Немно́го о языке́ 7.8 Лу́чше по́здно, чем никогда́

Ско́лько вре́мени? (how long) vs. Во ско́лько? (at what time)

Notice the difference in meaning between the time expressions in these two sentences from the text.

Когда́ мы прие́хали в аэропо́рт, снег шёл уже́ два часа́. The boldface phrase expresses: a duration or span of time a point or moment in time
В два часа́ начала́сь мете́ль. This boldface phrase expresses: a duration or span of time a point or moment in time

For telling how long an action goes on (i.e., durations of time) Russian puts the time phrase in the accusative case.  No preposition is necessary.  For telling at what time or on what day an event happens, Russian uses the preposition в with the accusative case.

Упражне́ние 1

Read the sentences below and note whether the time expressions express a duration or a point in time. Notice the various ways that durations of time can be expressed in English.

Other new verbs

The verbs загора́ть (stem: загорай- ) “to sunbathe”; петь (stem: пой-) “to sing” and ждать (stem: жд-) “to wait”  take first conjugation endings. The stems пой- and жд- are combined with stressed first conjugation endings.

The verb боя́ться (stem: бой-  ́+ся) “to be afraid” takes second conjugation endings.

All four verbs are imperfective.

to sunbathe
to sing
to wait
to be afraid
Stem: загорай- пой- жд- бой- +ся
я загора́ю пою́ жду бою́сь
ты загора́ешь поёшь ждёшь бои́шься
он/она загора́ет поёт ждёт бои́тся
мы загора́ем поём ждём бои́мся
вы загора́ете поёте ждёте бои́тесь
они загора́ют пою́т ждут боя́тся

“To ask” in Russian

Мо́жно зада́ть вам вопро́с? = May I ask you a question?
Сосе́ди спроси́ли меня́, что я здесь де́лаю в аэропорту́. = The neighbors asked me what I was doing in the airport.

The verbs задава́ть/зада́ть and спра́шивать/спроси́ть can both be translated into English as “ask,” but they are not interchangeable. Задава́ть/зада́ть is part of a fixed phrase that includes the word вопро́с (= question). The verb спра́шивать/спроси́ть is used when the actual question is quoted or implied. 

Another difference between the verbs is in their complements:

задава́ть/зада́ть + dative case of the person asked + вопро́с
спра́шивать/спроси́ть + accusative case of the person asked

The verb pair задава́ть/зада́ть conjugates just like: дава́ть/да́ть.  The imperfective спра́шивать is a first conjugation verb with a stem in спра́шивай- while the perfective is a second conjugation verb with a stem of спрос-, and a consonant mutation of с → ш, in the я form.

Infinitive спроси́ть
to ask
Stem: спрос-
Mutation: с → ш
я спрошу́
ты спро́сишь
он/она спро́сит
мы спро́сим
вы спро́сите
они спро́сят

Упражне́ние 2

Select the appropriate asking verb for the context.

Упражне́ние 3

Listen to the first part of the sentence and then pick the conclusion that is grammatically correct.

До́лжен = Is Supposed To, Must

Я должна́ была́ лете́ть домо́й. = I was supposed to fly home.
Они́ должны́ бы́ли лете́ть во Фра́нкфурт. = They were supposed to fly to Frankfurt.

The Russian word до́лжен  (до́лжна, до́лжно, до́лжны) is a short-form adjective, which means “is supposed to, must.” Должен comes from the word долг (a debt) is used when the subject feels some kind of obligation, often a moral obligation, to perform an action. As a short form adjective, до́лжен agrees with its subject in number and gender, and it is often followed by an infinitive.  In the past tense it combines with the past forms of быть, and in the future with the future forms of быть.  The forms of быть usually follow the short-form до́лжен.