Lesson 22. The Imperative Mood in Russian

Like in English, verbs in Russian can be used in imperative mood. What is an imperative mood? This is a grammatical mood which is used for commands, requests, inducement to actions, and similar.

Please, be quiet! is an example of imperative mood in English. When you use an imperative mood you address one person or a group of people which means that imperative mood will only have two forms in Russian: second person singular and second person plural.

When you address one person you use the second person singular form, correspondingly if you address a group of people you use the second person plural form.

How to form the imperative?

To form an imperative of the Russian verb you have to add an ending to the stem. The ending can vary based on the verb. There are a lot of complicated rules about it but we can simplify it a bit for you.

Here are the steps:

1. Use the verb in present tense, third person plural

Example:

Читать (to read) – (они) читают (they read)

2. Cut down the ending, you will find the stem

Чита-ют – the stem is чита-

3.

a) If the stem is ending with a vowel like in our example you add the consonant й and so you have the imperative mood for the verb читать, addressing one person.

Читай! (Read!)

b) If the stem is ending with a consonant and the last syllable of the verb is stressed, you add the vowel и to form the imperative.

Example:

Писать (to write) – (они) пишут (they write)

Пиш-ут – the stem is пиш-

Пиши! Write!

c) If the stem is ending with a consonant and the last syllable of the verb is not stressed, you add the letter ь to form the imperative.

Example:

Готовить (to cook) – (они) готовят (they cook)

Готов-ят – the stem is готов-

Готовь! Cook!

If you address a group of people you add one more step. You will need to add the ending те to the singular form.

Читайте!

Пишите!

Готовьте!

If you have to deal with reflexive verbs you go through the same steps but add the reflexive particle to the final form.

Example:

Мыть (to wash) – (они) моют

Мо-ют – the step is мо-

Мой – addressing one person (Wash!)

Мойте – addressing a group of people (Wash!)

Мойся – addressing one person, reflexive (Wash yourself!)

Мойтесь – addressing a group of people, reflexive (Wash yourselves!)

Exceptions:

Of course, as in every other rule there are exceptions here.

Russian verb English translation Imperative Singular Imperative Plural
Пить To drink Пей Пейте
Шить To sew Шей Шейте
Лить To pour Лей Лейте
Бить To beat Бей Бейте
Есть To eat Ешь Ешьте
Вставать To get up Вставай Вставайте

 

All of this might sound a bit confusing but actually it is quite simple. You only have to practice the formation of this form. Here are a few exercises which might be helpful for you.

 

1. Translate the following sentences into Russian in 2 different ways (addressing one person, and addressing a group of people.)

  • Please open the window.
  • Please sing a song.
  • Please draw a picture.
  • Please learn the words.
  • Please help me.

2. Form both forms of the imperative for the following verbs:

  • Играть
  • Учиться
  • Рисовать
  • Думать
  • Позвонить
  • Бить
  • Включить

The correct answers to the exercises are in the comments section.

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Lesson 21. Possessive Pronouns in Russian

Before today we have only discussed one group of pronouns in Russian – personal pronouns. We went pretty basic. Now it is time to go a little deeper and to cover possessive pronouns. In Russian possessive pronouns correspond to each of the personal pronouns (see the table below.)

Кто? (Who?) Чей? (Whose?)
Я мой
Ты твой
Он, оно его
Она её
Мы наш
вы ваш
они их

Interrogative Possessive Pronoun “Чей” (“Whose?”)

The interrogative pronoun “Чейmust agree in gender, number and case with the noun it is used with. And you thought it will all be easy, didn’t you?

So, here is another pattern that you need to memorize.

CASE MASCULINE NEUTER FEMININE PLURAL
Nominative Чей Чьё Чья Чьи
Genitive Чьего Чьего Чьей Чьих
Dative Чьему Чьему Чьей Чьим
Accusative Чей Чьё Чью Чьи/Чьих
Instrumental Чьим Чьим Чьей Чьими
Prepositional (о) чьём (о) чьём (о) чьей (о) чьих

So, where English has only one form/word in Russian there is more than a dozen.

The Possessive Pronouns ‘мой‘, ‘твой‘, ‘наш‘, ‘ваш

These pronouns also have to agree in gender, number and case with the nouns they are used with. Let’s see the pattern.

CASE MASCULINE NEUTER FEMININE PLURAL
Nominative Мой Моё Моя Мои
Genitive Моего Моего Моей Моих
Dative Моему Моему Моей Моим
Accusative Мой/Моего Моё Мою Мои/Моих
Instrumental Моим Моим Моей Моими
Prepositional (о) моём (о) моём (о) моей (о) моих

CASE MASCULINE NEUTER FEMININE PLURAL
Nominative Твой Твоё Твоя Твои
Genitive Моего Твоего Твоей Твоих
Dative Твоему Твоему Твоей Твоим
Accusative Твой/Твоего Твоё Твою Твои/Твоих
Instrumental Твоим Твоим Твоей Твоими
Prepositional (о) твоём (о) твоём (о) твоей (о) твоих

CASE MASCULINE NEUTER FEMININE PLURAL
Nominative Наш Наше Наша Наши
Genitive Нашего Нашего Нашей Наших
Dative Нашему Нашему Нашей Нашим
Accusative Наш/Нашего Наше Нашу Наши/Наших
Instrumental Нашим Нашим Нашей Нашими
Prepositional (о) нашем (о) нашем (о) нашей (о) наших

CASE MASCULINE NEUTER FEMININE PLURAL
Nominative Ваш Ваше Ваша Ваши
Genitive Вашего Вашего Вашей Ваших
Dative Вашему Вашему Вашей Вашим
Accusative Ваш/Вашего Ваше Вашу Ваши/Ваших
Instrumental Вашим Вашим Вашей Вашими
Prepositional (о) вашем (о) вашем (о) вашей (о) ваших

Note: In the declension of all possessive pronouns that change for agreement, when the noun modified is singular masculine inanimate, the accusative case is identical to the nominative; when the noun modified is singular masculine animate, the accusative case is identical to the genitive.

The rule “inanimate accusative = nominative / animate accusative = genitive“, which affects only masculine nouns and their modifiers in the singular, applies to all three genders in the plural.

The Possessive Pronouns его, её, их

Unlike the above mentioned pronouns the third-person possessive pronouns его‘ (his), её‘( her/hers), их (their/theirs) are invariable, which means that they do not change according to the gender, number, or case of the noun they are used with.

Examples:

Вот его брат и его сестра. (Nominative) Here is his brother and his sister.

Я знаю его брата и его сестру. (Accusative) I know his brother and his sister.

Вот её мама и её папа. (Nominative) Here are her mom and her dad.

Мы уже видели её маму и её папу. (Accusative) We already saw her mom and her dad.

Их дом рядом с нашим. (Nominative) Their house is next to ours.

Мы часто бываем в их доме. (Prepositional) We often visit in their house.

Exercizes

Use the interrogative possessive pronoun “Чейto form questions as shown in the example:

Noun: Стол

Question: Чей это стол?

  • дом
  • сестра
  • ребёнок
  • пальто
  • брат

Answer the questions you created referring to different personal pronouns.

Answer the questions as shown in the example.

Чей это брат? – Это …………….. (он) сестра. – Это его брат.

1. Чья это собака? – Это ………………… (я) собака.
2. Чей это стол? – Это ……………… (мы) стол.
3. Чьи это книги? – Это ……………….. (она) книги.
4. Чьё это пальто? Это ………………… (я) пальто.
5. Чья это чашка? Это …………………. (он) чашка.

Answers to the exercises can be found in the comments section.

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Rich Culture and History of Moscow

The capital of Russia, Moscow, attracts many tourists for its historical and cultural diversities. This biggest city in Russia is popular for its magnificent buildings, museums, lakes, festivals, and much more. It’s one of the hottest destinations which you can plan to visit on your vacations. Here is a brief guide for the places that are a must visit if you want to explore the ultimate flavor of Moscow.

Museums in Moscow

The wide range of museums in Moscow portrays its history, art, and culture. Some of museums you must include (apart from the world-famous Tretyakov Gallery) in your visit are:

  • State Historical Museum: This museum displays the complete history of Russia from 18th century to current time.  This red building museum is an example of Russian diverse culture.
  • Pushkin Museum: This museum is famous for its world’s best post- impressionist paintings. It has a vast collection of Western art.
  • Yuri Orlov Paleontological Museum: This museum focuses on history and culture of every living thing you can think of. It exhibits the history of human beings, variety of plants, rare animals, and much more.
  • Cosmonautics Memorial Museum: This museum is very attractive for people who are fascinated about space and its history. There are displays for each and every historical part in space exploration may it be the first satellite, dogs in space, and the astronauts.
  • Zoological Museum of Moscow University: The museum has huge collection of natural history. It is the oldest and biggest natural research museum in Moscow. If you want to research or have knowledge of zoological discoveries, the museum is a must visit for you.

Parks to visit in Moscow

The city has vast leisure parks where you can enjoy rides, sports, and just have some fun. Here are some of the famous parks you can visit in your trip to Moscow.

  • Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure: It is the biggest amusement park in Moscow which is famous for its rides and pictorial pond. This place reminds of the historic Moscow when the city was not jam-packed with traffic and buildings. It is a peaceful area to spend a day.
  • Kva Kva Water Park: If you are a water sports fan you will enjoy it here. You can also enjoy the most famous hot air balloon ride over here.
  • Victory Park: This Park was built in 90’s in the region of Poklonnaya Gora. It is considered as a park for celebrations. The people of Moscow enjoy public holidays here.

Other Places to Visit

Some of the other monuments and places that you should include in your visit schedule are:

  • The Red Square: As you hear the word ‘Russia’, the first thing that comes to your mind is the Red Square. This is the foremost destination where every tourist visits on reaching Moscow. The major buildings surround this area such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, and State Historical Museum. This place is a must and absolutely worth visiting.
  • The Kremlin: This is the official residence of Russian President. It is considered to be the symbol of Russia and is also one of the tourist attractions.
  • Tretyakov Gallery: If you are interested in Russian art, you should visit this gallery, it is one of a kind and very famous for the works of art it displays.
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral: It is world renowned for its architecture. You must visit this place to see the museum inside the church.

Festivals to Enjoy in Moscow

Moscow is famous for its sports and theatre festivals celebrated every year in specified months. If you are visiting this place in the months of festivals, don’t miss the chance to be a part of celebrations. 

  • Golden Dolphin Festival: If you happen to visit Moscow in February then you get a golden chance to enjoy the water sports celebrations.
  • Golden Mask Festival: The best opera and theatre productions are showcased in this festival. The festival is celebrated in March and April.
  • Maslenitsa Festival: If you are interested in old traditions, then you get a chance to see the folk traditions of the Russia. This festival is celebrated for a week in spring. You will find music, food, crafts and a lot from the traditional Russian cuisine.
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Lesson 20. Verbal Aspects in Russian Language

Today we are going to talk about a very important and a very complex topic in Russian grammar – verbal aspect. While it is not an entirely new concept for English language, in English verbal aspects are expressed by a number of grammar means  applied to one particular verb,  while in Russian you will see that there are aspectual pairs of verbs with the same lexical meaning. This is something that is common for Slavic languages and not really present in other ones, at least not the ones that I know of. Russian verbs have two aspects: imperfective (“несовершенный вид”) and perfective (“совершенный вид”). Imperfective and perfective verbs go in aspectual pairs of verbs with the same lexical meaning.

Meaning of the Verbal Aspects

Imperfective Aspect

Imperfective verbs traditionally express the actions and show them as processes in the past, presence or the future.

Она писала письмо. She was writing a letter.

Here we see that the action is not complete and the author does not really care about the end result, what we care about is the process itself.

Обычно мы кончали работу в 7 часов вечера. We usually finished our work at 7 PM.

Here we see a repeated action. You will come across situations when imperfective verbs are accompanied with adverbs: часто (often), редко (seldom), всегда (always), иногда (sometimes), обычно (usually).

Пока шёл дождь, мы смотрели телевизор. – We watched TV, while it was raining.

Here both actions take place at the same time.

Моя сестра смеялась. – My sister laughed.

Again, we see that the imperfective verb expresses the action as a process not indicating the beginning or the end of it.

Now, let’s compare that with perfective verbs.

Perfective Aspect

Perfective verbs usually show the result of a particular action in the past or the future. Please note, that perfective verbs are not used in the present tense.

Она написала письмо. She wrote a letter.

Here we can see that the action is completed, and the letter is finished, there is a result.

Сегодня мы закончили работу в 7 часов. Today we finished our work at 7 PM.

The action happened at a particular time, it is a single time specific action.

Мама открыла окно, проветрила комнату и снова закрыла его. Mom opened the window, aired the room and closed it again.

As you see, there is a series of actions here, each one being a completed result.

Моя сестра засмеялась. My sister began to laugh.

Here the perfective verb denotes the start of the action.

In the table below you will find aspectual pairs of verbs that you need to memorize because it will help you to use the correct verb in the correct speech situation. You will see that the difference between the verbs in these pairs can be a prefix, a suffix, a stress, and sometimes these can be different words altogether.

Imperfective Aspect Perfective Aspect
пить (to drink)

писать (to write)

готовить (to prepare)

читать (to read)

строить (to build)

слушать (to listen)

любить (to love)

делать (to do)

видеть (to see)

слышать (to hear)

плакать (to weep)

выпить

написать

приготовить

прочитать

построить

послушать

полюбить

сделать

увидеть

услышать

заплакать

решать (to decide)

изучать (to study)

сообщать (to inform)

объяснять (to explain)

кончать (to finish)

проверять (to check)

выполнять (to complete)

решить

изучить

сообщить

объяснить

кончить

проверить

выполнить

давать (to give)

вставать (to get up)

узнавать (to recognize)

забывать (to forget)

закрывать (to close)

открывать (to open)

дать

встать

узнать

забыть

закрыть

открыть

Рассыпать* (to spill)

Отрезать* (to cut off)

Разрезать* (to cut up)

Рассыпать*

Отрезать*

Разрезать*

брать (to take)

говорить (to speak)

класть (to put)

ловить (to catch)

становиться (to become)

ложиться (to lie down)

садиться (to sit down)

взять

сказать (to say)

положить

поймать

стать

лечь

сесть

* the letter in bold is stressed

Of course, these are not all aspectual pairs of verbs, only the most common ones. Verbs are marked in dictionary with their aspect (НСВ for imperfective verbs and СВ for perfective verbs).

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The Beauty of Classical Ballet in Russia

Ballet and Opera ‑ two of the finest and most enduring contributions of Europe to the world of classical music and dance. And if you wish to enjoy the art forms at their classical best, then there is no other place to visit than Russia. Well, even if you are not a ballet and opera enthusiast, if you are ever in Russia, do find the time to enjoy it in some of the best theaters of the world, if not for the joy of watching these exquisite art forms, at least for absorbing that wonderful atmosphere where you are temporarily transported to the elegance of the past.

Here, let’s take a trip to the ballet and opera theaters of Russia, enjoy their beauty, study their history and most of all, breath in the aura of timeless grace and unsurpassed beauty that permeates the very atmosphere.

The Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater

Bolshoi in Russian means great, large or grand. And indeed, the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater is the grand old lady of this traditional art. The Bolshoi is considered to be one of the most renowned historic theaters of Russia. The theater was designed by the famous architect Joseph Bove and conducts performances of ballet and opera.

The main building of the Bolshoi Theater is a landmark of Moscow. The theater is so much a part of Russian cultural growth that the façade of the main building is pictured in the Russian 100 ruble note. Originally constructed in 1825, the Bolshoi Theater has seen many renovations and changes during the course of its lifetime with the latest massive renovation which began in 2005 and extended for a period of 6 years. When the theater was finally opened in 2011, the original acoustics and the imperial quality of the décor had been restored.

The Bolshoi Theater is a repertory theater and has been the venue of some of the greatest ballet and opera performances in the world. It has been the hallowed site of many historic premiers which has changed the very phase of the world of ballet and opera.

The Mariinsky Theater

Well, from the Bolshoi to the Mariinsky, is to leap from arguably the best to the finest. Another renowned Russian ballet and opera company, that is the Mariinsky Theater. The Mariinsky has been named after Maria, the Russian empress and the wife of Alexander II. Located in St. Petersburg, this spectacular arena for ballet is one of the most imposing landmarks of the area.

The Mariinsky Theater was the creation of the renowned architect Albert Cavos and was inaugurated in 1859. The growth of Russian ballet and opera is invariably linked with the history of the Marrinsky. It has hosted some of the best performers in this genre and has been witness to some of its greatest achievements. With 1,625 seats, it is definitely bigger than the Bolshoi.

Magnificent halls, luxurious seats, exceptional acoustics, excellent atmosphere, affordable prices ‑ all the basic necessities that would make a ballet performance a most cherished memory to be had at the Mariinsky.

Mikhailovsky (Mussorgsky) Opera and Ballet Theater

The Mussorgsky Theater has been named after the famous Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. It is the second largest stage for musical performances in Russia. The Mussorgsky follows the same classical repertoire as the Mariinsky. The theater was initially opened in 1918. The opulent exteriors and the elegant interiors is the trade mark of this theater. The Mussorgsky has been credited with the revival of some of the forgotten compositions of classical opera and ballet.

The Mussorgsky has another advantage to its credit – it’s less expensive and less crowded than the other major opera houses. So getting a seat here does not pose much of a problem.

In 2007 it was renamed to the Mikhailovsky Theater but everyone still knows it as The Mussorgsky Theater.

Classical ballet and opera at its best is to be enjoyed in the famous theaters of Russia. It would be an unforgettable experience even for those who are not familiar with the nuances of this great art form.

 

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Lesson 19. Small Talk: Family and Constructions with Genitive

Today we are going to discuss family in Russian. Family is a big part in everyone’s life and without any doubt this topic comes up in conversations every so often. Your new acquaintances will be curious to know about you and your family background. So, you definitely need to have some back up in terms of language here.

We have had some talk about family back in the lesson 10 but today we will get to know some new stuff based on the grammar we learned since then.

Vocabulary

Below you will find a few basic words that relate to the topic of the family. You will need memorize them to communicate effectively. It will not be complicated because you know some of these words from our previous lessons.

Russian English
мать mother
мама mom
отец father
папа dad
родители parents
сын son
сыновья sons
дочь daughter
дочери daughters
жена wife
муж husband
брат brother
братья brothers
сестра sister
сёстры sisters
ребёнок child
дети children
бабушка grandmother
дедушка grandfather
бабушка и дедушка grandparents
внук grandson
внуки grandchildren, grandsons
внучка granddaughter
внучки granddaughters
дядя uncle
тётя aunt
племянник nephew
племянница niece
семья family

I have…/I don’t have

In English everything seems so easy, you just say:

I have a brother.

Or

I have a sister.

The structure you will have to use in Russian to express the same meaning looks a little bit more complicated.

Preposition “у” + noun/pronoun  in Genitive + verb “есть” (to have) + noun

Example:

У меня есть сестра. I have a sister.

У моего брата есть жена. My brother has a wife.

We have already gone through the cases patterns and rules in lesson 12 and lesson 13 and you will be able to create grammatically correct sentences to tell about your family.

Let’s see how much you have learnt so far. Please translate into English.

1. У меня есть дочь.

2. У моей сестры есть сын.

3. У меня есть внучка.

4. У моей мамы есть племянница.

5. У моего папы есть внук.

And now please translate into Russian.

1. I have a brother.

2. My brother has a daughter.

3. My son has a sister.

4. My parents have two children.

5. We have a grandmother.

Now you know how to explain who is there in your family. But sometimes you have to say that you don’t have a brother, or a sister, or any nephews, children, etc. Please refer to the structure below to see how you form a particular sentence.

Preposition “у” + noun/pronoun in Genitive + word “нет” (no) + noun in Genitive

Example:

У меня нет сестры. I don’t have a sister.

У моего брата нет жены. My brother doesn’t have a wife.

In most cases you will need to use plural form of the noun, that too in Genitive case. The plural forms of some family members are irregular, so you will need to memorize them.

братьев – brothers in Genitive

сестёр – sisters in Genitive

сыновей – sons in Genitive

дочерей – daughters in Genitive

детей – children in Genitive

Example:

У меня нет дочерей. I don’t have daughters.

У меня нет сыновей. I don’t have sons.

У меня нет детей. I don’t have children.

As you understand this construction I have/I don’t have can be used in any way, not necessarily related to family.

I have a dog.

We have a flat.

My daughter has friends.

We don’t have money.

In Russian it will be:

У меня есть собака.

У нас есть квартира.

У моей дочери есть друзья.

У нас нет денег.

Exercises

1. Tell in Russian that you have and that you don’t have

  • a cat
  • a house
  • a laptop
  • a friend
  • a car

Use these words in both singular and plural.

2. Tell us about your family, who all you have or don’t have as family members

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Lesson 18. Small Talk: Where are you from?

The last few lessons discussed important matters of Russian grammar. Today we are going to apply everything we have learned so far and will try to strike a conversation.

We already know how to properly introduce yourself, and now we will continue this conversation. What do you talk to people you just met? Right, quite obvious topics, such as home, family, job, etc. When you talk to Russians you should not be surprised when they openly discuss topics that in Western countries are considered to be kept discreet. You can easily be asked why you are not married yet, or why you don’t have children. Asking about age, income is common, too. Of course, you don’t have to answer the questions you are not comfortable with. But still you should be prepared. In the next few lessons we will learn how to discuss some of these topics.

Today we start with a simple one.

Where are you from?

When you are a tourist everyone wants to know the answer to this question.

The question sounds: Откуда Вы? (formal) /Откуда ты? (informal)

You can use the following answers. (As of now we assume that you are a US citizen.)

  • Я из Америки (I am from America)
  • Я живу в Америке (I live in America)
  • Я американец (I am an American)

Following your answers you might be asked new questions.

  • Из какого Вы штата? (What state are you from?)
  • В каком штате Вы живете? (What state do you live in?)
  • В каком городе Вы живете? (What city do you live in?)

No matter what country or city you live in, your answer will begin like this:

Я живу в (name of the state, city)

For example,

Я живу в Нью-Йорке (I live in New York).

Я живу в Лондоне (I live in London)

Or you can simplify it:

Я из Нью-Йорка (I am from New York).

Я из Лондона (I am from London).

Another variation of the same question might be asking about your nationality. Russia is a very ethnically diverse country itself and people tend to be interested in other nationalities and cultures. So the question “Кто Вы по национальности?” (What is your nationality?) should not catch you unaware.

So, how do you answer this one?

Based on your gender you can say:

Я американец = I am an American (if you are a man)

Я американка = I am an American (if you are a woman)

And finally, if there is a group of you (two people or more) you say:

Мы американцы = We are Americans.

The conversation can go in the same direction but take a different path. For example, your new acquaintance might not ask you the question but try to guess your nationality.

Вы американец? – asking a man

Вы американка? – asking a woman

Вы американцы? – asking a group of people

Your response? Well, you know the words “да” and “нет” and will be able to say if you are American or not.

Now, it’s not like every student who reads these lessons is an American. Below you will find a table of some nationalities. Feel free to ask in the comments if your nationality is missing.

Nationality (Man) Nationality (Woman) Nationality (People) Translation
Немец Немка Немцы German
Китаец Китаянка Китайцы Chinese
Японец Японка Японцы Japanese
Англичанин Англичанка Англичане Englishman(men)
Француз Француженка Французы French
Итальянец Итальянка Итальянцы Italian(s)
Испанец Испанка Испанцы Spanish
Аргентинец Аргентинка Аргентинцы Argentinean
Еврей Еврейка Евреи Jewish
Индус Индианка Индусы Indian
Грек Гречанка Греки Greek
Турок Турчанка Турки Turkish
Мексиканец Мексиканка Мексиканцы Mexican
And just for reference
Русский Русская Русские Russian

Read the dialog and try to understand as much as possible. Translate the dialog into English.

Michael and Olga are on board a flight from Berlin to Moscow. They have just met.

Olga: Майкл, откуда Вы?

Michael: Я американец. А Вы русская?

Olga: Да, русская. Я живу в Самаре. А где Вы живете в Америке?

Michael: Я из штата Висконсин. Я живу и учусь в Мэдисоне.

Olga: Как интересно! Вы не похожи на американца. Кто Вы по национальности?

Michael: Моя мама итальянка. А папа мексиканец.

Olga: Понятно.

Here are some words that you might not know or could not understand from the context.

Как интересно! How exciting! How Interesting!

Вы не похожи на You don’t look like…

Понятно. I see.

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The Top 5 Destinations You Should Visit While in Russia

The country of Russia is filled with incredible artistic and cultural energy.  While the country is still developing as a travel destination, there are still, many places to visit, enjoy and get lost in.  For travelers, the best places to visit are in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and traveling along the waterways and rivers.

While visiting any country, there are always the ‘must-see’ destinations.  Let’s adventure into the top 5 of Russia!

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea; is one of Russia’s most tourist friendly cities.  There is much to do and see here.

  • Russian Museumcollection of prerevolutionary Russian art
  • White Nights Festival 2-day festival with evenings filled with food, ballet, opera, and classical music performances
  • St. Isaac’s Cathedralmore of a museum; climb to the rooftop and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city
  • The Hermitageyou’ll find the Winter Palacethe former state residence of the Russian emperors, and over three million works of art and artifacts of global culture
  • Peter and Paul Fortresssituated on an island, founded by Peter the Great; there you’ll find the church in which Peter is buried, the jail (jail which housed some of Peter’s opponents including his rebellious son, Alexei), and a number of museum-style exhibits.
  • Boat Tripstrips on the St. Petersburg canal (June into September)
  • The Marinskii Ballet or the Malii Opera
  • Nevsky Prospektarchitectural emphasis include the brilliant arch of the General Staff Building,  the Kazan Cathedral (Museum of Atheism), and the sights along and through the canals

Moscow

Moscow situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia; first time visitors may be a bit overwhelmed by the vastness of the city, though it’s worth a day trip to search out those magnificent Moscow gems.

  • Red Square – once you’re in Moscow, it’s essential to begin your tour in Red Square.  The centre encompasses the ‘must-see’ landmarks and attractions such as:  Lenin’s Mausoleum. Most love to visit the square at night where St. Basil’s Cathedral illuminates the centre; and GUM – the largest department store in Russia
  • The Kremlinis a walled area inhabited by Russia’s top government offices, in addition to numerous, stunning Orthodox churches
  • The Arbat a great place for tourists to visit; lots of touristy shops and if you’re visiting in the summer, outdoor cafes
  • Novii Arbat a famous contemporary shopping district
  • Gorky Park ride the enormous Ferris Wheel located in the center of the park
  • Sergiev Posad one of the most beautiful churches in Russia
  • Izmailovskii Park weekend flea marketgreat for Russian souvenirs; look out for delicious fresh fruit sold by babushki on the sides of roads and main streets.
  • All-Russian Exhibition Center (V.D.N.Kh.)a fascinating centre dedicated to the world of electronics – it’s certainly worth a look!
  • Ulitsa TverskayaLots of upscale restaurants; the concert hall, and city hall

 Lake Baikal

It’s 20% of the world’s fresh water; Lake Baikal located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia; is pure, and is a paradise of wellbeing and recreation.

  • Camp on the extraordinary cliffs and quiet sandy bays of Olkhon
  • Visit Nikita’s Homestead in vivacious Khuzhir, to look upon in awe, of Shaman Rock, the island’s holiest site for Buryat
  • Enjoy a meal or picnic in quaint Listvyanka; sample smoked omul (Baikal whitefish) and shashlyk (grilled meat skewers) at the waterside market or along the pebbled beach
  • Take a swim in Lake Baikal which is said to contain holistic properties; best area for a swim is the stretch along the northern shore of Olkhon Island
  • Camp in the wild in remote Barguzin Valley
  • Hit the Hotsprings in the spa town of picturesque Arshan.
  • Other fun things to do on Lake Baikal:  kayaking, hike the Baikal Trails along the coast, horseback riding, dog-sled rides, and visit Pribaikalskiy and Zabaikalskiy national parks

Sochi

Sochi, located in Krasnodar Krai, just north of the southern Russian border, is home to the 2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games.   Sochi, which is known as a resort town, is a center for leisure interests such as: night clubs, restaurants, concert halls and theatres.

In addition, a variety of events such as music and film festivals, are held there, most occurring in the summer months which are typically June through August.

Karelia

Karelia, a region, located in Northwestern Russia, which borders Finland, is an adventurer’s oasis.  Known as “the country of lakes,” a quarter of the region’s façade is covered by water.  For water sports enthusiasts, this is the place to be.

  • River Rafting on the wild, rocky rivers
  • A Ski Trip through the virgin white powdered ski terrain
  • Dog-Sledding; whisk through the forests and trails powered by a team of 20 Husky dogs
  • Ice Fishing one of many lakes – a snow adventure in itself
  • Visit Karelskaya Gornitsa; a rustic-village setting, whimsical costumed waiters and excellent Karelian cuisine including an excellently prepared lokhikeytto (Karelian salmon soup)
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Lesson 17. Future Tense in Russian

Last time we talked about Past Tense in Russian, today we are going to discuss the Future Tense. As you probably have already noticed, Russian system of tenses is a lot less complex than that of English. Similarly, Future Tense is presented only in two forms.

We are talking about Future Imperfective (or Compound Future) and Future Perfective (Simple Future here).

Now, you might ask me what all this perfective/imperfective talk means. And you sure have the right to know.

As you know English has a number of tenses, such as past simple or present perfect. You can express a thought using different tenses.

Example:

I ate yesterday.

I have eaten already.

As you can see, the first sentence simply states the fact and the second emphasizes the result of the action.

The same thing exists in Russian but it is expressed in a different way. Here comes out perfective/imperfective thing that might have confused someone before. It is called “aspect.”

Let’s take a look at an example:

English verb to read can be translated with any of two Russian verbs читать or прочитать.  The first verb will be an imperfective one and the second – perfective one. It means that the first one focuses on the action itself and for the second verb the result of the action is important.

There are a number of prefixes that form perfective verbs from imperfective ones. One of them is the prefix про-. But it is not the only one. You will have to learn such verbs by heart when you check the dictionary for the meaning.

When to Use

Future Imperfective is used when you want to emphasize the fact that something will happen or will be happening in the future, but at the same time your plan is not to emphasize the result of that action.

Future Perfective is used when it is important to emphasize the result of the future action.

How to Form

It is not really complicated to form Future Tense in Russian. Below in the table you will find an example that will help you to form both of future tense’s forms for any of the verbs.

The Present Tense

The Future Tense

Future Perfective

Future Imperfective

Only perfective verbs can form the Future Perfective the simple future. The “simple” future tense is formed the same way as the present tense for imperfective verbs: you add the ending to the stem of the verb.

Only imperfective verbs can form the Future Imperfective.

The Future Imperfective is formed of the auxiliary verb быть in the future and the infinitive of an imperfective verb.

imperfective verb: читать (to read)

perfective verb: прочитать

(to read)

imperfective verb: читать

(to read)

я читаю я прочитаю я буду читать
ты читаешь ты прочитаешь ты будешь читать
он читает он прочитает он будет читать
она читает она прочитает она будет читать
мы читаем мы прочитаем мы будем читать
вы читаете вы прочитаете вы будете читать
они читают они прочитают они будут читать

Examples:

Я читаю письмо.

I am reading a letter.

Я прочитаю это письмо.

I will read this letter from beginning to end.

Я буду читать письмо.

I will read a letter.

Exercises:

Use the correct Future Tense form in the sentences.

1. Мои родители (ужинать) __________________ сегодня в ресторане.

2. Я (учиться) _________________ в этом университете.

3. Он (есть)___________________________ салат на обед.

4. Вечером они (смотреть)_________________ телевизор.

5. Когда ты (завтракать)__________________?

Choose perfective or imperfective verb.

1. Завтра друзья весь день ____________________ в зоопарке. (гулять – погулять)

2. Она__________________  на компьютере и пойдёт спать. (работать – поработать)

3. Он  _______________ задачу долго. (решать – решить)

4. Кот ____________ и пойдёт спать. (есть – поесть)

5. Завтра она __________________ письмо бабушке и сразу отправит его.

 As usual, you can find the correct answers in comments.

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Russia as Travel Destination

If you’re looking for adventure, history and entertainment, Russia is definitely the place to be!

Overview of Russian History

Did you know Osteologists discovered one of the first modern human bones in Russia, dating back to 35,000 years ago? Russia is a country filled with a deep past and incredible culture.

Under strict rule of Peter the Great, in 1721, Russia was declared an Empire and was quickly acknowledged as a world power. Russia, a country who defeated invading Nazi Germany in the 1940s, also lead the race to space; Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, a pilot and cosmonaut, was the first human to travel to outer space, orbiting the earth in the Russian spacecraft Vostok.

In 1991, the infamous Soviet Union was dissolved and the Russian Federation was established.

Russia, known as a socialist union, is the largest country in the world stretching 6,592,800 square miles. In addition to the largest forest reserves in the world, Russia maintains the largest energy and mineral resources reserves in the world, and holds roughly one-quarter of the world’s fresh water.

Climate

Owing to the modest pressure of the Pacific and Atlantic, the majority of heavily populated regions of the nation in European Russia, in the Russian Far East; in the south of West Siberia, counting the city of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, encounter a moist and muggy continental climate.

The majority of Siberia and Northern European Russia flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Scandinavian Peninsula has a sub-artctic climate; with tremendously harsh winters in the central provinces of Northeast Siberia, where the North Pole is located.

Minor fractions of the Black Sea coast, mainly in Sochi, hold a humid subtropical climate. Winter is arid in comparison to summer in numerous regions of Far East Russia, as other divisions of the country feel more balanced precipitation across seasons.

Your Visa to Russia

When traveling to Russia, visitors will need to secure a Visa. A foreign citizen can attain a visa to Russia only in the country of his/her citizenship. Exemptions to the rule are those who have a dwelling permit for a foreign country for over 90 days.

Be prepared to complete the following:

• Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages designated for visas. Plus, your passport has to be valid at least six months after your expected departure date

• You should have at least 2 copies of a Russian visa application, completed and signed.

• One passport-size photo which should be signed in the back

• If you are a passenger on a cruise or a part of a tour group, you should obtain a letter from the cruise line or tour group confirming your schedule, and a copy of your reference number and confirmation number for the visa, from an authorized Russian travel company

• If you are traveling solo, obtain a confirmed itinerary of hotel arrangements from an authorized Russian travel company, or from the hotel you’ll be staying at – the reference and confirmation numbers for your visa should be available

What Type of Currency Should You Use While Visiting Russia

The US dollar, British pounds, Travellers Cheques, and major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) are commonly accepted in Russia, however, you should be prepared to bring cash, as British pounds and Travellers Cheques are not easily exchangeable and you may not be given a valuable rate of exchange.

Cash can be exchanged easily in Russia. In fact, you can find exchange booths on almost every corner of Russia, and they offer a much better rate than hotels or banks.

Keep in mind if you want to withdraw money using your credit card, utilizing a bank or ATM is always a better option. Most ATMs and banks will charge a fee which is usually around 1% – 1.5%.

If you are exchanging money at a bank, be prepared to present your passport and it may take upwards of 30 minutes.

The Language

When traveling to any foreign country it is advisable that you learn and understand a bit of the language. Understanding Russian can be a challenge so you might want to take a brief language tutorial prior to departing.

Traveling to Russia

There are many ways to reach Russia depending upon your current location. If you are already in Europe, perhaps the best way to reach Russia is by train; though there are now budget friendly alternatives via Airlines. If you are headed to Russia from the United States, the best way to get there is by plane. Be sure to shop around to secure the best rate.

Cities to Visit

Russia is a vast country which means there’s so much to see and do. To get the most out of your trip, be sure to visit these amazing cities:

• Lively Moscow

St. Petersburg, full of history

• Breathtaking Lake Baikal

• Beautiful sands of Zelenogradsk; far western region of Kaliningrad

• Wonderful, historic Yekaterinburg

Sochi, a gorgeous Russian resort town

Kazan, an attractive city with diverse culture and architecture

Irkutsk, known as “The Paris of Siberia.”

Nizhniy Novgorod, known as the most beautiful city in Russia

Novosibirsk, known as the cultural center of Siberia

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