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In English, you could imagine or invent some situations where you enunciate every single word and leave a space between words. For example:

"This - is - a - sentence. Do you understand?"

In Russian, let's consider prepositions:

в — in(to)
к — towards
с — with; off
со — with, a variant of с

If speaking in the strange style where you separate each word, would you still attach these words together? If so, are there other words this applies to?

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  • I might add a comment that part of this question is even about thinking in Russian. When I piece together sentences in other languages, it's perfectly fine to go slowly and say "in --- the --- drawer", where each word has a pause, and you think about the next word. But in Russian, it might be "в --- ящик". In which case you would have a "в" floating in space, and it sounds funny, since it is supposed to be attached to the next word. Well, or maybe that is ok in Russian, to say "в" all by itself.
    – Sam
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 17:25
  • In the situation you described, you'd normally hear "Положи вэээ.... ящик!" with a sort of a schwa sound after "в". Many Russians tend to fill the gaps with this sound when thinking about the next word. Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 21:18
  • That's helpful. So it would be вэээ... and not вввв....
    – Sam
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 23:54

2 Answers 2

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It's up to you. You can invent whatever style you want. If your goal is to highlight word boundaries, you could emphasize these single letter prepositions. In fact, you may encounter this type of "style" in some quite normal language situations, e.g.:

  • Не к ней, а с ней!

Many would read this with the preposition с emphasized and separate from the next word.

But normally, Russian is spoken in syllables, and zero-syllable words naturally get attached to the adjacent syllables:

  • Кто б - с ва - ми - ни - был, - вы ж - всё - рав - но...

Check out this Soviet sci-fi movie robot saying:

  • бес - по - ря - док - в до - ку - мен - та - ци - и

https://youtu.be/pzDoUGh1mIE?t=12

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  • So the robot in the movie did not really separate or emphasis the "в", it was connected to the next word.
    – Sam
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 16:05
  • That's right, he/it did not. It sounds more natural that way. Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 21:20
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If speaking in the strange style where you separate each word, would you still attach these words together?

When I piece together sentences in other languages, it's perfectly fine to go slowly and say "in --- the --- drawer", where each word has a pause, and you think about the next word.

This approach would work in Russian, too, if you don't mind speaking like a teacher.

In school, in Russian class, teachers regularly do Dictation exercises. It's not uncommon to see them pronouncing the text word by word, including single consonant prepositions. For example, see these YouTube lessons (just some random results from searching "урок русского диктант"):

  • for 8 yo kids, starting at 01:55. The phrase is "Мальчики Юра и Ваня идут в лес."
  • for 11 yo kids, starting at 03:50. The phrase is "летом собачка пробиралась к даче".

Mind you, it's just as common to see them not make any pause in some cases. The first lesson linked above sounds like: "Юра -pause- иВаня".


Edit:
And of course, if you've suddenly found yourself in need of a carefully thought-out word mid sentence, of course you can pause even after the preposition and think:

  • "Я ходил в кино с... ммм... эээ... одной знакомой".

That would be perfectly natural.

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