Questions tagged [usage]

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

2
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3answers
112 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
816 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
732 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
145 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
88 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
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3answers
170 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
932 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
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3answers
129 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". ...
5
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6answers
189 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
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3answers
179 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
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3answers
99 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
291 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
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2answers
168 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
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3answers
274 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
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8answers
9k 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
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4answers
135 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
275 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 ...
3
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2answers
166 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 ...
0
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4answers
208 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
148 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
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3answers
106 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
156 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
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0answers
159 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, ...
28
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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
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3answers
210 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
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4answers
216 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
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3answers
428 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
360 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
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2answers
263 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
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2answers
208 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
139 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
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3answers
125 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
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3answers
200 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 ...
4
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5answers
249 views

When can we omit есть?

In the village (there is) only one new house В деревне только один новый дом Here (there is) only one place Здесь только одно место In the apartment (there is) a big room В квартире большая комната ...
1
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1answer
107 views

познакомиться as the answer of очень приятно

Is it so informal to answer "очень приятно" with "познакомиться" ?
3
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4answers
198 views

“only real words” in Russian - Только настоящие слова?

When you define someone, for example say to a girl that you have a beautiful smile(У тебя красивая улыбка) and she says: oh thanks you can answer her: "only real words!" So is it correct sentence in ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

What's the difference between “неважно” and “ничего”

What's the difference between "неважно" and "ничего"? As I understand both mean "never mind", but what about usage? for example when I ask somebody but he/she can't understand me, can I use both of ...
11
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8answers
4k views

Good for you! in Russian

Somebody say: I took the full test score And I answer: Good for you! which one is correct in Russian: "хорошо для тебя" or "повезло тебе" And also we use "тебе на пользу" in another situation like: ...
4
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2answers
236 views

Usage of “же”, why?

Why we should use "же" in this sentence: где же ручка? Without "же" this sentence is also complete! And also I saw in another sentences, too. And "же" means same or again?
2
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3answers
114 views

meaning and usage of “что ты”

What is the meaning of "что ты" when person uses it during conversation like this: Это твой папа? Нет! что ты! Это мой дядя. It means, what are you saying? or you are saying wrong thing! And another ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

difference between “как это устроено” and “как это работает”

What is the difference between "как это устроено" and "как это работает"? Both mean "how it works"?
1
vote
3answers
125 views

In what category does soft sign and hard sign fall into?

I know that the soft and hard signs are not consonants or vowels, but do they fall into as masculine, feminine, or neuter? Коктейль ? , do we put один одна or одно
3
votes
4answers
148 views

Sentence structure in the following sentences

I was given these sentence at http://masterrussian.com/aa060500a.shtml so they can show me how flexible the sentence structure in the Russian language is (these sentences are supposedly similar): 1) ...
0
votes
3answers
113 views

The difference between “пойди”, “иди” and “начни идти”?

What's the difference between "пойди", "иди" and "начни идти"? "Иди" is imperfective, while "пойди" and "начни идти" are perfective. However, as far as I know, both "иди" and "начни идти" are used in ...
5
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2answers
223 views

What does it mean if a girl puts “есть друг” in Семейное положение? [duplicate]

I'd like to know what if a girl wrote "есть друг" in her marital status, what does this mean?
2
votes
2answers
217 views

What does it mean if a girl puts “есть подруга” in Семейное положение?

I google it and found the word "подруга" means "girlfriend". Does it mean "girlfriend" or "a friend who is a female"? If it means a friend who is a female, it seems weird that she put "есть подруга" ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

If the gender is implied in the verb do i still have to put 'он' 'она' 'оно'?

To explain my question i will give this example of a sentence: она говорила это (Lit. She said that) говорила это (Lit. Said that) but (Implied. She said that) Is it necessary for me to have она in ...
1
vote
2answers
247 views

Origins, usage and connotations of the word “швабода”?

Drawing an analogy with "дерьмократия" I think "швабода" is a derisive and probably vulgar way of saying "свобода" (freedom), but please can someone fill me in on the origins, usage, and connotations ...