskaya]. For some reason, reading that dedication made this verb stick in my mind, and I have never forgotten it.
Here’s a trivia question for you: who was Lyubov Belozyorskaya?
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