Grammatical nuances of Russian language

When I start any new business, I always want to know what surprises and difficulties are waiting for me to come. Russian language is complicated and beautiful at the same time. I want to tell you about the general subtleties and nuances with which you have face-to-face.


Order of words in a sentence

There is no clear order of words in a sentence in Russian. If you want to ask question, the order of words in a sentence does not change, but the tone, which you speak with, changes. Also Russian can significantly change the meaning of the sentence with highlighting the different intonation of speech. In a declarative sentence the voice falls at the end of sentences. In a question voice rises at the end of sentences.



МНЕ нравится этот дом. It is important that this is my opinion.

Мне НРАВИТСЯ этот дом. It emphasizes my attitude toward the house.

Мне нравится ЭТОТ дом. I stress that I love this house, but not any other.

Мне нравится этот дом? This question sends surprise that someone could so think.


Gender of nouns

All the words in Russian language have gender. If your native language is German or Italian, then you are not surprised. There are masculine, feminine and neuter genders in Russian language. I have good news for you, gender can be determined at the end of the word, but also exceptions are existed.


Basic rules:

  1. words with endings on consonant have masculine gender, e.g. стол, муж;
  2. words with endings –a or –я have feminine gender, e.g. мама, лампа;
  3. words with endings -o or -e  have neuter gender, e.g. окно, море.


It's just to remember and move on.



In Russian, nouns, adjectives and pronouns lean on cases. There are 6 cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and prepositional. If words change case, change the end of the word. In the dictionary, all nouns are given in the nominative case.


Matching nouns and adjectives

Adjectives change their form according to the gender, number and case of noun they accompany in Russian language. All these changes are reflected in the end of words.


У красивой женщины и красивого мужчины обязательно родится красивое дитя.

Beautiful women and handsome men are necessarily born a beautiful child. The adjective красивый changes because of different gender and case of nouns.


Verb conjugations

The verbs in Russian language have only three times: past, present and future. In the present and future tenses verbs are conjugated for persons and numbers. The verbs are divided into two groups in the present tense.  Changing of the ending of verb depends on group which verb belongs to.


For example,

The first group includes the verb to read читать - я читаю, ты читаешь, он/она читает, мы читаем, вы читаете, они читают.

The second group includes the verb say говорить - я говорю, ты говоришь, он/она говорит, мы говорим, вы говорите, они говорят.

In the past tense verb’s ending also depends on the gender of the noun or pronoun. Он читал, она читала, оно читало.


Perfective and imperfective verbs

Many problems also cause the presence of perfective and imperfective verbs in the Russian language. But in fact, everything is easily. Perfective verbs say that the action has been completed and we have result, something is done only once or we have sequence of actions. Imperfective verbs show that the action proceeds, regularity of doing something or simultaneity of different actions.



Я читал газету. I was reading the newspaper.

Я прочитал газету. I have read the newspaper.

Я ел печенье. I was eating a cookie.

Я съел печенье. I have eaten a cookie.


Verbs of motion

These verbs are usually combined into a single group. There are two types of these verbs. The first type indicates regularity of operations, and the second type indicates that action takes place once or at a given time.



Ходить – идти go on foot

Я каждый день хожу на работу. I go to work every day.

Я сейчас иду на работу. I am going to work now.

Ездить – ехать go by transport

Я езжу на работу на автобусе каждый день. I go to work by bus every day.

Я еду сегодня на машине. I go by car today.

Бегать – бежать run

Я бегаю по утрам. I run in the morning.

Я бегу, потому что опаздываю. I am running because I am late.

Learning Russian language you will encounter lots of fun, and sometimes unexplained grammatical nuances. Every day you'll learn more and more, and your speech will become richer and more accurate. It is not important how much grammar you have learned. It is important that you want to know more about language and culture of other people, to share your thoughts and understand opinions of your interlocutor.


Author: Elena Andreeva


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