Typically when someone answers the question "How are you" in Russian there are three possible types of answers: positive, negative, and neutral. In English you are almost expected to give a positive answer because it facilitates the movement of the conversation from greetings and introductions to the real topics of discussion. But in Russian you are more likely to hear a range of positive, negative, and neutral responses. Remember that "How are you?" in English is very often a greeting, but in Russian it's not.
There are so many different ways to answer this question that it's hard to make a list. I've included some of the most popular answers, but people are very creative and come up with new responses all the time. Try to find a few replies to this question that suit you.
You could also say "У меня...
Asking "How are you?" in Russian is different than asking it in English. First of all, Russian speakers ask these kinds of questions less often than English speakers because English uses them as greetings. Sometimes English speakers see each other and one says "What's up?", then the other says "How's it going?", and then they part ways. Neither answered the other's question. In Russian these questions are not rhetorical and answers are expected. So, after you learn how to ask "How are you?" in Russian, you need to learn how to answer "How are you?" in Russian.
This is probably the easiest phrase to remember. In the present tense in Russian we omit the verb to be, so we don't need a word for "are" here. Just "Как ты?" is fine. If you want to change this informal phrase into a formal one, you can say "Как Вы?"
Informal farewells and greetings are used between family members, peer group members, and people of the same age. When you speak with someone older than you or in a higher position than you, social convention dictates that you use formal language.
I'm not going to lie - this is difficult word to say. Some words in Russian have crazy consonant cluster and it just so happens that the word for "Hello!" is one of them. Yes, the word starts with three consonants Z, D, and R; and in the middle it has a four-consonant cluster of V, S, T, and V again. If you're having trouble saying S after V, have no fear. V is usually pronounced like F when it comes before another consonant sound, which helps us pronounce them together.
If you're walking down the...
Nyet, нет, no. You can write it in Russian with the Cyrillic alphabet: нет. You can write it in Russian with the Latin alphabet: nyet. Or you can just write it in English: no. But when you say it, say it decisively.
No! = Нет!
The word "нет" is pronounced like "nyet" in English or /njet/ in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The Russian letter "е" sounds like "yeh" in English or /je/ in IPA.
It can be difficult to remember that the letter "н" in Russian is pronounced like the letter "n" in English. And it can be difficult to recognize when a word is written in English or in Russian. For example, нет <-- This word was written using a Russian keyboard, but this word was written using an English keyboard --> HeT. Is it a new English word "het" or is it the Russian word "нет"?
Yes! = Да!
The word "да" is pronounced like "da" in English and /da/ in IPA. The letter "д" sounds...
There is no good English equivalent of the Russian word есть. The closest translations are to eat, to be, and sometimes even to have. Today we'll look at those three meanings.
Есть - How to say eat in Russian
There are other ways to say "eat" in Russian, such as:
Probably the most commonly used verb is кушать.
A realistic example using есть meaning "eat" would be:
Есть - How to say be in Russian
Есть also means "to be" in Russian. But it can be difficult to remember that in the present tense Russian tends to omit the verb "to be". So, you can say "Я есть Крис", but most people would say just "Я Крис".
Other verbs that also mean "to be":
A realistic example using есть meaning "be" would be:
Есть - How to say have in Russian
We can also use the word есть in a special construction that means "to...
The Russian words девушка and женщина are not exact translations of their English equivalents: girl and woman. These words communicate nuances that are important to understand, due to their social implications.
If we open up a translation dictionary, it will show us this:
And those translations are great. But they leave out social context.
In Russia, young women are usually called девушка. Whereas in English the word girl can imply immaturity and the word woman can imply maturity (psychological and otherwise), in Russian the word женшина implies that the person looks old. That's why you might call someone девушка even when they are 40 or older - to imply that they look young.
When we want to get the...
Prepositions В/На often go together with the prepositional cases in the Russian language. And they are usually the first topic in Russian grammar that seems easy enough to figure out without extra help because they are the same as in English: "В" means "IN". The coffee is IN the cup - кофе в чашке. "На" means "ON". The cup is ON the table - чашка на столе. So this brings us to the simplest use of "В" and "На":
в доме, в самолёте, в квартире, в столе
Think of them as buildings, and you being inside of a building - it is very easy:
в институте, в университете, в ресторане, в кафе, в школе, в офисе, в кинотеатре, в магазине, в отеле, в клубе, в музее
на этаже, на земле, на улице, на проспекте, на столе, на пляже
But of course, as a lot of things in Russian grammar, what seems so easy in the beginning has some hidden tricks. Because on the other hand, we have...
Did you know Russian people like tea more than vodka? Big surprise, right? They drink tea with lemon and/or milk, they can add sugar or jam. Russians drink tea daily, sometimes around-the-clock, everywhere - and on any occasion.
All nations have their own rules on when it's an appropriate time for particular drinks. Americans love their coffee. British people are famous for having tea at 5 o'clock. Italians don't drink cappuccinos after 12 pm. Well, in Russia, people drink tea in the morning, afternoon or evening, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sometimes as a snack and in the middle of the night. You name it - and there is a reason to have tea at that time on that occasion.
Here are some useful phrases you might hear connected to drinking tea in Russia:
Maslenitsa is an old Russian holiday, celebrating the coming of spring. Also known as “butter week” or “pancake week”, the Russians use this holiday to welcome spring. Perhaps the celebration takes place because it has been HORRIBLY cold to the holiday, and the onset of warmer weather deserves much rejoicing, or – 'if not, why not?'
How exactly do we celebrate? Firstly, by eating tons of crepes (блины / blini / pancakes) and engaging in some festive activities. Since we are so excited for the arrival of spring, we celebrate for 7 whole days. Yes! A whole wonderful week!
Maslenitsa has surprising origins, sacred messages and bizarre traditions, to say the least. Moreover, it takes place in the last week before lent starts, when we naturally eat a lot!
If you meet a "modern" Russian, they will probably say that it is not a big deal, although they are most likely eating crepes (блины) this week. So, let's look at some fun things that you might not have known...