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 translateions 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)
"Да" means "and" in this case, so it's Ivan and Maria (see also "тишь да гладь", "вокруг да около").
Sometimes it can also mean "but": Я старался, да не смог - I tried but I couldn't (do that).
"Да" means "and" in this case. But its outdated form, now we usually don't use "да" in means of "and"