Proper Russian

Quick Notes

56 notes &

Lesson #3 - Gender

The most secure way to determine a gender of a noun is to look it up in a dictionary. Endings are quite often misleading, unfortunately.

If there is an adjective linked to a noun, you can always check what gender the adjective is - adjective endings are strait-forwarding.

There is a bunch of nouns that can be both feminine and masculine, depending on who they refer to. For example, убийца (a murderer), зануда (a nerd), умница (smarty), умница (good/smart boy or girl).

Professions are technically masculine, but may refer to women as well. Доктор Иванов (he), доктор Иванова (she).


All Russian nouns have a gender; there are three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.

There is no direct article (the) or indirect article (a), so we have to look at the ending of each word to determine its gender.


The observant among you will have noticed…

17 notes &

All Questions Are Welcome Weekend

You’ve got TOO MANY motion verbs… Please, could you make a short list pointing out which are the ones you use the most in your daily basis? Your motion verbs really freak me out xD

I’m sorry for my late response. I hope, you are still interested in learning a bit more about Russian verbs of motion.

First, in Russian, we differentiate verbs of motion by the manner of going. We use идти for going on foot and ехать for going in a vehicle.

What confuses most students is that in Russian, one have to differentiate verbs that represent an immediate actions from the verbs that represent repeating, regular actions. In English, you use continuous tenses for the first, and indefinite tenses for the latter. Since in Russian, we don’t have continuous and indefinite tenses, we have to show the difference with different words:

  • Я иду, я еду for continuous
  • Я хожу, я езжу for indefinite.

Sometimes, textbooks explain the difference like that: иду, еду for uni-directional, хожу, езжу for multi-directional moving. It is pretty much the same. If you go somewhere regularly, every day, you go back and forth, so yes, it is multi-directional, and it is хожу or езжу.

As of other verbs, I would suggest to understand how prefixes work in Russian and word formation rather than learning lists of verbs. In English, one can show the direction (in - out, up-down, around and so on) with prepositions. In Russian, we add prefixes that do the job of the prepositions.

  • Войти (to enter, to come in) - выйти (to go out, to exit)
  • Подойти (to approach, to come close to smb or smth) - отойти (to go away)

I put this and some more into the single document that is available to everyone here.

Good luck with learning the Russian language!

(Source: properrussian, via comunistahomer)

Filed under verbs Russian verbs verbs of motion Russian

10 notes &

How To Do A Russian Accent

Pretty accurate and fun description of the Russian accent.

This video might be helpful for those who are learning Russian and struggle with Russian sounds and for those Russians who are trying hide their Russian accent.

Gareth Jameson from provides tips on how to perform a Russian accent. He provides three lessons on how certain letters should be pronounced to better create a Russian accent.

Filed under Russian russian accent Russian sounds

2 notes &

blackleatherjacketandredlipstick asked: hello, i have a question :) could you translate a quote for me? it's by albert camus, "in the midst of the winter i found, there was within me, an invincible summer". i looked everywhere on the internet for a translation but i couldn't find one. thanks a lot!! :)

Oh, sorry for my late response. If you want this quotation in Russian, here you are: 

"Среди зимы я обнаружил, что внутри меня - непобедимое лето"

Альбер Камю

And here is the original version: “Au milieu de l’hiver, j’apprenais enfin qu’il y avait en moi un été invincible”

Filed under q&a camus