Talk:Russian grammar

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Havronina is one greatest Russian grammar workers

Well, I'm glad to see the russian grammar page has improved by such a huge degree since I last saw it! Good work, whoever contributed.

Havronina may be a great Russian grammar worker, but her place is definitively not in this article. Bogdan | Talk 16:31, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm a bit hesitant to change the article... but... I believe that the term of choice among Russian scholars is "plusquamperfect", not pluperfect. Such forms as хаживал etc. can be viewed as plusquamperfect. - User:i@k5

    1. Pluperfect is the standard English term for the Latin "plusquamperfectum", French "plus-que-parfait", and the Russian "плюсквамперфект". The form being described here is the ancient ходилъ бѣ or ходилъ былъ есть, as in (though some dispute it, I know) the modern зачин to so many folk tales, жили-были дед и баба....
    2. The form you've quoted is rather imperfective-in-the-past in its meaning ("I was walking" or "I had been walking"). I realize the two-aspect and three-tense description simplifies some of the theoretical considerations. Sokolova (1962, "Очерк по исторической грамматике русского языка") and Meillet (1932, "Le Slave Commun"), if I remember correctly (but I'm going on memory), make a case for approximately four Slavic aspects, "и(д)ти -- ходить -- пойти -- хаживать", or something of the sort.
    3. The grammar article is not excellent, I know. All of the text was originally written to be in the main article and is therefore much overgeneralized. Many objected, and others moved it to the specialized article, but a lot of work is still necessary.

A. Shetsen 15:59, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ah, you're correct on both counts (1 and 2). Shame on me, I'm such a hopeless amateur. - User:i@k5

Aorist and "odd" forms[edit]

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 (а он пойди да скажи [ɐ on pɐjˈdʲi də skɐˈʐɨ], etc., exactly equivalent to the English colloquial "so he goes and says"), recategorized as a usage of the imperative

Are you sure? Slavic (at least Russian, as far as I know) imperative inflections stem from Indoeuropean optative forms (Greeks used optative as a polite imperative as well). This way, forms like "знай он это, он бы туда не пошёл" ("know (imp.) he that, he he wouldn't go there") just reflect an old optative usage recategorized as imperative (which has been actually optative from the very beginning). Maybe phrases like "а он пойди да скажи" are actually somehow optatives as well, not aorists? Exctracted and recategorized from conditional phrases I cited above -- because phrases like "а он пойди да скажи" imply that the action was unpredictable, and thus fits optative pretty well. Aorist has been lost in colloquial speech since ages, I don't think it would survive this way, especially in folklore-styled expressions like these. And aorist forms are quite different from imperatives forms, they can't be confused: aorist zva, but imper. zovi; aorist. plete (not sure about the stress, at least in Bulgarian it's plete), but imper. pleti. Can you cite someone to support your claims? (talk) 02:05, 3 April 2012 (UTC)


Cyrillic italics are notoriously hard for new learners to read. Why are so many of the examples in Russian written in Italics? It's obviously a different alphabet, so I see no need to further set off the text. Taksim25 16:47, 18 August 2005

That is not true. There are fonts that use cursive italics and fonts that use so called false italics. You can change the fonts in your browser and/or wikipedia settings. Example Screenshot--Hhielscher 15:25, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Marginal Notes Of A Native Speaker[edit]

I am a native speaker of the Russian language, raised in a literate family and indeed having a good educational background. I have no formal linguistic training; to my defense, I have learned both English and Latin by myself. Obviously not being able to dispose a systematic device of the language science, I, nevertheless, dare bring forth a critique of the article before the language science wise, hoping that rather informal nature of Wikipedia would allow these notes to be treated as marginal only by their location on an imaginary leaf, not my standing in relation to the field of lingistics.

In the order of the article text:

  1. Nouns. Verify that the I and II declensions of nouns are not swapped. In all Russian references, designations are reversed; this was true in the early 80s when I was taught, and this is so in Litnevskaya[1], a modern reference grammar (with lots of typos). Ostensibly, they may be designated differently in American and British traditions — but please verify that.
  2. Ibidem, of the III neuter -мя: acc. sing. -мям is apparently a typo, must be -мя (I am changing that). FWIW, Litnevskaya[1] does not separate the 10 -мя nouns into a separate declension (there is no neuter III nouns otherwise), treating them as an exception, but I do not know of what theoretical importance is this fact.
  3. The word путь (path) m. declines as III f. except for inst. sing. путём.
  4. Covered in the article is only the substantive declension. There are also adjective and mixed declension models — I believe that they deserve at least to be mentioned.
  5. Adjectives.. The section looks too simplistic to me. I would at least mention the difference between the qualitative [may be unterm] and the possessive adjective, especially given that they undergo a different declension scheme. I understand that an encyclopedic article is not supposed to replace a text book, but this is rather a misleading omission, since declension is detailed the qualitative. The comparative and superlative may also be mentioned, as are the full and reduced forms.
  6. Ibidem. “After a sibilant or velar consonant, и, instead of ы, is written”. Even granted that the phonology must be my weakest topic, it is clear to me that this statement cannot be correct. For example, н, a nasal, can be neither velar nor sibilant; cf. летний (summer [e.g. camp]) v. лётный (flying [e.g. school]). The rules, as I know them, are a) that и follows a soft stem, and ы a hard stem (I cannot think of a single word violating this one), and b) жы and шы never happen (this is absolutely forbidden, as are чя and щя).
  7. Pronouns. Оба / обе (both) deserves to be mentioned if only for its gender peculiarity (feminine обе if replaces two feminine entities, m. оба in all other cases), which is likely an ancient artefact. I am sure that a linguist would produce a much better comparison to other languages than I could.
  8. “The present tense of the verb быть… is today… used… very formally, in the third person plural.” This is not so. One shall exercise a great command of the subtlest nuances of a language to use archaic words in such a way that they feel more appropriate that their modern counterparts to better convey the sense or "feel" of the speech, the latter goal being, IMO, the only reason to choose an archaic word or construct. This applies equally to суть and other archaisms, and the line between the fine and the pretentious is extremely thin. The word has been gained some use lately, but practically all instances of its use were indeed wrong. The word does not invoke as strong a reluctance as other archaisms do perhaps because of its cognation to the perfectly valid and existing noun суть (gist) and the adverb по сути (essentially). But in any case, it is rather unthinkable to find it in "formal" speech, such as that of newscasts or legal documents.
  9. The Present-future. It has never occured to me before that the future and present could be regarded as morphologically one tense. While this is true that future perfective is morphologically the present tense, it is nevertheless syntactically the future. It would require additional constraints beyond tense agreement when constructing compound clauses: while “Буду ехать домой — прослушаю новости” (I will have listened to the news while I will be driving home) или “Приеду домой — буду слушать новости” (I will be listening to the news upon arriving home) are perfectly valid, “Буду ехать домой — слушаю новости” is not. All sentences are in morphologically same tense; the first two are in the syntactical future tense, which is making them them agree, and the last one is in different syntactical tenses, what makes it nonsensical.
    Albeit having been taught differently (specifically, that perfective verbs in the future tense and imperfective verbs in the present tense have the same conjugation model), I am not contesting the theory behind the article — and, FWIW, I like this approach better; I am rather pointing that the article does not explain (in)validity of the combinations of tense and aspect in my examples above. I like the classification, because it exposes morphologic parallels to other languages in the IE family, but it needs to be extended — either by referring to “the other”, syntactical tense, if such a concept has the right to exist (it should, unless I was taught in the school orthogonally to the course of the language science), or, in the end, any other restrictive rule to that same effect.
  10. Question: what Russian consonants are considered sibilant? Certainly Ш, Щ, Ч, but are a) С b) З c) Ж d) Ф e) В f) any other?
  11. Irregular verbs. If the verbs listed are irregular, then my estimate that 3/4 of all verbs in common use are, forming pretty much a regular system among themselves :). Again, I am not contesting the statement “these verbs are irregular”; if they are, assuming that irregular verb a well-defined scientific term, then let them be such, but there is a clear implication in the article language that the list is an exclusive one. Alternating the ultimate consonant of the root is way too common (is mutation of consonant the term for this?) for me to provide more examples than there is currently. There said to be a rule regulating this mutation, but I admit that I have never needed to know it ;). Such behavior is in no way confined to the verb, and observed in all inflecting parts of speech.
    On the other hand, there are verbs that behave, if we reserve the word irregular for a special term, quirkish:
    • Dual declension. Very uncommon, I could find only two such verbs. Conjugated partly as I, and partly as II (conjugation number is in superscript in the table below):
      • хотеть (to want, impf.) → хочу, хочешь¹, хочет¹, хотим², хотите², хотят²;
      • бежать (to run, impf.) → бегу, бежишь², бежит², бежим², бежите², бегут¹;
    • Interesting that we would find “Бежат Европы ополченья!” in Pushkin[2] and, even more interesting, in Kuprin[3], “Это бежат сотни и тысячи испуганных рыб, cпасающихся…”, written as recently as 1911!
      The use of the opposite, хочем, хочете, хочут, has been regarded as extremely illiterate, if not ever then since long ago.
    • Reflexive transitive verbs. Very uncommon, also only 2 examples: бояться (to fear), стесняться (to be shy). Unlike other tr. verbs, which take object in acc., these take object in gen. (бояться грома, to fear thunder; стесняться своего роста, to be shy of one's own height); бояться also rarely takes a person in acc. (бояться жену (to fear wife), but I would rather use gen. in this construct, and certainly gen. with a non-living animate or an inanimate object; it could be formally valid usage, still not looking to me as correct as the one with the gen. :) )
    • Aspect lexical immutability. Not uncommon. Both pf. and impf. have lexically and inflectionally identical forms: казнить (to execute), женить (to marry), крестить (to baptize), обещать (to promise) and all verbs ending in -ировать, again according to Litnevskaya[1]; cf. Вчера он наконец женился He finally got married yesterday v. Он женился несколько раз He was married a few times.
      There is more to this list, but I must go on to the next item, to keep my note short not very long.
  12. Word formation. The example given is not the best one possible (by the way, мысление is incorrect, the right form is мышление: welcome the mutation at work again). Besides, Russian can be extremely elaborate in ad hoc word formation, mostly colloquial, especially humorous, sarcastic or plain derogatory, while most of the given examples can be easily followed in other languages too (think, thinker, unthinkable, rethink, thinkinglessly, thought[less[ly]], though[ful[ly]], etc); while English morphology does not prohibit some forms, it seems to me there to be not as extensive a tradition of doing that in English-speaking communities, e.g. to sarcastically refer to someone “still” not coming up with a solution to an intellectual problem as an unthinker, or “This is plain wrong!” — “But I thought...” — “Then unthink it back!” etc. In Russian, this may work, in the case of a derogatory statement, like “Куда ты пропал? Я оборался тебя звать!” (“Where the hell 'you been! I [yelled till the end of it] calling you up!”; from орать, to yell), which sounds rather smacky for an allusion of обораться to обосраться, an indecent and rude reference to desurgere sine voluntate. Personally, I believe that even such an elaborate construct may get composed spontaneously, more likely in anger, mirth or other emotionally excited state, with allusions yet hidden even from the speaker, as unconsciously as most language processes are. I sometime realize only after some deliberate thinking that an expression that I have overheard and perceived as bold and slappy alludes to some other (often bolder and slappier) expression or concept.
    While we are at this point, I will try to come up with something for the front of the article that euphemizes by allusion a milder insult, still as simply and efficiently as this one, and also find a branchier generative tree of words.
  13. Compound words. It is easy indeed to find many compound words in the language beyond a street name in St. Petersburg, starting with the words of advanced age. There are archaisms among them, e.g. греховодник (sinner, lit. sin-conduct[a]-or), криводушие (duplicity, lit. crooked-​soul-​ness); words with a long record: прямодушие (single-heartedness, lit. straight-​soul-​ness), which is not obsolete, unlike its crooked cousin, гостеприимство (hospitality, lit. guest-​accept-​ity), громовержец (the Thunderer, usually of Zeus/Jupiter, lit. thunder-​strik(e)[b]-​er); a few obligatory curses e.g. осточертеть (to be fed up [with it]), lit. ((till the end of it)-​hundred-​devils-​(verb ending)), more recent formation пароход (steam vessel, lit. steam-​navigation, о seems to be only a conector, but verify), тепловоз (diesel locomotive, lit. thermal-​carrying[c]; abundance of modern borrowings, literal e.g. криптография (cryptography, lit.) and translated e.g. внутричерепной (intracranial, lit. idem), and, of course, новояз (newspeak): a body of unnecessary, unprompted and ungrammatical neologisms, formed almost exclusively by abbreviation, ranging from нарком (народный комиссар, people's commissar) to мособлтяжмашснабсбыт and beyond (no kidding. Decoding but keeping the order of the comprising words, incorrect for the Russian language anyway, Moscow regional industrial equipment logistics and sales). The article currently seems to make not a difference between this imposed word formation and a natural one (bringing up organically grown Каменноостровский as a rebuttal of Ushakov's contempt). As an exercise, imagine, and then try not to frown on everyday usage of Westchstatlosanpoldep (Westchester station, Los Angeles Police department) or scrapometalloadequatelysupplied. :) Many of these “words” did not survive the government of the agglutinators by a year or two; some, however, did.

All in all, I would be glad to proofread and edit relevant parts an article, as well as supply examples of language use, but I believe that systematization must be done by a language pro, and thus I am not up to start to write; I think that I can write sections to it (unless the above is a clear indication to the contrary :) ), but only under a guidance from a linguist.

Are these cognates correct?

  • a вод-ить = Lat. ducere.
  • b [requires prefix]-верг-ать = Lat. icere.
  • c воз-ить = Lat. vehere.


  1. ^ Е. И. Литневская. Русский язык. Краткий теоретический курс для школьников БСМП «ЭЛЕКС-Альфа», 2000
  2. ^ Наполеон в кн.: А.С.Пушкин. Собр.соч.в 10 тт., ред. С.С.Благой и др., т.1, М., Худ.Л, 1959; ред. И.Пильщиков,В.Литвинов, РВБ, 2000.
  3. ^ Листригоны в кн.: А.И.Куприн. Избранные сочинения. М., Худ.Л., 1985.
Kkmº 09:57, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
(1) You are right, I learned some Russian grammar from soviet books, and the first and second declensions were the other way around. If you compare the first three declensions of Latin, they are almost perfectly analogous to the the three Russian declensions the way that I learned them. Unless somebody has a good reason, I think I should correct this sequence.
(2) You are completely correct. They are definitely part of the third declension. Not only did I learn them that way in Soviet textbooks, but these are also analogous to the third Latin declension. Perfect example: Compare Latin 'name' ("nomen"- nom. sing.; "nomina"- nom. plur.) to Russian 'name' ("имя"- nom. sing.; "имена"- nom. plur.).
(6) The rule you quoted is mostly correct, but it only applies to velar and sibilant (except 'С' and 'З') consonants. The 'Н' is obviously not a velar or a sibilant, therefore it does not follow that rule. The point is that the velars and five of the sibilants can only be followed by 'И' even if their root ending is hard. Examples: друг-други, нож-ножи. This is an orthographic matter. Someone should definitely include the fact that the sibilant letters 'С' and 'З' do not follow this rule.
(8) Again, you are correct. That should definitely be changed. I rarely encounter enough new Russian-speakers to use formality, nevertheless, that word is a vital part of my vocabulary (along with every other Russian-speaker I know). How else would you say the very common phrase "I have one/it"? I can only think of "у меня есть" (Literally "at me (it) is").
(10) Most phoneticians do not consider \f\ and \v\ to be sibilants. 'С' and 'З' are sibilants, but they do not follow the same grammatical rules as 'Ж', 'Ц', 'Ч', 'Ш', 'Щ' (i.e. 'И' instead of 'Ы').
It would definitely be good if you took the time to fix this article. I'd love to help, but this is really distracting me from my preoccupation.-- 08:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
While you can say "други", this would sound pretentious or old-fashioned. Instead of "други" one would say "друзья". Why? No idea. Mikus (talk) 00:50, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
(8) I agree. Although it is true that the word есть is important in modern Russian, I (also as a fluent Russian speaker) think that the most appropriate definition of this word is "there is/are". For example, "Есть много людей" = "There are (or there exist) many people." Your example is correct, and it is indeed how we express possession in Russian - however, although many books indeed translate it as "at me is..." I think it makes much more sense to translate it as "To/at me there is...", i.e. there exists something and it is in my possession. However, the article implies that есть is used today mostly in the third person etc. etc., but this is totally wrong, because it's a simple fact - modern Russian normally never uses the verb "to be" in the present tense. We do not use this verb in the third person, nor in any person, to mean "is/are". In fact, it is customary to place a dash (-) in place of the verb to be in written russian. For example, "Он - здесь." = "He (is) here." Since I am not a linguist either, I am not going to make any changes, but I believe that this certainly should be made more clear/accurate.
Another minor point I'd like to make. The article says that Russian allows multiple negatives. I think that it's more accurate to say that Russian in fact REQUIRES using multiple negatives to negate a sentence. For instance, in the given example, leaving any of the parts in the positive makes the sentence grammatically incorrect (at least, it doesn't sound correct at all).
(please excuse the multiple editing, didn't notice the preview option). --EngineeringCat 00:35, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Replace Hex/Entitly Characters with Real Cyrillic[edit]

Is the time up for replacing those &#nnnn; character codes (7 unicode characters each!) with plain cyrillic characters? The page is already 40K in size!

Kkmº 12:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Vowel Reduction[edit]

I'm fairly certain that the IPA in the article doesn't take into account phonological processes like vowel reduction. I think someone familiar with Russian phonology should go through and incorporate such processes. AEuSoes1 12:07, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Missing cases for the nouns in Russian Language[edit]

The table with six cases is oversimplified, although it is exactly what is used in beginner level Russian text books. Different academic sources list between 9 and 15 cases for Russian language, although the actual count is debatable.

Here are all the missing cases I could find:

1. Locative (в лесу, в снегу, в кровИ, в слезАх) this case is strictly different from Prepositional (о лесе, о снеге, о крОви, о слЁзах) for some 200-300 words, most of these words are very common monosyllabic nouns.

2. Partitive aka Genitive II (сахару, чаю, воды) This is called "количественно-отделительный" in ref. 2. Used to denote an amount which isn't a number (a spoon of sugar, a bucket of water, some tea)

3. Counting I (шагА, рядА, часА, шарА) - used for amounts two, three, four, twenty-two, twenty-three, etc. Similar to Genitive Singular (шАга, рЯда, чАса, шАра) except for the accented syllable in several common words.

4. Counting II (чулков, сапогов, человек, вольт, грамм, гусаров, байт) - This case is called "счётный" in ref 1 and 2. This is NOT identical to Genitive Plural which it is often confused with (чулок, сапог, человеков, вольтов, граммов, гусар, байтов)

5. Illative (в солдаты, в люди, в зятья) - This case is called "включительный" in ref 1 and 2

6. Awaiting case: (жду мать, жду письма, жду результата) - This debatable case is called "ждательный") in ref 1 and 2, it appears after the verb "wait for" and is usually simular to Genitive and Accusative.

7. Abessive (не читал газеты) this debatable case is called "лишительный" in ref 2.

8. Vocative Church Slavonic (боже, господи, владыко, отче) This is the only nontrivial case mentioned in the article.

9. Vocative Old (деда, доча, сынка) (archaic, but still in use in the country)

10. Vocative New (дядь, мам, Лен, тёть, солнц, ребят, девчат, батянь) (recent development in colloquial Russian. This case applies to all personified nouns ending with -a or -ya) ref 3

References 1: Zaliznyak A. A. "Русское именное словоизменение." Moscow.: Science, 1967.

2: Uspenskij V. A. "К определению падежа по А. Н .Колмогорову // Бюллетень объединения по проблемам машинного перевода." Issue. 5. Moscow., 1957.

(available online at

3. Klobukov E. V. "Семантика падежных форм в современном русском литературном языке. (Введение в методику позиционного анализа)" Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 1986.

4: Miloslavskij I. G., "Морфология // Современный русский язык / Под ред. В. А. Белошапковой". 2nd ed.. М.: Высшая школа, 1989.

This list is mainly based on a discussion in the newsgroup from January 2005.

I do not suggest inserting the whole thing into the article on Russian Grammar (although it's an interesting possiblity), but a mention must be made.

Moods versus Tenses in Verbs[edit]

This section contains the quote, "Verbal 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 ..." This seems to imply that subjunctive and imperative are comparable to tenses, rather than moods. It also soes not discuss moods outside of this sentence (that I could see). I understand that perhaps one needs to use a periphrastic particple for future tense or for particular tenses within an imperative or subjunctive mood, as that is true in a number of languages, but merging the two concepts together is unclear. Are imperative and subjunctive moods always periphrastic, regardless of tense? Is there only one tense available in each of the aforementioned moods? What other moods are there? (ie, indicative obviously, but is there a conditional?) I can't update this, as I have no idea how Russian works (which is why I was looking up the page).--Frick898 20:42, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Ordinal Numbers[edit]

I inserted these since they are used quite frequently with dates, etc. The number sections could be combined into a single table if anyone has the time. Hopefully I didn't step on any toes. :-) --Elgordon 05:51, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


Over on the article on Indo-European ablaut there has been a request for examples from other languages (at present we refer to English, German, Latin and Greek). Any chance of some of you Slavic experts looking over there to see if you have anything to add? Possibly a whole sub-section on ablaut in Slavic languages would be justified? --Doric Loon 13:59, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

It's kinda late, but: дохнуть - дух - дышать (abluat from *u : *ou : *ū) (talk) 23:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Personal pronoun table?[edit]

Hi, sorry if I'm being obtuse, but it looks like the table of personal pronouns is missing a header row or two — the table gives each pronoun's case, but not its person, gender, or number. Could someone help? Thanks! Ruakh 00:39, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Fixed.Bridesmill 01:31, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) Ruakh 01:42, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Another thing worth mentioning is gerund and participle formation for adjectives and verbs respectively. These are widely used in literature. ie (masculine forms): ~вший, ~[у¦ю]щий, (мы form)+ ~ый, ~ен

Passive Past Participle.

Active Past Participle.

(each from imperfective and from perfective verbs).

Gerund (present and past).

I can't think of many examples i'm afraid, but here goes (correct me if i'm wrong):

Писа́тель, написа́вший э́ту кни́гу, – молодо́й поэ́т. (The writer who wrote this book is a young poet.)

Ма́льчику, чита́ющему э́ту кни́гу, четы́ре го́да. (The boy who is reading this book is 4 years old.)

Кни́ги, выпуска́емые в Росси́и, интере́сные. (Books [which are] published in Russia are interesting.)

[need example for: "subject [which has been] verb..."]

Си́дя в ко́мнате, она́ чита́ла кни́гу (sitting in the room, she read [/was reading] a book)

Знав (having known)

I'm really not 100% about these examples, so please correct me. Thanks.


There is no gerund in Russian. What do you mean by Russian gerund? Please, provide examples. Perhaps you mean прича́стие (e.g. зна́ющий) and дееприча́стие (e.g. зна́я)? Both прича́стие and дееприча́стие are rendered by participle into English. --Andrei Knight 01:16, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Деепричастие is certainly not like gerund in English, but like gérondif in French.Oudv (talk) 03:09, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Proposed to merge Reduplication in Russian language into Russian grammar.

  • Oppose. Two reasons:
    • It is wikipedia's tradition to split big articles into small, not vice versa. If you merge all Russian grammar into Russian grammar, you will have an article sized as a book of 500+ pages.
    • The article with such a major title must cover major topics of grammar in reasonable detail, leaving more esoteric topics to separate articles.
In fact, I was thinking to put Reduplication in Russian language into the Reduplication, article, just as it is done with numerous linguistical topics, such as Consonant mutation, Gemination and many others. But I changed my mind in the view of the resulting size of the text. `'mikka (t) 21:47, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: the Russian reduplication article is so small and has little potential to grow. I think if we're going to split up Russian grammar (which there is little reason to do so now), we shouldn't split it off into a dozen stubs and several moderate sized articles. The largest areas of Russian grammar, such as its case system, its syntax, and its verb inflection, could easily make full articles while the reduplication is practically a sidenote. AEuSoes1 22:06, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Exactly since it is a sidenote it does not make sense to clutter the main article with it. Only two years ago quite a few wikipedians thought there was no reason to split the whole Russian language article at all! There are over a hundred of various peculiarities of Russian language I can name right away, and putting them into one article will make it a mess for an average reader. Main article is for main topics. `'mikka (t) 23:02, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
    As for "little potential to grow", I am afraid you are mistaken. There are quite a few murky topics both foreigners and random native speakers are usually unaware. For example, how many cases do you think Russian language has? (Try to find the answer using wikipedia). I initially did not intend to write much on this topic, but since your merge proposal I have already expanded this article to twice my original text, even without nice exposition, a mere collection of facts that sit on the surface, without looking into linguistic journals. `'mikka (t) 00:12, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
By "sidenote" I mean that it's too small and insignificant to justify making an article with what should be a section. What happened two years ago is irrelevant to the discussion. Reduplication plays such a small role in Russian (it is just an intensifier) that I really don't see it expanding to that much.
By the way, the information about reduplication should be in Cyrillic and/or IPA, simply as a matter of consistency. AEuSoes1 01:24, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
"You don't see" is your personal problem, not a valid argment in discussin. What happened two years ago is a parallel: someone thought he already knows all about russian language and "didn't see" what the heck these 'russkies' want. Now the article has grown three times its original size. Dare to cut its insignificance in half? `'mikka (t) 01:32, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
It's true that the situation is similar but to somehow draw a conclusion of the appropriateness of a split or merger by comparing it to another discussion of a merger or split is oversimplification. It's obvious to us why we should split Russian grammar, phonology, and language apart since that's what is done for many other languages, not because people disagreed with it two years ago.
Furthermore, the fact that splitting is appropriate some of the time does not mean that it is appropriate all of the time. It's not obvious why there should be a separate page on a particular grammatical function that, according to the information you've put up, has only one single function: intensification of meaning. If the Russian grammar page is too large then it's much more appropriate to make a separate page on verb conjugation, the case system, or syntax, not something as trivial as reduplication.
And finally, the fact that I don't see the article expanding much isn't a "personal problem" and that kind of comment borders on a personal attack. If you disagree with the substance of my criticism (that the article doesn't have potential to grow) then you ought to do so with scholarly sourcing to demonstrate your argument. I give you the burden of proof since 1) it's easier to ask for the proof of presence than proof of absence (in this case being that of potential for greater expansion), and 2) according to Wikipedia policy: The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.
Now if you think that in a couple of days' time you can prove me wrong then by all means do so. There's not that much urgency. AEuSoes1 03:58, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry, colleague, your criticism basically amounts to "little potential", "I don't see" etc., which are your personal opinions, and it is not a personal attack, but a fair description of your arguments (or, rather, absence thereof). I have already proved my point by expanding the artile three times compared to the original text by adding bare bullets only. The text may be still further expanded by adding historical evolution, detailed explanations, etc. And I leave fine wording to real experts in Russian grammar.
  • Your request for reputable sources and "burden of proof" is simply ridiculous: I have already included two very scholar references.
  • "Proof of absence": you are wrong again. the very article contains an example of "proof of absence", by quoting a reputable source: "There are virtually no productive syllabic or root/stem reduplication in the modern Russian language." And such kinds of "nonexistence claims" you may find in many articles on grammar in wikipedia, see, eg. Continuous and progressive aspects.
  • "something as trivial as reduplication." People write whole scientific articles on this "trivial" issue. It is yet another example of your disrecpectful attitute to the topic, rather than a valid argument.
  • So I can nothing but to conclude that you are simply trolling and I have no desire to continue this thread of talk. `'mikka (t) 17:31, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I apologize if I was unclear. I wasn't asking for reputable sources on the information that's already there. I'm simply pointing out that we disagree on the potential for the article and personal jabs like "that's you're personal problem", "you are simply trolling" and "you have a disrespectful attitude" don't prove anything in regards to that potential but actually expanding the page does. Simply because I have a personal opinion regarding something doesn't mean that your contradictory view isn't personal as well.
As for reduplication being trivial, I was speaking only as it pertains to Russian. Perhaps trivial isn't the right word. Minor? Something with only one function can't be that major in a particular language. I think that the information should be in Wikipedia, I just happen to disagree with you on it deserving its own article.
I won't address any more of your dizzying misdirections since, as you have said, the thread is over and I have apparantly lost the vote. While it was close (only by one vote) it was still overwhelming (twice as many people voted against as for). AEuSoes1 01:47, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

First and Second Declensions[edit]

I'd make them into tables as I have done the rest of the article but I don't quite understand them. What does each column represent? Perhaps a scholar or native speaker can fill me in. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 20:32, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no special significance to each of the columns; All of the columns are equal. They do not have a name, but may be named simmply by their nominative endings.--King Mir 05:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Then what is the distinguishing factor? For example, what dictates when a nominative singular gets an ending of -ий as opposed to -й or -ь? Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 10:03, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Nominative singular is the basic form of the noun. It can be found in the dictionary and must be memorized. H. Kelm 04:24, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, let me see if I can't be clearer here.
Second declension yellow green cyan
Nominative -ия
Genitive -ии
Dative -ии
Accusative -ию
Instrumental -ой -ей -ией
Prepositional -ии
Nominative -ии
Genitive -0- -ий
Dative -ам -ям -иям
Accusative -ы/-0- -и / ь -ии / ий
Instrumental -ами -ями -иями
Prepositional -ах -ях -иях

What words should go in the yellow, green, and cyan cells respectively? I imagine it's not male, female, and neuter since the article states that second declension nouns are mostly feminine. But I could be wrong. I'm all ears. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:38, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Whether a particular word should go in the yellow, green or cyan cell depends on its nominative ending. For example, "машина" (car) goes to the yellow column, "дядя" (uncle) goes to the green column and "конституция" (constitution) goes to the cyan one. There is no hard rule that can explain why a word ends in "-а", "-я" or "-ия". H. Kelm 08:36, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm Going to go a ahead and add the above table, sans the colors.--King Mir 03:24, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
This is *really* unclear to the non-Russian. So you are saying that there are 2-4 sub-declensions within each declension? There should at least be an attempt to explain what is going on. As it stands people have no way of understanding. (talk) 22:26, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Adjective declension[edit]

Could someone verify note #1 after the table in the Russian grammar#Adjectives section? I find it very strange to see "-ое/-ого" for neuter accusative singular (since neuter forms are supposed to show nominative-accusative syncretism throughout IE). Perhaps it is more accurate to say that animate neuter nouns can combine with masculine adjectives via natural gender agreement (therefore, maybe also in the nominative)? I don't actually know any animate neuter nouns, so I can't offer any test data. CapnPrep 11:10, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I have edited this section based on the information I got from this Slavic languages forum. But now it looks like the declension table for neuter nouns needs to be modified to reflect the animate/inanimate distinction as well. CapnPrep 14:14, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

2nd noun declension[edit]

Unless I'm going blind, there don't seem to be any superscript numbers in the table for the 2nd declension of nouns, despite there being numbered notes below it describing exceptions. I'm no expert in russian grammar so I'm not going to edit it, but I would guess that either there are no significant exceptions to the endings given, or the numbers have not been attached to the relevant ending(s). Mr Poo 16:55, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

The article claims that there are 6 primary nomiative declensions, but 7 are listed. The 7th being the locative case. Following the listing, it speaks of the locative cases as a "maybe". Perhaps the locative should either be removed from the 6, or the article should refelct 7 nomitaive declenisons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Are you referring to the first line in the Nouns section "Nominal declension is subject to six cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and locative or prepositional)" ? It lists six noun cases, giving two alternate names to the 6th case. To be precise, yes, it should just say "prepositional" there, with locative explained in the following sentence. --Cubbi (talk) 00:11, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


I added the Russian grammatical term in many cases, changed the order of cases N, G, D, A, I, P to suit the way cases are taught in Russia. Please discuss here if you have objections. Anatoli (talk) 20:21, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Russian case ordering[edit]

(Atitarev copied StradivariusTV's message)

Привет! I noticed you changed the ordering of cases to NGDAIL, which I understand is the ordering taught in Russia and in some English coursebooks. But for an encyclopedia it seems more elegant to present the cases in a way that groups identical desinences together. This is not a Wikipedia-only invention; the external link here uses the ordering NAGDLI, as does the online grammar here. Still others use the ordering NAGDIL, like A Comprehensive Russian Grammar by Wade and Essential Russian Grammar by Kemple. At any rate it's something that merits discussion. Strad (talk) 20:42, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I hope you don't mind moving your message here. :) NGDAIP (ИРДВТП) is much more common and is my preferred method and I recommend it foreign learners or users, as it makes it easier to use native (Russian) resources later. I don't want to be an authority on this but let some more people decide. Note that German cases (there are only 4) are always presented in the same order: Nominativ, Genitiv, Dativ, Akkusativ). It is the case for other Slavic languages as well (+ Vocative for some languages). Anatoli (talk) 22:07, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
As for me, I also think, that it is better to place cases in their traditional order, rather than in order of similar desinences. This order is maintained not only in Russian and German, but Polish, Greek has the same order.--Армонд@ 17:33, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd put my money on traditional/pedagogical order as well. What exactly is the benefit of putting them in order of similar suffixes? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 00:51, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a purse, and articles must be in encyclopedic style--Армонд@ 16:42, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think an encyclopedic style is at stake here. Perhaps you could elaborate. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:26, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
As for me, the article, attached above here is the first example of such ordering of cases in Russian--Армонд@ 16:19, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Hi. I'm a non-native speaker that is in the early stages of learning Russian. I can't cite any external references or examples, I can only speak from my own personal experience. Having the entries in NAGDIP order has been incredibly helpful as the Acc. entries seem to fit "logically" between Nom. and Gen. because of the "variable" declension. I don't know if that counts for anything, but as an end-user, having the switch to NGDAIP has been incredibly confusing. Especially since the books I am currently using ( use the previous order. Okay so I guess I did cite something. Anyways, for what it counts, I hope you change it back to NAGDIP. Thanks! AgentLandline (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:38, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Romanizations should accompany Cyrillic[edit]

All Russian words and grammatical endings in the article are in Cyrillic. Shouldn't they be accompanied by Roman transliterations for the benefit of those who do not know the Cyrillic alphabet? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

To be quite honest, the Cyrillic alphabet can be learned in less than an hour. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 1 September 2009 (UTC)


As a reader, I feel that all the translations of grammatical vernacular were pretty unnecessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

unidirectional and multidirectional verbs of motion.[edit]

I'm learning Russian, and I'm finding it a bit difficult to comprehend the concept of unidirectional and multi-directional verbs of motion. I can find very little discussion of this concept anywhere online. (In Russian, rather than distinguishing between "come" and "go", there are two words: "идти" which means "travel on foot in one direction" and "ехать" which means "travel on foot in multiple directions/ there and back/ etc". Then they have pairs of verbs denoting the same concept except by vehicle, by flight, by swimming/sailing etc) why isn't it discussed in this article and are there any other languages with such a distinction? I think I heard that ancient Greek did. Hypershock (talk) 14:48, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

You mean ходить, not ехать. As you can see, this page is rated as a "C", which means that a lot of basic information is still missing. But your questions go beyond the scope of this talk page. I would recommend going to a language discussion site like Word Reference. CapnPrep (talk) 16:30, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Vocative case?[edit]

IAt what time in the history of the Russian/Slavonic languages did the Vocative case disappear?

Did the Russian language ever have a Vocative case? (talk) 17:52, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

As Vocative case#Russian correctly points out, Russian has a Vocative case in current colloquial use, different from the one that was used in Old Slavonic. It misses out a somewhat outdated form of Vocative which is mentioned in the beginning of this talk page. --Cubbi (talk) 01:59, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Morphology vs. spelling[edit]

This whole article is all wrong, as it does not distinguish between spelling and morphology. I mean, is "ь" an ending? How about "я"? These are letters, and should not be confused with morphemes. This kind of approach is okay for elementary school pupils, but in an encyclopedic article, it presents a token of ignorance in terms of morphology...

"Irregular" verbs[edit]

First off, the verbs listed as 'irregular' might be irregular as far as first year language teaching materials are concerned, but except for есть и дать, none of the verbs listed are irregular. Yeah, a couple have stress on their infinitive ending (вести, идти), or are otherwise non-suffixed (жить), or are а-suffixed (писать), so they aren't models for forming new verbs from borrowed stems. But they're not irregular. Neither are видеть or ходить; one is -e- suffixed and another is an absolutely regular second conjugation verb. A footnote mentions palatalization, an entirely productive process in Russian; why isn't it discussed in the text instead of left out as an "irregularity"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Duke Atreides (talkcontribs) 00:46, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree the verbs section should be expanded and I think that an article Russian verbs would be a good idea. Andries (talk) 14:17, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Небольшая неточность[edit]

Возможно, в статью вкралась неточность (я выделил текст). Возможно, вместо множественного числа "books" должно быть единственное: "a book" в первом случае, с неопределённым артиклем и просто "book" во втором (неопределённый артикль заменён словом "any"):

The use of a direct object in the genitive instead of the accusative in negation signifies that the noun is indefinite, compare: "Я не вижу книги" ("I don't see books a book" or "I don't see any books book") and "Я не вижу книгу" ("I don't see the book").

--EightAitches (talk) 16:31, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Negation: Adverbial answers to a negative sentence[edit]

Answer to a negative sentence При ответе "нет" неопределенность. Можно сказать Нет (В смысле дождь НЕ идёт), а можно сказать Нет (в смысле - Нет, дождь всё-таки идёт) — Preceding unsigned comment added by OlegTar (talkcontribs) 17:41, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

That's very and very confusing. Did I say very? Answering speaker is talking plain nonsense as if to consider the following table. It’s not raining. answer - no = it’s not raining. It makes no sense because it's NOT a QUESTION. That's why only Russian version makes sense. Дождь не идёт. Answer - нет. Therefore 2 states. With or without rain. If the answer is negative then the state changes to the opposite. OR did I miss something????

Answer to a negative sentence
English Russian
It’s not raining Дождь не идёт
= it’s not raining
= дождь идёт
= it’s raining
= дождь не идёт

Extreemator (talk) 05:28, 3 March 2012 (UTC)


<quote>The use of a direct object in the genitive instead of the accusative in negation signifies that the noun is indefinite, compare: "Я не вижу книги" ("I don't see books" or "I don't see any books") and "Я не вижу книгу" ("I don't see the book").<end quote>

This is incorrect. I am a native Russian speaker and I thought I would let you know that "Я не вижу книги" means "I don't see the book". "I don't see (any) books" is translated into Russian as "Я не вижу книг".

Doubtful with verbs[edit]

There are two voices, active and passive, which is constructed by the addition of a reflexive suffix -ся/сь/- to the active form.

There are many verbs on -ся which are active, e.g. влюбиться (to fall in love).

The subjunctive mood in Russian is formed by adding the particle бы after a verb in the past tense.

The particle бы is often added after first word of the sentence, or after subject:

Кто бы говорил! - Who ever would say (it)! (i.e. you are wrong man to)
Чаю бы я выпил охотно, но лучше бы пообедать. - I would have pleasure to have some tea, but it would be better to have dinner.
Без электричества мы бы смотрели телевизор при свечах! - Without electricity, we had to watch TV in candle light!

Grammatical conjugation is subject to three persons in two numbers and two simple tenses (present/future and past)...

After learning in Russian school I believe that there are tree (present, future and past) tences in Russian: past time (inflected by number and gender and produced from infinitive basement), present (exists for imperfective verbs only and has number and person) and future (for perfective verbs looks well quiet like present for imperfective ones, for imperfective is formed with forms of auxiliary verb буду, будешь... or стану, станешь... plus infinitive). This is not correct to suppose that present and furure for Russian language is the same. Ignatus (talk) 11:47, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Masculine nouns on -о[edit]

I can't remember any. The example was given is in fact ends more on -а, than on -о, see ru:Рыбы-прилипалы; so does other suspected spoken-language words as кидала, зубрила etc. (ending them on -о seems to be possible but uncommon, maybe deprecated). Masculines on -о are common in Ukrainian, but Ukrainian surnames as Наливайко are undeclined in Russian. Ignatus (talk) 17:10, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

possibly the masculine noun домишко (little house) falls into this category?-- (talk) 18:50, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh yes. Ignatus (talk) 18:00, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Numbering the declensions[edit]

The last paragraph above First declension is in contradiction with the numbering used below for the first two declensions. It also omits the fact (implicitly mentioned under Third declension) that the single masculine noun путь is regarded as belonging to the third declension. — Tonymec (talk) 22:47, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Participles and more detailed information about verb conjugation[edit]

I came here looking for information about how the participles are formed, but there doesn't seem to be anything. The noun and adjective sections have nice tables with endings and such, but the verb section seems very lacking in that area. Could someone who knows their Russian or has good sources provide more details in the article? It would be much appreciated. CodeCat (talk) 22:34, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Too much example tables?[edit]

Thanks to user:Seu Eliseu and others for supplying examples of paradigms, but don't we now have too much of them? I think, one paradigm per part of speach is usually enough, others can be good on Wikibooks or at least in separate article on this Russian word class (if anybody writes it). Ignatus (talk) 21:32, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Ignatus, I think you are right. As soon as it will be possible, I'll create separate articles on some parts of speach and transfer example tables there. Seu Eliseu (talk) 23:39, 17 May 2013 (UTC)


I don't know Russian but this might be a mistake. Second declension, писа'телём. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

You are right, thanks! The typo has been corrected. Seu Eliseu (talk) 15:11, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Possessive adjectives[edit]

Seems like in English "possessive adjectives" are often understood as what I would call "possessive pronouns", that's why real possessive adjectives of Russian like "мамин" (mom's) have fallen out of this article. Can recommend a source for completion: [4] (just the first what have found; contains errors as *петрого instead of Петрова, and seemingly author didn't mention the difference in declesion of surnames and adjectives, like that genitive masculine are Путином but маминыshame to me, they are similar, both on -ым 10:34, 7 July 2013 (UTC)). Ignatus (talk) 22:03, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Adjectives and determines normally modify nouns and take case and gender endings to match the noun. Pronouns are independent and don't modify anything, but may take case endings as needed, and gender endings depending on what they refer to. мамин is a possessive adjective, but so is мой. They both have a full set of case and gender forms like other adjectives, and even have genitive forms of their own. On the other hand, меня is not a possessive adjective but a pronoun, specifically the genitive of the personal pronoun я, in the same way that мамы is the genitive of мама. So the name "possessive pronoun" is really very misleading. CodeCat (talk) 22:20, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
That's difference in terminology of what is pronoun. The one common in Russian school is now in ru:Местоимение: 'pronoun is anything which has no lexical meaning but has grammatical one and substitute other words' (but about ones substituting adverbs usually "pronominal adverbs" is said, however). For what I can read from English article, мой is determiner. But what I do mean, is definitely neither one nor another, but an open-class adjective; in Russian possessive adjectives w suffixes -ов and -ин have much special in declesion, and this is what should be described. UPD: Ah, that's a RS, describing well this matter in all Slavic languages, also in Russian: Ignatus (talk) 14:57, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
As a part of speech, мой and мамин are the same. Both are modifiers, and not pronouns. Adjectives and determiners are both modifiers, I don't know if the difference is always clear. But I don't see much of a difference between "belonging to me" and "belonging to mother" in terms of structure. The definition that Russian Wiktionary gives seems more related to Deixis rather than to being a pronoun. Specifically, I would say that a pronoun is a "deictic noun": a noun whose referent is determined entirely by the context in which it is used. Seen that way, мой is a "deictic adjective" while мамин is not. CodeCat (talk) 16:07, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
But его and мамин are not: его does not change in number or in gender when the noun that it is attached to changes, it only gets substituted with её or их when the possessor becomes a female or many persons respectively. This is the source of the confusion that native Russians have with the Romance possessive adjectives: the Russian possessive pronouns are different in structure. I think it makes sense to keep the term the way it is kept in the Russian schoolbooks. - (talk) 12:59, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Missing: impersonal active voice[edit]

  • For example, "Говорят, чудес на свете нет" without subject. I hear this verbal construction quite often.

This can be translated, I think, (I am not a native speaker of English nor Russian.)

  • "People say that miracles do not exist."

In other languages than English, like German and Dutch it is easier to translate correctly e.g.

  • German: "Man sagt dass es keine Wunder gibt."
  • Dutch: "Men zegt dat wonderen niet bestaan."

May be somebody can add that to the article who is better in Russian than I. Andries (talk) 12:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Isn't that just "impersonal they" like English and Dutch also have? CodeCat (talk) 18:36, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
May be, I do not like to use impersonal they ("ze") in Dutch, because I think it is vague. When others use it I often do not understand who is "they". I prefer to use "men" in Dutch.Andries (talk) 19:29, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Adverbial answers[edit]

В разделе Russian grammar#Adverbial answers написано, что в русском языке ответ "нет" означает несогласие с предложением с отрицанием, а "да", наоборот, согласие.

Собственно говоря, это верно. Хотя считается нестандартным. Обратите внимание хотя бы на тот факт, что эти два вопроса были вообще заданы. ;) (Первый вопрос касается совсем другой темы, "конечно" и "да" — это разные слова). - (talk) 00:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Хотя прошу прощения. Действительно, ответ, пожалуй, тот, что вся эта материя слишком сложна для сведения в одну схему. Всё зависит, может быть, от того, насколько отвечающий желает следовать своей собственной мысли, а не мысли спрашивающего: чем сильнее он к этому стремится, тем скорее он склонен отвечать по схеме, обозначенной в статье. Отсюда же, кстати, комментарий насчёт невежливости ответа "да" в значении согласия с отрицанием. - (talk) 01:20, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Мне показалось это странным, и я нашёл три ответа Грамоты.ру, что отвечать на вопрос с отрицанием только словами "да" или "нет" нельзя: [5], [6], [7]. Русские идут! (talk) 20:18, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

I think I should translate the discussion. Without the signatures and links: - (talk) 05:12, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

It is written in the section Russian grammar#Adverbial answers that, in Russian, the answer "нет" expresses disagreement with the negative sentence, while the answer "да" expresses, instead, agreement.

Well, that's true. Though considered non-standard. Look at the fact, for the very least, that these two questions were at all asked. ;) (The first question dealt with an entirely different topic, since "конечно" and "да" are not the same word).
On the second, I beg pardon. Indeed, the answer must be, apparently, that all this matter is too complicated for reducing to one single scheme. It depends, I think, on how much the replier wishes to follow his own line of thought rather than the asker's one: the more he wants that, the more he is inclined to build his answer on the scheme outlined in the article. Here's why, by the way, the source's comment that the use of "да" to express agreement with a suggestion that is formulated using negation may be considered impolite.

It looked strange to me, and I found three answers by that stated one must not reply to a question involving negation simply with "да" or "нет": [ein], [zwei], [drei].

  • Answer "нет" on negative question is a well example of the cases when Russian phrase has a meaning but the opposite too. This famous political anekdote illustrates it:

Вопрос: Вы не против, чтобы Путин снова стал президентом?

Варианты ответа:

  1. Да, не против.
  2. Нет, не против.

Although the second variant seems to sound better, the "democratic" version of the first variant should be *"Нет, я против". Ignatus (talk) 21:31, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

And would sound somewhat not very good. If use such interjections at all, it might be "Что вы, я против!", but in a questionnaire the best fit would be just to omit the interjections. Only an opinion, though. :)
I was taught, too, that in the case of negative questions "нет" in the answer carries both meanings, but somehow it is hard to refute a negative question anyway. It requires some effort to answer "Вам не холодно?", for instance, with "Холодно", since no interjection fits well. :) Like so many other school rules and dogmas, this one is either incorrect or easy to understand wrong. - (talk) 17:05, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

The Aspects[edit]

Just to make sure, the imperfective aspect does not mean the action is incomplete ("я ходил в магазин" means a completed action, and this is very often the case with the imperfective verbs), and the perfective aspect does not mean the action is logically complete, i.e. has led to its own result ("и тогда я пошёл на улицу" does not yet mean that he managed to walk out of his house). The distinction between the perfective and the imperfective aspect in Russian has a different character.

Also, "спать" and "поспать" is not a verb pair, since there are other perfective verbs, formed from the verb "спать" by means of a prefix ("переспать", "проспать"); all of them differ in their meanings from "спать", but so does "поспать". The true pairs usually differ in suffixes, not in prefixes: "приглашать" vs. "пригласить" (here the imperfective verb is formed from the perfective one). - (talk) 00:51, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Why three columns?[edit]

Why do all the paradigms have three columns (ie. "-а -я -ия")? Why are these columns not labelled? What are they supposed to mean? Poorly explained. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Word order[edit]

To me, a native speaker, the explanations of the sentence "I went to the shop" look possible, but a) deeply incomplete b) inter-applicable, i.e. an explanation of one case works as well if not better for another case c) some of them not exactly wrong, but taken out of the blue. They point to to the fact that there is a difference between them, but they don't say correctly what it is. Also, they omit the influence of sentence stress, which is more important for the aspects of meaning considered there than the word order. The word order matters for the meaning, but not in this way. Compare:

  • Дома стены помогают (at home, even the walls help[, so no point pointing out anything else that helps at home as well]);
  • Дома помогают стены (at home, you can use the help of the [dear] walls). Possible continuations in this case: 1) somewhere else, you can use the help of something else, 2) that's what the home is about.

Also, for "the road to the hell is paved with good intentions":

  • Благими намерениями вымощена дорога в ад ("good intentions lead straight to the hell", which sounds weird, but is the accepted form);
  • Дорога в ад вымощена благими намерениями (to enter the hell, you ought to have good intentions/those people who enter the hell have good intentions [as well]).
As a side note: I have met more than once a claim that the sentences with different word order "have the same meaning". This is strictly wrong and is a myth: there are many cases (these included), where at first you could hardly notice there is anything at all in common between two sentences with the same word stock, but different order; in the second case, I could notice that the things mentioned are the same, in the first case, even this is not guaranteed, as the things under reference are more figurative than real. Just in case. - (talk) 08:55, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Also, the same section has a remark that in Russian the word order expresses definiteness, I don't see it. It is English that uses the definite forms when trying to approximate those Russian meanings, with varying success. By the word order alone, you could not say whether a noun is definite or not. Also, by the word order alone, there is no way to say what is "logically" stressed; the sentence stress is a more direct way. So, saying that the word order "expresses" those things is untrue. I suggest changing to "can express" or "could express", whatever is grammatically correct in English. - (talk) 08:43, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Changed to "can express". - (talk) 08:49, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Another example: эти построения должны всё объяснить vs. эти построения должны объяснить всё. Both sentences mean that the equations or the logical transitions or some things else of this kind must explain "everything", but the interpretation of this "everything" is different: in the first case, it is everything that I mentioned, in the second case, it is everything that is there to mention for our case. All these differences are subtle to explain, but real for a language user, and it is a real pity that the article does not even hint at such subtleties, instead disseminating myths. I know that manuals for beginners have this habit and are most abundant and most easily accessible, but maybe there are more serious sources that might take a more balanced approach? Or there are not? - (talk) 11:17, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm a beginner at Russian, but I _think_ I can very easily understand the example (3.) given under "Word order": the difference can actually be mimicked in English as "Into the shop came a boy" and "The boy came into the shop". This is captured by the Topic–comment distinction. The problem is that there are English speakers who can speak about five languages, but have never met one that didn't have articles (Fr. le, It. il, De. der, Nor. -er, Dut. het; etc), so they assume Definite and Indefinite to be fundamental requirements for a language, which they aren't. Without free word order, English uses articles to make the topic/comment distinction, by marking new things with an indefinite article (so 'a boy' is Comment); while the topic is generally a known thing and thus definite ('the boy'). (I think it would be a very good thing to rewrite this to look less like explaining how the poor Russians manage without articles!) There are some pretty bad bits -- for example what could this possibly mean (or name a language in which it isn't true): "The sense of a noun is determined from the context in which it appears." Imaginatorium (talk) 14:48, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

In the third example of the section "Syntax", I don't see how it can mean a sudden decision any more than any other example in the list. Anyway, one who composed the list, I think, ignored the fact that these phrases can be pronounced with different intonation, and in different situations; I think that he or she was too quick. Are these examples sourced? If not (they don't seem to be), then they are to be deleted; I don't find in them any concrete value anyway except for the vague idea that changing the word order changes the perception. - (talk) 21:43, 28 May 2014 (UTC)


The current version contains:

Most verbs come in pairs, one with imperfective (несовершенный вид) or continuous, the other with perfective (совершенный вид) or completed aspect, usually formed with a (prepositional) prefix, but occasionally using a different root. E.g., спать [spatʲ] ('to sleep') is imperfective; поспать [pɐˈspatʲ] ('to take a nap') is perfective.

These is completely wrong. Every imperfective verb correspond to a lot of perfective ones with different prefixes. The verb спать is rather poor in this sense, but there are at least the following verbs: проспать ('to miss something because of sleep'), доспать ('to finish the sleep after being interrupted'), переспать ('to spend a night with somebody'), заспать ('to kill a baby during the sleep').

I wood replace this statement with the following:

In modern Russian the perfectness is a property of a verb. The perfective verbs have two tenses: the simple future and the past. The imperfective verbs have three ones: the compound future, the present and the past. The only imperfective verb, which has the simple future, is the verb быть ('to be'), its forms in the future tense are used to produce the future of other imperfect verbs (future of быть + infinitive of the verb).

Oudv (talk) 04:20, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

My knowledge of Russian is slight, but I think maybe you miss the point; it's not that there are pairs of verbs with the same root, but that there are pairs that would be translated essentially alike except for aspect (which, in another language, may not be explicit in context). If I understand the quoted passage correctly, it could be paraphrased: спать = ‘to be asleep’ (without saying anything about how long), поспать = ‘to sleep for a time (and then wake up)’. The other verbs you cite may be perfective or imperfective, but aspect is not their biggest difference from спать or поспать.
I like your proposed paragraph, but wouldn't want to remove all mention of aspect pairs. —Tamfang (talk) 04:50, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Declension Tables[edit]

All of the tables for noun/adjective endings have numbers on them and notes below stating that some endings change depending on the word because of the spelling rules. Would it not make the tables much easier to understand if these notes for each table were gotten rid of, and it were simply stated at the start of the section that all of the endings comply with the spelling rules? I understand the exception to this being when an ending is either -e or -ё depending on stress, that should be specified as it is not deducible from the spelling rules. IAmTrainedInGorillaWarfare (talk) 00:09, 25 October 2014 (UTC)IAmTrainedInGorillaWarfare

Usage of Russian Cases[edit]

I think it would be good to start adding information on the Indo-European language equivalents of Russian noun cases. I've added a brief summation into the "Nouns" section, which I've attempted to craft as a succinct but relevant summation. Please let me know if this isn't up to standards and feel free to add/elaborate. The source I've used is the website Master Russian, a well established and (in my experience) reliable Russian language website; let know if this isn't regarded as a reputable enough source. U65945 (talk) 21:33, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Standalone article for declension[edit]

I'm going to create a stand alone article for russian declension. The section on noun, adjective, demonstrative, and pronoun declension is pretty hefty. I think there are two options:

1. Cut off the complete section and link it to the standalone article


2. Maintain only the most basic information and only the principle declensions for each paradigm.

I prefer the second option. Any one have any ideas or comments? Shabidoo | Talk 14:20, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I did a heavy update to Numerals section there, so it's now much more detailed than this short version here. Tacit Murky (talk) 00:16, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Relative pronouns[edit]

Hello, while I was reading the article I noticed it doesn't say anything about the relative pronouns. I thought placing it here, since i saw no one has noticed it yet(?). I don't know the declension etc. of those rel. pronouns, so I suggest someone adding it to the artice or atleast refering to it, if it has its own article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Conjugation explanations[edit]

I am new to Russian, but I believe this to be an error/miscommunication:

The first conjugation (I) is used in verb stems ending in a consonant, -у, or -о, or in -а when preceded by a sibilant

when the stem for чита́ть is чита–. Unless т is pronounced as a sibilant in this case, according to the definition, it should be in second conjugation. Also:

The second conjugation (II) involves verb stems ending in -и or -е, and in -а when not preceded by a sibilant

when the stem for говори́ть is говор-, meaning it should fall under the first conjugation. If someone could explain this more clearly I would be grateful. Mrmodnar111 (talk) 21:23, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

I've educated in Russian humanities school, yet it's the first time I hear about distinction by a sibilant. It's just a vowel before -ть. This way читать (читаешь, читаем) goes to the first conjugation and говорить (говоришь, говорите) goes to the second. Yet there're lots of other exceptions to these rules that are not described in the article. (talk) 00:09, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Verbs of Motion - The Ring and the Arrow.[edit]

Think of the unidirectional verbs as picturing the motion of arrows (the tip is the indication of direction). One way, having direction. Think of the multidirectional verbs as picturing motion in rings - no direction, just motion, there and back, repetitive. An arrow can start, be on the way, and arrive. They can forms perfectives. Ring motion is only underway. They can't form perfectives. Arrow verbs can represent the near future, they point to what comes next. And note that a number of common ring verbs have a ring 'o' in the stem - води́ть, вози́ть, гоня́ть, ходи́ть, носи́ть, броди́ть. Wodorabe (talk) 20:49, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Correction of the noun declension types to correspond to standard definitions in English-language grammars.[edit]

Types of noun declensions[edit]

With all due respect to the author, the section on the three types of noun declension is incorrect. I've corrected the sequence and declension type errors to correspond to the type numbering and sequence found in contemporary English-language grammars and dictionaries, primarily the sequence found in И.М. Пулькина, Е.Б. Захава-Некрасова, Русский Язык: Практическая грамматика с упражнениями, Издание 5-е , Москва, Русский язык, 1992 (I. Pulkina, E. Zakhava-Nekrasova, Russian: A Practical Grammar with Exercises, 5th edition, Russky Yazyk Publishers, Moscow 1992, English translation by V. Korotky).

Note: Two published works of the author Е.И. Литневская referenced by the author of this article and which are available from are about Russian grammar as taught at the secondary (U.S. high school) level in Russia. This might explain why there's a difference between the arrangement of declension table learned in school by the author, and the standard arrangement found elsewhere in more advanced Russian grammar texts.

The standard noun declension types and tables can also be found in the following publications:

James P. Levine, Ph.D, Schaum's outline of Russian Grammar (2nd edition, 2009), p.35ff.
A. Romanov, Pocket Russian Dictionary Langenscheidt KG, Berlin/Munich (1968), p.571-572.
(author unknown), Russian-language Wikipedia,Грамматика_русского_языка ("Russian Grammar"). This source also mentions in the article text that the declension types and sequence of Types (I) and (II) are reversed in the 'schools' in Russia.

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── K. Kellogg-Smith (talk) 01:58, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

•!• Correct link isГрамматика_русского_языка, but there is a much more detailed one:Морфология_русского_языка (morphology of Russian). Tacit Murky (talk) 06:45, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
With all due respect to the editor, this is a category error. There is no "correct" or "incorrect" way to describe noun declensions, there are only traditions. Personally I find the previous one much more natural, because then the 1st declension feminine in -a exactly matches the related Latin declensions. I believe there has been discussion of this before, and I think there should be discussion before changing things like this around.
I have thought for some time that it would be a big improvement to move both "Declension in Russian" and "Conjugation in Russian" out to separate articles. These could be more like language teaching reference, for which purpose conventions should be chosen (e.g. for numbering declensions) and adhered to. In the main article there should be an overview of noun/adjective grammar, and this should also mention historical practices in numbering declensions and similar topics. (For example, if I understand correctly, the earlier tradition for perfective and imperfective verbs was to describe the same verb form -- you know, the one that looks like the Latin present tense -- as the "Present", whereas now the tradition is to call this form the "present tense" of imperfective verbs and the "future tense" of perfective verbs. This looks to me like the very naive confusion of thinking that "present tense" means "applies to things occurring in the present.) Imaginatorium (talk) 14:56, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Please keep in mind three of the primary Wikipedia Foundation rules for editors: (1) articles and their contents are to be encyclopedic, (2) they must not not be or contain original research, and (3) statements of fact must not be one's personal point of view. Another lesser known principle -- one that I was personally found to be guilty of in my work as and early administrator of the Tok Pisin Wikipedia (tpi.wikipedia) -- is that 'teaching' in a Wikipedia article is contrary to that article 'being encyclopedic'. Citations ('cites') of statements of fact acknowledge the source of those statements. At the same time, cites point out that the statements of fact are not one's own personal point of view. You will note that I have cited my English language sources for changing the errors in the declension table types given in the Noun section and putting them in the generally accepted, conventional, academic order. The corrected arrangement I have inserted, therefore, is not based on my own personal point of view, nor can it be considered my 'original research'.
Since the Russian language is a Slavic language (not Latin-based as you seem to believe), you might review the sub-article "The Background of the Common Slavic Languages" found in the article "The Common Slavic Grammar" which you can find in the archives at K. Kellogg-Smith (talk) 18:31, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
The Living Language Complete Course and the Assimil Audio Course both use the previous order. What is the exact reason for this change, which appears also to have created some very disorganised tables, particular for adjectives and pronouns?
Encyclopaedias exist to spread knowledge; it is therefore just as pertinent to consider the ease with which information can be delivered, as well as striving for consistency when describing different languages. The point of the other editor was not that Russian is Latin based but that the order of declensions has traditionally been the same when learning various languages due to the influence of Latin learning.
No one claimed anything to be "original research", but rather that the arrangement itself can never have a "correct" order, it being merely a tradition which may or may not appear in a certain source. The "errors" are not errors but perfectly conventional ordering. The corrections therefore are in fact based on your own preference. The previous order was predominant in history (English-Russian Grammar: Or, Principles of the Russian Language by Ch. Ph Reiff), is still common, and is still predominant amongst other languages. Why should it be different here?
I agree that there is too much detail in this article; much needs to be segregated.

Generic gender[edit]

There's also a generic gender (as in жадина, бука) for words that can be equally used both for male and female subjects. Could we add this to an article? Have anyone seen a good source for this fact in English? (talk) 23:57, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

There are 5 genders (M, F, N, общий - common or general, and обоюдный - mutual or ambivalent), and what you are proposing is a common gender. Difference is in agreement model: it is unified for mutual gender (он/она настоящая собака - unified as F.) and dual for common (бедный/бедная сирота). That is supposed to be mentioned, but Eng. sources are rare… Tacit Murky (talk) 01:08, 9 August 2016 (UTC)


I am a beginning level adult learning Russian -- not attending a class, but working with a very good tutor. Hence, my question may be naïve. But here it is:

Why is there no section on Russian prepositions? I would find it helpful to have a table of at least the most common prepositions and the case(s) with which they are associated. The information on prepositions is scattered through the article, chiefly (naturally) in the section on nouns.


Andrew H — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Nouns section have most of them already. Much more troubling in absence of general pro-forms table (pronouns and pro-adjectives). Tacit Murky (talk) 00:56, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Plural of nouns with -анин, -янин[edit]

This aspect of the plural is not mentioned at all. Please add.--Prandr (talk) 14:28, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

Done. — Tacit Murky (talk) 20:12, 14 July 2017 (UTC)