Немно́го о языке́ 3.7 Где они́ живу́т?
So far you have learned that the subject of a sentence is expressed using the nominative case, the singular of which is the dictionary form of the noun. We have also learned that the direct object, the recipient of the verb’s action, is expressed using the accusative case.
In this section we will learn how to express the location of a person or thing: in other words, how to answer the question Где?. We will work with two prepositions (в and на) which will be followed by a noun in the prepositional case. Both can express a range of meanings, but are generally the equivalents of the English prepositions "in, "at" and/or "on". Once you have had a chance to work on these locational constructions and the new prepositional endings, we will return to a discussion of when to use each preposition.
As you saw in opening of this section’s story, the general ending for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns in the prepositional case is -е. In masculine nouns, the –e is added to the stem. In feminine nouns, the -е ending replaces the -а or -я on the dictionary form. In neuter nouns, the -е ending replaces the -о or -е of the dictionary form.
Masculine nouns that end in -ий, feminine nouns in -ия and -ь, and neuter nouns ending in -ие will all replace their last letter with -и.
A final note: While the prepositional case is always used with a preposition, not all prepositions in Russian will take the prepositional case. When sorting out which case to use, it may help you more to think about the function(s) that a case performs. So you will want to remember that the prepositional case with в and на expresses location, and allows one to indicate where people or things are. In other words, prepositional can answer the question: "Где?"
Although Russians write a space between a preposition and the word that follows it, you will notice that when they pronounce the two words there is no break between them; the preposition runs directly into the following word and the two are pronounced as if they were one word. This is especially important for understanding and pronouncing the preposition в.
Listen to how в combines with words that begin with a vowel. Repeat the phrases after the speaker.
Listen to how the preposition в creates a slightly longer [в] sound when used before words beginning with the letter в. Repeat the phrases after the speaker.
Pronouncing the preposition в together with words that begin with a consonant can sometimes be challenging. Learning to make a slightly longer [в] sound to lead into the next word (without inserting a vowel sound) will immediately improve your accent in Russian.
Voiced and Voiceless Consonants
Russian consonants can be divided into two groups based on whether they are voiced (pronounced with vibration of the vocal cords) or voiceless (pronounced without this vibration).
Listen to the initial consonants in the table below as they are read aloud in the syllables. As you hear them, repeat them while keeping your thumb and index fingers on your throat. When you move from the voiced consonants to the voiceless ones, you should feel your vocal cords stop vibrating.
As you see, twelve consonants occur in six voiced-voiceless pairs. Several more (х, ц, ч and щ) in Russian are always voiceless. Others (л, м, н and р) have a lot of voice and are called sonorants.
When в appears before words starting with the voiceless consonants (к, п, с, т, ш, ф, ч, ц and щ), their voiceless quality will transfer backwards, and the voiced в will be pronounced as its voiceless counterpart [ф].
|We see/write||We hear / pronounce||Why?|
Voiceless [к] turns в to voiceless [ф]
Voiceless [т] turns в to voiceless [ф]
Assimilating the pronunciation of в to [ф] will help you avoid inserting a vowel sound between the preposition and the following word. Listen carefully to the following examples.
Look at the phrases on the left and compare their spelling to their pronunciation. In which ones does assimilation cause the preposition в to be pronounced like [ф]?
|We see||We pronounce||What Do We Hear?|