Actually, the year is not "around 1915", but the beginning of 1918 when the orthography reform began. Before 1918 "он" was written as "онъ", and naturally before 1918 "он" was not used. Have a look:
After 1918, Ъ at the end of words after "hard" consonants was used mainly by emigrants in their printed publications. All the instances of "он" used before 1918 ...
Russian has the T-V distinction.
This means that you use the plural version of "you" (вы) when addressing a person who is senior, superior, or just someone you're not too acquainted with.
This only works for the second person. If your are talking of someone in third person, you use the singular pronouns and verbs, even if you would have used вы to ...
Your guess is both grammatically correct and idiomatic:
Я хочу́ подари́ть э́ту кни́гу ма́ме мое́й подру́ги (на Рождество́).
You used the dative case for ма́ма -> ма́ме 'to mother' and the genitive case for подру́га -> подру́ги 'of girlfriend.'
You can stack up genitives to describe more complex relations:
Подру́га бра́та однокла́ссника мое́й ...
Usually ты is used when addressing parents/children.
But if a child is not very close to the grandparents, uncles, aunts etc (for instance - see them very rarely), вы is used.
Practically, the addressing form for a particular relative is usually established in the early childhood and remains for the whole life.
More detailed description: wikipedia
Имя is neuter noun, not feminine.
There is a set of similar neuter nouns: имя, вымя, пламя, семя, время, темя, стремя, знамя, племя, бремя etc.
All of them originate from PIE words with -men suffix. Such words were neuter in PIE also. In Proto-Slavic -en and -n̥ becomes -ę nasal vowel and later -я.
PIE e̯neo̯mn -> имя
PIE see̯mn -> семя
You guess is absolutely correct, technically there's an other valid option:
Я хочу подарить эту книгу подругиной маме.
But while this is grammaticaly valid talking of specifically word подруга it's very unlikely one will choose second form over the first one - подругиной sounds clumsy.
But I've mentioned this because in some cases, for instance, with ...
The -ою/-ею forms are older and sound archaic/poetic. -ой/-ей is the modern form, reflecting the same trend towards loss of semantically weak final vowels that turned -ти infinitives into -ть.
With the exception of ею, the instrumental of the pronoun она which some prescribe as the preferred literary norm since ей is easily confused with the dative form, no ...
Negation of existense (i.e. "no such thing") in Russian requires Genitive. Ничего is Genitive. That's it.
Accusative Ничто is a special object. It isn't nothing. It's Nothing.
But the difference may seem very subtle for English speakers. Consider
Ничто на земле не проходит бесследно --> Nothing on earth goes without leaving a trace
И поэтому знаю: со ...
It's можно вас сфотографировать?
Фотографировать is Russian for "photographing", "taking a picture", and it has a direct object in accusative, so there is not need to recourse to analytic constructs similar to English ones.
As a side note, Russians are usually not particularly fond of people on street taking their pictures without a good ...
что-то would be normally used when the speaker has no knowledge of what the object is, e.g.:
кажется, я что-то вижу - I think I see something
что-то не так - something is not right
что-нибудь would be used to name one unknown item that belongs to a category/set:
дай мне что-нибудь [выпить] - give me something [to drink] - from a set of drinks
Random facts in addition to other answers:
Among upper class since XVIII (when вы was established as formal singular) until early XX century (Socialist Revolution) children saying вы to their parents (while parents said ты to them) were not unusual.
Мама, вы seems to be one of typical addressing forms to mother-in-law nowadays.
As regards permanency ...
Имя belongs to a special group of 11 nouns ending in -мя, all of which are of the Neuter gender:
бремя, время, вымя, знамя, имя, пламя, племя, семя, стремя, темя, голомя
All of them also decline in a special way:
Nom. врéмя временá
Gen. врéмени времён
Dat. врéмени ...
so it seems logical to discard the inexplicably plural "вы" in favour of the casual, singular "ты":
This premise is wrong. It is plural "вы". It is absolutely legit to use "вы" referring to a single present counterpart and their absent companions. Compare:
Father to child: Что вы сегодня делали на уроке математики?
Obviously, father does not use the ...
The usual ending of feminine adjectives in the instrumental is -ой or -ей.
Летом мы лакомились вкусной ягодой.
Вода была горячей-прегорячей.
Feminine adjectives can have the ending -ою,-ею in the instrumental case.(вариантные окончания). They are usef mainly in poetry, folklore or bookish style.
Берёзы жёлтою резьбой
Блестят в лазури голубой.
The dative case marks the indirect object of a verb, but your example does not have a verb.
You may think it is a shortened form.
Please look at this examples, with a verb:
Сколько исполнилось тебе лет?
Сколько дают тебе лет?
Сколько было тебе лет?
Сколько стукнуло тебе лет?
Сколько осталось тебе ...
Uh, that's difficult. As it was said, you can use imperative constructions to hide gender, but you can't use them always. Other option is plural forms (most of them are genderless), but again, you will need to explain why these creatures are called in plural form.
As a person with amount of LGBT friends and close to LARP community in Russia, I can say that ...
"Вашей" is definitely wrong, it should be "вашу":
Нет, я не видел вашу машину.
The direct object of the sentence, "машину", is in the Accusative case, that is why its attribute should also be in the Accusative ("вашу"), because the possessive pronoun "ваша" aggrees in case with the noun it modifies.
Note, that in Russian, if the predicate verb is ...
Ваш is a possessive pronoun and as such has to agree in case with the noun it defines.
This means that in your example, where машина is in sg. acc., the pronoun should be in sg. acc. as well, so вашу is the right answer here indeed.
However, negative statements in Russian allow both accusative and genitive for the objects. So both я не видел вашу машину ...
The initial form (and the stress) depends on the meaning:
са́мого, са́мой (from са́мый) usually come before an adjective to form the superlative: са́мого лу́чшего, са́мой краси́вой.
самого́, само́й (from сам) mean 'himself', 'herself' and usually come after a personal pronoun: его́ самого́, ей само́й or before a noun: самого́ президе́нта, само́й ма́тери ...
They do not. As you may have heard from video games localisation companies, there are ways to translate things to obfuscate the gender of a person. But they are not quite natural — actually, any direct usage of an adjective or a Past tense verb applied to that person will immediately require it to take masculine or feminine agreement.
The -либо underlines that the choice happens from a limited, known set or interval, while -нибудь usually means a choice from an infinite or indefinite set or interval. So the -либо means "no matter who", "no matter where", "no matter when".
The -либо underlines that all outcomes are equal to the speaker while -нибудь does not ...
The less impersonal (generic, abstract) the sentence is, the more you tend to use plural for politeness.
There is no impersonal pronoun in Russian; impersonality is conveyed with the sentence structure. This is more flexible, and there are three types of such constructs with a common attribute of pronoun missing.
Indefinite-personal is used when ...
In modern language always ты is used between parents and children (unless the person who makes address wants to explicitly underline they do not recognize the other party as their relatives).
Addressing in such circumstances by вы would mean "I do not know you and do not want to, I do not recognize you as my father/son, who are you to me?", this may be used ...
Yes, они has the accusative их for both animate and inanimate. (Your intuition is correct about there being a "missing" inanimate form; it was supplanted by the animate one and went extinct. Had it survived, it would've been е or, confusingly, я.)
A relative clause in Russian is joined by a pronoun, the relative pronoun который "who, which, that". Actually, который is a conjunction, joining a subordinate clause. Который introduces a sentence that modifies the noun in the main clause. For this reason it has to agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies like adjectives. However, unlike ...
You can say either:
Почти все из сорняков в цвету
Почти все сорняки в цвету
Those are quite close in meaning, but the former can clarify the meaning when the noun is uncountable.
Весь персонал я знаю лично // I know all the staff personally
Here, персонал is a synecdoche for "any single person of the staff", because you cannot know groups ...
On my map the accusative of ничто is still ничто. Example:
Из-за кризиса все облигации превратились в ничто.
I cannot come with an example where ничто would be in accusative but having the form ничего.
I think it's usually an adjective but sometimes can be used as a pronoun.
Каждый can sometimes be used to mean каждый человек:
Каждый делает свой выбор
Каждый должен знать свои права
I think this is a rarer form, used mostly when you want to be very concise, for instance in proverbs and sayings.
Probably the same is true for иной and другой, although it'...
Don't know if personal experience is indicative, but my own experience corroborates Dmitry's reply.
I have always addressed members of my family using ты, which included my mother, my father, one of my grandmothers who lived with us. The other grandmother which lived separately I've never felt close and never considered part of my family but on the other ...
I am answering this question even though it is old because it seems to me that though there are already several interesting answers, none of them is simple and direct.
Words ending in -нибудь refer casually to something unknown to the speaker which we might choose to mention. Words ending with -либо add the thought of "at all" or "whatsoever" and so call ...