Sometimes I have a doubt, whether I should use a time expression with or without a preposition (although, naturally, in the accusative case).

I would like to say "The last time I spoke in Russian in real life [not online] was one year ago".

Would the following sentence do the job?

Я говорил на русском на живую последний раз год назад.

My main doubt is whether it is preferable "в последний раз" or just "последний раз".

1 Answer 1


This question has been dealt with elsewhere, so please let me just give some references

1 gramotno.livejournal.com

Корректны оба варианта. В данном контексте устойчивые выражения в последний раз и последний раз полностью синонимичны и взаимозаменяемы.

В наречном значении такая вариативность присутствует почти всегда: в последний раз прощаю — последний раз прощаю; объясняю в последний раз — объясняю последний раз; в последний раз было круто — последний раз было круто.

2 "В первый раз" или "первый раз" (russian.stackexchange.com)

3 Справка сайтa gramota.ru

Добрый день! "Первый раз я посетил эту страну, еще будучи инженером". Подскажите, как правильно: "первый раз или в первый раз"?

Ответ справочной службы русского языка: Варианты "первый раз" и "в первый раз" равноправны.

I personally prefer it without the preposition, it's easier this way.

Now, as far as your sentence is concerned, it's not entirely correct, despite being comprehensible.

Я говорил на русском на живую последний раз год назад.

Firstly, if на живую were a legitimate adverb in Russian, it would have to be spelled jointly with the preposition - наживую, as such is the grammatic rule. However there's no such adverb in Russian (there's one in Ukrainian - "наживу/наживо"). Instead there's the adverb вживую/живьём with the same meaning.

Secondly, even with this adverb the phrase would still sound awkward, because вживую is not normally used to describe live real time speech to contrast it with conversation in writing or texting.

I don't know what can replace it in Russian, but it may even be redundant because the act of speaking in most cases is being performed in real time anyway, all other forms of communication isn't essentially разговор, but simply общение.

So it may be reformulated in two ways

Последний раз я разговаривал на русском год назад.


Последний раз я общался на русском устно год назад.

  • 1
    Thank you for the sources. So either последний раз and в последний раз mean the same and are interchangeable. As for the way to express "live conversation", maybe I could use лицом к лицу instead? Устно means "orally", right?
    – swrutra
    Feb 18, 2018 at 19:14
  • @swrutra yes they do, maybe there're certain isolated use cases where one would be preferable over another but this is insignificant... лицом к лицу although still comprehensible, doesn't sound idiomatic, and it would usually imply speaking to the SAME person with whom you conversed previously by other means and so might distort your original intent Feb 18, 2018 at 19:20
  • @swrutra yes, orally, from archaic устA - lips Feb 18, 2018 at 19:30

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