Questions tagged [usage]

Covers questions about the usage of a particular word or phrase in different situations and contexts.

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Help me read this captcha [closed]

I'm registering an account on 4pda forum, but I don't know the Russian language :) I can use Google translate later when posting something. There is a small captcha in the end of the register page (...
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1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Detailed rules when о (=about) becomes об or обо?

I have gathered from various sites/resources, the following rules concerning the preposition “o” which, when its meaning is “about”, is always followed by the prepositional case (предложный падеж): 1. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
98 views

What's the most common usage and meaning of the verb исходить, which belongs to two impf/pf verb pairs, each with a different meaning?

According to a table of frequency I found, the verb исходить ranks pretty high (1716 out of 100,000). However, since it has two usages and meanings, I wonder which one is most frequently used: in the ...
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  • 195
4 votes
2 answers
546 views

Using ordinal numbers for elapsed time

Иван начал жить в Москве шестого января 2017. Сегодня четвертое апреля 2022. Следовательно а) Иван живет в Москве пятый год. б) Иван живет в Москве шестой год. Which phrase is correct?
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2 votes
2 answers
626 views

Is there a difference between "21 час" and "21 часа"

Based on what I've seen so far, the case should follow the last number, 21 (one - один) should be nom. sing. but when I was looking at the macbook pro on apple's web site, they describe the battery ...
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1 vote
1 answer
153 views

Why is the word "тот" used in this sentence and why is it in the dative case?

Here's the text from my book: -У вас есть стихи Лермонтова? -Нет, к сожалению, стихи Лермонтова проданы. -Но ведь они были несколько дней тому назад! -Да, но всё уже продано. I don't understand the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
198 views

What are the fuller expressions of the Russian equivalents to some common festive greetings (e.g., Happy Birthday, Happy Easter, Happy New Year's)?

Even Duolingo will tell you that Greetings and other similar expressions are often shortened versions of longer phrases, where words still retain their forms. When you see an oblique form (i.e., a ...
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2 votes
5 answers
184 views

What is the difference between "украшение," "драгоценность," and "ювелирные изделия"?

This one is just in time for Valentine's Day ... I came across "ювелирные изделия" in my Russian textbook ТРОЙКА. I was curious about the etymology of it, so I looked it up in Wiktionary ...
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3 votes
4 answers
170 views

Какая разница между «салют» и «фейерверк»?

I learned the word «фейерверк», which means fireworks, from a song. But when I use it in conversation with native Russian speakers (my tutors), they correct it to «салют». Are there any differences? I ...
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3 votes
5 answers
287 views

What is the difference between "Куда ты идёшь?" and "Куда ты собрался?"

I recently learned that Куда ты собрался? usually gets translated as Where are you going? Or, at least it does on Reverso. This raised at least a couple of questions for me. The first is the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
283 views

What is the meaning of Shatun when applied to Russian family names?

I understand that the Russian word shatun was applied in Siberia to describe a grizzly bear that didn’t go into its usual hibernation, or was awakened before spring, and prowls around in winter, ...
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  • 21
2 votes
3 answers
151 views

What are the different usages for these translations of "to type" (as in on a computer keyboard)?

My dictionary's translations of "to type" are, unfortunately, quite verbose: 2 (write with typewriter) печа́тать (impf) (на маши́нке) / напеча́тать (pf) (на маши́нке); (write with computer ...
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2 votes
2 answers
164 views

Expressing dimensions in Russian

Дорожка шириной в два метра. Дорожка в два метра ширины. Двухметровая в ширину дорожка. Ширина дорожки два метра. У дорожки ширина два метра. У дорожки два метра ширины. У дорожки два метра в ширину. ...
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  • 343
3 votes
4 answers
194 views

What is the difference between "разделить" and "поделить"?

Both of these words came up on a word list for me to study and I have no idea when to use which. I looked them up on Wiktionary and discovered that they are both perfective. I then ran them through ...
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9 votes
4 answers
964 views

Does "четверть" have a meaning in school topics equivalent to term, rather than quarter

Traditionally (as far as I know), schools have 4 quarters in Russia, and so they're called "1-я четверть, 2-я четверть". If a school only has three terms, is it still correct to call them &...
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3 votes
1 answer
158 views

What's the Russian for suspenders/garter belt?

I'm looking for the specific, correct Russian translation for suspenders/garter belt — the kind a lady wears when she wants to be sexually provocative. I'm explicitly looking for this kind of lingerie,...
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  • 195
3 votes
1 answer
171 views

In compound words, do we use архаико- or архаическо-?

In compound words do we use архаико- or архаическо- ? For example, should we say архаико-мифологический or архаическо-мифологический? Which one sounds better for a native speaker?
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6 votes
3 answers
525 views

What is the difference between "в ходе" and "во время" if both can be used to mean "during"?

I wish I could provide more context, but too much time has passed and I can't remember, exactly, what it was I was trying to say. It might have been something like ... During the summer my Spanish ...
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11 votes
8 answers
6k views

Do Russians really use "Расход!" to say, "Let's go!"?

I was watching an episode of Better Than Us" (Лучше, чем люди) in Russian with English subtitles. Since I was actively watching, to the extent of making a vocabulary list from it, I noticed that ...
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3 votes
1 answer
223 views

"Как хорошо" or "Насколько хорошо"?

Reverso Context shows them both used at roughly the same frequencies for "How well", as in "How well do you know [something or someone, like a language or subject]?" without any ...
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  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
302 views

Мeanings of "даже" in The Brothers Karamazov

Here's a passage from The Brothers Karamazov: Несмотря на то что семейство даже довольно скоро примирилось с событием Pevear translates: 'though her family EVEN accepted the situation', while Terras ...
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2 votes
1 answer
484 views

What is a common Russian expression from someone who is in pain, like 'Ouch' but stronger?

I'm writing a short story with a Russian character who is getting a tattoo in an English speaking country. There is a moment where the tattoo will be particularly painful, and she will make some kind ...
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1 vote
1 answer
96 views

When the word "по" means "on," is it more common to see the dative case follow it or the prepositional?

I've done very little research on this simply because it doesn't seem like something that would be easy to find and it does seem like something better left for Russian natives, teachers, linguists, ...
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13 votes
5 answers
517 views

What's the problem with "я свободна в четверг и могу в него сходить на свидание"?

My instructor marked that sentence as wrong. He said it would have been fine to write, "Я свободна в четверг и могу в этот день сходить на свидание." Why is "в этот день" fine ...
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  • 131
2 votes
2 answers
223 views

Revisiting сказать/говорить/поговорить

I think this is the so-called FAQ, but still I am wondering the difference among сказать/говорить/поговорить. In past posts, I found: сказать implies one person speaking ('saying'), and говорить ...
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1 vote
3 answers
416 views

What is the meaning of this Russian profanity?

I am a new learner in the Russian language, and I don't know the rules of this exchange. But recently I came across this saying (I am sorry in advance for the phrase): "ёпта мохнатка": Яже ...
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2 votes
2 answers
303 views

Difference between "свидание" and "встреча"?

Would anyone be so kind as to explain to me the difference between видание and встреча? I looked them up in various dictionaries and depending on the dictionary, both are sometimes translated either ...
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  • 21
2 votes
3 answers
197 views

What is the difference between "истинная любовь" and "настоящая любовь"?

I didn't plan it like this, but clearly, this one is just in time for Valentine's Day. Because Russian doesn't have articles, I often try to find a good adjective-noun combo so that I can better ...
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  • 2,205
0 votes
3 answers
187 views

Difference between questions like "у вас ли сыр?" and "есть ли у вас сыр?"

I am a newbie at Russian. To the best of my knowledge, есть is used in questions when possession is being questioned. I was given the following sentences and their translations: Have you the good ...
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2 votes
2 answers
222 views

What is the purpose of "то" in a "Если ..., то" construction?

I used a machine translator (DeepL, specifically) to translate the following sentence: If I have breakfast, I usually have it before noon. It gave me: Если я завтракаю, то обычно я завтракаю до ...
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3 votes
2 answers
107 views

Как различить значения объекта и предиката для местоимения «нечего» при переводе?

По теме вопроса: https://russian.stackexchange.com/questions/23037/what-is-the-difference-between-нечего-and-ничего Меня заинтересовала эта тема. В ответе говорилось, что «нечего» – это предикат, в ...
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  • 466
1 vote
2 answers
185 views

Does аллерген refer to an allergy or to any reaction?

In a language forum, someone posted the following sentence for translation: Но увлекаться ягодой не стоит, ведь она сильный аллерген. At first sight, it seems illogical to me because by my reasoning ...
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1 vote
1 answer
197 views

Help translating a sentence - Playing cards

Disclaimer: I'm a true beginner with the Russian language. I struggle translating a riddle: I'm between the King and the Queen - where am I? The ‘King’ and the ‘Queen’ being playing card, it seems ...
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  • 121
5 votes
2 answers
507 views

What is the difference between “нечего” and “ничего”?

Is there a difference between “нечего” and “ничего” when used in the literal sense of “nothing”? I see that both can mean “nothing”, that “ничего” can also mean “not bad” or “no problem!” and that “...
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  • 390
2 votes
3 answers
255 views

In terms of meaning and usage, what is the difference between "маленький" and "малый" when they mean "small"?

Here are some examples I found in Izvestia: маленький ... маленький по размеру гранатомет в мире ... ... the smallest grenade launcher in the world ... ... 25 руб. за маленький стаканчик ... ... 25 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
554 views

What is the difference between "число" and "количество"?

In the newspaper Izvestia I have seen the phrase число случаев and количество случаев For example: В мире число случаев заражения коронавирусом превысило 10,3 млн. In the world, the number of cases ...
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1 vote
1 answer
179 views

What is the difference between лодыжка and щиколотка as a translation of "ankle"?

TL/DR: What is the difference between щиколотка and лодыжка, and which one is a better suited translation for "Ankle zips with reflective detailing"? Background As a personal vocabulary ...
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31 votes
4 answers
14k views

If a Russian girl calls herself a thawing pike (тающая щука), what could it mean?

I recently had a video call with a Russian girl, and in the middle of the conversation she called herself тающая щука. That made no sense in the context, so I used a mirror to try to understand what ...
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  • 11.3k
4 votes
3 answers
642 views

Why is «Какого цвета» in genitive case?

I came across the sentence «Какого цвета платье?» today. I would've assumed that «Какого цвета» would be in the nominative case and was confused to see this construction. Is there a grammatical rule/...
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1 vote
1 answer
252 views

«Для» или «за»? – This store is for the purchase of

I was writing a paragraph, and a sentence within (and the previous sentence) is, in English: (The first store sells mostly bulk produce.) The second store is (a) traditional (store), for the purchase ...
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  • 1,289
22 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there a Russian equivalent of "red flag"?

In English, the term red flag is used as a metaphor to mean a sign suggestive of a possible danger or problem: (1) Boyfriend not showing you his home is a huge red flag. (Link) (2) I've just spent ...
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  • 11.3k
6 votes
8 answers
2k views

How should I understand and translate "закатить истерику"?

Some time ago I took a test in which I had to translate some short texts from Russian into English. One of them contained the following sentence: По приходу домой она закатила истерику. My solution ...
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  • 11.3k
2 votes
3 answers
235 views

Do you know something - Вы знаете or Вы знаете ли or Вы не знаете?

I am unsure about these three ways of asking if someone knows something. I was told that in certain contexts, such as when asking for the time, Вы не знаете was the norm. On the other hand, I was told ...
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9 votes
1 answer
434 views

Difference between "в кухне" and "на кухне"

I was reading Chekov's short story Ионыч and in the first chapter I found the following sentences: Когда в доме сидели гости, то в кухне стучали ножами. Окна были отворены настежь, слышно было, как ...
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3 votes
4 answers
386 views

Is "Утерянные победы" really a good translation of the title of Manstein's book "Verlorene Siege"?

I recently shot through Manstein's Lost Victories in its English translation and later accidentally learned that the Russian translation of that book is titled Утерянные победы. As a learner of the ...
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  • 11.3k
11 votes
9 answers
3k views

How to elegantly say in Russian, "He was never to get what he wanted or, at least, what he said he wanted."

I got an assignment to translate the following text into Russian: But nothing in Voroshilov's carefully chosen words or courteous demeanor suggested the feverish activity in Berlin and Moscow that ...
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  • 11.3k
15 votes
5 answers
963 views

How can I say "start both hourglasses" in Russian?

I've been given the following task: "Let's suppose you have an hourglass that measures 7 minutes and an hourglass that measures 4 minutes, and you need to time 9 minutes by using only these ...
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  • 11.3k
27 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I understand this puzzling dialogue with "ну я имею в виду вообще"?

My Russian teacher recently had us, his students, listen some audio recordings of what he called "authentic everyday communications of Russians." We had to understand the dialogues and ...
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  • 11.3k
3 votes
2 answers
155 views

What's the difference between навлечь and привлечь?

What's the difference between those two words? Can i use only влечь?
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4 votes
1 answer
126 views

Is there any difference between в общем and в общем-то, and how do they differ from вообще-то?

Is there any difference between в общем and в общем-то, and how do they differ from вообще-то? I've always interpreted в общем(-то) as generally speaking/pretty much, and вообще-то as actually.
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