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Thread: Various grammar questions

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    Various grammar questions

    I'm working through a Russian grammar book on my own. I write out all the exercises in each chapter, then record them on a cassette tape and drill them orally until I feel comfortable manipulating the grammar just with ears and tongue (like in a conversation). Unfortunately, there is no answer key in the book and the grammatical explanations and examples don't always cover all that's asked for in the exercises. I'd like to make sure I'm not drilling too many mistakes into my head, if I can help it.

    In one exercise I need to give the past and future of the given sentence. One sentence is Сегодня туман. I answered Вечра был туман and Завтра будет туман thinking that туман is the subject of the sentence. Is that right or is there no grammatical subject and I should use the neuter of the verbs? (For the future tense I guess the masculine and neuter are the same, будет.)

    Another question: Here I need to answer the question, У вас скоро будет контрольная? I want to answer "no". Is it У меня буду нет? There are no negative examples in the chapter.

    And then some translations I'm not sure of: Are you sick or simply tired? Вы больны, но только устали?
    They have been resting a long time. Они отдыхают уже давно.
    How long have you been waiting for Ivan? сколько времени ты здесь ждёшь Ивана?

    Thank you for any help and corrections.

    Z

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    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    In one exercise I need to give the past and future of the given sentence. One sentence is Сегодня туман. I answered Вечра был туман and Завтра будет туман thinking that туман is the subject of the sentence. Is that right or is there no grammatical subject and I should use the neuter of the verbs? (For the future tense I guess the masculine and neuter are the same, будет.)
    This is all correct
    Except for the typo in вчера

    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    Another question: Here I need to answer the question, У вас скоро будет контрольная? I want to answer "no". Is it У меня буду нет? There are no negative examples in the chapter.
    you can either answer
    нет
    or you can use double negative
    нет, у меня не будет

    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    And then some translations I'm not sure of: Are you sick or simply tired? Вы больны, но только устали?
    вы больны, или только устали?
    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    They have been resting a long time. Они отдыхают уже давно.
    correct
    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    How long have you been waiting for Ivan? сколько времени ты здесь ждёшь Ивана?
    corect but there is no здесь in the English version, so you can remove it from the Russian sentence too

  3. #3
    Увлечённый спикер krwright's Avatar
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    Another great grammar workbook (Requires the textbook as well) is Terrance Wade's 'A Comprehensive Russian Grammar' - however, it's more designed for people who have some understanding of the language. I would recommend it once you feel ready to move to advanced material!

    By the way, your idea of the audio recording is genius!

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    I write out all the exercises in each chapter, then record them on a cassette tape and drill them orally until I feel comfortable manipulating the grammar just with ears and tongue (like in a conversation).
    You mean you recorded yourself reading exercises? If it is so I doubt it is so good idea. Your pronunciation is hardly correct at the first steps and you will get accustomed to the wrong pronunciation.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Quote Originally Posted by krwright View Post
    By the way, your idea of the audio recording is genius!
    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    You mean you recorded yourself reading exercises? If it is so I doubt it is so good idea.
    Entre la génie et la folie il n'y a qu'un pas! It's the best I can do for now. I have no native speaker to help and if I did, I doubt they would be willing to do such a tedious job. I didn't just jump into the grammar from day one, I spent a couple months drilling pronunciation with tapes and guides and I still return to basic drills now. Ideally there would be tapes to accompany the book with native speakers and all the exercises read aloud with pauses for my responses. That's not the case. I'm making do with limited resources. Maybe my love for Russian will overcome all obstacles.

    Z

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    Thank you for your help.

    A couple more translation questions.

    Did you rest this morning? Yes, I did.
    Ты был отдыхать сегодня утром? Был. Is the syntax correct or should сегодня утром come first. Also the response should be Был, not да?

    Is "rock and roll" grammatically singular in Russian? Рок-и-ролл мне не очень нравится.

    У нас была машина. Она была красивая, но она не хорошо работала. Should хорошо go here?

    If the question is Ты когда-нибудь бьл в Сибири? Is the better negative answer Нет or Не был?

    Thanks for any help.

    Z

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    Did you rest this morning? Yes, I did.
    Ты был отдыхать сегодня утром? Был. Is the syntax correct or should сегодня утром come first. Also the response should be Был, not да?
    Ты отдыхал сегодня утром?
    If this sentence is pronounced with neutral intonation (with no stress or with stressed "отдыхал"). correct positive answers are:
    Да.
    Отдыхал.
    Да, отдыхал.
    Да, я отдыхал.
    Да, я отдыхал сегодня утром.

    Is the syntax correct or should сегодня утром come first.
    In short - both are OK. If you want dive deeply...

    Ты отдыхал сегодня утром? - This is neutral word order. Generally word order is more free in Russian than in English. But different order can have a reason, especially in literary style, where you can not use voice stress: at the beginning (and sometimes at the end) of the sentence words that you want to emphasize. So, "сегодня утром ты отдыхал?" can mean the following:
    (Usually you rest in morning, but) did you rest this morning? But it is not mandatory.

    Is "rock and roll" grammatically singular in Russian? Рок-и-ролл мне не очень нравится.
    Рок-н-ролл. No other way I know of. Hyphens used to show grammatical singularity.

    У нас была машина. Она была красивая, но она не хорошо работала. Should хорошо go here?
    As a first approach will do. The sentence is grammatically correct but strange. Why don't you use "плохо" instead of "не хорошо"?

    If the question is Ты когда-нибудь был в Сибири? Is the better negative answer Нет or Не был?
    Both are OK unless in the context can be treated ambiguously . "Никогда" also will do.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    with no stress
    Это как?

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Это как?
    With no intonation emphasis.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    With no intonation emphasis.
    Тогда это не вопрос и даже не повествовательное предложение.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Тогда это не вопрос и даже не повествовательное предложение.
    My Russian isn't good enough to understand this though I'm interested to know what you're saying.

    Z

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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    As a first approach will do. The sentence is grammatically correct but strange. Why don't you use "плохо" instead of "не хорошо"
    I guess I should include the English sentences I was given to translate. "We had a car. It was pretty but it didn't work well." I answered У нас была машина. Она была красивая, но она не хорошо работала.

    Thank you for all your help.

    Z

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    I would say:
    "We had a car. It was pretty but it didn't work well."
    У нас была машина. Она была красивая, но она не очень хорошо работала.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    My Russian isn't good enough to understand this though I'm interested to know what you're saying.

    Z
    Then it's not a question or even a declarative sentence.

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