Немно́го о языке́ 5.7 Опя́ть танцу́ют!

Talking About Frequency

The following adverbs can be used to tell how often things happen.

ре́дко rarely
иногда́ sometimes
ча́сто often
обы́чно usually
всё вре́мя all the time
всегда́ always

Another way to express when/how often something happens is to combine this adjective ка́ждый (every) with a time word like у́тро or суббо́та and put the phrase in the accusative case.  The table below summarizes the most common phrases in the accusative case.

Masculine Neuter Feminine
ка́ждый день ка́ждое у́тро ка́ждую ночь
ка́ждый ве́чер ка́ждое воскресе́нье ка́ждую сре́ду
ка́ждый понеде́льник ка́ждую пя́тницу
ка́ждый вто́рник ка́ждую суббо́ту
ка́ждый четве́рг
ка́ждый ме́сяц ка́ждую неде́лю
ка́ждый год

Recapping the use of в and на

At the end of Уро́к 3, you learned that the preposition в is generally used for places that have an inside and outside, while на is used with places that are unbound or have open surfaces, and places that denote activity (like рабо́та, ле́кция, заня́тия). We can expand these general rules, noting that в usually goes with cities, states, and countries, while на is usually used with islands and proximity to bodies of water (e.g., Во́лга, Нева́, Чёрное мо́ре, Ти́хий океа́н).

Since Уро́к 3, you have encountered more place words which are grouped in the tables below.

Generally with в

апте́ка, библиоте́ка, го́род, зоопа́рк, командиро́вка, ко́мната, кремль, лес, магази́н, мече́ть, музе́й, райо́н, сад, спа́льня, столо́вая, суперма́ркет, теа́тр, центр, це́рковь

Generally with на

Open Spaces Activities
мо́ре, мост, о́зеро, остано́вка авто́буса, приро́да, река́ , стадио́н, ста́нция, у́лица, эта́ж

(Metaphorically open spaces)
да́ча, курс, ры́нок, факульте́т

бале́т, вы́ставка, заня́тия, конце́рт, ле́кция, о́пера, па́ра, рабо́та, семина́р, спекта́кль, уро́к, фильм, экску́рсия

Strategy tip: it is best to learn place words together with the preposition that they usually take.

Lastly, there are some words that can be used with both в and на, but with a difference in meaning:

Слова́рь был в пи́сьменном столе́. The dictionary was in the desk.
Слова́рь был на пи́сьменном столе́. The dictionary was on the desk.
Ку́ртка была́ в шкафу́. The jacket was in the wardrobe.
Ку́ртка была́ на шкафу́. The jacket was on the wardrobe.

Упражне́ние 1. Choosing the Correct Preposition

Read the sentences and choose the correct preposition.

Expressing Never (And Other Negatives)

В гру́ппе Ке́йтлин никто́ не хо́чет рабо́тать сего́дня.
Джош никогда́ не хо́чет убира́ть ко́мнату. Josh never wants to tidy his room.
Ната́лья Миха́йловна нигде́ не у́чится. Она́ уже́ рабо́тает. Natalya Mikhailovna is not a student anywhere. She is already employed.
Ке́йтлин сего́дня никуда́ не идёт. Она́ хо́чет рабо́тать до́ма. Caitlin is going nowhere today. She wants to work at home.
То́ни ничего́ не зна́ет об э́том. Tony knows nothing about that.
В сентябре́ Ама́нда никого́ не зна́ла в Петербу́рге. In September Amanda didn’t know anyone in Saint Petersburg.
In Caitlin’s group no one wants to work today.

Negative phrases like this in Russian consist of two parts: an intensifier ни- and a negating particle не. Based on the sentences above, you can see that не is positioned...

            а. before the conjugated verb

            б. after the conjugated verb

            в. on question words

The intensifying particle ни-...

            а. gets put before the conjugated verb

            б. goes at the beginning of the sentence

            в. gets attached to question words like когда́, где, куда́ etc.

These ни- words generally come...

            а. at the start of the sentences

            б. before не and the conjugated verb

            в. after the conjugated verb

            г. the end of the sentence

There can be multiple ни- words in a sentence, but only a single не needs to come before the conjugated verb.

Ама́нда о́чень занята́. Она́ никогда́ никуда́ не хо́дит.

More Verbs

First Conjugation Verbs

In this section you meet the following first conjugation verbs. 

These verbs all conjugate like чита́ть (stem: читай-), in both the present and past tenses.

Infinitive Stem English Equivalent
начина́ть начина́й- begin, start
выступа́ть выступа́й- perform, give concert
забыва́ть забыва́й- forget
спра́шивать спра́шивай- ask
пла́вать пла́вай- swim (as a sport)
бе́гать бе́гай- run, jog

More first conjugation verbs in -ова-ть

Like фотографи́ровать

сове́товать (stem: сове́туй-) = to advise, to recommend

танцева́ть (stem: танцу́й-) = to dance

Although it ends in -ева-ть, the verb танцевать also belongs to the -ова-ть group. This verb has -е- after the ц because of the spelling rule that you know from the adjectives хороший and большо́й (хоро́шее but большо́е) and their endings. It is the five-letter spelling rule: after ж  ш  щ  ч  ц  we write о́ only if it is stressed, otherwise we spell –е-. 

Remember that the past tense of these verbs is formed regularly, using their infinitives.

Second Conjugation Verbs: ходи́ть and е́здить

In the last unit we learned that the verb ви́деть has a consonant mutation in the я form, where д > ж.  We see a similar pattern with these two new second conjugation verbs:

ходи́ть (stem: ход- with д>ж mutation) = to go (on one’s own power)

е́здить (stem: езд- with д>ж mutation) = to ride, go (by transport)

Both are second conjugation verbs with the д>ж mutation in the first person singular.

Infinitive ви́деть
to see
to go (own power)
to ride, go (transport)
Stem: вид- ход- езд-
Mutation: д > ж д > ж д > ж
я ви́жу хожу́ е́зжу
ты ви́дишь хо́дишь е́здишь
он/она́ ви́дит хо́дит е́здит
мы ви́дим хо́дим е́здим
вы ви́дите хо́дите е́здите
они́ ви́дят хо́дят е́здят

The past tense of these verbs is formed regularly from their infinitives.


Упражне́ние 2. Listening activity.

Review the conjugation of the verb хоте́ть (to want) and the verb ходи́ть (to go). While they share a first syllable, all of their forms are different.  Listen to the sentences below and decide whether the message is about wanting (the verb is a form of хоте́ть) or about going places (the verb is a form of ходи́ть). In addition to the verb forms, you can use the general context and meaning of the sentence to help you to tell them apart.

Prepositional Plural

One of the complaints that Мара́т Аза́тович has about his neighbors is:

Они́ но́чью игра́ют на ра́зных инструме́нтах.

You already know that the phrase игра́ть на goes with the prepositional case when we talk about playing musical instruments.  The ending –ах on the word инструме́нтах is the prepositional plural ending in Russian.  This ending works for nouns of all genders, and it attaches to the stem of the nominative plural.  If the stem of the nominative plural ends in a soft consonant, then the prepositional plural ending will be –ях.

The –ых ending on the word ра́зных (“different, various”) is the preposition plural adjective ending. For spelling-rule and soft adjectives, the ending will be –их.


Prepositional Plural Basic ending Soft ending
for adjectives -ых -их
for nouns, all genders -ах -ях

In detail

Nominative Plural
(subjects кто? что?)
Prepositional Plural
(в/на чём? - for locations; о чём? – “about X”)
Hard -ы                                → -ах
Вот журна́лы. Мы говорим о журна́лах.
Мы говорим о кварти́рах.
Мы говорим о кни́гах.
       о́кна. Мы говорим об о́кнах.
Soft -и                                → -ях
Вот словари́. Мы говорим о словаря́х.
       тетра́ди. Мы говорим о тетра́дях.
       сочине́ния. Мы говорим о сочине́ниях.


You have learned that to ask permission in Russian you can use the word:


If permission is granted, you will hear:

            Да, да, пожа́луйста.

If permission is denied, you will hear back:

             Нет, нельзя́. (No, it is not possible. It is not permitted.)

Like мо́жно, нельзя́ can be used with infinitives.

            Здесь на у́лице мо́жно кури́ть, а там в магази́не нельзя́ кури́ть.