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75 votes
13 answers
13k views

Resources for learning Russian

Using the same structure in the Chinese Resources question, this is a specifically created Community Wiki which gathers resources for learning Russian and it has been approved by the Community itself. ...
59 votes
2 answers
8k views

What are the lesser known Russian cases?

In schools, it is taught that Modern Russian has 6 cases: Nominative (Именительный) Genitive (Родительный) Dative (Дательный) Accusative (Винительный) Instrumental (Творительный) ...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
1k views

Direct object of negated verbs takes which case?

I was reviewing an older Russian textbook today, and it says that the genitive case has to be used for the direct object of negated verbs. For example: I don't see the table ("Я не вижу стола"), and ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 231
16 votes
5 answers
9k views

The difference between "свой" and "мой"

What's the difference between свой (своя и т.д.) and мой (моя и т.д.) when Russian people speak they seem aware of the difference but still I can't wrap my head around it.
Ziad's user avatar
  • 471
45 votes
3 answers
22k views

Why does italic 'т' look like 'm'

The Cyrillic letter 'т', when italicized, looks like a Latin 'm'. This is illustrated in the image below. The first row is the Cyrillic letter 'т', the second is the Cyrillic letter 'м', and the third ...
ctype.h's user avatar
  • 1,515
15 votes
3 answers
11k views

When is the Russian letter "o" pronounced [a]?

Sometimes, the Russian letter o is pronounced [o], but other times it's pronounced [a]. How do I know when to pronounce it [a]?
heliosk's user avatar
  • 253
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

Я вижу + numeral + noun - governed by what case?

Я ви́жу одного́ ма́льчика. (I see one boy.) Я ви́жу два до́ма. (I see two houses.) Я ви́жу двух ма́льчиков. (I see two boys.) I often get confused with the cases. As far as I know, after "...
xpr34's user avatar
  • 729
25 votes
6 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of: "- Отнеси кота на веранду. - Да уж лежит там."

In a recent test I had to translate the following: -- Отнеси кота на веранду. -- Да уж лежит там. My translation was: "Bring the cat to the verandah." "It is already lying there.&...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 11.2k
20 votes
6 answers
3k views

Possessive constructions: "мой" vs. "у меня"

What is the difference between the following sentences: Мой папа в командировке. У меня папа в командировке. How can I explain to foreign students when to use "мой" or "у меня"?
Olga's user avatar
  • 6,558
17 votes
6 answers
4k views

Is 'ё' a distinct letter, or is it just 'е' with a diaeresis?

Some sources say that there are 32 letters in the alphabet, while others say there are 33. The discrepancy seems to be a result of including/excluding ё. They also mention (whether or not they include ...
ctype.h's user avatar
  • 1,515
12 votes
9 answers
751 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 ...
okazatsky's user avatar
  • 641
29 votes
10 answers
13k views

In Russian, do vehicles walk? And can one walk across the city using the bus?

It's commonly taught that the difference between ходить/идти and ездить/ехать (and between their prefixed derivations) is that the former connotes movement by foot and the latter connotes movement ...
Chill2Macht's user avatar
  • 3,071
2 votes
3 answers
508 views

Быть с именительным падежом

Я всё больше держался Кролика. Кролик был вор с мистическим уклоном. Жулик и вор он был, впрочем, вполне нормальный. А вот его дружок по грибной тематике был человек особенный. Почему здесь автор не ...
marmistrz's user avatar
  • 1,390
18 votes
3 answers
13k views

Difference in pronunciation between "щ" and "шь"?

I understand that the difference between "щ" and "ш" is (roughly) the difference between "shya-" and "sha-". But how do you differentiate "щ" and "шь"? For example, I always differentiated, for ...
chubbycantorset's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why is the letter "г" in some Russian words pronounced [v]?

We all agree that the letter г in Russian is equivalent to g in English. But why is the letter г in some Russian words pronounced [v]? For example: сегодня = pronounced as if it is written: севодня ...
Influx's user avatar
  • 2,035
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

What are some examples of nouns that end in -у in prepositional case

I know one already: in the garden - в саду
12 votes
3 answers
11k views

"На английском" or "по-английски"?

I was wondering if there's any difference between на английском and по-английски (for example when asking how to say something in English).
Sora.'s user avatar
  • 223
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

What part of speech is "нельзя"?

What part of speech is "нельзя"? I see so many Russian dictionaries say it is used as a predicative complement (предикатив), but none of the ones I saw would "dare" state it as an adverb (наречие).
brilliant's user avatar
  • 5,752
9 votes
3 answers
789 views

Why use dative in "Сколько тебе лет"?

In the following sentence: Сколько тебе лет? Why do you use тебе, the dative form of ты? I think this sentence means "How old are you?" but why not say it with genitive, like: Сколько тебя лет?...
Blaszard's user avatar
  • 1,157
8 votes
1 answer
486 views

How to decline adjectives modifying feminine nouns after 2, 3, 4?

In the nominative case, if we are counting something of size 2, 3, or 4 then the object being counted is in the genitive singular case, e.g., три треугольника. If we have an adjective involved, then ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
7 votes
3 answers
862 views

Translation for "When I was young"

I need to say "when I was young" in reference to a male. I always forget whether the correct translation is "Когда я был молодой" or "Когда я был молодым". Can you please explain why I need to use ...
AltGei's user avatar
  • 466
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Краткая и полная форма прилагательного в сказуемом

У меня в голове хаос, и я уже не знаю, что и как. Меня в школе учили, что в составном сказуемом всегда используется краткая форма прилагательного, и я всегда использовал краткую форму. В другом месте ...
marmistrz's user avatar
  • 1,390
59 votes
14 answers
43k views

What does the phrase "Да нет" mean?

Does it mean yes, or does it mean no, or something else?
chubbycantorset's user avatar
42 votes
10 answers
7k views

Usage of "про" instead of "о"

One of the prepositions I never learned in Russian courses is про, which I only met later when communicating with native speakers or when reading. Is it possible to give a good rule of thumb about ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
28 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are there words that can be spelled with both т and ф?

Some words of Greek descent use ф as corresponding to the Greek θ, while some use т. The former I think tend to be loaned earlier. However, in "Brothers Karamazov" I have found Mitya using the word "...
zefciu's user avatar
  • 899
28 votes
5 answers
2k views

Elementary understanding of the concept aspect

First, for the aim of this question I must say that I am not familiar with the Russian language, but I read a bit about it and am curious. I've never learned Russian before and just able to say a ...
Em1's user avatar
  • 1,658
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

Миш, Кать, Ань, пап, мам — what is it in an address?

When I am addressing someone and say: Кать, приходи в гости в воскресенье is Кать just a spoken reduction of Катя, or is it a separate grammatical form?
texnic's user avatar
  • 4,654
14 votes
3 answers
513 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 ...
DET's user avatar
  • 151
13 votes
3 answers
692 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 ...
Lisa Beck's user avatar
  • 2,215
13 votes
6 answers
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? (...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
816 views

Why Russians use adjective when speaking about their nation and nouns for the rest of the world?

how come that russian (русский) in context of ethnic group is adjective, but all(?) other ethic groups are called using nouns, американец, серб, эстонец, латыш, казах ... Are there similar examples in ...
Gennadi's user avatar
  • 163
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Using written е instead of ë

Sometimes I see е written instead of ë. Is this actually a common occurence in written Russian, or an acceptable version of the word? For example, even Google Translate will not use the diacritical ...
N romaai's user avatar
  • 259
10 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
KCd's user avatar
  • 4,984
10 votes
4 answers
6k views

What kind of "girlfriend" is meant by "подруга"?

Does "подруга" mean girlfriend as in "girl friend", ie a female friend, or as in "girlfriend", a romantic interest? Doing a google image search for подруга seems to be getting matches for both types.
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 1,119
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a Russian analogue of British Council or Goethe-Institut?

As far as I know, for English, German, French there are state organizations promoting these languages abroad. Does Russia have anything similar?
texnic's user avatar
  • 4,654
8 votes
5 answers
720 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 ...
Chill2Macht's user avatar
  • 3,071
7 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Giorgio's user avatar
  • 793
6 votes
2 answers
564 views

What is the difference between the prefixes по and у in verbs of motion

I have been studying Russian for a while and have looked at a number of grammar books for Russian by I fail to see the nuance between 'по' and 'у' For example: Мой самолёт улетит... vs. Мой самолёт ...
Preacher Al's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
298 views

"Крыса была примечательная" or "примечательна"?

У неё была одна странность: она дружила с крысой. Крыса была примечательная, жила неизвестно где и приходила на зов. Почему здесь нет краткой формы прилагательного, т.е. примечательна? Это ведь (...
marmistrz's user avatar
  • 1,390
5 votes
2 answers
607 views

Case of complements in Russian

Context: My book says that: The copular verb is absent in the present tense for a compound predicate and the noun [which is the complement] is in the nominative case. In the past and future tenses ...
Chill2Macht's user avatar
  • 3,071
5 votes
7 answers
15k views

Typing Russian on an English keyboard

I have only a standard English (qwerty) keyboard on my computer. Can anyone recommend a convenient method (free software or something else) by which I can use my keyboard to type the Cyrillic ...
37 votes
8 answers
8k views

When is it more appropriate to use здравствуйте rather than привет?

As far as I understand, both of these mean more or less the same thing. Rosetta Stone, that introduced me to the Russian language seems to prefer здравствуйте, but it seems привет is more commonly ...
mikl's user avatar
  • 646
37 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
Giorgio's user avatar
  • 793
32 votes
8 answers
18k views

Do adult Russians normally hand-write Cyrillic as cursive or as block letters?

In The Netherlands, we learn to write Latin characters in cursive in school, but most adults write block letters in practice. My experience is that in other countries using the Latin alphabet, most ...
Херрит's user avatar
28 votes
3 answers
8k views

What Russian letter is this?

Is the 4th letter a valid russian character? When I copy the above word it is automatically converted to "сведения".
swayamraina's user avatar
25 votes
11 answers
7k views

Usage patterns of "надо" vs. "нужно"

What are the mechanics behind using надо over нужно or vice versa? What governs when they are interchangeable and when not? To be perfectly clear: I have no problems simply using whichever sounds ...
RegDwight's user avatar
  • 1,259
25 votes
11 answers
4k views

Been learning Russian for 10 years, still can't understand my wife when she talks with her friends, what to do?

I really want to become fluent in Russian. And I've been trying for so many years. With a risk that this question will be closed, I can't think of a better place to ask this. My wife is of Russian ...
23 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the first person singular future of победить

What is the first person singular of победить in future tense? The other person-numbers have obvious forms such as: ты победишь, мы победим, они победят, вы победите, он победит, я ??? The obvious &...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
16k views

The history and meaning of "ни фига себе"

I understand how the expression is used pretty well, but wonder where did it come from? What exactly does фиг mean?
JAM's user avatar
  • 1,316
22 votes
4 answers
5k views

Чаю vs. чая: what ending is correct?

Is чаю or чая more correct in the sentences Я бы не отказался от чашки ча* and Можно мне ещё ча*? and what's the grammatical explanation?
texnic's user avatar
  • 4,654

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