I read about a flower which is called "Иван да Марья". I am assuming, that "Иван" and "Марья" are Russian names, since they start with capital letters and "Марья" sounds like an English name "Maria". What does "да" mean though? I know of it as "yes". Does it have other meanings? Because thinking of it as "yes" in this context does not make a lot of sense to me!
The word "Да" has got various functions in Russian.
- In your example
Иван да Марья (Иван и Марья)
it is a conjunction which means "и". As a conjunction it can also mean "но" ("but")
Солнце светит, да не греет ("The sun is shining, but it isn't warm").
In this case we put a comma in front of "да".
2.As a particle "да" can denote agreement.
-- Вы говорите по-русски?" ("Do you speak Russian?)
-- Да. ("Yes, I do").
It can also express being surprised:
-- Я говорю по-русски. ("I speak Russian.")
--Да ладно? ("Really?")
It can also mean "by the way" when it is at the beginning of the sentence.
Да, совсем забыл, напиши ему письмо. ("By the way, I forgot to tell you, write him a letter.")
As a particle it helps to form imperative sentences.
Да будет так!("Let it be so!" if translated literary, but that's also one of the possible translations of "Amen!")
Or like here:
Да здравствует свобода!(Long live freedom! )
It can be used for putting emphasis on a sentence.
Да не хочу я ничего! ("I don't want anything!", a bit stronger than just "Не хочу я ничего!" which would be translated in English in the same way)