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Questions tagged [usage]

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

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4
votes
1answer
81 views

Semantic effect of postposing a quantifying adjective from its noun

I recently read this sentence in a story related by a very good writer: Щен за мной увязался годовалый, за пальто покусывает. Кинула я ему эту слойку – отстал. In trying to render the meaning ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Meaning of “встал колом”

In this passage, I'm wondering if встал колом is correct (I didn't write this - it was written by a native Russian speaker on a forum for anecdotes), and if so, what is the literal interpretation word ...
7
votes
7answers
324 views

What does the idiom “что уж там” mean?

I am very much puzzled by the idiom "что уж там" and its sister "чего уж там". Let me show you a few sentences: (1) Давайте везде курить, что уж там, детям в лицо: депутат Госдумы (Source) (2)...
6
votes
3answers
901 views

How is погода (weather) a count noun?

Wiktionary says that the word погода (weather) has a plural form: погоды. I see in Google that although the word is usually used in the singular form, the plural form is used either. For example, ...
2
votes
3answers
214 views

“Лицам старше 16 лет и более 70 кг” - тут логическое “и” или “или”?

На детской площадке запрещается: пользоваться детским оборудованием лицам старше 16 лет и более 70 кг (Source) May I use the playground equipment if the above rule is to be ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

Rules for classifying grammatical gender in Russian

How do you recognize masculine and feminine and neuter words on Russian?
-1
votes
1answer
111 views

Different Words in Russian, Same Meaning in English! [closed]

I practice Russian in Duolingo app and there are a lot of words that have same meaning in English. For example: мои - мой - моя - мое это - этот - эта как - что
2
votes
2answers
242 views

How long is the night from the Russian language standpoint?

When Russians tell what time it is, they often add "дня" ("of the day"), "вечера" ("of the evening"), "ночи" ("of the night"), or "утра" ("of the morning"): Я проснулась в три часа ночи. (Literally:...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Типа такой vs типа такого

I'm having trouble knowing when to use the expression типа такой vs. типа такого. For ex: He was watching 'The Walking Dead' or something like that. Он смотрел "Ходячие мертвецы" или типа такого. ...
4
votes
6answers
353 views

What is the Russian equivalent of the proverb 水清ければ魚棲まず (if the water is clear, fish won't live there)?

The proverb's meaning is that just as fish prefer muddy waters and avoid clear streams, people generally do not associate with those who are too ideal in terms of ethics, manners, and habits. In other ...
5
votes
13answers
3k views

How can I say in Russian “I am not afraid to write anything”?

The question is in the title of my post. Somehow this simple idea made me really confused as to how I can express it in Russian. My first attempt was: (1) Я не боюсь писать всё. But I guess ...
1
vote
4answers
298 views

How can I say in Russian “they cannot make the tournament attractive by itself”?

The question is in the title of this post. A couple of explanatory points: Context: The organizers of a certain tournament cannot provide a big cash prize that would attract a lot of participants, so ...
12
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7answers
4k views

Russian equivalents of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

On this SE there have been many interesting questions about Russian equivalents of various idiomatic expressions and proverbs of the French language and other languages, and I decided to make my own ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

How should I translate Future Perfect constructions to Russian?

Let's suppose I am grilling fish for a big party. I have grilled 20 fish and will grill 30 more. The grilled fish are immediately taken away to be given to the guests. A friend of mine comes in and ...
0
votes
4answers
252 views

Which Russian dialect does “орнуть” belong to?

I often play gomokunarabe on an international server, where I sometimes face Russian opponents, and there appeared a very strong mysterious Russian-speaking player about a year ago. Many players want ...
2
votes
3answers
200 views

“Выиграть соперника”: Is it correct, or why do many journalists write in this way?

Playing gomokunarabe on an international server, I saw a couple of Russian players saying "выиграть его," and the intended meaning apparently was "to win against him" as far as could judge from the ...
4
votes
4answers
905 views

What is the precise meaning of “я считаю, что”?

I am puzzled by the Russian phrase "я считаю, что," which is used very frequently. I know that an approximate translation is "I think that," but I strongly feel that there is some special idea, ...
7
votes
3answers
821 views

What is the precise meaning of “подсел на мак”?

Some months ago I saw a Russian gomokunarabe player saying in an online chat to his compatriot, А я подсел на мак. I cannot recall the context. I can only recall that their chat looked highly ...
3
votes
3answers
169 views

Subtleties of making a request in Russian

In my university I was explained various grammatical means of making a request, but find it very difficult to understand their connotations. Your language is so rich and nuanced in this regard. Let's ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

Inflection of particles

Yesterday I asked a question about the meaning of "научись," and it turned out that in the movie in which I heard this, it was not "научись," but "на, учись," where "на" is a particle. Reading about ...
3
votes
3answers
194 views

Meaning of “Похоже, ты к нему клеишься”

Похоже, ты к нему клеишься Please let me know, which of the following translation is better for this? 1- Looks like you stick to him. 2- Sounds to me like you're going towards him. 3- Sounds to me ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

What are the words for people who cause trouble believing they know better?

Update: To put it simply, what I am looking for is a Russian word or expression that combines three things together: (1) inconsiderate (that is, not careful to avoid harm to others), (2) meddlesome (...
2
votes
3answers
151 views

tensed, conjugated verb + imperfective verb — When can they be adjacent?

This question had an answer which touched on what I'm asking, but not enough, and mostly in the imperative sense - "иди работай" vs. "иди работать" vs. "иди и работай". ...
6
votes
6answers
198 views

Register of “возложить”

I was translating some colloquial French sentences (in standard register, about a rather serious topic) into Russian: Думаешь, мы возложили на них слишком большие надежды? Перекладывание своих ...
11
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5answers
3k views

What people are called boars (“кабан”) and why?

I discovered yesterday that the Russians often use the word "кабан" ("wild boar") or its Old Russian analogue "вепрь" to talk about people: (1) Что ещё раз доказывает, что здоровья у Уайта ...
5
votes
3answers
205 views

When to use “живот” or “желудок” – words for “stomach”

In French, "ventre" and "estomac" can both translate as "stomach", albeit with certain nuances: "ventre": a more general, all-encompassing term referring to your (exterior) abdomen which contains ...
2
votes
4answers
143 views

How can I translate “would” in “He had to run faster than his tribemate, as the hindmost would be eaten by the lion”?

Let us consider the sentence shown in the title of my post: (1) He had to run faster than his tribemate, as the hindmost would be eaten by the lion. (For context, watch this short commercial: ...
5
votes
4answers
343 views

How should I understand the phrase “это не суть важно”?

I saw the phrase "это не суть важно" in the Internet and then found that this phrase is often used in modern Russian. I initially supposed that "суть" is an adverb synonymous to "очень", so I ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Is “если есть” a kind of tautology?

Wiktionary says that the word если ("if") originated from есть ли (literally "whether is"): Происходит от стар. естьли (ещё у Карамзина), ср.: укр. єсли, польск. jeśli, др.-польск. jestli, чешск. ...
5
votes
4answers
444 views

Why are the endings in “я студентка” and “я была студенткой” different?

My question is this: How did the Russian language end up having different endings in the phrases shown in the title of this post? Now I will make some remarks to explain precisely what makes me ...
39
votes
8answers
10k views

Why do Russians almost not use verbs of possession akin to “have”?

I have always been puzzled as to why the Russians almost never use verbs of possession akin to "have" or "own." Instead of such verbs, the Russians use the preposition у, whose primary or original ...
6
votes
4answers
143 views

In saying “watch the aurora”, how are “наблюдать за” and “наблюдать” nuanced?

In conversation, I just said: Похоже, что это единственное место в мире, где можно наблюдать за северным сиянием, нежась в горячем источнике! Or should I have said: Похоже, что это единственное ...
2
votes
2answers
295 views

Are clauses with “который” restrictive or non-restrictive by default?

Let's consider the following sentence, which I just found in Google as an illustrative example: Наиболее опасные из акул – тигровые акулы, которые обитают в тропических водах. Two interpretations ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Тhe idiomatic expression “на три господа бога”

Reading a Russian book about a Russo-Japanese war, I saw the idiomatic expression на три господа бога: Тут, брат, все сделано на три господа бога. I performed a Google search and found some ...
1
vote
5answers
323 views

How should I interpret phrases like “должен ли Путин уйти”?

I recently wrote a question about the modal должен, explaining that this modal is very hard to me because it has very different meanings. As my question was deemed too broad and put on hold, I would ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

What does “буде будет” mean?

Browsing the Internet, I saw the following sentence in a text: (1) То, что буде будет считаться стильным и модным, какой принт стоит выбрать и как все это сочетать в нашем сегодняшнем фотогиде. (...
0
votes
3answers
151 views

Conditional sentences about unfulfilled past situations

Let us compare the following two sentences: (1) If I had enough money with me, I would order shark fin soup. (2) If I had had enough money with me, I would have ordered shark fin soup. Both ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

How can I translate expressions like “had been winning” to Russian?

Recently I was doing an exercise, which was to translate a small text about playing Go to Russian and contained the following sentence: そのうちに私は勝っていた碁を負けてしまったのだが、紙屋は、 「いかがですもう一石、もう一石願いましょう。」 ...
2
votes
0answers
194 views

The impossibly difficult modal “должен” [closed]

Должен is one of the most fundamental Russian modals and is impossibly difficult for me, even more than the modal мочь was before I asked here a question about the latter. I received so thoughtful, ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I finally understand the confusing modal verb “мочь”?

The verb мочь is one of the most basic words, actually a central modal verb, but I am so much confused about it. I am often at a loss as to how to interpret it in particular sentences, and I avoid ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Can you use “едать” and “игрывать” in the present and future tenses?

There is a big conflict between what I was taught here in Japan and what is written in most Russian grammar sources, and I am very curious what the native speakers have to say about it. I am ...
1
vote
3answers
238 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
230 views

Future conditionals with the reversed chronological order

Let's suppose I need to convey the following idea: If you do X in the future, I do Y in the future, with one important subtlety: Y is physically done earlier than X is. I am blushing as I feel I may ...
11
votes
3answers
450 views

Moving the subject of the sentence into a dangling participle

When I do homework to be later read by the teachers, I sometimes like to show off by using rare forms that I have learned by deeply studying Russian. It is always fun, especially as the assistant ...
7
votes
2answers
386 views

Subtleties of choosing the sequence of tenses in Russian

I am very happy to have found such an interesting forum and to have received an excellent detailed answer from a native speaker to my first question, and I am very tempted to ask about something else ...
6
votes
2answers
287 views

Difference between рассориться, перессориться, рассориваться, and перессорриваться

I've got these two questions in my homework at my university in Japan, where I learn Russian: Мне ни к чему с ним окончательно (...). Как можно со всем коллективом из-за такого пустяка (...)? ...
2
votes
2answers
238 views

When is человек used as the word man instead of мужчина

I am coming across sentences where человек is used instead of мужчина, when does this happen and why? Example: That man is not a professor he is a doctor Этот человек не профессор доктор ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

difference between “расскажите мне” and “скажите мне”

What is the difference between "расскажите мне" and "скажите мне"? Both mean, tell me!? And also may I remove мне in both cases?
0
votes
3answers
131 views

римановое многообразие or риманово многообразие?

In mathematics the technical term Riemann manifold (or Riemannian manifold) denotes a type of space investigated by the nineteenth century German mathematician Bernhard Riemann. The corresponding ...
2
votes
2answers
329 views

What is the difference between “зато” and “но”?

i don't understand the difference between them, feel free to add examples i was given this sentence for зато and dint see why но couldn't be substituted for it. i don't like the metro and the airport ...