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COMPLETE

RUSSIAN THE BASICS

Written by Constantine Muravnik

Edited by Suzanne McQuade


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Copyright Š 2008 by Living Language, an imprint of Random House, Inc. Living Language is a member of the Random House Information Group Living Language and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Living Language, an imprint of Random House, Inc. www.livinglanguage.com Editor: Suzanne McQuade Production Editor: Carolyn Roth Production Manager: Tom Marshall Interior Design: Sophie Chin First Edition ISBN: 978-1-4000-2421-6 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available upon request. This book is available at special discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions or premiums. Special editions, including personalized covers, excerpts of existing books, and corporate imprints, can be created in large quantities for special needs. For more information, write to Special Markets/Premium Sales, 1745 Broadway, MD 6-2, New York, New York 10019 or e-mail specialmarkets@randomhouse.com. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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COURSE OUTLINE How to use this course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Language learning tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvi Russian spelling and pronunciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvi

UNIT 1 Talking about yourself and making introductions . . . . . . . 1 Lesson 1 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Singular pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Introduction to gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Plural pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Lesson 2 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Omission of to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Formal and informal greetings and commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Asking questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Lesson 3 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Introduction to cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 More on gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 The adverb тоже . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Numbers 1–10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Lesson 4 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Past tense of быть . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The basic plural of nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

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UNIT 2 Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Lesson 5 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Verbs: Conjugation I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The prepositional case (singular) . . . . . . . 30

Lesson 6 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Conjugation of the verbs пить (to drink), есть (to eat), хотеть (to want) . . . . . . . . . 34 There is/There are: есть . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Lesson 7 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The past tense of есть (to eat) and пить (to drink) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The accusative case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Conjugation II verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Lesson 8 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 The future tense of быть (to be) . . . . . . . 48 The demonstrative pronoun этот . . . . . 49 Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

UNIT 3 Family and the home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Lesson 9 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Singular possessive pronouns . . . . . . . . . 56 Numbers 11–100 and the genitive case (singular) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Counting years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Prepositional phrases with rooms of the house . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Course outline

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Lesson 10 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 The instrumental case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Conjugation I: работать (to work) and жить (to live) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 The dative case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Lesson 11 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Personal pronouns in the genitive and expressing possession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Negation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Lesson 12 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Reflexive verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Instrumental case of personal pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Instrumental case of adjectives . . . . . . . . 82 Genitive of origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

UNIT 4 Everyday life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Lesson 13 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Imperfective and perfective verbs . . . . . . 90 Seasons and months . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 The verbs покупать—купить (to buy) . . . 94

Lesson 14 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 More imperfective–perfective verb pairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Days of the week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Verbs of motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

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Lesson 15 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 The genitive case (plural) . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Telling time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 The accusative of duration . . . . . . . . . . 108 Numbers 100–1,000 and ordinal numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Lesson 16 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Expressing likes and dislikes . . . . . . . . . . 116 The verbs заниматься (to study) and играть (to play) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

UNIT 5 Health and the human body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Lesson 17 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 The adverb нормально . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Body parts and the plural of neuter nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 The verb болеть (to be sick) . . . . . . . . . . 128 The verb болеть (to hurt) . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 Expressing ailments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Lesson 18 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 The imperfective verbs казаться (to seem) and чувствовать (to feel) . . . . . 134 The modal verb мочь . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Irregular genitive plurals . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

Lesson 19 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Something and anything . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Negative pronouns and adjectives . . . . . 142 The accusative of personal pronouns . . 145

Course outline

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Lesson 20 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Perfective aspect in negative sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Imperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Imperfective and perfective aspect in imperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

UNIT 6 Talking on the phone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Lesson 21 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 To speak and to listen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 Expressing friendship in Russian . . . . . . 165

Lesson 22 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Russian time expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 Irregular prepositional endings . . . . . . . 170 The perfective motion verbs уйти and прийти . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 The verbs давать—дать (to give) . . . . . . 174

Lesson 23 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 Давай(те) (let’s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 Subjectless genitive of negation . . . . . . 181 Telephone grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

Lesson 24 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Short participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Comparatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 The modal word должен . . . . . . . . . . . 192 Aspect and context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193

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UNIT 7 Getting around town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 Lesson 25 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 The prefix пере- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 The prefix про- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

Lesson 26 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 The noun сторона (side) . . . . . . . . . . . . 207 Expressing consecutiveness . . . . . . . . . . 208 The prepositions по, до, and к . . . . . . . 211

Lesson 27 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 More on asking directions . . . . . . . . . . . 214 More on comparatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 Review of imperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 The preposition по + dative . . . . . . . . . 219

Lesson 28 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 Expressing need with нужно and надо . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 The verb оказаться . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Subjectless sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231

UNIT 8 Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Lesson 29 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 The universal possessive pronoun . . . . . 238 The verbs взять, продавать—продать, and платить—заплатить . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Asking permission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243

Course outline

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Lesson 30 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Describing color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 The expressions nominative + идёт and подходит к + dative . . . . . . . . . . . 247 The prefix по- with comparatives . . . . . 250

Lesson 31 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 The expressions носить + accusative and быть в + prepositional . . . . . . . . . 252 Expressing size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 Elliptic sentences with dative + infinitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257

Lesson 32 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Demonstratives вот and вон . . . . . . . . 261 Making general statements . . . . . . . . . . 262 Expressing to have enough, to borrow, and to lend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 The preposition y + personal pronoun in the genitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 Future tense in the conditional . . . . . . . 268

UNIT 9 At the restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 Lesson 33 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 The verbs выбирать—выбрать and заказывать—заказать . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 More on the instrumental case . . . . . . . 275

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Lesson 34 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278 Expressing abstract quantity . . . . . . . . . 279 The prepositions без and c . . . . . . . . . . 280 More restaurant grammar . . . . . . . . . . . 281 The verbs накрывать—накрыть and оплачивать—оплатить . . . . . . . . . . . . 282

Lesson 35 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 The subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 The genitive partitive and more on the genitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288

Lesson 36 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 More on possession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294 More on the Rule of Numbers . . . . . . . 298 Making requests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299

UNIT 10 School, work, and leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Lesson 37 (Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Talking about school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Talking about free time . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308

Lesson 38 (Phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 Expressing to study in Russian . . . . . . . . 312 More on the verb заниматься . . . . . . . 317 The verb бегать . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318

Course outline

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Lesson 39 (Sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 A review of verbs expressing to like . . . . 321 Expressing whether or not . . . . . . . . . . . . 325 The use of это + adverb . . . . . . . . . . . . 326

Lesson 40 (Conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328 Sequence of tenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330 Expressing so, all, some, many, none, and every . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331 Expressing since and no longer . . . . . . . . . 334 The verb хотеть and perfective infinitives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335

Russian in action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341 Letter and e-mail writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355 Supplemental vocabulary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364 Internet resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385 Summary of Russian grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387

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Unit 1 Talking about yourself and making introductions Здравствуйте! In Unit 1, you will begin by learning how to introduce yourself and others and how to say such useful things as where you are from, as well as how to ask other people for basic information about themselves. Naturally, you will learn greetings and other essential courtesy expressions, along with other important conversational phrases.

Lesson 1 (Words) WORD LIST 1 здравствуйте (pl./sg. fml.) здравствуй (sg. infml.) господин госпожа Очень приятно! бизнесмен бизнесменка, бизнесвумен журналист журналистка американец американка Добро пожаловать! До свидания. Спасибо.

hello hello Mr. Ms., Mrs. Nice to meet you! (lit., Very pleasant!) businessman/businesswoman businesswoman (less common) journalist (male) journalist (female) American (male) American (female) Welcome! (to a visitor) Good-bye. Thank you.

Lesson 1

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NUTS & BOLTS 1 Singular pronouns The Russian greeting здравствуйте (hello) is a command that literally means be healthy. Notice that there are two ways of saying hello. One is formal; you’d use it with strangers and in formal situations; it has the plural/formal imperative ending, -те. The other, здравствуй, is informal; it is used in the singular with family members, close friends, and children. This distinction between formal and informal is also made in Russian between the different pronouns for the word you. Let’s take a look at all of the subject pronouns in Russian. We will start with those that refer to one person. я

I

ты (infml.)

you

он

he

она

she

онo

it

вы (fml.)

you

As you can see, there are two forms of the singular you in the table above. Ты is informal; вы is formal. Notice that the third person singular pronoun is either masculine (он) or feminine (она). It can also be neuter (оно) when it replaces a neuter inanimate noun, such as вино. The Russian pronouns oн, она, and the plural form, они (they), can refer to human beings as well as to inanimate objects; оно refers only to inanimate objects. So он can stand either for бизнесмен or for ресторан, because both are masculine, just as the English they can refer to both people and things. Only third person Russian

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pronouns have gender; all others are “gender blind.” Russian pronouns are rarely omitted from the sentence even though they may seem redundant, as the verb ending clearly indicates the referent. PRACTICE 1 Which Russian pronoun would you use in each of the following situations? 1. Talking to your best friend Иван 2. Asking directions from an older stranger you see on the street 3. Talking about your brother 4. Talking about yourself 5. Talking about your boss, господин Петров 6. Telling your waiter in a restaurant what you would like to order NUTS & BOLTS 2 Introduction to gender Notice that the words бизнесмен, господин, and американец* all end in a consonant, while the words журналистка, госпожа, and американка end in the vowel a. This is so because the words in the first group are masculine, referring to males, while the words in the second group are feminine, referring to females. Most masculine nouns end in a consonant (they have a “zero” ending); most feminine nouns have the ending a. There are also neuter nouns, but we’ll focus on those later. For now, we’ll use only masculine and feminine nouns in our vocabulary. *All nationalities, as well as the pronoun I (я), are not capitalized in Russian unless at the beginning of a sentence.

Lesson 1

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PRACTICE 2 What gender is each of the following nouns? 1. господин

4. журналистка

2. американка

5. журналист

3. госпожа

6. американец

WORD LIST 2 студент студентка пожалуйста извините (pl./sg. fml.) извини (sg. infml.) откуда русский русская университет здесь давайте (fml.) давай (infml.) Счастливо!

student (male) student (female) please excuse me excuse me where from Russian (male) Russian (female) university here let’s let’s So long! (lit., Happily!)

NUTS & BOLTS 3 Plural pronouns Now let’s look at the personal pronouns that refer to more than one person.

4

мы

we

вы (pl.)

you

они

they

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Russian plural forms don’t have gender. Мы, вы, and они refer equally to males and females. Notice that the pronoun вы can be either singular or plural. When it is singular, it refers to one person in the formal sense. When it is plural, there is no distinction between formal and informal. PRACTICE 3 Now replace the people in the following list with the appropriate Russian pronouns. 1. Николай и Наталья

4. Yourself and your friends

2. Ольга

5. Джон

3. Борис и Джон

6. You (fml./pl.)

PRACTICE 4 Which Russian pronoun would you use when addressing the following people? There are two second person pronouns to choose from: ты, informal for one person, and вы, formal for one person, and either formal or informal for more than one person. 1. a child

4. your sister

2. two students

5. your brothers

3. a waiter/waitress

6. a police officer

Tip! There are many different ways to memorize new vocabulary, so it’s a good idea to try a few to see what works for you. Simply reading a word in a list isn’t going to make you remember it. Write down your new vocabulary in a notebook, and then try to repeat it out loud and write each word several times to make it sink in. Use the recordings to give yourself even more repetition. You could also make flash cards, with Russian on one side and English on the other. Start by trying to guess the translations of the words from Russian into English, and once you’ve mastered that, go from

Lesson 1

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English to Russian, which will be harder. The most effective way to memorize your new vocabulary, however, is by writing out the words as you repeat them. This makes you focus longer on a given word and reinforces your visual memory with sound. You could also label things in your home or office. Experiment and explore, but whatever you do, try to make vocabulary learning as active as possible!

ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. ты; 2. вы; 3. он; 4. я; 5. он; 6. я PRACTICE 2: 1. masculine; 2. feminine; 3. feminine;

4. feminine; 5. masculine; 6. masculine PRACTICE 3: 1. они; 2. она; 3. они; 4. мы; 5. он; 6. вы PRACTICE 4: 1. ты; 2. вы; 3. вы; 4. ты; 5. вы; 6. вы

Lesson 2 (Phrases) PHRASE LIST 1 Я американец. Я американка. Извините. (pl./sg. fml.) Извини. (sg. infml.) Пойдёмте! (pl./sg. addressee fml.) Пойдём! (sg. addressee infml.) c удовольствием Большое спасибо! Пожалуйста! Правда? недавно Мне очень понравилось.

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I’m an American. (male) I’m an American. (female) Excuse me. Excuse me. Let’s go! Let’s go! gladly (lit., with pleasure) Thank you very much! (lit., Big thank you!) Please!, You’re welcome! Really? (lit., Truth?) recently I liked it very much. (lit., It was very pleasing to me.)

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NUTS & BOLTS 1 Omission of TO BE Notice that the sentence I’m an American has only two words in Russian. This is because Russian doesn’t have articles (a, an, or the) and doesn’t use the verb to be in the present tense. So the sentence Я американец is grammatically correct although it literally translates as I American. PRACTICE 1 How would you rephrase the following sentences in Russian? 1. I’m an American (male).

5. She’s an American.

2. I’m a student (female).

6. I’m a businessperson (male).

3. He’s a student.

7. She’s Russian.

4. She’s a journalist. NUTS & BOLTS 2 Formal and informal greetings and commands You may have noticed some differences in the commands and greetings you saw in the phrase list. Извини(те), давай(те), and пойдём(те) are all command forms, similar to the greeting здравствуй(те). Again, notice how the ending -те is used in formal situations or in the plural but dropped in the informal singular. This is especially important in the following expressions that you’ve seen so far. Informal: To a good friend

Formal: To a person you don’t know well

здравствуй

здравствуйте

пойдём

пойдёмте

давай

давайте

извини

извините

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PRACTICE 2 Choose здравствуйте or здравствуй as appropriate to the following situations. 1. Greeting your tour guide.

4. Greeting a child.

2. Greeting your friends.

5. Greeting several children.

3. Greeting your sister. PRACTICE 3 Choose пойдёмте or пойдём as appropriate to the following situations. 1. Saying “Let’s go” to your colleagues. 2. Saying “Let’s go” to your husband. 3. Saying “Let’s go” to your daughter. 4. Saying “Let’s go” to your good friend. 5. Saying “Let’s go” to your parents. PHRASE LIST 2 Как вас зовут? (pl./sg. fml.) Как тебя зовут? (sg. infml.) Меня зовут . . . Приятно познакомиться! по профессии из Москвы конечно на “ты” на “вы” да

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What is your name? What is your name? My name is . . . Nice to meet you! (lit., Pleasant to meet you!) by profession from Moscow of course on familiar terms (saying “ты” to each other) on formal terms (saying “вы” to each other) yes

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нет Где вы были? (pl./sg. fml.)

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no Where were you?

Notes

When people are on familiar terms with each other, Russians say that they are на “ты”—literally, on “ты” terms. Conversely, with somebody you don’t know very well, you need to be on “вы” terms: на “вы.” NUTS & BOLTS 3 Asking questions Now, let’s look at some question words in Russian. кто

who

что

what

как

how

где

where

откуда

where from

куда

where to

The English question What is your name? corresponds to the Russian expression Как вас зовут? which literally means How do they call you? To ask the same question informally, you need to replace вас with тебя: Как тебя зовут? The answer to both questions is: Меня зовут Борис. My name is Boris. (lit., They call me Boris.)

The Russian question word что (what) never refers to human beings; therefore, the English question What are you? corresponds to the Russian expression Кто вы? (Who are you?). To make this Lesson 2

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question less ambiguous, Russian speakers often add по профессии. Кто вы по профессии? What do you do? (lit., Who are you by profession?)

The question word где refers only to stationary reference points: where you live, where you are, where you stand, where you were, etc. Any time there’s any movement from a place or to a place, Russian speakers use either откуда (where from) or куда (where to). If it helps, you can compare this to the antiquated English forms whence (where from) and whither (where to). PRACTICE 4 Ask the following people what their names are. Use either a formal or an informal question. Also provide their answers. 1. Your fellow traveler on the plane, Natalia. 2. Her child, Misha. 3. Her husband, Nikolai. 4. Your tour guide, Olga. 5. The driver, Vladimir. PRACTICE 5 Take a look at the following answers. What are the questions being answered? 1. Я журналистка.

4. Я бизнесмен.

2. Я из Москвы.

5. Да, я русская.

3. Меня зовут Джон.

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Culture note Russian first names are rarely shortened in formal situations or when accompanied by a last name. Thus Наталья Петрова will be Наталья rather than Наташа; Владимир will be Владимир rather than Володя; Борис will be Борис instead of Боря, etc. When meeting Russians, you should call them by their full first names (Наталья, Владимир, Борис) and switch to nicknames only after they have suggested you do so. For your reference, here are some common Russian names and nicknames. Full first names are given first. Female Full name

Nickname

Александра

Саша, Шура

Анна

Аня

Елена

Лена

Ирина

Ира

Мария

Маша

Наталья

Наташа

Ольга

Оля

Светлана

Света

Татьяна

Таня

Юлия

Юля

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Male Full name

Nickname

Александр

Саша, Шура

Алексей

Алеша, Лёша

Борис

Боря

Владимир

Володя

Иван

Ваня

Константин

Костя

Михаил

Миша

Николай

Коля

Пётр

Петя

Юрий

Юра

ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. Я американец. 2. Я студентка. 3. Он

студент. 4. Она журналистка. 5. Она американка. 6. Я бизнесмен. 7. Она русская. PRACTICE 2: 1. Здравствуйте. 2. Здравствуйте.

3. Здравствуй. 4. Здравствуй. 5. Здравствуйте. PRACTICE 3: 1. Пойдёмте. 2. Пойдём. 3. Пойдём.

4. Пойдём. 5. Пойдёмте. PRACTICE 4: 1. Как вас зовут? Меня зовут Наталья. 2. Как

тебя зовут? Меня зовут Миша. 3. Как вас зовут? Меня зовут Николай. 4. Как вас зовут? Меня зовут Ольга. 5. Как вас зовут? Меня зовут Владимир. PRACTICE 5: 1. Кто вы по профессии? 2. Откуда вы? 3. Как

вас зовут? 4. Кто вы по профессии? 5. Вы русская?

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Lesson 3 (Sentences) SENTENCE LIST 1 Откуда вы?

Where are you (pl./sg. fml.) from?

Я из Москвы.

I am from Moscow.

Я из Америки.

I am from America.

Где вы были в Америке?

Where were you (pl./sg. fml.) in America?

Я был(a) в Вашингтоне.

I was in Washington.

Я был(a) один месяц в Нью-Йорке.

I was in New York for one month.

Я был(a) две недели в Москве.

I was in Moscow for two weeks.

Очень интересно!

Very interesting!

Вот как?

Really? (Is that so?)

NUTS & BOLTS 1 Introduction to cases Я из Америки.

Где вы были в Америке?

I am from America.

Where were you (pl./sg. fml.) in America?

Notice the change in the word ending in the Russian word for America in the previous two sentences. These changes to the endings of nouns or adjectives are called “cases.” Russian has many distinctions of this kind to mark a particular meaning. Here, the distinctions are location (в Америке—in America) and origin (из Америки—from America). Let’s look at another similar phrase. Я был(a) в Вашингтоне. I was in Washington.

В Вашингтоне (in Washington) has the location ending -e added to the noun Вашингтон (Washington) because in this sentence, it denotes being in a place rather than coming from or going to one. Lesson 3

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You will eventually learn all of the Russian cases; for now, however, it will do just to memorize these forms as they are. We’ll come back to them in later lessons. PRACTICE 1 Answer the question Где вы были? using the cues provided. 1. Америка

3. Москва

2. Нью-Йорк

4. Вашингтон

Answer the question Откуда вы? using the cues provided. 5. Москва

6. Америка

NUTS & BOLTS 2 More on gender All Russian nouns have gender—masculine, feminine, or neuter. As we mentioned in the previous lesson, nouns that denote human beings (animate nouns) can only be either masculine or feminine. Masc.

Fem.

студент

студентка

“zero” ending

-a ending

Nouns that denote things (inanimate nouns) can be masculine, feminine, or neuter, and their gender is meaningless. Masc.

Fem.

Neuter

университет (university)

правда (truth)

пиво (beer)

месяц (month)

неделя (week)

вино (wine)

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Most masculine nouns end in a consonant (have a “zero” ending), most feminine nouns end in a, and most neuter nouns end in -o or -e. Now let’s look at the numerals 1 and 2 in Russian. один (одна, одно)

one

два (две)

two

The numerals one and two in Russian change to match the gender of the word that follows. Singular

Plural

один университет (one university, m.)

два университета* (two universities, m.)

одна неделя (one week, f.)

две недели (two weeks, f.)

одно пиво (one beer, n.)

два пива (two beers, n.)

* We’ll discuss plural endings and endings of nouns with numerals in future units.

Notice that the number two has only two forms in Russian: два (masculine and neuter) and две (feminine). PRACTICE 2 Choose the correct Russian numeral one (один, одна, одно) for the following nouns. 1. журналистка

5. пиво

2. бизнесмен

6. студентка

3. месяц

7. вино

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PRACTICE 3 Choose the correct Russian numeral two (два, две) for the following items. 1. two female students

5. two wines

2. two beers

6. two girls

3. two male Americans

7. two universities

4. two weeks SENTENCE LIST 2 Я тоже студент.

I’m a student too.

Извините, пожалуйста.

Excuse me, please.

Я вас познакомлю. (pl./sg. fml.)

I’ll introduce you.

Я тебя познакомлю. (sg. infml.)

I’ll introduce you.

Как вас зовут? (pl./sg. fml.)

What is your name?

Давайте на “ты.”

Let’s be on informal terms. (Let’s be on “ты” terms.)

Мне очень понравилось!

I liked (it) very much!

Я надеюсь, вам тоже понравится. (pl./sg. fml.)

I hope you like (it) too.

NUTS & BOLTS 3 The adverb тоже The Russian adverb тоже means too when comparing one person to another. Я студент(кa). I’m a student. Я тоже студент(кa). I’m a student too.

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Тоже is not used for listing things you like, do, or know, etc.; for these expressions, you’d use another Russian adverb, ещё. PRACTICE 4 Respond to the following statements saying that you are one of those things too. 1. Я американка.

4. Я бизнесмен.

2. Я из Америки.

5. Мне очень понравилось!

3. Я был в Москве. NUTS & BOLTS 4 Numbers 1–10 You already learned the numbers 1 and 2; let’s review them and add the rest of the numbers up to 10. один (одна, одно)

one

два (две)

two

три

three

четыре

four

пять

five

шесть

six

семь

seven

восемь

eight

девять

nine

десять

ten

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Russian numerals after 2 are “gender blind”—they have only one form for all three genders. PRACTICE 5 Place the following Russian numerals in ascending order. семь, три, пять, один, девять, четыре

Discovery activity Do you exercise? If you do, count your first ten repetitions in Russian: one to ten steps, one to ten sit-ups, one to ten squats, one to ten push-ups, etc. This will help you remember the Russian numerals as well as keep you in shape!

ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. Я был в Америке. 2. Я был в Нью-Йорке.

3. Я был в Москве. 4. Я был в Вашингтоне. 5. Я из Москвы. 6. Я из Америки. PRACTICE 2: 1. одна; 2. один; 3. один; 4. один; 5. одно; 6. одна; 7. одно PRACTICE 3: 1. две; 2. два; 3. два; 4. две; 5. два; 6. две; 7. два PRACTICE 4: 1. Я тоже американка. 2. Я тоже из Америки. 3. Я тоже был в Москве. 4. Я тоже бизнесмен. 5. Мне тоже очень понравилось! PRACTICE 5: 1. один; 2. три; 3. четыре; 4. пять; 5. семь;

6. девять

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Lesson 4 (Conversations) CONVERSATION 1 John Bradley, an American businessman, is meeting a Russian journalist, Natalia Petrova, at the airport in Moscow. Джон: Здравствуйте. Я Джон Брэдли. А вы? Наталья: Здравствуйте, господин Брэдли. Очень приятно. Я Наталья Петрова. Джон: Очень приятно, госпожа Петрова. Кто вы по профессии? Наталья: Я журналистка. А кто вы по профессии? Джон: Я бизнесмен. Вы русская? Наталья: Да, я русская. Я из Москвы. А откуда вы? Джон: Я из Америки. Наталья: Вот как? Очень интересно! Я недавно была в Америке. Джон: Где вы были в Америке? Наталья: Я была один месяц в Нью-Йорке и две недели в Вашингтоне. Мне очень понравилось. Добро пожаловать в Россию! Я надеюсь, вам тоже понравится. Джон: Большое спасибо! До свидания. Наталья: Счастливо! John: Hello. I’m John Bradley. And you? Natalia: Hello, Mr. Bradley. Nice to meet you. I’m Natalia Petrova. John: Nice to meet you, Ms. Petrova. What do you do? Natalia: I’m a journalist. And what do you do? John: I’m a businessman. Are you Russian? Natalia: Yes, I am (Russian). I’m from Moscow. Where are you from? John: I’m from America. Natalia: Oh, really? Very interesting. I was recently in America. John: Where were you in America?

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Natalia: I was in New York for a month and in Washington for two weeks. I liked it very much. Welcome to Russia! I hope you like it too. John: Thank you very much! Good-bye! Natalia: So long! (lit., Happily!) Notes

Natalia and John are on formal terms at their first introduction. They say to each other здравствуйте and вы. The endings of Москва (Moscow) and Америка (America) change when you say из Москвы (from Moscow) and из Америки (from America). Notice the masculine (“zero”) and feminine (-a) endings in господин, госпожа, бизнесмен, and журналистка. NUTS & BOLTS 1 Past tense of быть You may have noticed in the dialogue that the sentence Я недавно была в Америке is translated with the past tense of the verb быть (to be). Although this verb is always left out in the present tense, it is necessary to include in the past tense. It changes according to the natural gender of the speaking person or, more generally, to the gender of the subject of was/were. Natalia is a woman, so she adds the feminine ending -a when she says я была (I was), as above. Let’s look at the paradigm of the verb to be in the past tense. был

was (masculine)

была

was (feminine)

было

was (neuter)

были

were (pl.)

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Я был(а) в Америке. I was in America. Я был(a) в Москве. I was in Moscow.

PRACTICE 1 Insert the correct past form of the verb быть (был, была, было, были) in the following sentences. 1. Наталья Петрова ____ в Америке. 2. Джон Брэдли ____ в Москве. 3. Джон и Наталья ____ в Нью-Йорке. 4. Мы тоже ____ в Нью-Йорке. 5. Я ____ в Петербурге. (female) 6. Я ____ в Москве. (male) CONVERSATION 2 Sean, an American student, is visiting a Russian university and meeting a Russian student there, Olga. Шон: Ольга: Шон: Ольга: Шон: Ольга: Шон: Ольга:

Извините, пожалуйста, вы студентка? Да, я студентка. Это мой университет. Я тоже студент. Откуда вы? Я из Нью-Йорка. Я американец. Правда? А как вас зовут? Меня зовут Шон. А как вас зовут? Очень приятно, Шон. Меня зовут Ольга, или просто Оля. Давайте на “ты.” Шон: Приятно познакомиться, Оля. Конечно, давай на “ты.” Это твои друзья там? Ольга: Да, они тоже студенты. Пойдём, я тебя познакомлю. Шон: С удовольствием! Пойдём. Lesson 4

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Sean: Olga: Sean: Olga: Sean: Olga: Sean: Olga:

Excuse me please, are you a student? Yes, I’m a student. This is my university. I’m also a student. Where are you from? I’m from New York. I’m an American. Really? And what’s your name? My name is Sean. And what is your name? Nice to meet you, Sean. My name is Olga or simply Olya. Let’s be informal. Sean: Nice to meet you, Olya. Of course, let’s be informal. Are those your friends over there? Olga: Yes, they are students too. Let’s go, I’ll introduce you. Sean: Sure (with pleasure). Let’s go. Notes

Notice how Olga and Sean switch to the informal mode after the first introduction. They are both students and peers, so they quickly do away with formalities. Yet they were on formal terms at the very first moment of introduction. When they switch to на “ты,” Olga also changes her full name to a shorter variant, Оля. When Sean asks Olga what her name is, he starts his question with a (and, but), which shows that this is not the first question but rather a continuation of their conversation: My name is Sean. And/But what is your name? NUTS & BOLTS 2 The basic plural of nouns Note the ending -ы in the word студенты. When Olga says of her friends, Они тоже студенты, she uses the standard masculine plural ending, -ы, in order to make the singular noun студент plural: студенты. Они тоже студенты. They are students too.

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The ending -ы (or its soft counterpart, и) is used to pluralize most nouns. However, друзья is the irregular plural form of the singular masculine noun друг. Remember these forms for now as they are. We will take a look at more plural forms in the next Unit. Это твои друзья там? Are those your friends over there?

PRACTICE 2 What are the plural forms of the following nouns? 1. студент

4. бизнесмен

2. университет

5. журналист

3. друг

Culture note In addition to a first name (имя) and a last name (фамилия), all complete Russian personal names also have another formal part, called a patronymic (отчество). The patronymic always consists of the person’s father’s first name with a particular suffix: -ович (-евич) for males, and -овна (-евна) for females. For example, if Николай’s father’s first name was, say, Иван, his patronymic would be Иванович. We know from the first dialogue that Наталья’s last name is Петрова; so, if her father’s first name was Борис, her patronymic would be Борисовна, and her complete фамилия, имя, отчество (last name, first name, patronymic) would be Петрова Наталья Борисовна. Notice also that in formal situations and all legal documents, Russian names are given in this order: 1. фамилия (last or family name) 2. имя (first name) 3. отчество (patronymic). The имя and отчество can be initialized, so instead of Пушкин Александр Сергеевич, you will often see А. С. Пушкин. These initials are never pronounced as individual letters but are either left out altogether from pronunciation or deciphered as the full name and patronymic.

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ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. была; 2. был; 3. были; 4. были; 5. была;

6. был PRACTICE 2: 1. студенты; 2. университеты; 3. друзья;

4. бизнесмены; 5. журналисты UNIT 1 ESSENTIALS Здравствуйте. (fml.)

Hello.

Здравствуй. (infml.)

Hello.

Как вас зовут? (fml.)

What’s your name?

Меня зовут . . .

My name is . . .

Очень приятно.

Nice to meet you. (Very pleasant.)

Приятно познакомиться.

Nice to meet you. (Pleasant to meet you.)

Я американец.

I’m an American. (male)

Я американка.

I’m an American. (female)

Откуда вы?

Where’re you from?

Я из Москвы.

I’m from Moscow.

Я из Нью-Йорка.

I’m from New York.

Где вы были?

Where were you?

Я был(a) в Москве.

I was in Moscow.

Я был(a) в Вашингтоне.

I was in Washington.

Пойдёмте. (fml.)

Let’s go.

Пойдём. (infml.)

Let’s go.

Давайте на “ты.”

Let’s be on informal terms. (“ты” terms)

С удовольствием!

Sure! (With pleasure!)

Большое спасибо!

Thank you very much!

Пожалуйста.

Please., You’re welcome.

один (одна, одно)

one

два (две)

two

три

three

четыре

four

пять

five

24

Unit 1: Talking about yourself and making introductions

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Mura_9781400024216_6p_01_r1.s.qxp

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шесть

six

семь

seven

восемь

eight

девять

nine

десять

ten

10:01 AM

Page 25

Lesson 4

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Complete Russian: The Basics by Living Language - Excerpt  

With Living Language Complete Russian: The Basics, you’ll start by learning words, and then you’ll progress to phrases, sentences, and conve...

Complete Russian: The Basics by Living Language - Excerpt  

With Living Language Complete Russian: The Basics, you’ll start by learning words, and then you’ll progress to phrases, sentences, and conve...

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