Немно́го о языке́ 8.3 Москва́ не сра́зу стро́илась

More on the Particle –ся

Verbs that always have –ся

Some verbs in Russian always end in the particle –ся. Notice how they generally express emotional states.

Я наде́юсь = I hope from наде́яться = to hope
Я бою́сь = I am afraid from боя́ться = to be afraid
Мне нра́вится… = I like  from нра́виться/ понра́виться = to like, to be pleasing to

Other Russian verbs exist in both a non-ся form and a –ся form.

The difference in meaning is often subtle, and it expresses a few different notions.

Meaning 1: The Particle -ся Adds a Reciprocal Meaning

When the ся particle is added to the verb, the form suggests that the subjects are performing the action of the verb on each other.

Verb minus -ся
уви́деть = to see (someone or something)
встре́тить = to meet (someone)
Verb plus -ся
За́втра уви́димся. = Tomorrow we’ll see each other.
Дава́й встре́тимся у вхо́да. = Let’s meet each other at the entrance.
Meaning 2: The Particle -ся Gives a Passive Meaning

For many verbs in Russian that exist in a non-ся form and a form with –ся, the non-ся verb is expressed in English with an active voice verb (i.e., the subject is an agent who does the action of the verb on a direct object, X does Y). The -ся form of the verb will be translated with the passive voice (i.e., the subject has the action done to itself, Y is done).

Verb minus -ся
роди́ть = to give birth to (baby, son)
познако́мить = to introduce (to one another)
продава́ть = to sell (I sell something)
стро́ить = to build (I build something)
Verb plus -ся
роди́ться = to be born
познако́миться = to become acquainted
продава́ться = to be sold
стро́иться = to be built
The Particle -ся and Intransitive Verbs

In other instances the difference between the non-ся verb and its –ся version will NOT be obvious from English translation, because in English we can use verbs like “open,” “close,” “start” and “finish” either as transitive verbs [i.e., one that takes a direct object – "My roommate opens the window"] or as an intransitive verb [i.e., one that does not take a direct object – "The window opens easily"]. For these verbs, Russian marks the difference in a formal way with the particle –ся, while English doesn’t.

Verbs without –ся will be transitive and need a direct object. The intransitive usage will be expressed by verbs with –ся. For example, the following verbs come in –ся and non-ся forms, where the English translation of both is the same.

открыва́ть / откры́ть открыва́ться / откры́ться to open
закрыва́ть / закры́ть закрыва́ться / закры́ться to close
начина́ть / нача́ть начина́ться / нача́ться to begin, start
заканчива́ть/зако́нчить заканчива́ться/зако́нчиться to end, finish

The difference between the non-ся and the –ся versions depends on how the sentences surrounding the verbs are constructed. Here, it is important to notice that the verbs without -ся have a subject who performs the action of the verb on the direct object. The subject is in the nominative, and the direct object is in the accusative case.

Verb minus -ся
performs action on object.
Ме́неджер открыва́ет пиццери́ю.*
Учи́тель закрыва́ет дверь.*
Преподава́тель начина́ет ле́кцию.*
Мы зака́нчиваем уро́к.*
Verb plus -ся
does the
Пиццери́я открыва́ется.* the –ся takes the place of the direct object
Дверь закрыва́ется.*
Ле́кция начина́ется.*
Уро́к зака́нчивается.*

Упражне́ние 1

Pick the sentence conclusion that fits grammatically.

Mass Nouns and Quantity Expressions.

Quantity expressions like мно́го / ма́ло are followed by the genitive plural for count nouns (like студе́нт, дом, кни́га, etc.). Nouns that refer to a mass, rather than countable objects, such as вода́, вре́мя, рабо́та, will be in the genitive singular after quantity expressions.

ма́ло вре́мени = little time
мно́го рабо́ты = a lot of work, much work
мно́го наро́ду* = a lot of people

В како́м ве́ке?

In describing historical monuments and events, Russians often refer to the century in which they took place or were built. Telling in what century requires the preposition в plus the prepositional case of the ordinal number and the word век (century). In print, centuries are often written in Roman numerals. Russian uses centuries, where English can use both centuries and expressions like "the seventeen hundreds."

Э́тот собо́р постро́или в XVIII ве́ке.
Библиоте́ку постро́или в нача́ле XX ве́ка.

In print Written in full English equivalents
в Х ве́ке в деся́том ве́ке in the 10th century, the 900s
в XI ве́ке в оди́ннадцатом ве́ке in the 11th century, the 1000s
в ХII ве́ке в двена́дцатом ве́ке in the 12th century, the 1100s
в XIII ве́ке в трина́дцатом ве́ке in the 13th century, the 1200s
в XIV ве́ке в четы́рнадцатом ве́ке in the 14th century, the 1300s
в XV ве́ке в пятна́дцатом ве́ке in the 15th century, the 1400s
в XVI ве́ке в шестна́дцатом ве́ке in the 16th century, the 1500s
в XVII ве́ке в семна́дцатом ве́ке in the 17th century, the 1600s
в XVIII ве́ке в восемна́дцатом ве́ке in the 18th century, the 1700s
в XIX ве́ке в девятна́дцатом ве́ке in the 19th century, the 1800s
в XX ве́ке в двадца́том ве́ке in the 20th century, the 1900s
в XXI ве́ке в два́дцать пе́рвом ве́ке in the 21st century, the 2000s

The Superlative Form of Adjectives: са́мый + Adjective

The superlative degree of adjectives (e.g., the X-est, the most X) is formed very simply in Russian by adding the adjective са́мый to the positive form of the adjective.  Both words will show gender, number and case agreement with the noun they modify.

Са́мый большо́й собо́р в Моско́вском Кре́мле – э́то Успе́нский собо́р.
Арха́нгельский собо́р — са́мый краси́вый собо́р в Кре́мле.
Мы говори́ли о са́мом интере́сном собо́ре в Кре́мле.

The Spatial Prefixes вы- and в-

You already know that the verbs of motion can take various spatial prefixes such as при (arrive, motion toward a destination) and у (leaving, departing from a place).  In this unit you encounter two more spatial prefixes: вы– (which generally points out “exiting, going out from an enclosed space”) and its antonym в- (which generally points out “going into an enclosed space”). In the text you have seen:

С таки́м рюкзако́м нельзя́ входи́ть на террито́рию Кремля́.
Ама́нда и Дени́с вы́шли в Алекса́ндровский сад.
Ты вы́йдешь из метро́, и музе́й ря́дом.

At present, learn how this prefix combines with the verbs for going on foot.

входи́ть войти́
go into, come into, enter
вход- (д → ж) войд-
я вхожу́ войду́
ты вхо́дишь войдёшь
он/она́ вхо́дит войдёт
мы вхо́дим войдём
вы вхо́дите войдёте
они́ вхо́дят войду́т
Past Tense
он входи́л вошёл
она́ входи́ла вошла́
они́ входи́ли вошли́
выходи́ть вы́йти
go out, come out, exit
выход- (д → ж) вы́йд-
я выхожу́ вы́йду
ты выхо́дишь вы́йдешь
он/она́ выхо́дит вы́йдет
мы выхо́дим вы́йдем
вы выхо́дите вы́йдете
они́ выхо́дят вы́йдут
Past Tense
он выходи́л вы́шел
она́ выходи́ла вы́шла
они́ выходи́ли вы́шли

Упражне́ние 2

Listen to the sentences and mark whether you are going in or coming out of a place. Then note whether the verb tells present time or future time.

1. Going in Going out Present Future
2. Going in Going out Present Future
3. Going in Going out Present Future
4. Going in Going out Present Future
5. Going in Going out Present Future
6. Going in Going out Present Future
7. Going in Going out Present Future
8. Going in Going out Present Future