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Difference between "собственный" and "свой" (own)?

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I am trying to translate: I would like to open my own travel company and tried to use the word своей to denote "my own." When verifying my translation I found that Google Translate (I know it's not the best tool) kept wanting to use собственного in своей's place. Can someone please explain the difference between собственный and свой?

Thanks! -Katie

asked Jan 16, 2013 by KatieB (160 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

Hi Katie,

I'd translate the sentence I would like to open my own travel company as Я хоте́л(а) бы откры́ть (свою́) со́бственную туристи́ческую компа́нию.

Cóбственный is used to emphasize the idea of smb´s own object or phenomenon. If you use сóбственный you always compare yourself to other people, saying that you want to have something belonging only to you and not "in joint property". To emphasize it even more, you can use the construction cвой сóбственный.

For example,

Наконéц-то онá купи́ла свою́ со́бственную кварти́ру (и бóльше не живёт с роди́телями).
She finally bought her own flat (and doesn't live with her parents anymore).

Свой also means "smb´s own", but you don´t have to compare yourself to other people when using it. It´s also used to distinguish "smb´s own" from "his", "her" and "their".

For example,

Он лю́бит свою́ сестру́. He loves his (own) sister.

Он лю́бит его́ сестру́. He loves his (smb else's) sister.

Kind regards,

Yulia Amlinskaya,

Russian Language Teacher.

answered Jan 16, 2013 by RussianTeacher (19,690 points)
selected Jan 16, 2013 by KatieB