A Helpful Introduction to Russian Participles

In Russian grammar, participles play an important role in conveying nuanced meaning and tying together different parts of a sentence. As verbal adjectives, participles express the secondary actions, states, or qualities of the nouns they modify. Understanding how to recognize and properly use participles is key for communicating complex ideas in Russian. In this post,…

Formal vs Casual: Navigating Russian Speech Etiquette

The Russian language has distinct formal and informal linguistic registers. Knowing when and how to appropriately use formal or informal speech is an important skill for effective communication in Russian. Russian speakers switch between formal and informal language depending on the situation, relationship with the listener, and desired impact. For non-native speakers, navigating these nuances…

The Prepositional Case in Russian – Explained and Simplified

Russian grammar can be a challenging terrain for learners, and one of the key features that often perplexes students is the use of cases. Among these cases, the prepositional case (предложный падеж) plays a vital role in conveying location and position. In this comprehensive guide, I will break down the intricacies of the prepositional case,…

Russian Abstract Nouns: The Ultimate Glossary

Abstract nouns refer to intangible ideas, states, qualities, and concepts. Unlike concrete nouns, they have no physical form. For example, “любовь” (love) and “справедивость” (justice) are abstract nouns, while “стол” (table) and “яблоко” (apple) are concrete nouns. In Russian, abstract nouns can be of any gender – masculine, feminine, or neuter. They function grammatically just like…

Поздравляю! How to Congratulate in Russian

Congratulations – universal expressions of joy and appreciation on momentous occasions. But the specific words and customs around celebrating vary greatly between cultures. In Russia, congratulating someone demands nuance and sincerity. Russian culture deeply values traditions and protocols for honoring major life events. To properly congratulate your Russian friends, colleagues, and hosts, you must learn…

Clearing Up the Confusion Between Где and Куда

In Russian, the words “где” and “куда” are commonly used to express location and direction respectively. Though they both translate to “where” in English, there is an important distinction between their usages that Russian learners must understand. The use of these words varies based on whether the object is in motion or static. In this…

More than Just ‘Очень’: A Quick Guide to Russian Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of degree are an important part of Russian grammar, allowing speakers to express nuanced intensities and degrees of adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs. In Russian, these modifying words come before the words they describe, helping add color and specificity. For example, adverbs of degree allow Russian speakers to describe things not just as “big”…

Speak Like a Musician: Key Words for Discussing Music in Russian

Get ready to sing louder and dance faster as we dive into the world of Russian music (музыка)! To truly understand Russian culture and people, you need to learn basic music terminology in the Russian language. In this article, we will explore names of musical instruments, popular genres, important verbs, and theoretical concepts so you…

What to Read in Russian: 13 Great Free Resources

Reading articles, stories, and news in Russian is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. It builds vocabulary, improves comprehension, and exposes you to real-world grammar and expressions. In this post, I have compiled a list of great websites and blogs that publish free articles in Russian. They cover a wide range…