Немно́го о языке́ 2.2 То́ни е́дет в Яросла́вль

Connecting words, phrases and sentences with и , а , но

The conjunction и works to connect items. You can think of it as a + sign, a word that can connect nouns and phrases and clauses into a chain.

Э́то Ама́нда. Ли́нда и Ро́берт — её мать и оте́ц.
This is Amanda. Linda and Robert are her mother and father.

The conjunction но (but, however) introduces a statement that contradicts previous expectations (whether they were expressed or only implied).

Дом ста́рый, но краси́вый.
The building is old, but beautiful.

The use of но in the sentence above implies an assumption that an old building is probably going to be run down--however, in this case the opposite happens to be true. Contrary to what we expect, this particular building is in fact lovely.

The conjunction а does not have a single English equivalent. Russian uses it to introduce a phrase that contrasts with a previous one. Imagine Amanda is talking about a photo of her family; when she moves from commenting on one family member on to another, Amanda links her sentences with а.

Э́то моя́ ма́ма, a здесь мой оте́ц.
This is my mother, whereas here is my father.

А can indicate a contrast:

Э́то общежи́тие, а э́то университе́т.
This is the dormitory, whereas that is the university.

Э́то моя́ сестра́, а э́то мои́ бра́тья.
This is my sister, whereas these are my brothers.

The contrast can be between a mistaken impression and a correct one (not X, but rather Y):

Э́то не университе́т, а библиоте́ка.
This isn't the university, but the library.

The choice of conjunction depends on what you want to say.

Э́то ма́ма и па́па. This is mom and dad.
Э́то ма́ма, а э́то па́па. This person here is mom, and this other person is dad.
Э́то ма́ма и па́па, но они́ уже́ не муж и жена́. This is mom and dad, but they are no longer husband and wife.

Упражне́ние 1

Listen to the sentences, and mark whether you hear a simple addition, a contrast, or a contradiction.

1. Addition Contrast Contradiction
2. Addition Contrast Contradiction
3. Addition Contrast Contradiction
4. Addition Contrast Contradiction
5. Addition Contrast Contradiction
6. Addition Contrast Contradiction
7. Addition Contrast Contradiction

Упражне́ние 2

Look at the English sentence, and then express the same idea in Russian. You will need to decide which conjunction is appropriate for the blank. Mouse over the blank to check your answers.

1. Denis and Liza are brother and sister. Дени́с ___ Ли́за — брат ___ сестра́.
2. Anna is my older sister, and Galya is my younger sister. А́нна моя́ ста́ршая сестра́, ____ Га́ля моя́ мла́дшая сестра́.
3. This is my mother and father. Э́то ма́ма ___ па́па.
4. This is my grandfather, but I don't know who that is. Э́то де́душка, ____ я не зна́ю, кто э́то.
5. Are these your dictionary and notebook? Э́то твои́ слова́рь ___ тетра́дь?
6. The dictionary is mine, while the notebook is his. Слова́рь мой, ___ тетра́дь его́.
7. — Please move your dictionary and notebook.
    — The dictionary is mine, but the notebook is his.

Слова́рь мой, ___ тетра́дь его́.