Russian Grammar
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Russian Grammar

Russian grammar employs an Indo-European inflexional structure, with considerable adaptation.

Russian has a highly inflectional morphology, particularly in nominals (nouns, pronouns, adjectives and numerals). Russian literary syntax is a combination of a Church Slavonic heritage, a variety of loaned and adopted constructs, and a standardized vernacular foundation.

The spoken language has been influenced by the literary one, with some additional characteristic forms. Russian dialects show various non-standard grammatical features, some of which are archaisms or descendants of old forms discarded by the literary language.

Various terms are used to describe Russian grammar with the meaning they have in standard Russian discussions of historical grammar, as opposed to the meaning they have in descriptions of the English language; in particular, aorist, imperfect, etc., are considered verbal tenses, rather than aspects, because ancient examples of them are attested for both perfective and imperfective verbs. Russian also places the accusative case between the dative and the instrumental, and in the tables below, the accusative case appears between the nominative and genitive cases.

Nouns

Nominal declension involves six cases – nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and prepositional – in two numbers (singular and plural), and absolutely obeying grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, and neuter). Up to ten additional cases are identified in linguistics textbooks,[1][2][3] although all of them are either incomplete (do not apply to all nouns) or degenerate (appear identical to one of the six main cases) - the most recognized additional cases are locative, partitive and vocative. Old Russian also had a third number, the dual, but it has been lost except for its use in the nominative and accusative cases with the numbers two, three, and four (e.g. , "two chairs"), where it is now reanalyzed as genitive singular.

More often than in many other Indo-European languages, Russian noun cases may supplant the use of prepositions entirely.[4] Furthermore, every preposition is exclusively used with a particular case (or cases). Their usage can be summarised as:[5]

  • nominative (?):
    • main subject;
    • default case to use outside sentences (dictionary entries, signs, etc.);
    • prepositions: '(what) kind of?'; ?: 'join the ranks of' (with plural noun only);
  • accusative ():
    • direct object;
    • some time expressions;
    • prepositions indicating motion: ? 'into, in(ward)', 'onto (the top of)', 'behind, after', 'under';
    • other prepositions: 'about', 'over', 'through';
  • genitive ():
    • possession - 'of' (genitive noun);
    • numerals and quantifiers;
    • negated verbs (which take direct objects in Accusative) to indicate total absence;
    • some time expressions;
    • prepositions: 'without', 'instead of', 'near', 'around', ? 'ahead of', 'for', 'before', 'from', - 'because of, from behind', 'from', 'except for', ? 'past by', 'near', 'after', 'against, opposite', 'among', ? 'by', ? 'near', 'along', 'out of, outside', 'inside';
    • verbs: ? 'afraid of', 'reach', 'avoid';
    • adjectives: 'full of' (genitive noun);
  • dative (?):
    • indirect object - 'to' (dative noun);
    • some time expressions;
    • impersonal clauses: ? - 'I am cold', lit. "to_me (is) cold";
    • age statements: - 'I am 20 (years old)', lit. 'to_me (is) 20 years';
    • prepositions: 'on', ? 'to(wards)', 'thanks to';
    • auxiliaries: or ? 'need/must (to)', 'allowed', 'forbidden';
    • verbs: 'believe', 'help', ? 'advise', ? 'call', ?() 'amaze (self)';
  • instrumental (?):
    • instrument used in the action or means by which action is carried out - 'by' (I. noun);
    • logical subject of passive clause: - 'the letter was written by Ivan';
    • secondary direct object: ? - 'he is considered (to be) a student';
    • durational time expressions;
    • verbs: () 'interest (to be interested in)', 'use', () 'occupy (to be preoccupied with)';
    • associates of connective verbs: ? 'be', 'became', 'remain', 'appear to be', 'turn out to be';
    • prepositions of position: 'behind', 'in front of', 'above', 'below', 'between', () ? '(together) with';
    • adjective: 'pleased by';
  • prepositional ():
    • prepositions of place: ? 'inside', 'on (top of)';
    • other prepositions: ? 'about', 'by/of/with';

Definite and indefinite articles (corresponding to 'the', 'a', 'an' in English) do not exist in the Russian language. The sense conveyed by such articles can be determined in Russian by context. However, Russian also utilizes other means of expressing whether a noun is definite or indefinite:

  • The use of a direct object in the genitive instead of the accusative in negation signifies that the noun is indefinite, compare: ? ("I don't see a book" or "I don't see any books") and ? ("I don't see the book").
  • The same goes for certain verbs expressing a desire to achieve something: wait, wish, ask, want, etc. When the inanimate object is definite (certain, or at least expected), the accusative is used; when it is indefinite (uncertain), the genitive is used. Compare: ? ? ("I'm waiting for the bus", ? specific, scheduled bus) and ? ("I'm waiting for a bus", any bus, if one will come).[6]
  • The use of the numeral one sometimes signifies that the noun is indefinite, e.g.: ? ? - , ? , ("Why did it take you so long?" - "Well, I met one [=a] friend and had to talk").
  • Word order may also be used for this purpose; compare ? ? ("Into the room rushed a boy") and ? ? ("The boy rushed into the room").
  • The plural form may signify indefiniteness: ? ? ? ? ? ("You can buy this in shops") vs. ? ? ? ? ("You can buy this in the shop").

The category of animacy is relevant in Russian nominal and adjectival declension.[7] Specifically, the accusative has two possible forms in many paradigms, depending on the animacy of the referent. For animate referents (persons and animals), the accusative form is generally identical to the genitive form. For inanimate referents, the accusative form is identical to the nominative form. This principle is relevant for masculine singular nouns of the second declension (see below) and adjectives, and for all plural paradigms (with no gender distinction). In the tables below, this behavior is indicated by the abbreviation 'N or G' in the row corresponding to the accusative case.

Russian uses three declensions:[8]

  • The first declension is used for feminine nouns ending with -?/-? and some masculine nouns having the same form as those of feminine gender, such as papa or uncle; also, common-gender nouns like ? tease are masculine or feminine depending on the person to which they refer.
  • The second declension is used for most masculine and neuter nouns.
  • The third declension is used for feminine nouns ending in ?.

A group of irregular "different-declension nouns" (Russian: ), consists of a few neuter nouns ending in - (e.g. "time") and one masculine noun ? "way". However, these nouns and their forms have sufficient similarity with feminine third declension nouns that scholars such as Litnevskaya[9] consider them to be non-feminine forms of this declension.

Nouns ending with -, -, - (not to be confused with substantivated adjectives) are written with - instead of - in prepositional (as this ending is never stressed, there is no difference in pronunciation): - ? ? "streaming - in lower streaming of a river". However, if words ? ? and ? represent a compound preposition meaning – "while, during the time of" – they are written with -?: ? "in a time of an hour". For nouns ending in -, -, or -, using - in the prepositional (where endings of some of them are stressed) is usually erroneous, but in poetic speech it may be acceptable (as we replace - with - for metric or rhyming purposes): ? ? ? ? ? (Fyodor Tyutchev).

First declension

Feminine and masculine nouns ending with '?' or ? vowel

singular plural
nominative -? -?, - -? -?, -
accusative -? -?, - N or G
genitive -? -?, - ? -?, -
dative -? -?, - - -, -
instrumental - -, - - -, -?
prepositional -? -?, - - -, -

Second declension

Masculine nouns ending with a consonant sound

singular plural
nominative ? -?/-?, -, +-? -? -?, -, -?
accusative N or G
genitive -? -?, -, +-? - -/-, -, -?
dative -? -?, -, +-? - -, -, -
instrumental - -, -, +- - -, -?, -
prepositional -? -?, -, +-? - -, -, -

Some singular nouns denoting groups of people may include -- suffix before ending.

Neuter nouns

singular plural
nominative -? -? -? -?
accusative N or G
genitive -? -? ? -?, -
dative -? -? - -
instrumental - - - -
prepositional -? -? - -

Neuter nouns ending with

singular plural
nominative -? -? -
accusative
genitive - - -
dative - -?
instrumental -? - -
prepositional - - -?

Third declension

Feminine nouns ending with letter ?

singular plural
nominative -? -?
accusative N or G -?
genitive -? -
dative -
instrumental - - - -?
prepositional -? - -

Indeclinable nouns

Some nouns (such as borrowings from other languages, abbreviations, etc.) are not modified when they change number and case. This occurs especially when the ending appears not to match any declension pattern in the appropriate gender. An example of an indeclinable noun is ? ("coffee").

Additional cases

Some nouns use several additional cases. The most important of these are:

  • Locative (): the most common minor case, used after prepositions of location (, ?(?)). With most nouns the prepositional form is used in such instances. When there is a distinct locative, it may match the dative, or may take a unique form. For example, in ("in the mouth"), the locative of ("mouth") matches the dative form y (and thus differs from the prepositional e). In ? ("in the forest"), the locative of ("forest") differs from both the prepositional ?? and the dative ?y (the dative and locative are spelt identically but pronounced differently).
  • Partitive (), or second genitive: sometimes used instead of the genitive: ? (to pour tea) - not ?.[10]
  • Vocative (): used in archaic expressions to call or identify a person: ! (My God!). The modern vocative (sometimes called neo-vocative) is used to produce a person's nickname by removing the vowel ending from the affectionate version of the name: (general) -- (short, affectionate) -- ? (neo-vocative); -- -- . The neo-vocative has no plural form and can only be applied to names frequently used in Russian; rare names (chiefly non-Slavic) do not have affectionate versions and thus no means of forming the neo-vocative.
  • Caritive (), used with the negation of verbs: ? (not know the truth) - ? (know the truth). This case is sometimes identical to the genitive and sometimes to the accusative.

Adjectives

A Russian adjective (? ) is usually placed before the noun it qualifies, and it agrees with the noun in case, gender, and number. With the exception of a few invariant forms borrowed from other languages, such as ('beige', non-adapted form of ) or ('khaki-colored'), most adjectives follow one of a small number of regular declension patterns (except for some that complicate the short form). In modern Russian, the short form appears only in the nominative and is used when the adjective is in a predicative role: , , ?ó, are short forms of ('new'). Formerly (as in the bylinas) short adjectives appeared in all other forms and roles, which are not used in the modern language, but are nonetheless understandable to Russian speakers as they are declined exactly like nouns of the corresponding gender.[11]

Adjectives may be divided into three general groups:

  • qualitative (?) - denote a quality of the object; this is the only group that usually has degrees of comparison.
  • relational () - denote some sort of relationship; unlikely to act as a predicate or have a short form.
  • possessive () - denote belonging to a specific subject; have some declensional peculiarities.

Adjectival declension

The pattern described below holds true for full forms of most adjectives, except possessive ones. It is also used for substantivized adjectives as ("scientist, scholar" as a noun substitute or "scientific, learned" as a general adjective) and for adjectival participles. Russian differentiates between hard-stem and soft-stem adjectives, shown before and after a slash sign.

singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
nominative -/- -/- -/- -/-
accusative N or G -/- N or G
genitive -/- -/- -/-
dative -/- -/-
instrumental -/- -/-
prepositional -/- -/-
short form zero ending -? -? -?/-?
  • The masculine and neuter genitive singular adjectival endings - and - are pronounced as - and -.
  • After a sibilant (?, ?, ?, ?) or velar (?, ?, ?) consonant, ? is written instead of ?.
  • When a masculine adjective ends in - in the nominative, the stress falls on the final syllable throughout its declension: ? ([pr'moj], "straight"), compare ([?'pr?am?j], "stubborn").
  • The " rule" states that after a sibilant consonant, neuter adjectives end in -.
  • The masculine accusative singular and the accusative plural endings depend on animacy, as with nouns.
  • The instrumental feminine ending -/- has old-fashion alternative form -/- for all adjectives, which has only a stylistic difference.
  • There are often stress changes in the short form. For example, the short forms of ("new") are (m.), (n.), (f.), / (pl.).
  • In the masculine singular short form, when a word-final consonant cluster is being formed after ending removal, an additional ? or ? interfix is inserted after the root, as in ??, from ("hungry").
  • Some adjectives (e.g. "big", "Russian") have no short forms.

Comparison of adjectives

Comparison forms are usual only for qualitative adjectives and adverbs. Comparative and superlative synthetic forms are not part of the paradigm of original adjective but are different lexical items, since not all qualitative adjectives have them. A few adjectives have irregular forms that are declined as usual adjectives? 'big' - 'bigger', 'good' - ? 'better'. Most synthetically-derived comparative forms are derived by adding the suffix - or - to the adjective stem? 'red' - 'more red'; these forms are difficult to distinguish from adverbs, whose comparative forms often coincide with those of their adjectival counterparts.[11] Superlative synthetic forms are derived by adding the suffix -?- or -?- and additionally sometimes the prefix -, or using a special comparative form with the prefix - 'kind' - ? 'the kindest', 'big' - 'the biggest'.

An alternative is to add an adverb to the positive form of the adjective. The adverbs used for this are 'more' / 'less' and 'most' / 'most' / 'least': for example, ? 'kind' - ? 'kinder' - ? 'the kindest'. This way is rarely used if special comparative forms exist.

Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives are less frequently used in Russian than in most other Slavic languages,[12] but are in use. They respond to the questions ? ? ? ? (whose?) and denote only animate possessors. See section below.

Pronouns

Personal pronouns

singular plural reflexive
1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
neuter masculine feminine
English I you (thou) it he she we you they -self
nominative ? ? ? ?
accusative ?
genitive
dative ?
instrumental ?
()

()

()
?
()
prepositional
  • Russian is subject to the T-V distinction. The respectful form of the singular you is the same as the plural form. It begins with a capital letter: , , , etc., in the following situations: personal letters and official papers (addressee is definite), and questionnaires (addressee is indefinite); otherwise it begins with minuscule. Compare the distinction between du and Sie in German or tu and vous in French.
  • When a preposition is used directly before a third-person pronoun, it is prefixed with ?- ? (read ?), ? , etc. Because the prepositional case always occurs after a preposition, the third person prepositional always starts with an ?-.
  • There are special cases for prepositions before first person singular pronouns? ? - "with me" (usually ?), - "to me" (usually ?), - "in me" (usually ?), - "about me" (usually ?). All of these preposition forms are unstressed.
  • Like adjectives and numerals, letter "?" (g) in masculine and neuter 3rd person genitive and accusative forms is pronounced as "?" (v): (?) - (?).
  • English "it" can be translated as both ? (neuter personal pronoun) and ? (neuter proximal demonstrative, "this"). The latter is used as a stub pronoun for a subject ? - "it/this is good", ? ? - "who is it/this?".

Demonstrative pronouns

? ('this')
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative ? ? ?
accusative N or G ? N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional
('that')
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional

If the preposition "about" is used (usually ?), for singular demonstrative pronouns (as with any other words starting with a vowel) it is ? - about this.

Possessive adjectives and pronouns

Unlike English, Russian uses the same form for a possessive adjective and the corresponding possessive pronoun. In Russian grammar they are called possessive pronouns (compare with possessive adjectives like Peter's = above). The following rules apply:

  • Possessive pronouns agree with the noun of the possessed in case, gender, and number.
  • The reflexive pronoun ? is used when the possessor is the subject of the clause, whatever the person, gender, and number of that subject.
  • No non-reflexive exists for the third person: the genitive of the personal pronoun is instead, i.e. for a masculine/neuter singular possessor, for a feminine singular possessor and for a plural possessor. But unlike other genitives used with a possessive meaning, in modern Russian these words are usually placed before the object of possession.
  • Example of the difference between reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns:
    • " = He loves his (own) wife"   while   " ? = He loves his (someone else's) wife".
  • Unlike Latin where a similar rule applies for the third person only, Russian accepts using reflexives for all persons:
    • " () = (I) love my wife"
    • " = (I) love myself"
(my, mine)
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative ? ?
accusative N or G ? N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional ?
? (your, yours) for a singular possessor
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative ? ?
accusative N or G N or G
genitive ?
dative ?
instrumental ?
prepositional
? (one's own)
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative ? ?
accusative N or G N or G
genitive ?
dative ?
instrumental ?
prepositional
(our, ours)
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive ?
dative ?
instrumental ?
prepositional
(your, yours) for a plural possessor
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive ?
dative ?
instrumental ?
prepositional

The ending - is pronounced as -?.

Interrogative pronouns

('who') and ('what')
nominative (read: )
accusative (read?)
genitive (read?)
dative
instrumental
prepositional

These interrogatives are used by scholars to denote "usual" questions for correspondent grammatical cases (prepositional is used with ?): (?) () - (who?) Masha [N.] loves (whom?) Vasya [G.].

('whose')
masculine neuter feminine plural
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive ? ?
dative ?
instrumental ?
prepositional ? ?

The ending "-" is pronounced as "-".

Numerals

Nouns are used in the nominative case after "one" (? , 'one ruble').
After certain other numbers (following Grammatical number rules in Russian) nouns must be declined to genitive plural ( , 'ten rubles').

Russian has several classes of numerals ([] ): cardinal, ordinal, collective, and also fractional constructions; also it has other types of words, relative to numbers: collective adverbial forms (), multiplicative (?) and counting-system () adjectives, some numeric-pronominal and indefinite quantity words (?, , ). Here are the numerals from 0 to 10:

cardinal numbers ordinal numbers
(nominative case, masculine)
collective numbers
0 ? or ? --
1 (m.), (f.), (n.), (pl.)
( is used when counting)
? --
2 (m., n.), (f.) ?
3 ?
4 ?
5 ? ?
6 ?
7 ? ?
8 ? ()[13]
9 ? ()
10 ? ()

Verbs

Grammatical conjugation is subject to three persons in two numbers and two simple tenses (present/future and past), with periphrastic forms for the future and subjunctive, as well as imperative forms and present/past participles, distinguished by adjectival and adverbial usage (see adjectival participle and adverbial participle). Verbs and participles can be reflexive, i.e. have reflexive suffix -/- appended after ending.

The past tense is made to agree in gender with the subject, for it is the participle in an originally periphrastic perfect formed (like the perfect passive tense in Latin) with the present tense of the verb "to be" ? [b?t?], which is now omitted except for rare archaic effect, usually in set phrases ( ? ? [?t'kud? jes?t? p?'?la z'ml?a 'rusk?j?], "whence is come the Russian land", the opening of the Primary Chronicle in modern spelling). The participle nature of past-tense forms is exposed also in that they often have an extra suffix vowel, which is absent in present/future; the same vowel appears in infinitive form, which is considered by few scholars not to be verbal (and in the past it surely used to be a noun), but in which verbs appear in most dictionaries: ? "to walk" - ?? "(he) walked" - ? "I walk".

Verbal inflection is considerably simpler than in Old Russian. The ancient aorist, imperfect, and (periphrastic) pluperfect have been lost, though the aorist sporadically occurs in secular literature as late as the second half of the eighteenth century, and survives as an odd form in direct narration (? [? on p?j'd?i d? sk?'], etc., exactly equivalent to the English colloquial "so he goes and says"), recategorized as a usage of the imperative. The loss of three of the former six tenses has been offset by the development, as in other Slavic languages, of verbal aspect (). Most verbs come in pairs, one with imperfective ( ) or continuous, the other with perfective ( ) or completed aspect, usually formed with a (prepositional) prefix, but occasionally using a different root. E.g., [spat?] ('to sleep') is imperfective; ? [p?'spat?] ('to take a nap') is perfective.

The present tense of the verb ? is today normally used only in the third-person singular form, ?, which is often used for all the persons and numbers.[14] As late as the nineteenth century, the full conjugation, which today is extremely archaic, was somewhat more natural: forms occur in the Synodal Bible, in Dostoevsky and in the bylinas ( [b?'l?in?]) or oral folk-epics, which were transcribed at that time. The paradigm shows as well as anything else the Indo-European affinity of Russian:

English Russian Latin Classical Greek Sanskrit
"I am" (?)
[jes?m?]
sum
[s?:]
?
[e:mí]
ásmi
['?smi]
"you are" (sing.) (?)
[j?'s?i]
es
[?s]

[ê:]
ási
['?si]
"he, she, it is" ?
[jes?t?]
est
[?st]
?(?)
[estí(n)]
ásti
['?sti]
"we are" ()
[j?'sm?]
sumus
['s?m?s]

[esmén]
smás
[sm?h]
"you are" (plural) ()
['jes?t]
estis
['?st?s]
?
[esté]
sthá
[st]
"they are" (?)
['sut?]
sunt
[s?nt]
?(?)
[e:sí(n)]
sánti
['s?nti]

Infinitive

The infinitive is the basic form of a verb for most purposes of study. In Russian it has the suffix -/- (the latter is used after consonants), or ends with - (but - is not a suffix of a verb). For reflexive verbs -/- suffix is added in the end. Note that due to phonological effects, both -? and - endings (later is used for present-future tense of a 3rd person reflexive verb; see below) are pronounced as [t?s?] or [ts?] and often cause misspellings even among native speakers.

Present-future tense

Future tense has two forms: simple and compound.

  • Future simple forms are formed by the perfective verbs with the help of personal endings: "She will read" (She will have read) -- " ?"; "She will read" (She will read [for a certain amount of time]) -- " ".
  • Future compound forms are formed by the imperfective verbs: future simple tense form of the verb "?" (to be) and the infinitive of the imperfective verb. The Russian compound future tense is remarkably similar in structure to the English simple future tense: "She will read" (She will be reading) -- " ?".
First conjugation Second conjugation
1st singular -? or -? -? or -?
2nd singular - -
3rd singular - -
1st plural - -
2nd plural - -
3rd plural - or - - or -
  • -?/-,- is used after a hard consonant or ?, ?, ? or ?; otherwise -?/-,- is used.
  • A mutating final consonant may entail a change in the ending.
  • ? becomes ? when stressed.

Two forms are used to conjugate the present tense of imperfective verbs and the future tense of perfective verbs.

The first conjugation is used in verb stems ending in:

  • a consonant,
  • -?,-? or -?,-?
  • -? (In addition to below)
  • ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, , , ?, ?.
  • -? not preceded by a hush (?, ?, ? or ?):

The second conjugation involves verb stems ending in:

  • -? or -? (, ?, , , ?, ?, , ?, ?, ?, , , , , , , , ?, , ?, , , , , , ?, , , ?, , , , , , , ?, )
  • -? preceded by a hush (?, ?, ? or ?)(?, , ?, , ?, ?, , ?, , ?, , ?, ?, , , , ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ):
  • , ?

Example: -?- - -?-?, -?- [p?pr?'s?it?, p?pr?'?u, p?'prost] (to have solicited - [I, they] will have solicited).

Examples

First conjugation
? ('to read', stem-)
? I read (am reading, do read)
you read (are reading, do read)
/?/? ? he/she/it reads (is reading, does read)
? we read (are reading, do read)
you (plural/formal) read (are reading, do read)
? they read (are reading, do read)
First conjugation: verbs ending in -?
('to return [something]', stem-)
? I will return
? you will return
/?/? he/she/it will return
we will return
? you will return
? they will return
First conjugation: verbs ending in -, -
('to draw', stem-) ('to spit', stem: -) ? ('to dance', stem?-)
? ? ? ? ? ??
? ?
/?/? /?/? ? /?/? ?
? ?
? ?
? ? ? ? ?
First conjugation: verbs ending in -
? ('to be able', stem: -/-) ? ('to bake', stem: -/-)
? ? I can ? ? I bake
? you can ? you bake
/?/? ? he/she/it can /?/? ? he/she/it bakes
? we can ? we bake
? you (all) can ? you (all) bake
? ? they can ? ? they bake
First conjugation (verbs ending in -, -)
('to carry', stem: -) ('to lead', stem: -) ('to sweep', stem: -) ? ('to row', stem-) ('to steal', stem-)
? I carry ? I lead ? I sweep ? I row ? I steal
you carry you lead you sweep ? you row ? you steal
/?/? he/she/it carries /?/? he/she/it leads /?/? he/she/it sweeps /?/? he/she/it rows /?/? he/she/it steals
we carry we lead we sweep we row we steal
you (all) carry you (all) lead you (all) sweep ? you (all) row ? you (all) steal
? they carry ? they lead ? they sweep ? ? they row ? ? they steal
First conjugation (verbs ending in -, -)
('to convey', stem: -) ('to climb', stem: -)
? I convey ? I climb
you convey ? you climb
/?/? he/she/it conveys /?/? he/she/it climbs
we convey we climb
you (all) convey ? you (all) climb
? they convey ? they climb
First conjugation: verbs ending in -
? ('to wash', stem?-)
? ?? I wash
? you wash
/?/? ? he/she/it washes
? we wash
? you (all) wash
? ? they wash
First conjugation (verbs ?, ?, ?, ?, ?)
? ('to beat', stem?-) ? ('to weave', stem?-) ? ('to pour', stem?-) ? ('to drink', stem?-) ? ('to sew', stem?-)
? I beat ? I weave ? I pour ? I drink ? I sew
you beat you weave you pour you drink you sew
/?/? ? he/she/it beats /?/? ? he/she/it weaves /?/? ? he/she/it pours /?/? ? he/she/it drinks /?/? ? he/she/it sews
? we beat ? we weave ? we pour ? we drink ? we sew
you (all) beat you (all) weave you (all) pour you (all) drink you (all) sew
? ? they beat ? ? they weave ? ? they pour ? ? they drink ? they sew
First conjugation (verbs ?, , )
? ('to live', stem: -) ('to swim', stem-) ('to pass for', stem-)
? I live ? I swim ? I pass for
you live ? you swim ? you pass for
/?/? he/she/it lives /?/? he/she/it swims /?/? he/she/it passes for
we live we swim we pass for
you (all) live ? you (all) swim ? you (all) pass for
? they live ? ? they swim ? ? they pass for
Second conjugation
('to speak', stem?-)
? ? I speak (am speaking, do speak)
you speak (are speaking, do speak)
/?/? he/she/it speaks (is speaking, does speak)
we speak (are speaking, do speak)
you (plural/formal) speak (are speaking, do speak)
they speak (are speaking, do speak)
Second conjugation (verbs ending in -?, -?, -?, -?)
? ('to love', stem: -) ? ('to catch', stem: -) ? ('to sink', stem: -) ('to feed', stem-)
? I love ? ? ?
? you love ? ?
/?/? he/she/it loves /?/? /?/? /?/? ?
we love ?
? you (all) love ? ?
? they love ? ? ? ?
Second conjugation (verbs ending in -?, -?, -?, -?, -)
('to ask', stem-) ? ('to convey', stem: -) ('to pay', stem-) ? ('to go [to walk]', stem: -) ('to forgive', stem?-)
? ? ? ? ? ? I pay ? ? ? ?
? you pay ?
/?/? ? /?/? /?/? ? he/she/it pays /?/? /?/?
? ? we pay
? you (all) pay ?
? ? ? ? ? they pay ? ?

There are five irregular verbs:

  • ? (run), (glimmer) - first conjugation in the plural third person, second in other forms;
  • ? (want) - first conjugation in the singular, second in plural;
  • ? (give) - , ?, ?, , ?, ;
  • ? (eat) - , , , , , .

Past tense

The Russian past tense is gender specific: -? for masculine singular subjects, - for feminine singular subjects, - for neuter singular subjects, and - for plural subjects. This gender specificity applies to all persons; thus, to say "I slept", a male speaker would say ? ?, while a female speaker would say ? ?á.

Examples

Past of c? ('to do', 'to make')
masculine feminine neuter plural
? c? I made (says a man) ? c I made (says a woman) c we made
c? you made (is said to a man) c you made (is said to a woman) c you (all) made
c? he made ? c she made ? c it made ? c they made

Exceptions

Verbs ending in -, -, -, -
infinitive present stem past
- , , ,
- ???, , ,
- ???, , ,
- ???, , ,
- ???, , ,
? ?- ??, ?, ?, ?
?- ???, ???, ???, ???
Verbs ending in -
infinitive present stem past
? -/- , , ,
? -/- ???, , ,
Verbs ending in -
infinitive past
, ?, ?, ?
The verb ('to go, to walk') and verbs ending in -
infinitive past
(to go) , , ,
(to go away) ?, , ,
(to find) , , ,
? (to pass) , ?, ?, ?
? (to come) , ?, ? ?
(to go out) , , ,
The verb ? (to eat)
infinitive past
? , ?, ?, ?

Moods

Russian verbs can form three moods (?): indicative (?), conditional () and imperative (?).[15]

Imperative mood

The imperative mood second-person singular is formed from the future-present base of most verbs by adding -? (stressed ending in present-future, or if base ends on more than one consonant), -? (unstressed ending, base on one consonant) or -? (unstressed ending, base on vowel). Plural (including polite ) second-person form is made by adding - to singular one: 'I speak' - - , 'I shall forget' - - , ? 'I glue' - ? - . Some perfective verbs have first-person plural imperative form with - added to similar simple future or present tense form? 'let us go'. Other forms can express command in Russian; for third person, for example, particle with future can be used? ! 'Let them shut up!'.[16]

infinitive present stem imperative (2nd singular) imperative (2nd plural)
? - ? ?
?- ? ?
?- ? ?
?- ? ?
? - ? ??
? -
- ? ?
-
?- ?? ?
? -
?- ? ??
-
-
-
-
? ?- ? ?
?- ? ?

Conditional mood

The conditional mood in Russian is formed by adding the particle after the word which marks the supposed subject into a sentence formed like in the past tense. Thus, to say "I would (hypothetically) sleep" or "I would like to sleep", a male speaker would say ? ? (or ? ?), while a female speaker would say ? ?á (or ? ).

Conditional of the verb ('to say')
masculine feminine neuter plural
? ? I would say (says a male speaker) ? I would say (says a female speaker) we would say
? you would say (said to a male speaker) you would say (said to a female speaker) you (all) would say
? he would say ? she would say ? it would say ? they would say
Negative conditional forms
masculine feminine neuter plural
? ? I wouldn't say (says a male speaker) ? I wouldn't say (says a female speaker) we wouldn't say
? you wouldn't say (said to a male speaker) you wouldn't say (said to a female speaker) you (all) wouldn't say
? he wouldn't say ? she wouldn't say ? it wouldn't say ? they wouldn't say

Verbs of motion

Verbs of motion are a distinct class of verbs found in several Slavic languages. Due to the extensive semantic information they contain, Russian verbs of motion pose difficulties for non-native learners at all levels of study.[17] Unprefixed verbs of motion, which are all imperfective, divide into pairs based on the direction of the movement (uni- or multidirectional -- sometimes referred to as determinate/indeterminate or definite/indefinite). As opposed to a verb-framed language, in which path is encoded in the verb, but manner of motion typically is expressed with complements, Russian is a satellite language, meaning that these concepts are encoded in both the root of the verb and the particles associated with it, satellites.[18] Thus, the roots of motion verbs convey the lexical information of manner of movement, e.g. walking, crawling, running, whereas prefixes denote path, e.g. motion in and out of space.[19][note 1] The roots also distinguish between means of conveyance, e.g. by transport or by one's own power, and in transitive verbs, the object or person being transported.[20] The information below provides an outline of the formation and basic usage of unprefixed and prefixed verbs of motion.

Unprefixed

Pairs of Russian verbs of motion, adapted from Muravyova.[20][note 2]
English unidirectional multidirectional
to run ? ?
to wander ?
to convey, transport ?
to lead ?
to drive, chase ?
to go by vehicle, ride ?
to go, walk ?
to roll ? ?
to climb ? (?)
to fly ? ?
to carry ?
to swim, float
to crawl ?
to drag ?

Directionality

Unidirectional verbs describe motion in progress in one direction, e.g.:

  • We are headed to the library.
    ? ? ?.
  • I was on my way to work.
    ? .
  • The birds are flying south.
    .

Multidirectional verbs describe:

  1. General motion, referring to ability or habitual motion, without reference to direction or destination, e.g.:
    • The child has been walking for six months.
      ? ?.
    • Birds fly, fish swim, and dogs walk.
      , ? ?, ? .
  2. Movement in various directions, e.g.:
    • We walked around the city all day.
      ? ?.
  3. Repetition of completed trips, e.g.:
    • She goes to the supermarket every week.
      ? .
  4. In the past tense, a single completed round trip, e.g.:
    • I went to Russia (and returned) last year.
      ? ? ? ? ? .

Unidirectional perfectives with -

The addition of the prefix - to a unidirectional verb of motion makes the verb perfective, denoting the beginning of a movement, i.e. 'setting out'. These perfectives imply that the agent has not yet returned at the moment of speech, e.g.,[21]

  1. He went to a friend's place (and has not returned; unidirectional perfective).
    ? .
    Compare with:
  2. He was on his way to a friend's place (unidirectional imperfective).
    ? .
  3. He used to go to a friend's place (multidirectional).
    ? .
  4. He went to a friend's place (and has returned; see prefixed perfective forms of motion verbs below).
    ? ? .

Going versus taking

Three pairs of motion verbs generally refer to 'taking', 'leading' with additional lexical information on manner of motion and object of transport encoded in the verb stem. These are /, /, and /. See below for the specific information on manner and object of transport:[21]

  1. / - 'to take (on foot), carry'
    1. He carries a briefcase.
      .
    2. She is taking her assignment to class.
      ? ?.
  2. / - 'to take, lead (people or animals)'; 'to drive (a vehicle)'
    1. The teacher was taking the children to a field trip.
      ? ?
    2. She took her friend to the theatre.
      ? ? ? .
    3. She knows how to drive a car.
      .
  3. / - 'to take, drive, convey by vehicle'
    1. She is wheeling her grandmother in a wheelchair.
      ? ? ? .
    2. The train took the passengers to England (and back).
      ? ? .

Prefixed motion verbs

Motion verbs combine with prefixes to form new aspectual pairs, which lose the distinction of directionality, but gain spatial or temporal meanings. The unidirectional verb serves as the base for the perfective, and the multidirectional as the base for the imperfective. In addition to the meanings conveyed by the prefix and the simplex motion verb, prepositional phrases also contribute to the expression of path in Russian.[22] Thus, it is important to consider the whole verb phrase when examining verbs of motion.

In some verbs of motion, adding a prefix requires a different stem shape:[23]

  1. ? -> - 'go (on foot)'
    1. For prefixes ending in a consonant, an -o- is added in all forms, e.g.?.
    2. ? is lost in the non-past conjugated forms of , e.g.? 'I come'.
  2. -> - 'go (by conveyance)' For prefixes ending in a consonant, a hard sign (?) is added before - and -, e.g.? 'enter (by conveyance)'.
  3. ?é? -> -á 'run' The formation of the verb remains the same, but stress shifts from the stem to the endings, e.g.á 'run away'.
  4. á? -> -?á 'swim' The vowel in the root changes to -?- and the stress shifts to the endings.
  5. In perfective verbs with the prefix -, the prefix is stressed in all forms, e.g. 'go out'.

See below for a table the prefixes, their primary meanings, and the prepositions that accompany them, adapted from Muravyova.[20] Several examples are taken directly or modified from Muravyova.

Prefixed verbs of motion
Prefix / primary meanings Examples / additional meanings Prepositional Phrases
spatial
?-, ?-
Movement inwards across a threshold, entering
Antonym?-
The tram stopped and the girl entered.
? , ? ? .
? / + acc.
-
Movement out of something across a threshold, exiting
Antonym-
She exited the office.
.

Other:

  1. Step out for a short period of time, e.g.:
    The secretary left for ten minutes.
    .
  2. Leave at a specific time frame, e.g.:
    They left early in the morning to catch their train/plain .
    ? ? , /?.
/ ? / + gen.
? / + acc.
? + dat.
-
Intended arrival, signals presence of the agent at a location as a result of motion
Antonym-
He arrived in Moscow a week ago.
? ? .
? / + acc.
? + dat.
/ ? / + gen.
?-
Intended departure, signals absence
Antonym: -
They will leave Vladivostok in a month.
.
Where is Igor? He already left.
?.
? / + acc.
? + dat.
/ ? / + gen.
-, ?-
Approach
Antonym?-
He approached the girl to ask for her number.
? ? ?, .

Other: - give someone a lift, e.g.:

He took me (as far as) downtown.
? .
? + dat.
+ gen.
-, -
Withdrawal a short distance away
Antonym: -
The boy stepped back from the stranger who had offered him candy.
? ?, ? ?.

Other: With transitive verbs, delivering or dropping something off (agent does not remain), e.g.:

I'll drop the book off at the library, then come.
? ? ?, .
+ gen.
-
Reaching a limit or destination
The passengers reached the last station and exited the bus.
? ? .

Other: Characterizing the duration of a journey, especially when it is long, e.g.:

We finally reached the dacha.
? ? ?.
+ gen.
-
Movement behind an object; stopping off on the way
The old woman walked behind the corner and disappeared.
? ? ?.

Other:

  1. Action performed on the way to a destination, e.g.:
    On the way home I stopped at the store for bread.
    ? ? ?
  2. A short visit, e.g.:
    The young man often stops by his mother's place.
    ? ? ? ? ?.
  3. Movement deep into something, at a great distance (inside, upwards or downwards), e.g.:
    The ball flew onto the roof of the house.
    ? ?.
? / / + acc.
? + dat.
+ inst.
-
Movement across, through, or past something
We drove through the city.
.
We passed the metro station.
? ? .

Other:

  1. Movement beyond one's destination (possibly unintentional), e.g.:
    I'm afraid we already passed the store.
    ? , ?.
  2. Movement forward with the distance covered specified, e.g.:
    You'll go three stops and get off the tram.
    ? ? ?.
/ / ? + acc.
? + gen.
without preposition
?-
Movement across, from one point to another; through
The ducks swam across the river.
? ?.

Other: Changing residence, e.g.:
I moved to another city.
? ? .

+ acc
without preposition + acc.
-, -, -, -, -
Movement upwards
Antonym-
The mountain climber walked up the mountain.
?.
? / + acc.
?-, -
Movement downwards
Antonym?-
After the performance, the actor got off the stage.
? .
c + gen.
+ acc.
? + dat.
+ inst.
?-, -, -
Movement around an object or involving a consecutive number of objects, circling, covering a whole place
The little girl walked around the puddle.
? ?.
I'm going around to all the stores in the mall.
? ? .
+ gen.
without preposition + acc.
-, -, -
Movement involving the entire area concerned and carried out in all directions
*only formed from multidirectional verb of motion
I traveled over the whole world.
? ? .
without preposition + acc.
-
Movement onto the surface of an object
*only formed from multidirectional verb of motion
A cloud crept onto the sun.
? .

Other: Quantified movement, e.g.:
The driver covered 50 kilometers.
? 50 ?.
I had 2500 flight hours in Boeing 737.
? ? 2500 737.

?/ + acc.
without preposition + acc.
?-, - (+, +)
Convergent movement from various directions towards one center
Antonym: -, ?-, - (+, +)
In order to study, the student brought all her textbooks from other rooms to her desk.
?, ? ?.
The children ran (from all directions) to the playground.
? ? ?
? / + acc.
? + dat.
-, ?-, - (+, +)
Divergent movement in various directions from one center
Antonym-, - (+, +)
Grandfather Frost brought the gifts to the (various) houses.
? .
After dinner, we went to our separate homes.
, .
+ dat. pl.
? + . pl.
temporal
-
Beginning of unidirectional movement
*with unidirectional verb of motion
I went to the university.
? ? .

Other:

  1. Intention to carry out a movement in the future, e.g.:
    In the winter I plan to go to Florida.
    ? ? ?.
  2. Approximate location of the agent at moment of speech, e.g.:
    Where's Dad? He went to (is at) work.
    .
? / + acc.
? + dat.
/ ? / + gen.
+ dat.
without prep. + inst.
-
Beginning of multidirectional movement
*With multidirection verb of motion
She started running around the room.
?.
+ dat.
-
Prolonged multidirectional movement
*with multidirectional verb of motion
We walked around the woods all day.
? ? ?.
without prep + acc.
-
Slow and measured multidirectional movement
*with multidirectional verb of motion
She walked around the apartment pensively and finally decided to leave.
? ? ?.
resultative
?-
Completed semelfactive movement in opposite directions, there and back.
*only formed with multidirectional verb of motion
I went to the pharmacy for medicine and went to bed.
? ? ? ? .
? / + acc.
? + dat.
Idiomatic uses

The uni- and multidirectional distinction rarely figures into the metaphorical and idiomatic use of motion verbs, because such phrases typically call for one or the other verb. See below for examples:[21]

Idiomatic uses of motion verbs
Verb Example
unidirectional
?
  1. It's not raining, but it is snowing.
    ? , ? ?.
  2. The clock is going.
    ? ?.
  3. A film is on.
    ? .
  4. That dress suits you.
    ? ?.
  5. The government is moving towards democracy.
    ? ? ? ?.
  6. The president is going against the will of the people.
    ? ? .
  1. The country is waging a war.
    .
  2. The girl keeps a diary.
    ? ?.
  3. The friends carry on a correspondence for a long time.
    .
  4. The road leads to the city.
    ? .
  5. No good comes from lying.
    ? ? .
  1. The woman bears the responsibility of her children.
    ? .
  2. The farmer bears the losses from the drought.
    .
  3. The criminal undergoes severe punishment.
    ? ? .
  4. The speaker is talking nonsense.
    ?.
  1. Time flies.
    .
  2. Shares are plummeting because of the economic crisis.
    ?.
The hooligans are getting into a brawl.
? .
She is lucky/got lucky.
/ ?.
  1. Blood flows from the wound.
    ?.
  2. The days fly past.
    .
multidirectional
  1. Ivan Ivanovich bears the name of his father.
    ? ?.
  2. The clothes bear the imprint of old age.
    .
  3. She wears pretty clothing.
    .
Rumor has it that she left her husband.
?, ? ?.
He fooled me for a long time when he said that everything was fine in our firm.
? , ?, ? .
I like to ski, skate, cycle, and row.
, ?, ? ? .

Adjectival participle

Russian adjectival participles can be active or passive; have perfective or imperfective aspect; imperfective participles can have present or past tense, while perfective ones in classical language can be only past.[24] As adjectives, they are declined by case, number and gender. If adjectival participles are derived from reciprocal verbs, they have suffix - appended after the adjectival ending; this suffix in participles never takes the short form. Participles are often difficult to distinguish from deverbal adjectives (this is important for some cases of orthography).

Active present participle

, ? ?, ? ? - The people living in this city are very kind and responsible.

In order to form the active present participle, the "?" of the 3rd person plural of the present tense is replaced by "?" and add a necessary adjective ending:

? (to do, to make) - ? (they do/make) - (doing, making)
Declension of
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional

Note: Only imperfective verbs can have an active present participle.

Examples
infinitive 3rd person plural
(present Tense)
active present participle
First conjugation
(to have) ? ?
? (to write) ? ?
(to conceal)
(to draw)
(to lead)
? (to bake)
? (to live)
? (to love) ? ?
? (to break) ? ?
(to go)
? (to drink)
? (to wash)
(to shave) ? ?
? (to sing)
? (to give)
? (to press)
? (to sink) ? ?
Second conjugation
(to hear)
? (to cost) ? ?
? (to stand)
? (to want)
Other verbs
? (to run)
? (to eat)
? (to be) *? *

(*) Note: These forms are obsolete in modern Russian and they are not used in the spoken language as forms of the verb 'to be'.

Reflexive verbs paradigm
- being done/being made
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional

The participle agrees in gender, case and number with the word it refers to:

? ? ?, ? ? - I dedicate this song to the people living in our city.
? ?, ? ? - I'm proud of the people living in our city.

Active past participle

The active past participle is used in order to indicate actions that happened in the past:

, , ? ? - The girl, that read this book here, forgot her phone (the girl read the book in the past).

Compare:

, , - ? ? - The girl reading this book here is my sister (she is reading the book now, in the present).

In order to form the active past participle the infinitive ending '-' is replaced by the suffix '--' and add an adjective ending:

? (to do, to make) -
Declension of
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional
Examples
infinitive active past participle
? (to have) ?
? (to draw) ?
(to drown)
(to love)
(to write)
(to poke through with a needle)
(to hit)
(to wash)
(to give)
(to squeeze/compress)
(to become) ?
(to live)
Exceptions
infinitive past tense
(masculine)
active past participle
Some verbs ending in consonant + ?
(to dry) ?
(to become rancid) ? ??
(to die ("croak")) ? ?
Verbs ending in -
(to climb) ??
Verbs ending in -
(to convey) ??? ????
(to lead) ??? ??
(to carry) ??? ????
(to sweep) ??? ????
? (to row) ?? ???
(to grow) ??? ???
Verbs ending in -
? (to help) ?
? (to bake) ??? ????
Verbs ending in -
(to die) ?
(to lock) ?
(to erase) ?? ???
The verb
(to steal) ? ?
The verb
(to go) ?
Reflexive verbs paradigm
- being done/being made
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
nominative
accusative N or G N or G
genitive
dative
instrumental
prepositional

Passive present participle

? - to discuss;
(full form), ? (short form) - being discussed or able to be discussed;

In order to form the passive present participle it is necessary to add an adjective ending to the 1st person plural of the present tense:

? (to leave) - (we leave) -
masculine form
feminine form
neuter form
plural form
Examples
infinitive 1st person plural
(present tense)
passive present participle
(to congratulate) ? ?
(to draw [a picture]) ? ?
? (to love) ? ?
(to race) ? ?
? (to wash) ?? ??
Exceptions
infinitive present stem passive past participle
Verbs ending in -
(to discover) ?
Verbs ending in -, -, -, -
(to carry [by cart or vehicle]) -
(to lead) -
(to carry [by hand]) -
(to sweep) -
? (to row) ?- ?
(to steal) ?- ?

Passive participles are occasional in modern Russian. Often, same meaning is conveyed by reflexive active present participles:

(self-drawing) instead of (being drawn, drawable);
(self-washing) instead of ? (being washed);

The forms ending in -? are mostly obsolete. Only the forms (from - to lead) and (from ? - to search, to look for) are used in the spoken language as adjectives:

- a slave (driven, following) man;
- the sought quantity.

Passive past participle

- to do/to make (perfective verb)
- done/made

Passive past participles are formed by means of the suffixes '--' or '-?-' from the infinitive stem of perfective verbs. Besides that, this kind of participle can have short forms formed by means of the suffixes '-?-' or '-?-':

(to write) - ? (written) / ?? (short form)
(to kill) - ?? (killed) / ?? (short form)
full form short form
masculine ? ??
feminine ? ???
neuter ? ???
plural ? ???
full form short form
masculine ?? ??
feminine ?? ???
neuter ?? ???
plural ?? ???
Participle-forming models (for perfect verbs)
infinitive participle short forms
Verbs in -, -, - with a present stem ending in a vowel
(to do, do make) ?
(to change) ? ??
(to draw) ?
(to hear) ? ??
(to write) ? ??
? (to bury) ? ??, ??, ??, ??
Verbs ending in - and - referred to the second conjugation
(to fry) ??
(to see) ?
(to offend) ?? ????
(to pay) ? ???
(to amaze) ??? ????, ????, ????, ????
(to ask) ? ???
(to forgive) ?? ???, ???, ???, ???
? (to break in) ??
(to install, to set up) ? ???
? (to exterminate) ? ??, ??, ??, ??
? (to buy) ??
Verbs ending in -, -, - or -
? (to chew) ??
(to steal) ??
(to read) ? ??, , ,
? (to drive away) ?? ???, ?, ?, ?
? (to take away) ?? ???, ?, ?, ?
(to sweep) ? ??, ??, ??, ??
? (to carry away) ?? ???, ?, ?, ?
Verbs ending in -
? (to bake) ? ??, ?, ?, ?
(to save) ? ??, ??, ??, ??
Verbs ending in -
(to find) ?
Verbs ending in -?
(to bend) ? ?
Verbs ending in -
(to prick) ? ?
Verbs ending in -
? (to wash) ? ?
? (to forget) ? ?
Verbs ending in ?, ?, ?, ?, ?
(to kill) ?? ??

Adverbial participle

Adverbial participles () express an earlier or simultaneous action providing context for the sentence in which they occur, similar to the English constructions "having done X" or "while doing Y".

Like normal adverbs, adverbial participles are not declined. They inherit the aspect of their verb; imperfective ones are usually present, while perfective ones can only be past (since they denote action performed by the subject, the tense corresponds to the time of action denoted by the verb). Almost all Russian adverbial participles are active, but passive constructions may be formed using adverbial participle forms of the verb ? (past "having been", present "being"); these may be combined with either an adjectival participle in the instrumental case ( , ? ? - The combatant, being wounded, remained in the row), or a short adjective in the nominative ( ? ?, - Having been punished once, he didn't do it any more).

Present adverbial participles are formed by adding the suffix -?/-? (or sometimes -/-, which is usually deprecated) to the stem of the present tense. A few past adverbial participles (mainly of intransitive verbs of motion) are formed in the same way, but most are formed with the suffix -? (alternative form -, always used before -), some whose stem ends with a consonant, with -. For reflexive verbs, the suffix - remains at the very end of the word; in poetry it can take the form -.[25][26]

In standard Russian, adverbial participles are considered a feature of bookish speech; in colloquial language they are usually replaced with single adjectival participles or constructions with verbs?, ? ("Having eaten, I went for a walk") -> ? ? ("I had dinner and went for a walk"). But in some dated dialects adverbial and adjectival participles may be used to produce perfect forms which sound illiterate and do not occur in modern Russian; e.g. "I haven't eaten today" will be "? ? ?" instead of "? ? ".

Adverbial participles
infinitive present tense present adverbial participle past adverbial participle
(to think, impf.) ()[tavp 1]
? (to say, pf.) -- -- ()
? (to be learning, impf.) ()[tavp 1]
(to learn, pf.) -- -- ?
(to enter, pf.) -- -- (,[tavp 2] ?)
? (to weave, pf.) -- -- ? ()
(to ride/to drive, impf.) (?, )[tavp 1] ()[tavp 3]
  1. ^ a b c Rare but existing forms; they appear e.g. in negative sentences: ?, (John 7:15).
  2. ^ Deprecated irregular form.
  3. ^ Described by investigators other than Zaliznyak as still alive and neutral - form.[27]

Irregular verbs

Russian verb paradigm
1 ?2 ?1 ?3 ?3 ?1 1 1 ?2
English
take see give give (pf.) eat live call go write
Present 1st singular ? ?
2nd singular ? ? ?
3rd singular ? ? ?
1st plural ? ?
2nd plural ? ? ?
3rd plural
Past ?



?
?
?

?
?
?




?
?
?



?






?
?
?
Imperative ? ?
Active Participle present ? - ? ?
past ? ? ?
Past passive participle ? ? - ? ? - ? -
Past passive participle (short forms) ?


?


-


?


- ?


-


Adverbial Participle present - ? ? -
past ? ?

1These verbs all have a stem change.
2These verbs are palatalised in certain cases, namely ? -> ? for all the present forms of "?", and ? -> ? in the first person singular of the other verbs.
3These verbs do not conform to either the first or second conjugations.

Word formation

Russian has on hand a set of prefixes, prepositional and adverbial in nature, as well as diminutive, augmentative, and frequentative suffixes and infixes. All of these can be stacked one upon the other to produce multiple derivatives of a given word. Participles and other inflectional forms may also have a special connotation. For example:

[m?sl?] "thought"
? [m?'sl?i?k?] "a petty, cute or a silly thought"
?? [m?'sl?i?:?] "a thought of fundamental import"
? [m?'?l?enj?] "thought, abstract thinking, reasoning"
['m?slt?] "to think (as to cogitate)"
? ['m?sl:?j] "thinking, intellectual" (adjective)
? ['m?slm?j] "conceivable, thinkable"
? ['m?sln(:)?] "mentally, in a mental manner"
?? [sm?sl] "meaning" (noun)
[?'sm?slt?] "to comprehend, to conceive; to grasp" (perfect)
[?'sm?slv?t?] "to be in the process of comprehending" (continuous)
[pr'sm?slt?] "to reassess, to reconsider"
[pr'sm?slv?t?] "to be in the process of reassessing (something)"
? [pr'sm?slv?j?m?je] "(something or someone plural) in the process of being reconsidered"
? [b'sm?slts?] "nonsense"
[?b'sm?slt?] "to render meaningless"
? [b'sm?sln:?j] "meaningless"
[?b'sm?sln:?j] "rendered meaningless"
? [nb'sm?sln:?j] "not rendered meaningless"

Russian has also proven friendly to agglutinative compounds. As an extreme case:

[mt?llombs?p't?en?j?] "provision of scrap metal"
? [mt?llomb's?p?etn:?j] "well supplied with scrap metal"

Purists (as Dmitry Ushakov in the preface to his dictionary) frown on such words. But here is the name of a street in St. Petersburg:

[?kamn:'strovskj pr?'s?p?ekt] "Stone Island Avenue"

Some linguists have suggested that Russian agglutination stems from Church Slavonic. In the twentieth century, abbreviated components appeared in the compound:

[?pr?'vdom] = [?pr?'vlj:?j 'dom?m] "residence manager"

Syntax

Basic word order, both in conversation and written language, is subject-verb-object. However, because grammatical relationships are marked by inflection, considerable latitude in word order is allowed, and all possible permutations can be used. For example, the words in the phrase "? ? ?" ('I went to the shop') can be arranged:

  • ? ? ?. (I went to the shop; I went to the shop.)
  • ? ? ? . (I to the shop went; approx. I am going out, my destination is the shop.)
  • ? ? ?. (Went I to the shop; two meanings: can be treated as a beginning of a narrated story: "Went I to the shop, and something happened." or a decision made by someone after a long contemplation: "OK, I think I will go the shop.")
  • ? ? ?. (Went to the shop I; rarely used, can be treated as a beginning of a line of a poem written in amphibrach due to uncommon word order, or when the speaker wants to highlight that exactly this subject "went to the shop". In that case, the subject is stressed)
  • ? ? ? . (To the shop I went; two meanings: can be used as a response: "I went to the shop." - "Sorry, where did you go?" - "To the shop--that's where I went." or an emphasis on the way of transportation: I went to the shop on foot.)
  • ? ? ?. (To the shop went I; It was me who went to the shop.)

while maintaining grammatical correctness. Note, however, that the order of the phrase "? ?" ("to the shop") is kept constant.

Word order can express logical stress, and degree of definiteness. The primary emphasis tends to be initial, with a weaker emphasis at the end. Some of these arrangements can describe present actions, not only past (despite the fact that the verb is in the past).

In some cases, alternative word order can change the meaning entirely:

  • ? ? . ("No need me [to] persuade" -> One should not persuade me [as I would never agree to do something].)
  • ? ? . ("Me no need [to] persuade" -> There is no need to persuade me [as I will do it anyway].)

Impersonal sentences

Russian is a null-subject language - it allows constructing sentences without subject (Russian: ). Some of them are claimed to not be impersonal, but to have oblique subject. One possible classification of such sentences distinguishes:[28]

Subjectless impersonals contain an impersonal verb (in form of single third-person or single neutral), and no other word is used as a subject
?. '(It got) dusky.'
? ?. '(It's) midnight in Moscow.'
Dative impersonals usually express personal feelings, where experiencer in dative case can possibly be considered as subject
dat. . 'I'm bored.'
Other impersonals have an element which is neither nominative nor dative, but still is a nominal verb argument
?acc. . 'I feel sick.'
?acc. ? instr.. 'Vasya had an electric shock.'

Negation

Multiple Negatives

Unlike in standard English, multiple negatives are compulsory in Russian, as in " ? ?" [nk'to nk'da nk?'mu nt'vo n pr'?æj?t] ('No-one ever forgives anyone for anything' literally, "no one never to no-one nothing does not forgive"). Usually, only one word in a sentence has negative particle or prefix "" or belongs to negative word "", while another word has negation-affirmative particle or prefix ""; but this word can often be omitted, and thus becomes the signal of negation: and both mean "there is nobody around".

Adverbial answers

As a one-word answer to an affirmative sentence, yes translates and no translates , as shown by the table below.[]

Answer to an affirmative sentence
English Russian
First speaker It's raining ?
Agreeing with speaker (rain is falling) Yes = it's raining = ?
Disagreeing with speaker (rain is not falling) No = it's not raining = ?

No simple rule supplies an adverbial answer to a negative sentence. B. Comrie[29] says that in Russian answer or is determined not so much by the negative form of the question as by the questioner's intent for using negation, or whether the response is in agreement with his presupposition. In many cases that means that the adverbial answer should be extended for avoiding ambiguity; in spoken language, intonation in saying can also be significant to if it is affirmation of negation or negation of negation.

Answer to a negative question
Question Interpretation Positive answer
what was negated is declared
Negative answer
what was negated is refused
?
Would you like to have some cookies?
Negation is used only for more politeness , ?.
Yes, please.
, ?.
No, thank you.

Haven't you considered this?
Presence of a negative particle is conditioned by the expectation of a positive answer , .
Yes, I have.
, .
No, I haven't.
,
So, you (definitely) won't buy (it)?
Negation is forced by the presumption of negative answer , .
No, we will buy it.
, (less common). / , .
No, we won't buy it.
?
(But) you are not angry with me, (are you)?
Negation is hoped for, rather than expected , ? ?. / , ?.
Yes, I am angry.
, ?. / , ? (less common).
No, I am not angry.

Note that while expressing an affirmation of negation by extending "" with a negated verb is grammatically acceptable. In practice it is more common to answer "" and subsequently extend with a negated verb paralleling the usage in English. Answering a negative sentence with a non-extended "" is usually interpreted as an affirmation of negation again in a way similar to English.

Alternatively, both positive and negative simple questions can be answered by repeating the predicate with or without , especially if / is ambiguous: in the latest example, "?" or " ?".

Coordination

The most common types of coordination expressed by compound sentences in Russian are conjoining, oppositional, and separative. Additionally, the Russian grammar considers comparative, complemental, and clarifying. Other flavors of meaning may also be distinguished.

Conjoining coordinations are formed with the help of the conjunctions ? "and", ... ("not ... not" -- simultaneous negation), "also", ("too"; the latter two have complementary flavors), etc. Most commonly the conjoining coordination expresses enumeration, simultaneity or immediate sequence. They may also have a cause-effect flavor.

Oppositional coordinations are formed with the help of the oppositional conjunctions "and"~"but", "but", ? "however", "on the other hand", "and"~"but", etc. They express the semantic relations of opposition, comparison, incompatibility, restriction, or compensation.

Separative coordinations are formed with the help of the separative conjunctions "or", "either", ... "whether ... or", ... "then ... then", etc. They express alternation or incompatibility of things expressed in the coordinated sentences.

Complemental and clarifying coordination expresses additional, but not subordinated, information related to the first sentence.

Comparative coordination is a semantic flavor of the oppositional one.

Common coordinating conjunctions include:

  • ? [i] "and", enumerative, complemental;
  • ? [a] "and", comparative, tending to "but" or "while";
  • [no] "but", oppositional.

The distinction between "?" and "?" is important:

  • "?" implies a following complemental state that does not oppose the antecedent;
  • "?" implies a following state that acts in opposition to the antecedent, but more weakly than "" ("but").
The Catherine manuscript of the Song of Igor, 1790s
? ?,
?
[?'n?i ?'jex?l]
[? 'm? ?()?'?:a()?m]
they have left,
and we are leaving (too)
? ? ?,
?
[?'n?i ?' ?'jex?l]
[? 'm? ?()?'?:a()?m]
they have already left,
while (but) we haven't (left) yet
?,
?
[?'n?i ?'jex?l]
[n? nn?'do]
they have left,
but not for long

The distinction between "?" and "?" developed after medieval times. Originally, "?" and "?" were closer in meaning. The unpunctuated ending of the Song of Igor illustrates the potential confusion. The final five words in modern spelling, "? ? ? " [kn'z?jam 'slav? ? dru'n ?'m?in?] can be understood either as "Glory to the princes and to their retinue! Amen." or "Glory to the princes, and amen (R.I.P.) to their retinue". Although the majority opinion is definitely with the first interpretation, no consensus has formed. The psychological difference between the two is quite obvious.

Subordination

Complementizers (subordinating conjunctions, adverbs, or adverbial phrases) include:

  • ? ['jes?l] 'if' (meaning 'in case where' not meaning 'whether');
  • [p?t?'mu ?t?] 'because'
  • [tak kak] 'since' (meaning 'for the reason that')
  • ['?tob?], ? ['dab?] (bookish, archaic) 'so that'
  • ?, ['pos?l t?'vo k?k] 'after'
  • ? [x?'t?a] 'although'

In general, Russian has fewer subordinate clauses than English, because the participles and adverbial participles often take the place of a relative pronoun/verb combination. For example:

?,
? ?.
[vot tl?'v?ek]
[p?t'r?avj n?'d?e?d?]
Here (is) a man
who has lost (all) hope.
[lit. having lost hope]
,
? .
['lj? p? '?or?d? vs'da]
[?st?'navlv?j?s? ? r?'stral?n?x k?'lon]
When I go for a walk in the city, I always
pause by the Rostral Columns.
[lit. Walking in the city, I...]

Absolute construction

Despite the inflectional nature of Russian, there is no equivalent in modern Russian to the English nominative absolute or the Latin ablative absolute construction. The old language had an absolute construction, with the noun in the dative. Like so many other archaisms, it is retained in Church Slavonic. Among the last known examples in literary Russian occurs in Radishchev's Journey from Petersburg to Moscow ( ? ? [p?t'stvj? ?s ptr'bur v m?'skvu]), 1790:

, ? . ['jed:? mn?e ?z? j?'drov?, ?'n?ut? ?z 'm?s?l m?'jej n v?x?'d?il?] "As I was leaving Yedrovo village, I could not stop thinking about Aniuta."

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Nesset (2008) applied Leonard Talmy's (1985, 2000) terms "manner" and "path" to her image schema for Russian verbs of motion.
  2. ^ Researchers have also included the reflexive verbs /, ?/, ?/, and / (Gagarina 2009: 451-452).

References

  1. ^ (in Russian) Zaliznyak A. A. "? ? ." Moscow.: Science, 1967
  2. ^ (in Russian) Uspenskij V. A. "? ?. ?. // ." Issue. 5. Moscow., 1957 online copy Archived 2012-04-23 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ (in Russian) Klobukov E. V. " ? ? ? . ( ? ?)" Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 1986.
  4. ^ "The Cases of Russian Nouns". Master Russian. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "Russian case functions in brief". alphaDictionary. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ (in Russian) ...
  7. ^ Cooljugator: The Smart Declinator in Russian nouns
  8. ^ Translated from the Russian by V. Korotky
  9. ^ ?. ?. ?. ? ?. ? ? ? ? ? "-", 2000
  10. ^ ? .
  11. ^ a b ? ? / . ?. ?. .
  12. ^ Corbett, Greville G. (June 1987). "The Morphology/Syntax Interface: Evidence from Possessive Adjectives in Slavonic" (PDF). Language. 2. 63 (2): 299-345. doi:10.2307/415658. JSTOR 415658. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ Collective numerals for more than 7 are seldom used.
  14. ^ In very bookish speech also can appear plural third-person form ?; it's often misused by some native Russian writers who don't know what this word really is.
  15. ^ Björn Rothstein; Rolff Thieroff (2010). Mood in the Languages of Europe. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 326.
  16. ^ "Russian verbs: How to form the imperative".
  17. ^ Gor, K., Cook, S., Malyushenkova, V., & Vdovina, T (2009). "Verbs of Motion in Highly Proficient Learners and Heritage Speakers of Russian". The Slavic and East European Journal. 53 (3): 386-408. JSTOR 40651163.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Talmy, Leonard (1985). "Lexicalization Patterns: Semantic Structure in Lexical Forms". In Timothy Shopen (ed.). Language Typology and Syntactic Description, vol. 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 57-149.
  19. ^ Nesset, Tore (2008). "Path and Manner: An Image-Schematic Approach to Russian Verbs of Motion". Scando-Slavica. 54 (1): 135-158. doi:10.1080/00806760802494232. S2CID 123427088.
  20. ^ a b c Muravyova, L (1986). V. Korotky (ed.). Verbs of Motion in Russian / Glagoly dvi?enija v russkom jazyke (5 ed.). Moscow: Russkij jazyk. pp. 211-212, 218-225.
  21. ^ a b c Wade, Terence (2011). A Comprehensive Russian Grammar (2 ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
  22. ^ Hasko, Victoria (2010). "Semantic Composition of Motion Verbs in Russian and English". In Renee Perelmutter (ed.). New Approaches to Slavic Verbs of Motion. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 197-224. ISBN 978-9027205827.
  23. ^ Mahota, William (1996). Russian Motion Verb for Intermediate Students. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  24. ^ Anna, Medvedeva. "Classification - Russian language grammar on RussianLearn.com". russianlearn.com.
  25. ^ Paul Cubberley (2002). Russian: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge University Press. pp. 162, 164. ISBN 0-521-79641-5.
  26. ^ ?. ?. (1999). ? ?. ?. . p. 180. ISBN 5-211-04133-X.
  27. ^ "". ? ?. Retrieved .
  28. ^ Bailyn, John F. (2012). The Syntax of Russian. Cambridge University Press. pp. 115-118. ISBN 978-0-521-88574-4.
  29. ^ Comrie, Bernard (1984). "Russian". Typological Studies in Language. 4 (Interrogativity: A Colloquium on the Grammar, Typology, and Pragmatics of Questions in Seven Diverse Languages, Cleveland, Ohio, October 5th, 1981 - May 3rd, 1982): 36-37.

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