Questions tagged [formality]

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37
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

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
2answers
1k views

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?
9
votes
3answers
511 views

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 ...