29 votes

How frequently do Russian people still refer to others by their patronymic (отчество)?

First of all, there is a big difference between calling someone by the combination of his first name and his patronymic name (Иван Кузьмич) and calling someone by his patronymic name only (Кузьмич). ...
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  • 1,477
21 votes
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What distinguishes "Осип" from "Иосиф"?

It's neither a nickname, nor a dinimutive. It's just a form which became distinctive from the (borrowed through Greek) Иосиф and happily co-exist with it just like Johannes co-exist with John. While ...
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  • 37.5k
17 votes
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How frequently do Russian people still refer to others by their patronymic (отчество)?

Very often. The fun thing about patronymics is that they are huge part of colloquial usage as well. In a friendly conversation one can omit name completely and use just patronymic, like in "Что-то ты, ...
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  • 37.5k
16 votes
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Can "товарищ" be used with the first name only?

In modern Russian language the title "Товарищ" may be used in such variants: just "товарищ" - may be used for addressing a stranger. ("Эй, товарищ! Куда вы пошли?" - "Hey sir! Where did you go?"). It'...
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  • 1,158
13 votes

How frequently do Russian people still refer to others by their patronymic (отчество)?

Very often, but somewhat less often than decades ago. First of all, the form addressing strongly depends on a scenario. If some scenarios, patronymics are used almost universally, in others, their ...
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  • 4,254
13 votes
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What'd be a formal way to say "морочить голову"?

Прошу прощения за доставленные хлопоты, за беспокойство,за то, что отнял у Вас время. Any will do, I think.
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  • 20.7k
11 votes
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When is it more appropriate to use "преподаватель" rather than "учитель"?

"Преподаватель" is more often a professor in college or university, or instructor on some specific courses. While you can list (and consider) teachers in school as "преподаватели" the reverse is not ...
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  • 37.5k
10 votes
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Accordance of the adjectives with the polite form "вы"

The predicate (short) form is mandatorily plural: вы красивы. However, when full-form adjectives are used colloquially as predicates, singular sounds more natural: вы такая красивая, etc.
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7 votes

How to say "It has been a pleasure working with you" in Russian?

Literal and perfectly acceptable translation: "Было приятно с вами работать" (bYlo pr'iyAtna s vAm'i rabOtat'). The last "t" is soft, as in the word tea. The "m" is soft as in the word me. The soft "r"...
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6 votes

When is it more appropriate to use "преподаватель" rather than "учитель"?

I believe, both преподаватель and учитель are positions: учитель - at school, преподаватель - at university, professional courses etc. Also учитель has another meaning: mentor.
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  • 8,065
6 votes

Have your cake and eat it too - Equivalent Expression in Russian

Take your pick: Убить одним выстрелом двух зайцев (Kill two rabbits with one shot) (Дать) и вашим, и нашим (Please one's friends and enemies) Сидеть на двух стульях (Sit on two chairs) Объять ...
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6 votes

Have your cake and eat it too - Equivalent Expression in Russian

"И волки сыты, и овцы целы." (The wolves are fed and the sheep are safe.) Often used as a metaphor of two mutually exclusive goals.
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  • 1,021
5 votes

How frequently do Russian people still refer to others by their patronymic (отчество)?

Actually, Sandra's answer is very accurate, but I'd like to say, that there are common cases when you always use first name + patronymic: 1) When you want to show your respect for the other person. 2) ...
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  • 155
4 votes

How to avoid seeming overly familiar when writing letters to a friend?

Close friends can use твой/твоя +name without any additional (emotional ) feeling nowadays. But in Russian culture we use other patterns : we say *hello,hi" starting the letter (emails ) and often ...
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4 votes
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How to avoid seeming overly familiar when writing letters to a friend?

seems like it could be misconstrued as a request for romantic intimacy. Perhaps, but it's totally okay among just the close friends. In fact, "Yours + name" is uncommon for lovers.
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  • 326
3 votes

What'd be a formal way to say "морочить голову"?

"Извините, что я вас напрасно обнадежил (обнадежила, if the speaker is female)" - это самое близкое по смыслу в данном случае. Но "извините, что отнял (отняла) у вас время" - самый стандартный ...
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2 votes

What'd be a formal way to say "морочить голову"?

1) There should definitely be a comma behind "что" that you missed, such as "Извините, что побеспокоил", to mark another part of the sentence. 2) The list of possible synonims is very long, too long ...
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1 vote

Have your cake and eat it too - Equivalent Expression in Russian

"нельзя быть немножко беременной" or "нельзя быть наполовину беременной" (выбор между двумя противоположными альтернативами. Попытка выбрать что-то промежуточное или невозможна, или приведёт к одной ...
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  • 8,407
1 vote

"Позже" vs. "позднее"

Позже and попозже tend to express a time delay from some event or from current moment, while the version позднее is typically based on time in numbers (days, months, years, etc. - mentioned or not) ...
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  • 11.8k
1 vote

"Позже" vs. "позднее"

To me the sentence sounds perfectly fine. In my opinion, and as already implied in V.V.'s response, it's a matter of style and usus. According to my gut feeling the choice of позже and позднее ...
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1 vote

"Позже" vs. "позднее"

Розенталь says that some adverbs can have two synthetic comparative forms :более – больше, менее – меньше, далее – дальше, ранее – раньше, позднее – позже, where the forms with -ее are bookish or ...
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  • 20.7k
1 vote

Can "товарищ" be used with the first name only?

In this case you mix both more formal greeting with less formal name form. It makes sense when situation implies the same mixture of relations. E.g. a formal meeting held at work between ppl knowing ...
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1 vote

Can "товарищ" be used with the first name only?

Yes, it's permissible. It sounds not official then, could be used between friends in a jocular way: "Товарищ Петя, пойдём гулять".
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  • 4,194
1 vote

How to avoid seeming overly familiar when writing letters to a friend?

I would say these 'friends' aren't that platonic if they sign their letters like that. I assume they have some sort of romantic feelings to each other, even if they know they could never be together ...
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