Немно́го о языке́ 7.1 Ру́сская ку́хня

Глаго́лы есть и пить

The verb пить “to drink” belongs to the first conjugation and has a stem of пьй-.  Its perfective is вы́пить, which, like all perfective verbs with the prefix вы-, has stress on the prefix.

The verb есть (to eat) is one of the four verbs in Russian whose endings are completely unpredictable and needs to be learned.  Its perfective is: съесть.

Infinitive пить
to drink
to drink (perf)
to eat
to eat (perf)
Stem: пьй- вы́́пьй-
я пью вы́пью ем съем
ты пьёшь вы́пьешь ешь съешь
он/она́ пьёт вы́пьет ест съест
мы пьём вы́пьем еди́м съеди́м
вы пьёте вы́пьете еди́те съеди́те
они́ пьют вы́пьют едя́т съедя́т
Spelling and Pronouncing съесть and its Forms

Listen to the pronunciation of the verb есть and notice that it begins with a [j] sound. When we add a prefix that ends in a consonant to a verb that begins with a [j] sound, Russian uses a hard sign ъ to keep the prefix phonetically separated from the base verb. The hard sign preserves the [j] sound at the start of есть.

We see/write с ъ есть
We hear/say [s’] [j] [est’]

Упражне́ние 1

Listen to the beginning of the sentence and pick the object that makes the best logical sense.

Instrumental Case

You have already encountered many of the endings for nouns in the instrumental case when you learned the words:

у́тром = in the morning = instrumental case of у́тро
ве́чером = in the evening = instrumental case of ве́чер
днём = in the day = instrumental case of день
но́чью = at night = instrumental case of ночь

The basic ending for the instrumental case for masculine and neuter nouns in the singular is –ом (-ем for soft), while the basic ending for feminine nouns in the singular is –ой (-ей for soft). Feminine nouns in a soft sign will have an instrumental ending of –ью. In the plural, the basic ending for all genders is –ами (-ями for soft). When the stress falls on the soft endings, they will be written –ём / -ёй.

Overview of Instrumental Case Endings
Instrumental Case Basic ending Soft or spelling rule ending
Masculine/Neuter -ом -ем (-ём)
Feminine -ой -ей (-ёй)
Feminine in -ь -ью
Plural -ами -ями

Uses of the Instrumental Case

The instrumental case has a wide number of usages in Russian.

1. It is used with the preposition с in the meaning of “with, in accompaniment with, together with.”  This preposition can be used with people doing things together, and also for two items that accompany each other in a particular dish. Sometimes English uses “with” in these combinations, and sometimes not.

чай с лимо́ном = tea with lemon
макаро́ны с сы́ром = macaroni and cheese
хлеб с ма́слом = bread and butter

2. The instrumental can also be used with other prepositions.

ме́жду = between, among
ря́дом с = next to

The Preposition без (without)

The opposite of с (with) + instrumental is the preposition без (without) + genitive case. These two prepositions can be helpful in specifying varieties of food and drink items.

минера́льная вода́ с га́зом минера́льная вода́ без га́за
чай с са́харом чай без са́хара
мя́со с карто́шкой мя́со без карто́шки

Упражне́ние 2

Listen to the drink orders and mark the options that they choose.

A note about чёрный ко́фе

According to official Russian grammars, the indeclinable noun ко́фе is masculine, and so one should say чёрный ко́фе (black coffee) and кре́пкий ко́фе (strong coffee). However, in daily conversation, Russians sometimes treat ко́фе as an indeclinable, neuter noun, and so you will frequently encounter expressions like, чёрное ко́фе, кре́пкое ко́фе.

Pronouncing the Prepositions с and без

You already know that prepositions in Russian are pronounced together with the following word, and that following word determines whether a sound is voiced (for example, в = [в] ) or voiceless (в = [ф]).

The preposition с is usually voiceless and pronounced like [с].  However, it turns into the voiced [з] before voiced consonants б  г  д  ж  з. Listen to these examples:

с ба́бушкой
с де́душкой
с Дени́сом
ря́дом с гаражо́м
ря́дом с зоопа́рком

In contrast, the preposition без ends with з, which is a voiced consonant. The з of the preposition без will turn into the voiceless [с] before the voiceless consonants к п с т ф ш.  Listen to these examples:

без кни́ги
без пробле́мы
без са́хара
без тетра́ди
без фотогра́фии

When the prepositions с and без come before a word beginning with ч, the sounds [с + ч] and [з + ч] form a single sound equivalent to [щ].

С чем э́ти пирожки́? Без чего́?
С чемода́ном че́рез час

Упражне́ние 3

Look at the following phrases and listen to how they are pronounced.  Then indicate whether the с/з is pronounced as it is spelled or whether the pronunciation and the spelling are different.

Spelling the Preposition: с or со?

If the word following the preposition с starts with a consonant cluster starting with с or з, then the preposition will acquire a fill vowel and be spelled со

Светлана Борисовна со Светланой Борисовной
сметана со сметаной