20 votes
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What order are the parts of a full Russian name in?

There are two options: first - patronymic - surname surname - first - patronymic Examples: Иван Иванович Иванов Иванов Иван Иванович In other words patronymic is an "extension" for the first ...
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14 votes
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What is the difference between "благодарю" and "спасибо"

They are interchangeable to a certain degree. Благодарю is much more formal. In some cases, it might also be considered more polite. This being said, Спасибо is absolutely "safe" and polite in any ...
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14 votes
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Moving the subject of the sentence into a dangling participle

This statement is not quite ungrammatical, but it's definitely not a neutral writing and speaking style either. It is parsable and comprehensible, but it abuses the relatively lax Russian word order ...
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11 votes
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What do you add to a word to make it cute?

In Russian this effect is achieved mainly by adding so-called diminutive suffixes to nouns. "Little sister" is Russian will be сестричка whereas сестра is a normal form. Here the ичк suffix is used, ...
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  • 1,267
10 votes
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When can I omit the word "есть"?

In this particular case it would not be an oversimplification to say that this forms are interchangeable and one can easily encounter in casual usage, say, у меня есть две кошки and у меня две кошки. ...
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10 votes
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When to use which with "есть"?

These two "есть" are homonyms. Есть like "to eat " and есть like "to own, possess,have". For choosing just consider the context. In case of possession we can use the verb or leave it out. And in most ...
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9 votes
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Where to put ли if no verb is given?

Как знать, это ли правда? First of all, "как узнать". "Как знать" is valid but means doubt: "it's impossible to know". Why? Because you can't "знать" before you "узнать" and you're not doing that. ...
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  • 2,405
9 votes

What is meant by "repeated" words?

This means the highest degree of a quality denoted by an adverb. To use an awkward equivalent just for the sake of illustration полным-полнО is full to the fullest. давным-давно - a very long time ...
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8 votes

What order are the parts of a full Russian name in?

The first-patronymic-last is the most common form. The last-first-patronymic is something that is used some formal cases like official lists (for instance of awarded persons, or deceased in accident ...
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  • 37.4k
8 votes

What order are the parts of a full Russian name in?

first - patronymic - surname is the default form and the most respectful one. surname - first - patronymic is used when alphabetic ordering is needed (in lists, encyclopedias, when calling a person ...
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8 votes
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Verb быть in past tense sentence inversions: был, была or было?

Sometimes the agreement of verb predicates with subjects is governed by rather complex rules. With two or more subjects and one predicate, the general rules are: (a) When the predicate follows the ...
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8 votes
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How to parse the expression "И речи быть не может"?

A1. Both "быть может" and "может быть" indeed mean 'perhaps/maybe', although those phrases are completely unrelated to "и речи быть не может". A2. The phrase does mean 'smth. is out of the question'. ...
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  • 1,715
7 votes

Order of adverbs and position of subject

Russian word order is very flexible. ^ That's probably the most appropriate answer here. How far should Я, ТЫ МЫ ... be from the verb? Well, it could be really far. Быстро, споро, экстремально, ...
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  • 554
7 votes
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What is meant by "repeated" words?

Actually, all those phrases are idiomatic, and their list is restricted. Белым-бело is about snow outdoors, темным-темно and черным-черно are about the darkness in the night, or just in a dark place, ...
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  • 4,376
6 votes

How to parse the expression "И речи быть не может"?

Literally, об этом не может быть и речи translates as 'it even cannot be spoken of [not to say about doing it]' (и works like 'even' here). The phrase denies the slightest possibility of doing ...
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6 votes
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Why is "лишь" interposed in "одних лишь жадных женщин"?

The numeral одни(х) is used here in the meaning только, so the word combination is equivalent in sense to "только лишь" where the two words are close synonyms and express almost the same meaning. They ...
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6 votes

Do Russian infinitives need to be at the end of the sentence as is the case in German?

In short, (almost) everything is permitted in Russian. However, every word order is different from another. As the rule of the thumb, the last word is more important, so "идти не хочу" mostly ...
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  • 15.2k
6 votes
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How do you tell which noun an adjective is modifying?

Your translation is incorrect, "свободное" is free, an adjective, not a noun, freedom, which is "свобода". In modern Russian the majority of adjectives indeed precedes nouns, so one will say "наше ...
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  • 37.4k
6 votes

Moving the subject of the sentence into a dangling participle

Russian does allow for a lot of flexibility with word order but moving the subject from the main clause to the subordinate clause is pushing its limits unto the ungrammatical zone. This can occur in ...
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5 votes

Word order: "я сказал тебе" or "я тебе сказал"?

Я тя спросил... Я те сказал Please note that, unlike in Serbian, such clitics in Russian are thought to be of particularly low style. Yes, sometimes people say so, but I don't recommend you to use ...
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5 votes
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phrases with infinitive + можно

I'd say it's not so much to do with можно as with the general tendency of colloquial Russian towards SOV rather than SVO; можно, being the effective "verb" of the sentence, gets the last place. Note ...
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5 votes

What do you add to a word to make it cute?

чка and ик/чок, depending on gender. Сестра -> сестричка. Брат -> братик. Кот -> котик.
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5 votes
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Genitive Case Word Order "У них ничего нет" vs. "У них нет ничего"

The difference is very subtle. I would say something like the following, others may disagree. У них ничего нет Emphasis on нет. So if you are speaking about a shop, this empathizes that while at ...
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  • 14.1k
5 votes

When can I omit the word "есть"?

Есть is generally used where English applies the indefinite article to the object, 'a or an'. Where English would apply the definite article 'the' есть is usually omitted. For example: У доктора есть ...
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5 votes
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Significance of word order in "Привет мой друг" or "Привет друг мой"

Yes, it's rather a convention. Changes of word order convey shades of meaning and are used for emphasis of certain elements within a sentence. The direct order of мой друг makes the phrase sound ...
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4 votes

What order are the parts of a full Russian name in?

Both forms 1. first - patronymic - surname 2. surname - first - patronymic are used in formal situations. I think "Surname - First - Patronymic" is used more often since there is special ...
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  • 41
4 votes

Word order: "я сказал тебе" or "я тебе сказал"?

There are really no clitics here. But there is a subtle difference between the first word order and the second. "Я сказал тебе" is a little bit more neutral, as "тебе" is a direct object and it should ...
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  • 99
4 votes

Order of adverbs and position of subject

Russian word order is very flexible. The relationships between parts of the Russian sentence are shown by the endings of words. So, because of words endings, the parts of the Russian sentence can go ...
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  • 20.5k
4 votes

Word order in questions with adjectival (determinative) pronouns

I would like you to read the answers on this question which seems to be similar to yours Order of adverbs and position of subject. The word order in a Russian sentence is very flexible. You shouldn't ...
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