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Russian has a very old grammar system that is based on a variety of concepts not present in English, including case, perfective and imperfective verbs, gender, lack of articles and fluid syntax.

GenderEdit

Russian has a system of three genders. These genders are called masculine, feminine, and neuter.These genders have one general plural form as well. The genders are denoted by the endings of the nouns in the nominative case:

  • Masculine: consonants, but a few end in -a or -ь.
  • Feminine: -a or -ь.
  • Neuter: -o or -e.

CaseEdit

Russian contains six grammatical cases:

  • Nominative
  • Accusative
  • Genitive
  • Prepositionsal (or Locative)
  • Dative
  • Instrumental

Nouns and adjectives in Russian will change case depending on where they are in the sentence and what prepositions are in front of them.

The complete declination is:

Case Common Prepositions Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative - - -a/я -о/-е -ы/-и
Accusative в/на (direction), за (direction) -а/-я (if animate), - (if not) -у/-ю -о/-е -ы/-и, -ов/-ев (if masc. animate)
Genitive без, для, до, из, около, от, после, у -а/-я -ы/-и -а/-я Truncation (remove all vowels), -ов/-ев (if no vowels), ей (if ending is -ь)
Prepostional/Locative в/на (location), o, при -ах/-ях
Dative к, по -у/-ю -у/-ю -ам/-ям
Instrumental c, между, перед, над, под, за (location) -ом/-ем -ой/-ёй -ом/-ем -ами/-ями

Perfective/ImperfectiveEdit

Russian contains a system called aspect. English has no real equivalent to this. Basically, there are two Russian verbs for each English verb. One is called the "perfective" and the other is the "imperfective":

Perfective Imperfective
  • Actions that have fixed point in time.
  • Actions that are in a sequence ("I did this then I did that").
  • Actions that are the result or cause of another action ("He did this, so I did that").
  • Actions that should be done (but might not be).
  • Actions where the timing of the action is irrelevant.
  • Actions that are repeated or are part of a process.
  • Actions that you have not done or have done before ("I have never skied before").
  • A state or an ongoing action ("He's talking to her now")

The two often have small differences insofar as the word itself is concerned:

  • на- or -по is often added to the beginning of the imperfective verb to make it perfective.
  • A suffix may be added.
  • The stress of the word may change.
  • A few verbs are actually quite different.

Lack of ArticlesEdit

Russian lacks the words, "the," "a," and "an" in favor of a case system, so for English translations the article will have to be guessed at.

SyntaxEdit

Russian has what is called "fluid" syntax; this means that nearly any combination of words can work as long as the case and gender of each noun and adjective is correct and the correct verbs are in the right tenses. In practice, certain sentence structure is used:

  • The subject of a sentence and its verb are next to each other, and the subject usually comes first.
  • most adverbs precede the verbs they modify.
  • adjectives are placed before their nouns.
  • prepositions are before their objects

Movement VerbsEdit

See alsoEdit

  • Russian - various resources for grammar.
  • The Russian skills pages (see above) often have resources and vocabulary related to grammar concepts.

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