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I can't figure out the pronunciation of the word стоят. Is it stOyat, stOyit, stoyAt? I'm very confused. I checked this website that annotates words, but it shows two different forms: http://russiangram.com/

I also went on Wikipedia, and it showed two forms of the word and I can't figure out which is which. https://ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%8F%D1%82

This is the context: Cколько стоят помидоры?

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1

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You're confused because those are indeed two completely different verbs.

Стоя́т помидоры

would mean that tomatoes are standing (perhaps boxes of tomatoes are standing in the corner of a grocery store).

Cколько сто́ят помидоры?

means "how much do the tomatoes cost?".

In the first instance, the verb is "стоя́ть" (to stand); in the second — the one you're asking about — the verb is "сто́ить" (to cost, to be worth).

"Не стои́т" means doesn't stand, and often by default it refers to erectile dysfunction.

"Не сто́ит" means "[it's] not worth it", "don't do it", "no, thanks" ("not worth it" being the literal translation).

"Он/она того не сто́ит" means he/she isn't worth it.

"Он/она уже на ногах не стои́т" means he/she is so drunk, that he/she can't even stand upright.

Since in Russian, stress marks aren't used except for learning materials, the only way to know whether 'to stand' or 'to cost/be worth' is being used is from the context. "Сколько стоит... ?" is pretty straight forward as it's clearly a question regarding the price of something ("How much is... ?"). However, a question starting with "сколько" and followed with "стоит" can in some instances refer to standing. For example "Да сколько вы там уже стоите?!" means "Just how long have you been stuck there for?!", so the "и" would be stressed in that case.

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  • Ok in СТОят which the я sound like an i or (y)i
    – Almonds812
    Mar 9, 2019 at 19:51
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    I'd say don't worry so much about unstressed vowels in Russian. They are rarely clear and you'd get better result by obsessing less about them. You need to say the word quickly and stress the right syllable? the rest vowels are sort of 'lazy', they just fall in place. The stressed vowels must be pronounced as is, the rest can be pronounced differently depending on many reasons up to a personal mannerisms. I'd say that I pronounce "я" in "стоят" somewhere between йя, йe, йи. Depending on a speaker "СТОят" and "СТОит" (plural vs single) can sound slightly different or almost identical.
    – AR.
    Mar 9, 2019 at 20:58

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