16 votes
Accepted

Describe a Language Without the Noun for "Language"

Yes, it is quite common in conversational speech: Он знает английский. = He knows English. Она предпочитает русский. = She prefers Russian. Note that language names or nationalities are not ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Difference in usage between "пи́ща" and "еда"

The aspects of difference: Пища из more formal version of еда in the meaning 'food'. Unlike пища, еда can be used directly in the meaning 'having meals'. e. g.: (разговаривать) во время еды ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
14 votes

Meaning of "подъезд"

As an addition to @Artemix' answer, here's a picture of what a подъезд looks like. Usually buildings have several of them, they are counted from left to right, so the leftmost arrow points to the ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Plural for indeclinable nouns

You just leave it as is. Like 'deer' in English - "One deer", "many deer", etc. У неё уже есть три пальто - зачем ей ещё одно? Он может делать два сальто подряд. На столе лежат ...
AR.'s user avatar
  • 1,750
12 votes
Accepted

How is яблони different from яблоки?

I think яблони refers to the apple trees while яблоки refers to the apples.
IntrepidNomad's user avatar
12 votes

Why are some city names, when named after people, given -sk suffix, but others aren't?

There's no grammatical rule in Russian that specifies city name generation based on person names. It's rather random or based on historical context. For example, in early soviet times Stalingrad (now ...
ttaaoossuuuu's user avatar
  • 2,262
10 votes
Accepted

"Радио" or "ра́дио"

Both forms are correct. The "accent" is a stress mark. Stress marks are omitted in most books. They are printed in books for beginner readers, and in words where a change of stress would change the ...
Vitaly's user avatar
  • 3,129
9 votes

Meaning of "подъезд"

Its "communal entrance hallway" or "entrance of an apartment building". Other synonym is "парадное". One building can have multiple entrances which lead to a different parts of a building. Мы ...
Artemix's user avatar
  • 11.3k
9 votes

I am confused by the difference between the word for a language and the word for a people who speak that language

Yes, in Russian, the name of the nationality is usually different from the name of the language. That's because nationalities are nouns, English often has the same difference: nationality is Pole, but ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
9 votes

"у нас туго с деньга́ми": Does this instrumental "деньга́ми" stem from "де́ньги" or "деньга́"?

The word "деньга́" is ancient and rare, although it might be used as a colloquial or a joke. In this (seemingly ordinary) case the word "де́ньги" was the original form, no doubt.
yury10578's user avatar
  • 1,735
9 votes
Accepted

How should I inflect animate nouns when they are used to figuratively call inanimate objects, and vice versa?

It's a complicated matter, and as a native speaker I'm lucky not to think about it consciously. Typically, when a person is named after an inanimate object, the word behaves as if it were animate ...
Ivan Milyakov's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Is there a shorter or more colloquial word for "pet"?

There is the word питомец (etymologically, "the one being fed"), but it has other meanings, it's less popular than домашнее животное, and, if anything, it's more bookish. In compound words, ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
8 votes

«И беспечной птицей» - why instrumental?

It is instrumental case indeed. One of the functions of instrumental in Russian is conveying sense of similarity. Usually it can be replaced with an analytical construct with как ("like"): ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
8 votes
Accepted

«И беспечной птицей» - why instrumental?

"И беспечной птицей" is indeed in an instrumental case - it answers the question "Улетаешь кем?" - птицей. To better understand why it is so, think of this phrase as of something with hidden verb ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
8 votes
Accepted

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)?

Both nominative plural and genitive plural adjectives can be used with feminine nouns. Nominative plural is preferred. Lisa, you are not the first to notice this variation (and well done spotting it!)...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
8 votes

"Добавить в друзья" - why nominative?

You're on the right track, but the meaning is more abstract than "friends list"; it's more like the "state of being a friend" in general. Compare записать в члены общества, вывести в генералы, etc. It ...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
7 votes

Difference in usage between "пи́ща" and "еда"

Еда means food, meal Пища means food, nourishment While these two words are often synonyms, you can think of the difference between "meal" and "nourishment" to understand the difference between "еда"...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 4,339
6 votes

"у нас туго с деньга́ми": Does this instrumental "деньга́ми" stem from "де́ньги" or "деньга́"?

Russian stress is very mobile, and etymology does not play the leading role in defining it. Words like серьга, кирка, грудь, ось, глушь, сажень, Обь, Пермь, кружево, зеркало and numerous others don't ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Difference between "в тишине" and "в тишину"?

Your guess is correct. "В тишине" is being in a silence, while "в тишину" is a poetic expression (and you will hardly encounter it in a colloquial conversation, as well as «на ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
6 votes

Cases after connectives

Sure, both nouns should be in the dative case not genitive. звонить (кому?) матери и тёте.
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.7k
5 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between пользование and использование?

Пользование comes from the verb пользоваться (imperfective; -ся is mandatory: пользовать is not used in contemporary Russian) and means continuous (daily) consumer usage. Пользование холодильником ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
5 votes

"Я один кто не знал, что вариантов у итогового теста два?"

По-русски мы говорим так: Интересно, я один не знал, что у теста два варианта (только я не знал, я единственный не знал ) Возможен вариант с инверсией ..., что вариантов у теста два. "Кто" ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 21.7k
5 votes

"Я один кто не знал, что вариантов у итогового теста два?"

При имеющемся порядке слов - "вариантов"(... имеется вот сколько:) два. В случае же прямого указания количества требуется согласование с числительным: Я один (один я) не знал, что у итогового теста ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
5 votes

Why are some city names, when named after people, given -sk suffix, but others aren't?

It seems like in modern Russian language there is a "hierarchy" of city name's forms, according to a degree of importance and respectability. If we name a city after a person, for example "Иванов", ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 4,339
5 votes

Russian noun that ends with -ы in singular: Myth or Reality?

A grammatical search in ruscorpora.ru for nouns in Nom,sg ending on -ы gives a number of occurrences, among them common abbreviations, like Минобороны, Москомприроды, замглавы; foreign surnames, like ...
J-mster's user avatar
  • 1,310
5 votes
Accepted

Is it true that adding an attributive sometimes causes a change in part of speech of the main word?

What part of speech is the word "летом" in the 1st and in the 2nd sentence? It's an adverb in the first sentence and a noun in the second sentence. Is there a linguistical term for this ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
5 votes

Are "свет" and "свеча" forms of the same word?

They are two distinct words. However, etymologically they are related: From Old East Slavic свѣча (svěča, “candle”), from Proto-Slavic *svěťa (“candle”), from *světъ (“light”) + *-ja. https://en....
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
5 votes

Are "свет" and "свеча" forms of the same word?

No, they're not. Свет means "light" and свеча means "candle". Etymologically, свеча comes from Proto-Slavic *světja, where j was the instrumental suffix (a suffix which forms the ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
5 votes
Accepted

What's the Russian for suspenders/garter belt?

If I understand you correctly, you're looking for пояс для чулок ("garter belt"). It's a belt which is worn about the waist and has suspenders which attach to the stockings and help hold ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
5 votes
Accepted

What would you call a drinker of non-alcohol beverages in Russian?

The way I understand it, you are looking for an agent noun (имя деятеля) formed from the word пить. I think I can say with confidence that modern Russian lacks such a word. In Russian, there is no ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible