Nikolay Ershov
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9 answers
4 votes
4k views
What does "что ли" mean?
7 votes

Что ли expresses a guess. The closest general equivalent is "...or what?", but here, it probably shouldn't be translated at all. "Marina?"

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3 answers
8 votes
855 views
Auxiliary verbs
6 votes

Идти is not an auxiliary verb, it refers to literal physical going/walking. Yes, it's also possible to say я шёл гулять, but it has the same meaning of having to get somewhere before the "actual&...

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4 answers
4 votes
231 views
In Russian, how do you say "only to"?
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6 votes

I think it's better to disregard, for the purposes of translation, the (quasi-)causal component implied by "to" in the English expression. From what I know about its use, "only to" ...

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1 answers
5 votes
130 views
How to interpret "некого" in "чем от некого короля"?
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6 votes

This particular некого is unrelated to кто. It's from некий, which is basically a more bookish, slightly archaic какой-то. Properly, the genitive should be некоего, but it's one of those quirks of ...

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2 answers
8 votes
454 views
Usage of the particles "так и"
6 votes

I'd say так и describes an action that is intense without necessarily being extreme. About the intensity of "Boy was the cat snuggling at his feet."

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5 answers
5 votes
613 views
Making sense of "кому как"
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6 votes

Respectfully, it seems that most people are trying to explain you precisely the part you don't have a problem understanding. And I see how you might feel this usage of question words can only have ...

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5 answers
8 votes
3k views
Does Russian not have articles because of the declension of (predicative) adjectives?
6 votes

My impression is that no language develops articles because it "needs" them. I'd even venture to say that articles start out as glorified filler words, and then gradually become indispensable as ...

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2 answers
4 votes
390 views
Why does оставлять/оставить mean to leave when it literally means 'to put around'?
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6 votes

(a) Оставить does not mean "misplace". It can of course mean a related thing, forgetting/abandoning/leaving something behind, but that's not the same as "misplacing". You remember the location; you ...

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4 answers
3 votes
1k views
Reported Speech—How to use it?
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6 votes

In authentic, real-life daily conversations... neither. Студенты говорят, они хотят стабильности и мира. Бабушка сказала, она хочет купить внуку игрушку. (Even more true-to-life would be something ...

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5 answers
4 votes
331 views
How to pronounce correctly - ютьюб or ютуб?
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6 votes

On an everyday level, there's no right and wrong way. Ютьюб is more conventional and consistent with similar Russian phonetisations, which is why it's the one that would be used in broadcast media and ...

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2 answers
3 votes
175 views
Поводов или поводьев?
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6 votes

It's поводов. Поводьев is the genitive of a pluralia tantum (=no singular, like "scissors") noun поводья, meaning "reins". EDIT: People have pointed out in the comments that поводья does get used in ...

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3 answers
4 votes
218 views
Is "что" mandatory?
Accepted answer
6 votes

You're asking about an example that is somewhat atypical as far as "that"-dropping in Russian is concerned, so even though you've already picked a best answer I want to warn you against generalising ...

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1 answers
4 votes
245 views
Requesting translation for clock-like image
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6 votes

The Russian alphabet goes АБВГДЕЁЖЗИЙКЛМНОПРСТУФХЦЧШЩЪЫЬЭЮЯ, so you can see that it's a selection of the letters arranged in alphabetical order, starting from Б on top and going clockwise. Why these ...

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4 answers
3 votes
330 views
Difference between 'слишком' и 'чересчур'?
6 votes

Чересчур is one of those words that don't sound bookish, and yet you're radically less likely to hear it in everyday speech compared to слишком. Чересчур just isn't the word you'd immediately think of ...

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3 answers
3 votes
445 views
Говорить о том, что
Accepted answer
6 votes

Он говорит о том, что => "he's talking about how...", "he's talking about the fact that..." Он говорит, что (note the comma) => "he says that..." Essentially, the former refers to the subordinate ...

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2 answers
7 votes
713 views
What is the difference between пока and ещё?
6 votes

They're really similar (and can be used together as the previous poster suggested), but intuitively, I'd say Я ещё не знаю implies a greater degree of confidence, imminence, and/or proximity in time, ...

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3 answers
2 votes
280 views
вернуть and вернуться
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6 votes

Вернуть is to return as in give something back. Вернуться is to return as in come back. -ся (which becomes -сь after a vowel, except in adjectival participles) is simply the reflexive particle. ...

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1 answers
0 votes
100 views
Путь к сокровищу стал на два часа короче
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6 votes

Стал is the past tense of стать, no longer related in modern Russian to any of стоять's prefixed perfective pairs. It's "the path to the treasure became shorter by two hours". На is always used when ...

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8 answers
7 votes
2k views
As a student learning Ukrainian, should I also concurrently learn Russian? Or wait and tackle them separately?
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6 votes

I'd say it depends on how you would react to a large number of minor differences. The way dative case endings change the preceding consonants in Ukrainian but not in Russian, the -тся/-ться ...

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1 answers
3 votes
381 views
"Орел и решка" or "решка и орёл"?
Accepted answer
6 votes

Intuitively, I do feel that there's a preference for putting орёл first, and a quick exact phrase search on Google confirms it: орёл или решка is about three times more frequent than решка или орёл, ...

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2 answers
3 votes
161 views
Use of past form amongst present forms
6 votes

Прилипли is a completed action and, as such, requires a perfective verb, and those only have a past and a future tense. If прилипают was used instead, the resulting impression would be either that ...

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3 answers
4 votes
144 views
Is it acceptable to use two "до этого"s with two different meanings like this?
5 votes

You can't because до этого must refer to a point in the past. In other words, you can only use it to say "no-one had thought of this before", not "no-one has thought of this before". If it was part of ...

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4 answers
4 votes
162 views
"Достаточно далекая от нас страна": Is this kind of piled-up nominal phrase considered formal in Russian?
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5 votes

No, not at all. Here's what would be considered formal: Поскольку Япония — страна достаточно от нас далекая, ... It looks nothing like German, but there's cast-iron logic to the word order here. ...

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5 answers
9 votes
913 views
"With more than..."
5 votes

If you must use более: Книга более чем с тысячей страниц. Anti-prescriptivist as I like to think of myself as, I'm still a little peeved by с более чем тысячей and dismayed to see it here twice, but ...

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4 answers
5 votes
182 views
Pronunciation of some letters
5 votes

Щ: [шч] is a relic. It lingers in transliteration and some textbooks, but that pronunciation went pretty much extinct towards the end of the 20th century. Modern щ is an extended, palatalised (soft, "...

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4 answers
3 votes
263 views
Examples of nouns in vocative case in usage
5 votes

Кать! and Саш! (sic, no soft mark) are the so-called new vocative, which is has no relation to the original Slavic one. And, outside of names, you also have it in мам!, пап!, дядь!, and тёть! Господи ...

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4 answers
5 votes
290 views
How does one say ‘let me/you’ in general?
5 votes

Tough question because the English "let" is an intersection of several constructions in Russian, and one probably can't avoid asking "which 'let'". Anyway, it's not позволить. It can be, but only in ...

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7 answers
5 votes
599 views
Why does the word "четверг" sound as "четвергх"?
5 votes

Would you describe it as [-rx] or as [-rkʰ]? If it's the first, it's not just a четверг thing, but a Southern pronunciation feature where the final /г/ is pronounced [x] instead of simply devoicing to ...

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2 answers
5 votes
172 views
Why is the declension of the verb is for feminine singular?
5 votes

While Russian does hesitate between singular and plural with such collective nouns as ряд, большинство, меньшинство, часть, or множество, the word группа doesn't have the quasi-numeral, for lack of a ...

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1 answers
3 votes
352 views
Differences between Чей/Чья and Кого
Accepted answer
5 votes

Чей/чья is the only one you can use here. Кого in a possession-related question would be as much of a solecism as "of whom" instead of "whose".

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