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Questions about the difference in meaning or usage between two or more words.

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16 votes
5 answers
9k views

The difference between "свой" and "мой"

What's the difference between свой (своя и т.д.) and мой (моя и т.д.) when Russian people speak they seem aware of the difference but still I can't wrap my head around it.
Ziad's user avatar
  • 471
20 votes
6 answers
3k views

Possessive constructions: "мой" vs. "у меня"

What is the difference between the following sentences: Мой папа в командировке. У меня папа в командировке. How can I explain to foreign students when to use "мой" or "у меня"?
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
12 votes
3 answers
11k views

"На английском" or "по-английски"?

I was wondering if there's any difference between на английском and по-английски (for example when asking how to say something in English).
Sora.'s user avatar
  • 223
59 votes
14 answers
43k views

What does the phrase "Да нет" mean?

Does it mean yes, or does it mean no, or something else?
chubbycantorset's user avatar
42 votes
10 answers
7k views

Usage of "про" instead of "о"

One of the prepositions I never learned in Russian courses is про, which I only met later when communicating with native speakers or when reading. Is it possible to give a good rule of thumb about ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
37 votes
8 answers
8k views

When is it more appropriate to use здравствуйте rather than привет?

As far as I understand, both of these mean more or less the same thing. Rosetta Stone, that introduced me to the Russian language seems to prefer здравствуйте, but it seems привет is more commonly ...
mikl's user avatar
  • 646
37 votes
2 answers
7k views

How can "to teach" and "to learn" be translated to Russian?

I know that there are several Russian verbs can be used to translate the English verbs "to teach", "to study", and "to learn", e.g. учить, выучить, научить, учиться, изучать, ... However, I am a bit ...
Giorgio's user avatar
  • 793
25 votes
11 answers
7k views

Usage patterns of "надо" vs. "нужно"

What are the mechanics behind using надо over нужно or vice versa? What governs when they are interchangeable and when not? To be perfectly clear: I have no problems simply using whichever sounds ...
RegDwight's user avatar
  • 1,259
11 votes
3 answers
665 views

Particle же vs Particle -то

What is the difference in the meaning between the particles "же" and "-то"? For example, Он же не пришёл. Vs. Он-то не пришёл.
Barbara's user avatar
  • 451
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Talking about perfective and imperfective verbs

Здравствуйте! I speak spanish, and I'm learning russian. We're studying perfective and imperfective verbs, like читать - прочитать. I get really confuse with some глаголы, like купить & покупать, ...
Ana Galois's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

Difference between "вставать" and "встать"

That's it, specifically in the sentences: не встать! and не вставать! Are they exactly the same, what are the differences?
MyUserIsThis's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
473 views

What's the difference between "Ива́нович" and "Ивано́в"?

Are both Ива́нович and Ивано́в derived from the given name Ива́н (Ivan)? Ивано́в is a surname, how about Ива́нович?
zzzgoo's user avatar
  • 163
5 votes
1 answer
237 views

To imply "but" when should I use "а" and when should I use "но"?

I want to imply but Now, a can mean both and and but And, но also means but So, when should I use a and when should I use но?
Sonevol's user avatar
  • 287
4 votes
2 answers
395 views

Usage of "все" vs "ещё"?

So I just came across the following sentence: Прошло 2 года,а я все слушаю If I had to make a guess I'd translate this to something like: It's been two years and still i'm listening It appears ...
Trey's user avatar
  • 2,067
51 votes
10 answers
16k views

What's the difference between "лежит на столе" and "стоит на столе"?

Can anyone explain the difference between the following sentences: "Чашка лежит на столе" vs. "Чашка стоит на столе" "Мяч лежит на столе" vs. "Мяч стоит на столе" "Лэптоп лежит на столе" vs. "Лэптоп ...
valdemar's user avatar
  • 511
27 votes
9 answers
19k views

Why do Russians call their women expensive ("дорогая")?

My question is in the title of this post, and I do not know what else to say. I am just puzzled. Okay, to avoid my post being put on hold for being too succinct, I will add a couple of naive thoughts ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 11.2k
24 votes
13 answers
15k views

What is the difference between "теперь" and "сейчас"

It seems to me that these two words have the same meaning. The dictionary doesn't help much, it gives them as synonyms. Although the meaning of "сейчас" is more general and can refer to past events: ...
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
24 votes
6 answers
3k views

What's the difference between -либо and -нибудь?

The pairs кто-нибудь and кто-либо, когда-нибудь and когда-либо etc. have slight differences in meaning and each particle is used in specific settings, but I can't quite pinpoint what the difference is....
Vitaly Mijiritsky's user avatar
20 votes
7 answers
4k views

Russian words for magic. Etymology, usage and connotations

Something that I realised early on when learning Russian were the different words Russians would use where an English speaker would just say magic: The first word I came into contact with was ...
17 votes
5 answers
20k views

What's the difference between "вот" and "здесь"?

Both words translate as here, but in which context should I use one over the other? There's a question about it on the Q&A of masterrussian.com that already gives me a rough understanding. That ...
Em1's user avatar
  • 1,658
13 votes
3 answers
558 views

Different expressions for "ten" in Russian: десять, десятка, десяток

In terms of expressing ten, what's the difference between десять, десятка and десяток? I understand the first is a numeral and the other two are nouns, but I'm curious to know in what contexts each is ...
ycele's user avatar
  • 2,827
13 votes
6 answers
4k views

Why does Russian have three words for marriage?

They are свадьба, женитьба, and замужество. According to wiktionary, женитьба is marriage from a man's perspective (despite being feminine) and замужество a woman's (despite being neuter). Is it ...
Judicaël's user avatar
  • 499
12 votes
6 answers
838 views

What is the difference in meaning between "Это моя машина" and "Эта моя машина"?

The Memrise course "Russian grammar through sentences translates "This is my car" as "Это моя машина." I don't understand why we don't use the feminine Эта in this sentence. Translate.Ru translates ...
cakebatter's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
1k views

How should I translate "the fighting boar" in Grenfell's poem into Russian?

My Russian teacher, whom you know by his tough approach to teaching the language, strongly pushed me to try to translate English poems into Russian, and we agreed I'd have a look at Hymn to the Wild ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 11.2k
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Почему люди путают цифры и числа?

Очень часто наблюдаю во всевозможных источниках, что люди почему-то путают понятия число и цифра. Например: 3 млрд. - очень большая цифра для ... Хотелось бы озвучить цифру... И дальше ...
Dmitry's user avatar
  • 8,436
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Difference between нужно и надо

Hello probably this is duplicate question but I still can't understand the difference in use between these 2 words? Надо и нужно Can you give me some examples please?
John's user avatar
  • 131
10 votes
4 answers
8k views

Difference between "девушка", "девочка" and "подруга"

So, if I remember correctly, "девушка" can refer to both "girl" (of any age) or "girlfriend" (I'm not entirely sure of this, so feel free to call me out). But what about '...
Trey's user avatar
  • 2,067
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

"Одену" or "надену"

I can't seem to figure out the difference between одену and надену. Both are future tense verbs of "to put on" or "wear". Are they both just synonyms? I fee like there is a subtle difference
rsavchenko's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the difference between разве and неужели?

I know that разве has some additional meanings, for instance the expression разве что/лишь/только. However in their principal meaning, разве and неужели are somewhat synonymous. What are the nuances ...
ghostarbeiter's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
741 views

Why do you need to use Я with verbs in the present tense?

The first person singular verb conjugation in the present tense is always different from other verb conjugations, so why the need to use "Я" at all in those cases? For example, can't you just say "...
chubbycantorset's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
629 views

"хотеть" versus impersonal "хотеться"

What is the difference in meaning between the following pairs? 1a) Я хочу овчарку. 1b) Мне хочется овчарку. 2a) Он так хотел новую машину! 2b) Ему так хотелось новую машину! 3a) Я захотел поесть. ...
ycele's user avatar
  • 2,827
8 votes
4 answers
603 views

What's the difference between "дети бегают по магазину" and "дети бегают в магазине"?

What's the difference between "дети бегают по магазину" and "дети бегают в магазине"? EDIT: If you are about to provide some examples in your answers, please, observe the following requests: ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

"Что–то" or "что–нибудь"

They both mean "something" but I have seen somewhere that there is a subtle difference between their respective senses. Could someone give me a hint at the difference along with sentences?
Averroes's user avatar
  • 225
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

выходить vs. уходить

I once asked a native speaker what the difference is between выходить and уходить, and I was told that выходить means to exit in a general direction, while уходить means to exit in a specific ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
7 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to address a female friend

As a man, how do I respectfully say "Hi there, friend!" to a woman? I know to a man, I would say привет, мой друг Could I use the same thing for a woman? Or can I use... привет, моя подруга ...
ddavison's user avatar
  • 518
7 votes
2 answers
297 views

В чем разница между словами "подвижник" и "поборник"?

Подвижник В словаре Ефремовой определяется как Самоотверженный труженик. а в словаре Ожегова: Человек, героически принявший на себя тяжёлый труд или лишения ради достижения высокой цели Пример ...
ovgolovin's user avatar
  • 1,059
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Succinct and gender-neutral Russian word for "writer"

Imagine I want to translate to Russian the word "community of working writers" such that "writers" means both male and female ones. Here are obvious variants: Сообщество работающих литераторов и ...
Glory to Russia's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

The original word for a wild boar

I recently accidentally discovered that the Russians call wild boars by a word borrowed from Turkic languages - "кабан." The etymological dictionary by Preobrazhensky clearly states: Заимств. из ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 11.2k
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Difference between "Я хочу" and "Мне хочется"?

Without being given a specific context, can one tell the difference between "Я хочу" and "Мне хочется"? I have already seen this question, but it didn't answer mine, which is more about a general ...
filaton's user avatar
  • 337
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does "следует" behave towards "должен", "надо" and "нужно"

There is this question about надо and нужно, but how do следует, должен, надо and нужно behave towards each other? For instance Тебе следует купить новую лопату. How would this sentence ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the difference between научиться and выучить?

What is the difference between научиться and выучить? I understand that they both mean "to learn" but are they used in different contexts?
Conan Wong's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
194 views

The differences among the imperatives of verbs of motion

I would like to see contrasting examples of the imperatives of to go. What are the differences among these? ходи иди пойди
Burton Foreman's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

ходил / сходил / пошёл

I was told that : пошёл - went somewhere and (usually) haven’t come back yet (and told that I can use ушёл here too) if you state it as a fact or as a part of a story with other actions following one ...
Штефан's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
792 views

What's the difference between the two suffixes -то and -нибудь?

Can someone, somehow please explain what the differences are between the suffixes -то and -нибудь? They tend to decorate words like как, кто, где, что, когда́ as in как-то, как-нибудь (somehow) кто-...
Johan's user avatar
  • 443
5 votes
4 answers
531 views

How shall I say "star" and "unstar" (as in Github) in Russian?

Как сказать "star" и "unstar" (типа как отметить репозиторий звёздочной на GitHub'е или снять такую отметку) кратко и ясно? Желательно литературно, без "лайкнуть" и т.д. How to say "star" and "unstar"...
Vi.'s user avatar
  • 533
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Пытаться, стараться и пробовать

Лингво переводит слова пытаться и пробовать как try, attempt. С другой стороны, словарь Ефремова говорит, что пытаться значит то же, что и стараться. Есть ли какая-то разница между этими словами?
marmistrz's user avatar
  • 1,390
3 votes
3 answers
874 views

Как перевести "beat that"?

Как перевести на русский разговорное восклицание "beat that!" Это сокращение от "Can you beat that?" Выражение может быть использовано в процессе игры или неформального ...
Vitaly's user avatar
  • 3,109
3 votes
3 answers
656 views

Verbs related to learning or teaching [closed]

there. May you explain me differences between following verbs in detail?! (Attention: For God's sake, PLEASE, Don't match them up with English words like: study, learn, teach, etc. Just please try to ...
ali21's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
1 answer
230 views

Short- or long-form adjective?

At first I thought short-form adjectives were quite easy after seeing how they are formed. But when to use them turned out to be more complex. Here I have 5 sentences that made me confuse since they ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 420
1 vote
3 answers
367 views

Choice of Russian words for dishes

Recently the respected user @SergeySlepov suggested that the dish for soup is тарелка or миска, not чашка. His suggestion came as a reaction to my expression чашка супу. I have always been confused ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 11.2k