Questions tagged [usage]

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

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2answers
156 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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3answers
285 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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2answers
223 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 ...
2
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3answers
163 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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3answers
167 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 ...
2
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2answers
136 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 ...
3
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2answers
100 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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2answers
178 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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1answer
193 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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2answers
316 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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3answers
192 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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2answers
521 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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1answer
152 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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4answers
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 ...
4
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3answers
578 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/...
1
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1answer
227 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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4answers
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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8answers
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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3answers
206 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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1answer
395 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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4answers
377 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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9answers
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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5answers
902 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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4answers
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 ...
3
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2answers
148 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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1answer
120 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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3answers
3k views

What's the meaning of “у нас” in phrases like “он у нас умный”?

The grammatical construction у меня, literally at/near me, is the Russian way to express possession and is also used to express proximity: У меня хорошая подруга. (I have a good friend.) Она сейчас у ...
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2answers
235 views

“В об(о,е)их коробках оказались семена” - which vowel should I choose?

Some time ago I took a Russian test that contained the following question: В об(о,е)их коробках оказались семена. 1) обоих 2) обеих 3) оба варианта корректны 4) оба варианта ...
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1answer
133 views

Comprehending these sentences from the story “Рукавичка”

Excerpt: “…А ты кто? (1) – А я кабан-клыкан. Пустите и меня! (2) Вот беда, всем в рукавичку охота! (3) – Тебе ведь и не влезть! (4) – Как-нибудь влезу, пустите!” (5) – Ну что ...
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5answers
345 views

How to respond to “За что тебе поставили четвёрку по сочинению?”

Some time ago I did a homework in which I had to complete two-phrase dialogues by writing a meaningful response to a given question. No context was provided for the questions. One of the questions was,...
4
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1answer
151 views

Is “чалый” a synonym of “рецидивист”?

Several websites I've come across state "чалый" as a synonym of "рецидивист", but I haven't been able to find any definitions of чалый that would suggest it's synonymous with рецидивист. Are they ...
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8answers
3k views

“Член клуба” - how to use “член” in feminine here?

Let's consider this sentence: I'm a member of the Japanese Renju Association. A member translates into Russian as член, but the grammatical gender of this word is masculine, so I'm curious how I can ...
4
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1answer
178 views

My dictionary sometimes lists two imperfective forms

Consider the verb to send, which my dictionary translates as *посылать (imp.), слать (imp.), послать (perf.). My question is about those cases in which there are two imperfective forms, like in this ...
6
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1answer
426 views

Meaning difference between до свидания, до скорого and до встречи

I have been learning Russian for quite some time now and I have recently doubled my sources, adding another app. With no big surprise for me, some things do not align, in particular about greetings ...
2
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1answer
311 views

Using Russian-style smile in business conversation )

As a freelancer I recently got in contact with a russian agency on LinkedIn. This person used the 'russian-style smile face' ) quite a lot. In order to sympathize with this person I was tempted to ...
7
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3answers
418 views

Logic behind structures like «в общей сложности»

In one formal texts I encountered this "в общей сложности" used when addressing the total amount of something. An example context below: В общей сложности страны СНГ продемонстрировали падение ...
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3answers
791 views

Is it correct to say, “Не врачам этого не понять”?

A former chief sanitary inspector of Russia, Mr. Onishchenko, recently said the following about the chief infection control doctor of the Stavropol region, Ms. Sannikova: Она долго работает ...
6
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5answers
222 views

Difference between “объединяйтесь” and “соединяйтесь”?

Background I recently saw a translation of the well-known motto "Workers of the world, unite!", but when I looked into it, I found out that there are at least two possible translations: Пролетарии ...
12
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7answers
995 views

How should I translate “the fighting boar” in Grenfell's poem into Russian?

My Russian teacher, whom you know by his tough approach to teaching the language, strongly pushed me to try to translate English poems into Russian, and we agreed I'd have a look at Hymn to the Wild ...
3
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6answers
785 views

Why do Russians say that all men are billy goats (все мужики козлы)?

I was given a Russian song as a listening exercise, and, as far as I could discern, its chorus is: И мы не устаем, и с ночи до утра Мы можем говорить, говорить о мужиках. Бокал до дна в трудные ...
28
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4answers
8k views

Why do Russians call some women a dynamo (динамо)?

In English, you call a person a dynamo to say that he or she is extremely energetic (e.g., she was a dynamo in London politics), but Russians mean something entirely different when they call someone a ...
5
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3answers
2k views

How can I say in Russian “to see each other” and “to be exclusive to each other,” in the context of dating?

I cannot find the Russian phrases for these two stages of dating and am humbly asking for your help. I know that Russians say Маша встречается с Ваней (which literally means Masha regularly meets ...
0
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1answer
176 views

Russian For: No Smoking! [closed]

In England there are no-smoking signs at certain places. What would be written in Russian? For: No Smoking! Thanks.
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6answers
9k views

Why do Russians call a joke a stake (прикол)?

In modern Russian, прикол is a very frequently used word and means a joke, a funny incident, or just anything funny, but the original meaning of this word is very different: a stake to which a ship, a ...
6
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3answers
327 views

Difference between шоссе and автострада?

What are the differences between these two words? Is автострада just the same thing, but less used? Or do they have different meanings?
4
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6answers
396 views

Is it a mistake to say, “Oвчинки выделка не стоит”(sic!)?

In a recent essay of mine, I accidentally mixed up the grammatical cases in an idiom. Namely, I wrote: овчинки выделка не стоит The most common variant of this idiom is: овчинка выделки не стоит ...
2
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2answers
279 views

What does “тоже мне” mean? [closed]

What is the best way to translate these? Тоже мне! Тоже мне герой. Тоже мне новость. -
1
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3answers
394 views

Does the famous Russian translation of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll imply using drugs?

I recently came across the famous Soviet-era translation by Dina Orlovskaya of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, which is a part of a sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and that translation ...
6
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4answers
696 views

Moving a preposition to after the object

Curious as to what the Russians think about Japanese cars, I did some research and saw an article with the following title: Не престижа ради, а токмо драйва для I knew that ради is an exceptional ...
8
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3answers
466 views

What's wrong with “я подсела к стене”?

I wrote in an essay, В зале стоял длинный стол с закусками, один из концов которого упирался в стену. Мы подошли к столу и стали за него садиться. Я подсела к стене. My teacher marked the last ...

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