Questions tagged [usage]

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

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7
votes
3answers
837 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 &...
3
votes
1answer
161 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?
5
votes
3answers
478 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
281 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
418 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
90 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, ...
11
votes
5answers
441 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
185 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
347 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
251 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
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
177 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
votes
2answers
160 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
votes
2answers
105 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
180 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
196 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
372 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 “...
2
votes
3answers
219 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
540 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
169 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 ...
31
votes
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
votes
3answers
601 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
vote
1answer
245 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 ...
22
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
224 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
384 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
954 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 ...
27
votes
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
votes
2answers
151 views

What's the difference between навлечь and привлечь?

What's the difference between those two words? Can i use only влечь?
4
votes
1answer
123 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.
34
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
241 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
134 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
355 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
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
17
votes
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
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
529 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
votes
1answer
316 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
votes
3answers
420 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
795 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
votes
5answers
237 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
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 ...
3
votes
6answers
857 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 ...
29
votes
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 ...

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