Questions tagged [usage]

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

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29
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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 ...
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1answer
177 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
329 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?
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6answers
402 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
294 views

What does "тоже мне" mean? [closed]

What is the best way to translate these? Тоже мне! Тоже мне герой. Тоже мне новость. -
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3answers
413 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
698 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 ...
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3answers
474 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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6answers
638 views

Is there a positive Russian word for a whistleblower?

Let's suppose some students gather every evening in a student dormitory and make loud noise till late night by playing guitar, talking, singing, laughing, etc., and a female student from the same ...
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2answers
341 views

What is the difference between "расскажу о тебе" and "расскажу про тебя"?

(1) Я ему расскажу о тебе. (2) Я ему расскажу про тебя. I know that each of these sentences roughly translates as I will tell him about you, but what is the difference? Do the connotations or ...
3
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1answer
168 views

Usage of "будет" in phrases like "эта задача посложнее будет"

I translated the following snippet for a Russian friend. The last line I translated as "Now this is going to be a bit more difficult." But my friend insists that this doesn't have a future ...
3
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6answers
613 views

What is the meaning of: "Войну ждали. Но она пришла неожиданно."?

I recently read an article in Russian written by a doctor of art science for the journal Живая история, and that article is about the Soviet-German war and starts with the following two sentences: ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Why do Russians refer to flatterers as "downlickers" (подлизы)?

Usually used to refer to a flatterer, the Russian word подлиза literally means a downlicker: the prefix под- means down, below, beneath, or under, and the root -лиз- is common to Russian words about ...
4
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3answers
426 views

What does "я сейчас в неадеквате" mean?

I just sent a message to a language exchange partner and instantly received the following response: давай завтра, я сейчас в неадеквате What does this expression mean? Has he tied one on?
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7answers
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Why are German soldiers of WWII commonly referred to in the Russian language as fascists (фашисты)?

I read quite a few Russian materials about WWII and noticed that Russians commonly refer to German soldiers of WWII as фашисты (fascists). Here are some typical examples: (1) Фашисты заняли ...
6
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2answers
263 views

How to complete "налей мне" and "отдай мне обратно": "чаёк," "чайка," or "чайку"?

Here is a question in a test: Как корректно закончить следующие предложения? Налей мне ... . (а) чаёк (б) чайка (в) чайку Отдай мне обратно ... . (а) чаёк (б) чайка (в) чайку I am at a loss as ...
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4answers
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"Я считаю Пушкина более талантливым поэтом, чем Блок" or "чем Блокa"?

Here I am sitting late in the evening, struggling with a home test devised by a university teacher of mine, and here is a question in the test: Как корректно закончить следующее предложение? Я считаю ...
4
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1answer
91 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 ...
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2answers
271 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 ...
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8answers
749 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 ...
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3answers
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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, ...
3
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3answers
297 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 interpreted formally as ...
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7answers
799 views

Rules for classifying grammatical gender in Russian

How do you recognize masculine and feminine and neuter words on Russian?
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4answers
282 views

Different ways of saying "I got"

I've encountered several different ways of saying "I got" in Russian, but I am a bit confused on the differences in nuance these expressions have. To be clear, my question is about the ...
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1answer
141 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
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2answers
307 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&...
2
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1answer
207 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
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6answers
441 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
417 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 ...
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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
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3answers
293 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
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7answers
472 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
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3answers
299 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 ...
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5answers
1k 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 ...
8
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3answers
951 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
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3answers
199 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 ...
5
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1answer
174 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 ...
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3answers
223 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 ...
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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
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3answers
190 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
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6answers
218 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 ...
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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, ...
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3answers
341 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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4answers
165 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
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4answers
474 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
232 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.-...
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4answers
616 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 ...

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