Немно́го о языке́ 8.2 Ваш Дени́с и́ли наш Дени́с?

Verbs and Phrases for Life Events

One task that you will learn to do in this unit is tell the story of a person’s life and the major events in the person’s life.  For this you will need to learn the past-tense forms of a number of verbs and verbal expressions.  In some ways the grammar of each of these verbs/phrases is different, and you will need to learn how each phrase works individually.

Dictionary Form Grammatical forms Meaning, usage comments
роди́ться (perfective) past:
он роди́лся
она́ родила́сь
они́ родили́сь
to be born
вы́расти (perfective) past:
он вы́рос
она́ вы́росла
они́ вы́росли
to grow up

Although this might look like an action that unfolds over years, Russians tend to use the perfective past to talk about “growing up” as a whole event.
пойти́ в шко́лу (perfective) past:
он пошёл
она́ пошла́
они́ пошли́
to start going to school
поступа́ть / поступи́ть в университе́т impf: поступай-  I
perf: поступ- II (with п → пл in the я form)
The imperfective verb means “to try to get into university” referring to the application process, taking entrance exams, etc.
The perfective verb means “to enroll at a university” meaning that you successfully completed that process and achieved the result of becoming a university student.

зака́нчивать / зако́нчить университе́т impf: зака́нчивай- I

perf: зако́нч- II
In English we graduate from a college (preposition plus noun); in Russian the verb зако́нчить is followed by a direct object.

Упражне́ние 1

Select the best translation for the sentences.

1. Я поступа́л в МГУ. I didn’t apply to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State but wasn’t accepted. I got into Moscow State.
2. Я не поступа́л в МГУ. I didn’t apply to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State but wasn’t accepted. I got into Moscow State.
3. Я поступи́л в МГУ. I didn’t apply to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State but wasn’t accepted. I got into Moscow State.
4. Я не поступи́л в МГУ. I didn’t apply to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State. I applied to Moscow State but wasn’t accepted. I got into Moscow State.

Marriage Expressions

The questions and answers about a person’s marital status in Russian differ depending on the gender. You can see the gendered nature of the words, since за́мужем contains the word муж (husband), while the word жена́ты contains жена́ (wife).

— Вы за́мужем?
— Да, я за́мужем.
— За кем вы за́мужем?
— Я за́мужем за Влади́миром.

fixed expression to ask about marital status; it takes no further endings
questions asked of a woman

— Вы жена́ты?
— Да, я жена́т.
— На ком вы жена́ты?
— Я жена́т на А́нне.

жена́т, жена́ты
a short-form adjective that changes based upon the word it modifies

questions asked of a man

— Вы жена́ты?
— Да, мы жена́ты.

a short-form adjective that requires a plural subject

question asked of a couple

Поговори́ть: The Other Perfective of говори́ть

In Уро́к №6 you learned that the perfective of говори́ть with its meaning of “to say, to tell” is сказа́ть. In this meaning the verb говори́ть/сказа́ть is used with the accusative case for the thing said and the dative for the person it is said to.

The verb говори́ть also has the meaning “to speak, to talk.” For this meaning, its perfective partner is поговори́ть = “to have a talk to/with,” “to speak with.” In this meaning, the verb говори́ть / поговори́ть is used with с plus the instrumental case for the person with whom you talk, and о plus the prepositional for the topic you talk about.

Going to a Person's Home

When expressing the idea of going to a person or a person’s home, we use the preposition к plus the dative case of the person’s name. The preposition к has a basic meaning of “toward, in the direction of” and it makes sense to use this with people, since the prepositions в and на express real physical location (in/into and on/onto).

If you are going to visit a person, Russian combines this к + dative construction with the phrase в го́сти (literally, among the guests).

Наде́жда Влади́мировна е́дет в го́сти к бра́ту. Nadezhda Vladimirovna is going to visit her brother.
Ты придёшь к нам в го́сти? Will you come to visit us?

Recap on prepositions for locations, destinations, and origins.

So far you’ve encountered almost all of the prepositions related to being at a place, going to a place, and going from a place. The table below summarizes the prepositions and the cases that go along with these meanings.  Remember that the preposition в goes along with places that have an inside/outside. The preposition на tends to goes with surfaces and open spaces (стол, стена́, пол, эта́ж, приро́да, etc.), activities (рабо́та, конце́рт, заня́тия, etc.), and some exceptional words (по́чта, да́ча). When talking about people, we use у to talk about being at a person’s place, к to talk about going to a person’s place and от to talk about getting something from a person, or coming from a person’s place.

(locations: where?)
(destinations: to where?)
(origins: from where?)
в + prepositional в + accusative из + genitive
в магази́не
в библиоте́ке
в общежи́тии
в Петербу́рге
в Москве́
в Росси́и
в Каза́ни
в магази́н
в библиоте́ку
в общежи́тие
в Петербу́рг
в Москву́
в Росси́ю
в Каза́нь
из магази́на
из библиоте́ки
из общежи́тия
из Петербу́рга
из Москвы́
из Росси́и
из Каза́ни
на + prepositional на + accusative с + genitive*
на столе́
на конце́рте
на рабо́те
на стол
на конце́рт
на рабо́ту
со стола́
с конце́рта
с рабо́ты
For people
у + genitive к + dative от + genitive
у дру́га
у Мара́та Аза́товича
у подру́ги
у Зо́и Степа́новны
к дру́гу
к Мара́ту Аза́товичу
к подру́ге
к Зо́е Степа́новне
от дру́га
от Мара́та Аза́товича
от подру́ги
от Зо́и Степа́новны

The mnemonic expression визнаскот [в из / на с / к от] may help you to remember these pairings of prepositions.

Adjectives Used As Nouns

Back in Уро́к № 5 you learned that words, such as столо́вая (= dining room, cafeteria), гости́ная (= living room) and ва́нная (= bathroom), are adjectives in form, but nouns in function, that is, they were used like nouns to refer to specific rooms or places. These words declined like feminine adjectives.

The words взро́слый (adult) and моро́женое (ice cream) are also adjectives in form, but function like nouns. Моро́женое declines like a neuter adjective, while взро́слый, when it refers to a generic adult, will decline like a masculine animate adjective.