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 ...
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15 votes
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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 ...
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  • 11.8k
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 ...
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  • 25.8k
13 votes
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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 ...
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  • 1,740
12 votes
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мозг в местном/предложном падеже

Это зависит от смысла того, что вы хотите сказать. Если речь идёт о мыслях, то нужно использовать местный падеж: В моём мозгу крутилась мысль о сдаче в плен. В моём мозгу я уже раздевал любимую. ...
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  • 14.1k
12 votes

What percentage of nouns with a мягкий знак are feminine vs. masculine

It is hard to make a judgement for all entirety of the language (one should probably do a search in a large computer dictionary or a large corpus). However, you can tackle it from the other side: ...
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  • 5,120
12 votes

Little questions regarding "tram stop"

Apart from putting the adjective into the feminine gender to adjust it to the feminine noun остановка, you also have to put the resulting word combination into the Accusative case, because the ...
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  • 25.8k
12 votes
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How is яблони different from яблоки?

I think яблони refers to the apple trees while яблоки refers to the apples.
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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 ...
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  • 2,242
11 votes
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Non-Russian names: to decline or not to decline?

You are right that Лора declines in Russian, and here are the rules (source: http://www.nazovite.ru/sklonenie/) The following personal names decline: all names (masculine and feminine, Russian and ...
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  • 8,397
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 ...
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  • 3,039
9 votes

"Mechanical Draughtsman" in Russian

I believe the translations could be: Конструктор or Инженер-конструктор (means a person who designs machine parts and draws technical images) Чертежник (means a person who draws technical images)
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  • 8,055
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 ...
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  • 11.3k
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.
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  • 1,655
9 votes
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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 ...
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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, ...
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  • 47.7k
8 votes
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What percentage of nouns with a мягкий знак are feminine vs. masculine

Я протестировал слова из открытого корпуса Open Corpora. Из 7784 слов-существительных, оканчивающихся на "ь", 5632 были женского рода (72%). Список слов сохранил в архиве I tested words from open ...
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8 votes

Существительное "забывало"

It sounds like a nonce word, but is quite understandable in that meaning. Maybe something like "забывала" (запевала, заводила, зазывала, вышибала), "забывальщик" or "забывальщица" when used between ...
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  • 11.8k
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 ...
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8 votes
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«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 ...
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  • 37.4k
8 votes
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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!)...
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8 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 ...
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  • 25.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Are there in Russian any inanimate masculine nouns ending on -a?

Only marked ones, formed with suffixes -ина and similar: домина, голосина, дождина etc.
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  • 47.7k
7 votes

Is there a word for Motherworld, similar to Motherland (Родина)?

Родина means "place of birth". So it's valid word for both Motherland and Motherworld. Other valid translation of Motherworld is родной мир. If Motherworld is planet than родная планета is valid too.
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  • 605
7 votes
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Difference between сожитель, любовник and фаворит

Сожитель indeed has some negative connotation for me. It doesn't mean "lover" in a sense that it is a partner for a married person, but it simply means people living together and having a relationship ...
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  • 1,532
7 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"): ...
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  • 47.7k
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"...
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  • 4,244
6 votes
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Why Russians use adjective when speaking about their nation and nouns for the rest of the world?

Не вполне пока понимая, как отвечать на вопрос «как так получилось», отвечу на вторую часть: есть ли аналогичные ситуации в других языках, когда автоэтноним (самоназвание) выпадает из общей схемы ...
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6 votes

How do you say and spell “Тоска”

Тоска - [tʌˈska] стеснение духа, томление души, мучительная грусть; душевная тревога, беспокойство, боязнь, скука, горе, печаль, нойка сердца, скорбь. further reading a definition from the ...
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6 votes

Is the "Great Patriotic War" used only for the Eastern European Theater 1941 - 1945?

The term "Великая Отечественная война" (Great Patriotic War) refers only to the war between USSR and the Nazi Germany, together with it's European allies (fascist Italy, Romania etc.) It started at ...
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