Questions tagged [usage]

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

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12
votes
9answers
716 views

"Деревья свалил ветер" vs "Деревья свалило ветром"

The former is a personal sentence and the latter an impersonal one, though both the sentences seem semantically (almost) equivalent. Concerning personal and impersonal sentences, I have some idea how ...
13
votes
3answers
556 views

Can anyone clear up some discrepancies between rules for numeral+adjective+noun agreement for 2/3/4 and actual usage (as found through e-sources)?

While trying to augment my knowledge on Russian numerals with regard to how they combine with nouns and adjectives, I paid a visit to Reverso after learning that any adjectives placed between the ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

The usage of иметь

Possession is generally expressed in Russian using у + genitive case. However, in technical contexts the verb иметь is used, e.g., это уравнение имеет решение or этот многочлен имеет один корень. I ...
14
votes
3answers
463 views

Imperatives and Aspect

When using an imperative form, what effect does the speaker's choice of aspect have? More concretely — what's the difference between (for example) снимай пальто and сними пальто? In both cases, the ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Иметь vs у меня for physical things

I get that у меня is the most common pattern for showing ownership of things, say леопарда or самокат. What happens to the meaning were I to use Иметь instead? Does it mean the exact same thing? (...
8
votes
5answers
647 views

When to not use свой?

For answers to my workbook, I wrote the following: После уроков мы ходили в лабораторию к своему профессору. В воскресенье мы поедем в гости к своим друзьям. Мы уже звонили своим друзьям и ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

When to use the genitive or the accusative in negative sentences

In my Russian course we have learnt that in negative sentences the object is often in the genitive. On the other hand there are situations in which it is correct to use an accusative, and there is ...
38
votes
2answers
6k views

How can "to teach" and "to learn" be translated to Russian?

I know that there are several Russian verbs can be used to translate the English verbs "to teach", "to study", and "to learn", e.g. учить, выучить, научить, учиться, изучать, ... However, I am a bit ...
11
votes
3answers
599 views

Particle же vs Particle -то

What is the difference in the meaning between the particles "же" and "-то"? For example, Он же не пришёл. Vs. Он-то не пришёл.
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the difference between "ходить" and "идти"?

As far as I understand they both mean "go", but I'd like to know when I should use each. Are these words interchangeable?
5
votes
1answer
225 views

To imply "but" when should I use "а" and when should I use "но"?

I want to imply but Now, a can mean both and and but And, но also means but So, when should I use a and when should I use но?
23
votes
11answers
2k views

Why do some say "на Украине" and others "в Украине" and what is correct?

Can anyone explain? Is there some rule for when to use на and when to use в?
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
396 views

What is the difference between посмеяться and засмеяться?

Question: Can someone explain what the difference between посмеяться and засмеяться is? Both have смеяться (to laugh) as their imperfective form, so I am really confused about what the difference ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you describe homosexual marriages in Russian?

The words for marriage are clearly gender-linked in Russian. I'm guessing that for two women, you'd say "Она женилась на ней / Она женат." Correspondingly, I'd think that for two men it would be "Он ...
4
votes
2answers
460 views

Human animate plural - двое, трое,

This answer gives a short idea of using human animate plural forms, e. g. that they are used for persons only (?!). However, it's not quite clear, when they apply. For instance: за стеной стоят ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use "такой", "какой" or "так" respectively for emphasis?

I'm a bit fuzzy on the usage of these three words -- specifically when they are used for emphasis in the sense of "so much / such". How are these two nuanced: 1) Такая жара! {vs} Какая жара! Is ...
51
votes
10answers
15k views

What's the difference between "лежит на столе" and "стоит на столе"?

Can anyone explain the difference between the following sentences: "Чашка лежит на столе" vs. "Чашка стоит на столе" "Мяч лежит на столе" vs. "Мяч стоит на столе" "Лэптоп лежит на столе" vs. "Лэптоп ...
26
votes
5answers
8k views

Why does "ебало" mean a face and "ебаться" mean to fuck?

I had been talking with my Russian friend which used such words like "ебало", "ебаться" and "ебнутый". As I understood, this words have completely difference meaning. It is very curious.
15
votes
5answers
13k views

What's the difference between "вот" and "здесь"?

Both words translate as here, but in which context should I use one over the other? There's a question about it on the Q&A of masterrussian.com that already gives me a rough understanding. That ...
29
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between нужно и надо

Hello probably this is duplicate question but I still can't understand the difference in use between these 2 words? Надо и нужно Can you give me some examples please?
19
votes
2answers
962 views

Does “official Russian” language exist?

In the Soviet time, the speech of news-readers on radio and TV was considered a standard of the proper Russian language. The spelling in the newpapers was the standard of written language. To support ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the Russian adverb "уже" not always translated into English?

I often don't see the Russian adverb "уже" translated into English. I'll give you some examples: Скоро уже начало марта. The beginning of March is soon. Example above is from Duolingo's ...
5
votes
1answer
463 views

Does the Russian numeral rule for the adjective that comes between the number and the noun (see below) apply to animate nouns in actual usage?

The rule I refer to is this: For numeral + adjective + noun in genitive case structures where the numeral-noun-adjective phrase is serving in a nominative case (e.g., the three little pigs went to ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What does «и» mean in the sentence like «Я и ртом надую»?

The и in both of these sentences appears extra. What is it doing? — Зачем мне насос? — ответил Гена. — Я и ртом надую. And from another children’s book: Всех друзей я киселем вкусным угостила, ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Why does Russian have three words for marriage?

They are свадьба, женитьба, and замужество. According to wiktionary, женитьба is marriage from a man's perspective (despite being feminine) and замужество a woman's (despite being neuter). Is it ...
11
votes
2answers
673 views

Difference between "за" (as in "за что-либо/кого-либо") and "для"

In what contexts should I use за or для when saying "for" or "to" something or someone? For example, I understand that it is proper to use "за" when calling out a toast: "за Россию!". But that you ...
10
votes
3answers
433 views

Which form of past tense should be used when the gender of the speaker is unknown?

For instance, you heard a quote from a poem or a proverb, but you don't know who exactly said it. Do you use Кто сказал "я к розам хочу, в тот единственный сад / Где лучшая в мире стоит из оград"? ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

When to use «раз, два, три» instead of «один, два, три»?

I know that один, два, три is equivalent to one, two, three in English. But, I've also heard раз, два, три used in multiple Russian songs from different artists, and I've seen this in several places ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between разве and неужели?

I know that разве has some additional meanings, for instance the expression разве что/лишь/только. However in their principal meaning, разве and неужели are somewhat synonymous. What are the nuances ...
5
votes
3answers
983 views

What is the difference between пытаться и пробовать?

It seems that whenever I use one, I'm told to use the other :)
3
votes
3answers
590 views

Verbs related to learning or teaching [closed]

there. May you explain me differences between following verbs in detail?! (Attention: For God's sake, PLEASE, Don't match them up with English words like: study, learn, teach, etc. Just please try to ...
13
votes
3answers
405 views

Express "ten" in Russian: difference between десять, десятка, десяток

In terms of expressing ten, what's the difference between десять, десятка and десяток? I understand the first is a numeral and the other two are nouns, but I'm curious in which contexts each are used. ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Do "надо" constructions tend to pair with perfective verbs and if so, why?

I've noticed that constructions with "надо" tend to use a perfective form of a verb. Is there some sort of loose grammar rule dictating this? Or does it just depend on context? For example, can I ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why "две ванные"?

As I understand it, ванная is a substantive adjective (just learned that googling for an answer for this) that acts as a noun, but still declines like an adjective. Shouldn't it be the genitive plural ...
7
votes
2answers
543 views

What is the difference between "занятый" and "занятой"?

I recently came upon the following: Он занят. As I usually do when I come across a verb I'm not familiar with, I look it up to find out what the infinitive for it is. I usually use Wiktionary and ...
6
votes
5answers
410 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Telling time in Russian: when does night, morning, afternoon, and evening start?

At which hour does the following start? 1) ночи (genitive of ночь, night) 2) утра (genitive of утро, morning) 3) дня (genitive of день, day or afternoon) 4) вечера (genitive of вечер, evening) My ...
4
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Have technology changes had any effect on the usage of идти vs. ехать (and similar verb pairs)?

I've only been studying Russian for about a year (and slowly at that), so I'm probably misunderstanding a lot. From what I understand, though, идти and ехать are both unidirectional verbs of motion ...
2
votes
0answers
242 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, ...
13
votes
6answers
6k views

What order are the parts of a full Russian name in?

It is my understanding that Russians have a first name, surname, and patronymic. What is the order of a full name: "first name, surname, patronymic" or "first name, patronymic, surname"?
12
votes
4answers
557 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Idiomatic Signage: "No children", "Children not allowed on table", etc.?

Let's say you had a nice pool table. And some people were ruining it by putting their small children on top of it and letting them walk around and bang on it. In American English, you might put a ...
9
votes
1answer
408 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Difference between "девушка", "девочка" and "подруга"

So, IIRC "девушка" can mean both "girl" (of any age) or "girlfriend" (I'm not entirely sure of this so feel free to call me out), but what about 'подруга'? Can I safely replace 'девушка' with 'подруга'...
8
votes
1answer
346 views

What are the advanced Russian words якобы and дабы?

Very recently in a russian newspaper I came across the words якобы and дабы. I surfed the internet for these words and found out that generally якобы is alike псевдо or как будто бы, and дабы is так ...
8
votes
3answers
226 views

What kind of day does "денек выдался" refer to, exactly?

Ну и денек выдался в минувшую субботу! I'm assuming it literally means "my/our little day stood out from others. It was special somehow", but its precise meaning eludes me. It's been an ...