Questions tagged [formality]

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24 votes
4 answers

How frequently do Russian people still refer to others by their patronymic (отчество)?

I'm American, and so almost all of the Russian people I know are ex-Soviets, most of whom are very traditional and many of whom have impeccable manners. As such, I think that I may have an overblown ...
  • 343
3 votes
3 answers

"Позже" vs. "позднее"

For context, whether or not it even matters, I am a professional musician and a native Russian speaker was asking me just now about when my love for music first manifested itself. I replied with a ...
  • 1,259
8 votes
4 answers

Have your cake and eat it too - Equivalent Expression in Russian

Wikipedia claims that the expression И рыбку съесть, и в воду не лезть is equivalent to "having your cake and eating it too", literally translated to wanting to eat a fish without first catching it ...
12 votes
2 answers

What distinguishes "Осип" from "Иосиф"?

The man's name Осип is a form of Иосиф. Is it a nickname, a diminutive, a regionalism, or a register change? Would someone named Иосиф potentially also answer to Осип, as with Joseph and Joe?
  • 1,365
8 votes
5 answers

Can "товарищ" be used with the first name only?

The title "товарищ" can be used to address or refer to someone, though given its ideological implications, the term has fallen out of use since the end of the USSR. I've heard the title used alone, ...
3 votes
3 answers

How to avoid seeming overly familiar when writing letters to a friend?

Admittedly this might just be a problem with the course material I was looking at, but I was reading some letters between two friends (emphasis mine), Анна and Иван, because apparently Иван was ...
  • 3,071
7 votes
3 answers

What'd be a formal way to say "морочить голову"?

As in: приношу извинения что морочил голову Context: made a booking but plans were cancelled. Checked and but none of the suggested options sound natural.
  • 273
7 votes
2 answers

When is it more appropriate to use "преподаватель" rather than "учитель"?

As far as I understand, both of these mean more or less the same thing. Duolingo, that introduced me to the Russian language seems to prefer учитель, but Russian Pod 101 prefers преподаватель. Is ...
9 votes
3 answers

Accordance of the adjectives with the polite form "вы"

How do we have to accord the adjectives with the polite form "вы"? Plural or singular? Should we, for example, tell a man "вы красивый", or "вы красивые"? (logically I would use singular, but I want ...
  • 197
1 vote
1 answer

How to say "It has been a pleasure working with you" in Russian?

I have a Russian coworker whose last day at work is today. I would like to essentially say the equivalent of "It has been a pleasure working with you." However, I've heard that is sometimes rude ...
4 votes
4 answers

When is it appropriate to use «алло»?

Aside from answering your personal phone, are there any other situations where it is considered appropriate to use алло when greeting someone? I'm assuming that because алло wasn't even mentioned in ...
9 votes
4 answers

Word for "Formal Address"

Question is about using вы instead of ты. I already know Serbian, so I know when you use one and when the other (Vi i Ti), what I'm interested in is, how is this form of address called in Russian? In ...
  • 131
37 votes
8 answers

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 ...
  • 646