Sergey Slepov
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What's the meaning of "у нас" in phrases like "он у нас умный"?
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35 votes

There are a few different meanings in your examples. Let's try and unpick them. У меня, у нас can be used to express: Possession: у меня = мой, у нас = наш: У меня рука болит = Моя рука болит. У нас ...

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How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word "čerstvý" (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?
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31 votes

Looking at the meanings of cognates of the Proto-Slavic čь̑rstvъ, one can notice the common meaning 'hard', 'strong', 'sharp'. I guess the Czechs and the Slovaks view fresh bread as 'hard on the ...

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Speed and Velocity in Russian
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25 votes

The Russian word скорость is used for both speed and velocity. If you need to be more specific, use вектор скорости ('the vector of speed' or velocity) or модуль/величина вектора скорости ('the ...

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"Член клуба" - how to use "член" in feminine here?
18 votes

Please don't. Many feminitives sound like mockery (директорша, врачиха), unless they are well-established (учительница, официантка, вахтёрша). Even when fairly acceptable feminine versions exist, ...

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Calling a proper noun with "называть"
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17 votes

I understand where your confusion comes from: the verb seemingly agrees with the preceding noun which you mistook for the subject. This sentence is actually of a special kind called неопределённо-...

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Is there a preposition in Russian language like "of" in English?
16 votes

No, there is no direct equivalent. 'Of' (indicating possession/containment) is usually rendered into Russian using the genitive case or possessive adjectives/pronouns. This is president of Russia. -- ...

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Describe a Language Without the Noun for "Language"
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16 votes

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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How to indicate "photograph by"
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15 votes

It very much depends on where you want to put that phrase: If it's a signature on the photo, just the name (in the nominative case) is enough: https://www.artlebedev.ru/kovodstvo/sections/169/ A ...

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"Working on a knee"
15 votes

It's на коленке - 'to make something crudely, without using any fancy tools', a botch job. Сделано на коленке literally means 'made on the lap'. It's not specific to aviation.

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Automatic stress marking of Russian text
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15 votes

Try russiangram.com. It's free and does exactly what you want: add stress marks and dots above the letter Ё.

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How can I say "start both hourglasses" in Russian?
14 votes

You could say: Переверните и те и другие песочные часы (одновременно). The numerals два, три, четыре, оба don't play well with plural-only words like часы, весы, брюки, ножницы, сутки. You can ...

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Moving a preposition to after the object
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14 votes

Yes, placing для after the noun does sound archaic. Не престижа ради, а токмо драйва для The author of this piece obviously went for a comic effect by intertwining recent loanwords (престиж, драйв)...

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How to say "give to my girlfriend's mother" in Russian?
14 votes

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 ...

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Case Disagreement: Noun and its Adjective
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13 votes

This sentence is grammatically sound. The reason for the apparent disagreement is the following. The verb предпочитать takes two objects: a direct object in the accusative (зелёный чай) an optional ...

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"Действующий и будущий регуляторы" - why not "действующие и будущие"?
13 votes

That's short for "действующий регулятор и будущий регулятор". It's a perfectly valid and quite widely used construct in Russian. E.g. "a blue pencil and a green pencil" (синий карандаш и зелёный ...

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Why is «Какого цвета» in genitive case?
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12 votes

Nominative doesn't work for the same reason it doesn't work in this English statement: *The dress is red colour. But we can make it work using 'of': The dress is of red colour. I don't know why ...

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How to say "slam a door open/shut" in Russian?
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12 votes

Двери палаток хлопали, открываясь и закрываясь от ветра. Note that хлопнули is a single-event verb whereas хлопали is a multi-event verb which is probably what you wanted. I think you used "open ...

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"Как дела?" and "как у тебя дела?" which one to use?
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12 votes

"Как дела?" can be roughly translated as "How are things?" "Как у тебя дела?" -> "How are things with you?" So one is just a shorter version of the other. There is also the polite version: "Как у ...

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Are there non-stress-related homographs in Russian?
12 votes

Конечно is normally pronounced with [ш] for ч to mean 'of course' and with [ч] to mean 'finite': множество конечно, 'the set is finite'.

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Do Russian speakers consistently produce the same perfective form for a new verb?
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12 votes

Different Russian speakers may come up with different perfectives for the same verb (new or not) and there is a good chance that listeners will recognise the original verb and the perfectiveness. ...

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Pronunciation of "a"
11 votes

Yes, the rule exists and dictates that any vowel except for [у] that follows a soft consonant in an unstressed position is reduced to something between [э] and [и]: часы́ [чисы] яйцо́ [йийцо] ле́чо [...

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Difference between "бренчать" and "тренькать"
10 votes

Both mean making repetitive noise. Бренча́ть is loud and annoying: Пиани́но сла́вно бренча́ло всё одну́ и ту же мело́дию. Звени́т гита́ра, бренчи́т бу́бен, у́хает бараба́н. Что́-то бормоча́, он ...

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Как объяснить, почему "светел", однако при этом "смугл"?
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10 votes

Все дело в происхождении слова. В древнерусском «светлый» имело вид свѣтьлъ, а «смуглый» – смаглъ / смѧглъ. Исходя из современного состояния языка это объяснить сложно, проще запомнить, а лучше ...

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Imperative with imperfective verbs
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10 votes

Yes, откройте sounds more polite, especially when followed by пожалуйста. Открывайте is more likely to be followed by сейчас же! (immediately!).

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Тайна рождения китов, овец и медведей
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10 votes

Словообразование - штука нерегулярная. То, что есть белеть, чернеть, синеть и зеленеть, не значит, что есть фиолетоветь. Просто: родился китенок, ежонок и т.д. Овцы, как правильно уже заметили, ...

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Is this how to say "every other day" in Russian?
10 votes

Yes, через день means every other day. The verb ходить is appropriate here as it denotes a repetitive action, as opposed to идти which denotes a continuous action.

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Does anyone know of a simpler way to add accents to Cyrillic vowels than what is typically found online?
10 votes

This method only requires 5 key presses and no mousing around. You will need a keyboard with a numeric keypad to use it. Make sure NumLock is ON. Type the vowel e.g. а. Press and hold the left Alt ...

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Questions about "бежать" and "побежать"
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9 votes

The difference between бе́гать and побе́гать is not just aspectual. Побе́гать is in line with other similar verbs such as посиде́ть, постоя́ть, покури́ть all meaning 'to do something (сиде́ть, стоя́ть,...

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Should I use на or в in the following context? How do I know which one?
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9 votes

When it comes to locations — buildings, countries and territories (or the world, свет) — certain nouns require "на" while most are used with "в": На работе - в университете На рынке - в ...

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Purpose of ‘уже’ in this sentence
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9 votes

I speak Portuguese badly, but I can read it well already. The meaning is, my Portuguese is constantly improving and I can read it well already. Without the уже the sentence would lose the sense of me ...

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