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How the grammar works: how different forms of the same word can be used, what they mean, how they are composed into phrases or sentences. Use this tag with or without a more precise one (check out "morphology", "syntax", "word-order", and tags for different parts of speech ("nouns") and grammatical ...

2
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3answers
114 views

Why was “что ты думаешь” deemed incorrect?

I mostly use the following for "What do you think?" как ты думаешь? I understand there can be many variants of the aforementioned question, and I have seen a few of them. I was recently following ...
3
votes
3answers
120 views

How to parse “Нам есть, чему поучиться”

Нам есть, чему поучиться. I assume the entire phrase means something along the lines of "we could learn a thing or two from them/that", but I'm not sure how to parse this construction, interpreting ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Understanding order in “Дайте мне , пожалуйста , хлеб .”

I am using duolingo as a resource for learning Russian. One of the exercises was to translate the following into English: Дайте мне, пожалуйста, хлеб. I translated it roughly as Give me please ...
3
votes
3answers
173 views

Why is the dotted i (І / і) and yi (Ї / ї) from Ukrainian not present in Russian?

I noticed the absence of the dotted i (І / і) as well as yi (Ї / ї) within the Cyrillic Russian alphabet. I wonder why these two letters are not shared, when they are vowels and fundamental in ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

How do I infer the meaning from “Стол на месте”?

I am learning Russian using Duolingo as a resource. One of the questions in an exercise was to translate the following into English: Стол на месте I (maybe naively) interpreted it as Table/Desk ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Whether to say “Еще даже не вечер, а …” or “Еще даже не вечером, а …”

Еще даже не вечер, а ты уже выпиваешь. Еще даже не вечером, а ты уже выпиваешь. I'm wondering if I should use the noun "вечер" or the adverb "вечером" to express the idea of "not in the evening"....
5
votes
2answers
171 views

Why is “ни” omitted here to say “nothing”?

Раз вы не Раиса, то нам не о чем разговаривать. ... then we have nothing to talk about. To convey the idea of "nothing", I usually expect to see the combination of "ни", "не", and "что", as in "ни ...
3
votes
3answers
98 views

“Три журнала собралось” or “собрались”?

How would I say "3 journals were gathered" три журнала собрались? or три журнала собралось? More specifically, do i decline according to три or журнала? If I'm wrong, how should i make the ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

“Машина девушки” and “машина у девушки” - what's the difference?

I understand that the possessor is in the genitive case but what is the difference between машина девушки and машина у девушки and у девушки есть машина and я вожу машину девушки and я вожу машину у ...
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2answers
53 views

“Были бы они поумнее”: How does this conditional clause compare with the usual “если” conditional?

Были бы они поумнее, могли бы сами так делать. I wonder if a past-tense verb followed by "бы" always makes for a conditional clause without "если"? Is there any difference in register and whatnot, ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

In Russian, when to use an 'interposed' phrasing such as “на чьей ты стороне”?

Выбери на чьей ты стороне. = Choose which side you are on! In expressing the idea of "on which side" in Russian, the phrase "на чьей стороне" is interposed by the pronoun "ты". On the other hand, I'...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

In Russian, can “мы” be used to refer to “you” in conversation?

А чего это мы такие ворчливые? I just received an IM from my girlfriend, in which she used the pronoun "мы" (jokingly, I suppose) although it was I alone who was grumbling about something in a ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

What does морду тебе за это самое набью mean?

Смотри, Востяков, как в тело войду, морду тебе за это самое набью окончательно. I'm confused from морду onwards, the cases are throwing me off.
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Tintin glossary

I am using some Tintin books to expand my understanding of casual speech. Tintin books are (in my opinion) a great way to supplement dull textbooks. However sometimes the language can be a bit too ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

use of бы here with надо

i always thought бы should be used with verbs in the past tense. Example: Я тебя бы сказал. I should have told you. but the passage below it's used like this: надо бы рассказать... На фоне ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Note or a poem? [closed]

Hi I was wondering if one of you could help me translate this.
1
vote
1answer
80 views

From… to… in Russian

I saw an old post on this forum, telling that, in order to convey the idea "from... to...", we must use "из... в..." when the endpoints are towns or countries, whereas "с... на..." is used when the ...
2
votes
3answers
64 views

Relative locations with compass points

I was trying to figure out how to say "x kilometers to the north/west/east/south of y". Which of these alternatives is better? Углич находится на двухстах километрах к северу от Москвы Углич ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

The reason why “как это отличается от того” does not work?

А чем это отличается от того, что делаю я? {vs}: А как это отличается от того, что делаю я? Although I'm aware that "чем" is the right word to use to express the idea of "How is it different ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Why does “скрыться” take the infinitive form in “От меня так просто не скрыться!”?

От меня так просто не скрыться! I wonder why you can omit the second-person singular/plural "сможешь/сможете" and just use the infinitive "скрыться" here? {vs}: От меня так просто не сможешь/...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

use of passive past participle

did i use осознанный correctly here? I want a correct example to put in anki. I intended the sentence to be: The problem that is known by you should be finished by you. Проблема, осознанная ...
4
votes
3answers
119 views

“Short of” in Russian

I saw the following sentence: Моя бабушка умерла в 1959 году, не дожив до ста лет всего лишь трёх месяцев. I understood the meaning of this sentence. "My grandmother (...) lived three months short ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

What does this mean? dative and prepositional cases and ни

Такой юной девочке ни к чему подобный «маскарадный» вариант макияжа. How do I translate it? It doesn't make sense to me. To such a young girl...
2
votes
3answers
96 views

How to parse the expression “таких, как я, будет все больше и больше”

Если никто им не даст отпор, таких, как я, будет все больше и больше. In parsing this part, I'm not sure: what is the (singular) subject of this main clause. Is it "больше и больше"? why "таких" is ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Are dative and accusative pronouns usually omitted in the following?

Q1) Извини, что пришлось тащить тебя с собой, не дав даже отдохнуть как следует. To express the idea of "letting/allowing you (to) do something", you usually put an accusative pronoun. So I wonder ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Russian equivalent of the superlative expression “even in the most peaceful of regions"

Even in the most peaceful of regions, something happens." one indefinite, unspecified region, the most peaceful one imaginable out of all regions To express the idea of "something being the case ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

How is огурец used here?

Каждый коротышка был ростом с небольшой огурец. I am translating it as every small person was of the size of small cucumber? I am confused about the case, why is cucumber in accusative or ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

Здравствуйте, что это предложение значит?

Умней ли такой красавчик или красавица, чем другие ребята, добрее или способней? Hello, I'm confused with the word умней, imperative of умнеть. How do you translate this sentence?
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Почему «Директор зоопарка», но «Заведующий зоопарком»?

Почему «Директор зоопарка», но «Заведующий зоопарком»? «Заведующий» здесь не существительное?
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Is there a difference between Огонь - плох and Огонь - плохо?

I am not a native, but I came across these two sentences on a thread over at this thread on Linguistics.SE, and I had some kind of vague feeling the sentences did not mean exactly the same thing. ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Another question on который, how is it used here?

Он уже даже хотел начать изучать физику, которую в шутку называл физикой-мизикой... I'm having trouble identifying how the subordinate clause links to the main clause, specifically, how the ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

what is the use of которых here? if i translate is, it would be: observation that is obligatory for all members of community?

Его отличительная черта – нормированность, т. е. наличие правил (вы их учите в школе из года в год), соблюдение которых обязательно для всех членов общества. what is the use of которых here? if i ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Grammatica program [closed]

Does anyone know if Grammatica still exists - the program which accents Russian text for you? I lost my stand alone app version when I had to reset Windows 10. A Google search for the online version ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the omitted neuter subject of the verb “оглушить/оглушило” here?

Эта каменная глыба свалилась с неба... меня наверно оглушило ударной волной. The "глыба" is a feminine noun... The feminine "волной" is in Instrumental, so it cannot be the subject... As far as I ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Use of instrumental with был/быть, e.g. “Ты был забавным.”

Today the following sentence came up in a chat with a Russian friend: Ты был забавным. Here the adjective is in dative instrumental case, but I would expect it to be in nominative together with the ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Verb - question words database or api [closed]

I'm writing an app for Russian language learners and I am looking for a database (as a csv file for example or an API) of Russian verbs and their associated cases? For instance something that can tell ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

“вы с Адамом близки”: Why use the plural “вы” to supposedly refer to the casual, singular “you”?

Я начинаю понимать, почему вы с Адамом так близки. The intended meaning: "you{singular, her interlocutor} and Adam are so close" The speaker and her interlocutor are on close enough terms to call ...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

How to parse the construction “Чьи это были деньги?”

Чьи это были деньги? {instead of}: Чьи эти были деньги? What I'm struggling to wrap my head around is why you need to use the singular "это" with all the other plural words here. Should I ...
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Does Russian have the concept of “sentence fragments” (as English does)?

Question: Does Russian have the concept of "sentence fragments" (as English does), and is it also clearly considered a grammatical mistake? For an optional bonus part of this question, not required ...
3
votes
4answers
107 views

“важные для него события”: Is it common to use a phrase like “для него” as part of piled-up attributive adjectives?

вспоминать важные для него события {vs}: вспоминать важные события I'm assuming the prepositional phrase "для него", coupled with "важные", attributively modifies the noun "события". Is it ...
4
votes
4answers
148 views

What is the function of “это” in “Его зовут X, это он впустил …”?

Его зовут Борис, это он впустил нас в дом. I'm assuming that "это он ..." is an equivalent expression of "it's him who ...". If this English construction is anything to go by, I'm puzzled by the ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Does “в два раза больше радости” as a whole serve as a direct object in the accusative case?

Подумайте только, в два раза больше радости. While I understand the meaning of this sentence, the grammatical function of the phrase "в два раза больше радости" has me puzzled. Does the entire ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

{singular} “Со всей этой историей с …” vs. {plural} “Со всеми этими историями с …”

Со всей этой историей с допингами, ... {or}: Со всеми этими историями с допингами, ... I wonder if it is more common in Russian to use a singular construction with this "история" expression. If ...
5
votes
3answers
168 views

Position of “Не” before negated word

I'm having a really hard time understating the difference in sentences like— Я был не уверен VS. Я не был уверен Я не жил в Канаде VS. Я жил не в Канаде. What is the difference in sentences such ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

надо and the instrumental case (knife cutting bread; a tool)

I know about the use of dative case, or nominative case, as illustrated here: How does "следует" behave towards "должен", "надо" and "нужно" when talking about ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Adjective in singular, noun in plural

My Russian for beginners textbook has (it describes a shopping mall) the following sentence: ..., а также есть книжный и ювелирный магазины. (In case it's relevant, I can also provide the first part ...
6
votes
2answers
108 views

Why use the perfective “доказать”, not the imperfective “доказывать”, despite “несколько раз” referring to repeated actions?

Я уже несколько раз доказала тебе, что ... {instead of}: Я уже несколько раз доказывала тебе, что ... I was under the impression that you should use an imperfective verb to express the idea of ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

What is the rationale for using the genitive “такого” in “что в них такого особенного”?

А что в них такого особенного? = And what's so special about it? I'm familiar with the use of Genitive in a negative construction: Не увидел я в них ничего такого особенного. or: Ничего ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Why use Comparative for the Superlative meaning: “важнее / скорее / больше всего”?

важнее всего скорее всего больше всего So far, I've contented myself with putting this down to just because, but I wonder why in Russian you use a comparative form to refer to the ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

“Мне наплевать на …”. Why is it acceptable to use an infinitive verb?

Мне наплевать на тех, кто сейчас занимает мое место. This expression seems to bear all the hallmarks of an impersonal construction, so I wonder why the 3rd-person singular "наплюёт" is not used here....