34 votes
Accepted

Why do Russians almost not use verbs of possession akin to "have"?

First of all, a shameless plug of my earlier answer on why у does not quite mean "near" (but something more akin to the French chez, i.e. a place/household/domain notion used in the abstract.) ...
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27 votes

Why does she say "Я понимаешь" and not "Я понимаю"?

Right punctuation is Я, понимаешь, я это чувствую, потом мы всё наверстаем, я предчувствую The translation is I, you know, I'm feeling it, we will catch all then, I forefeel it. "Понимаешь&...
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  • 1,158
23 votes

What's the 'present simple' form of the word "нашла́" in 3rd person singular female?

No, it shouldn't, a different verb should be used here -- "находить". The 3rd person singular form of this verb is "находит". The difference between those two verbs is the aspect. "Найти" is a ...
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  • 231
23 votes

What is the meaning of "понаехать"?

The colloquial пона- prefix, in general, describes something done to excess. Понастроили домов! — Too many houses have been built! Понапокупали прав! — Too many people have bribed their way into ...
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22 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "понаехать"?

Понаехать here is used in the sense 4 in Wiktionary: "to go in large numbers to a place where one isn't welcome". It's normally used in reference to big cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg ...
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20 votes

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

You use perfective verbs when you are talking about a task that you have to complete once: Мне надо помыть четырёх кошек (и потом я могу отдыхать). And you use imperfective verbs when you are ...
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  • 4,194
20 votes

Why do Russians almost not use verbs of possession akin to "have"?

First of all, I agree with Nikolay Ershov and others who point out that your understanding of "у" is incorrect: it really mostly means belonging (even stronger than chez) and only secondarily and ...
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  • 301
20 votes

What's the difference between "люблю" and "обожаю"?

Люблю читать is 'I like reading' while your task was to translate 'I love reading'. 'To love' is neutral любить when referring to relationships between people, but when it refers to things or ...
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  • 25.8k
20 votes
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Do Russians really use "Расход!" to say, "Let's go!"?

The character is saying расход! indeed, which is supposed to mean "scatter!", as a command. This is not a mainstream word, but its meaning is obvious to a Russian speaker. Russian sports and ...
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  • 47.7k
19 votes

How can I finally understand the confusing modal verb "мочь"?

For a person (and in Russian everything is a person), the Russian thought model makes no distinction between: the person's moral right to do something; the person's ability to do something (like, ...
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  • 299
18 votes
Accepted

Why do verbs in past tense—and not other parts of speech—have gender?

Because historically what we call past in modern Russian is perfect, and what we believe to be past forms of the verbs are in fact participles (adjectives formed from verbs). Compare: Он пел / она ...
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  • 47.7k
18 votes

What's the difference between "люблю" and "обожаю"?

I think that it's a three layered thing in Russian: мне нравится читать я люблю читать я обожаю читать Just like @V.V. also do believe that "я обожаю" is too strong here. After all, we'll end up ...
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  • 37.4k
17 votes
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Calling a proper noun with "называть"

I understand where your confusion comes from: the verb seemingly agrees with the preceding noun which you mistook for the subject. This sentence is actually of a special kind called неопределённо-...
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17 votes

Other meanings of "идти" besides "to go by foot"?

Well, идти has a lot of different use cases in Russian, such as (in no particular order): functioning (usually about watches) - "часы идут" run through - "дорога идёт через лес" broadcasted by TV, ...
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  • 37.4k
13 votes

Is there any difference between торопиться и спешить?

In the general case the only pattern, that came into my mind, when you can not interchange спеши́ть and торопи́ться is a talking about a gaining clock: Часы спешат на пять минут [The watch is five ...
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13 votes

Difference between поиграть and сыграть

Поиграть means 'to play a little (for some time, with something)' and if it's about some game (not just toys), then maybe to leave it unfinished. До двух часов поиграем в футбол, потом пойдём ...
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  • 11.8k
13 votes

Verbs of motion - how to define local distances?

Well, it's quite straight-forward, "ездить" is always about going by car, by public transport etc. - in other words, it's never about walking. When one is saying "я езжу в это кафе ...
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  • 37.4k
12 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to translate English tenses into Russian tenses?

Well, that's quite an interesting question. But to say how the tenses correspond to each other we must first know what they really mean in both languages. And this is where we may fail as everyone ...
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  • 15.2k
12 votes
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Do Russian speakers consistently produce the same perfective form for a new verb?

Different Russian speakers may come up with different perfectives for the same verb (new or not) and there is a good chance that listeners will recognise the original verb and the perfectiveness. ...
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12 votes
Accepted

How to say "slam a door open/shut" in Russian?

Двери палаток хлопали, открываясь и закрываясь от ветра. Note that хлопнули is a single-event verb whereas хлопали is a multi-event verb which is probably what you wanted. I think you used "open ...
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12 votes

Why do Russians almost not use verbs of possession akin to "have"?

(Here is an empirical explanation of the modern habbit; I'm not a linguistics specialist and could only speculate on the reasons of such pattern) Because complicated morphology allows us Russians not ...
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  • 303
11 votes
Accepted

"Встань" or "встать"?

Both forms are correct. "Встань" - is for "[you,] stand up!" - it's the imperative form. "Встать!" is the infinitive form that also can be used in modern Russian as an imperative. The difference is ...
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  • 37.4k
11 votes

Do Russians really use "Расход!" to say, "Let's go!"?

I did not find the specific invocation, but there are two possible uses of this word: Turning the verb расходимся (we part ways) to a noun. This is unusual but can surely arise in a subculture slang. ...
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  • 2,405
10 votes

How do you know when to use изменить/измениться vs менять/меняться

Менять and изменить are not synonims. This pair of verbs is видовая пара. Менять is imperfective (несовершенный вид), изменить is perfective (совершенный вид). Examples: Вчера Вася изменил свою ...
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  • 8,397
10 votes
Accepted

"летящий" versus "летающий"

Летающий and летящий are formed from two different verbs: летать and лететь (the former being an iterative for the latter). It's similar to English "sniffle / sniff, shuffle / shove" etc. However, ...
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  • 47.7k
10 votes
Accepted

What does "сошелся" (or "сошёлся"?) mean?

No, he didn't live with other writers. This is a pretty old-style text. In this context сошелся means just met (встретился / познакомился / подружился). The infinive form of сошелся is сойтись.
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  • 8,055
10 votes
Accepted

Как называется явление, когда два глагола стоят рядом в одной форме

В случае, когда два глагола стоят в одинаковой форме, причем одно указывает способ, а второе цель действия, имеет место осложненное глагольное сказуемое. Запятые в этом случае не ставятся. dic....
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  • 1,772
10 votes
Accepted

Imperative with imperfective verbs

Yes, откройте sounds more polite, especially when followed by пожалуйста. Открывайте is more likely to be followed by сейчас же! (immediately!).
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10 votes
Accepted

How can I finally understand the confusing modal verb "мочь"?

As pointed out in comments, your impression of English “can” and “may” seems too rigid. Consider these dictionary definitions with the many meanings and examples, some of which overlap, and the usage ...
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  • 216
10 votes
Accepted

Difference between быть and бывать

Here is what I was taught regarding the matter. Some centuries ago бывал was considered a special past tense of быть. I quote from Российская Грамматика written by М. Lomonosov in 1755: § 268 Времен ...
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