Немно́го о языке́ 9.5 Са́мое глубо́кое о́зеро в ми́ре

Durations of time

From our story you know that both Amanda and Tony have made trips which could be summarized in the sentences below:

То́ни е́здил в Петербу́рг на пять дней.
Ама́нда е́здила в Москву́ на четы́ре дня.
Ке́йтлин и её роди́тели е́здили на Гава́йи на неде́лю.
1. In these sentences, the verb е́здил/е́здила/е́здили means:
а. is headed to
б. made a round trip to
в. set out for
г. is on the way to
2. The time spans на пять дней / на четы́ре дня /на неде́лю refer to:
а. the length of time the travelers are on the road door-to-door
б. the length of time the travelers are at their destination
в. the length of time it took them to get to the destination

When talking about the length of time one will be at the destination of a trip, we use the preposition на with the accusative case of the time expression. 

If we talk about the length of time in route to a destination (i.e., riding in a train from Petersburg to Moscow; flying from Ohio to Hawaii), then we will use accusative time expressions without the preposition на. 

Упражне́ние 1

Pick the meaning that the sentence reflects.  Note how the verbs of motion combine with these different time expressions.

1. Мы е́здили в Москву́ на две неде́ли. Time on route Length of stay
2. Мы е́дем в Ту́лу четы́ре часа. Time on route Length of stay
3. Мы е́дем в Ту́лу на день. Time on route Length of stay
4. Мы пое́дем в Петербу́рг на три дня. Time on route Length of stay
5. Мы е́дем в Каза́нь день. Time on route Length of stay
6. Мы е́дем в Каза́нь на два дня. Time on route Length of stay

Softening expressions of wanting

In many contexts you can express your desire for something with the verb хотеть, although this can sometimes express a very strong sense of will and wanting. Russians often modify that expression to “would like to” by combining the past-tense forms of хотеть with the conditional particle бы.  Compare the sentences below.

Дени́с хо́чет познако́мить Ама́нду с роди́телями. vs. Дени́с хоте́л бы познако́мить Ама́нду с роди́телями.
Ама́нда хо́чет купи́ть Же́не пода́рок. vs. Ама́нда хоте́ла бы купи́ть Же́не пода́рок.
Студе́нты хотя́т пойти́ на спекта́кль. vs. Студе́нты хоте́ли бы пойти́ на спекта́кль.
Я хочу́ обе́дать. vs. Я хоте́л бы обе́дать.

после́дний and other soft stem adjectives

Back in Unit 2, you first put adjectives together with nouns and learned to make adjectives agree with those nouns in gender and number.  The adjectives that you met in that unit had basic endings for stems that end in a hard consonant (like но́в-ый, ста́р-ый, интере́сн-ый).  Alternative endings were due to stress (like молод-о́й, дорог-о́й, как-о́й) and Russian spelling rules (большо́е and хоро́шее).  

While the overwhelming majority of adjectives use these basic hard endings, Russian has a small group of “soft” adjectives, whose stems end in a soft н.  Some common “soft” adjectives are:

после́дний – last (stem: после́дн- ий)
си́ний – dark blue (stem: си́н-ий)
нового́дний – New Year’s (stem: нового́дн-ий)
дре́вний – ancient (stem: дре́вн- ий)
вече́рний – evening (stem: вече́рн-ий)
у́тренний – morning (stem: у́тренн-ий)

In soft adjectives the final н of the stem is soft and remains soft in all forms. When we apply adjective endings to such stems, we will need to select vowels that show the softness of the final н of the stem.  Compare the forms in the table below.

Basic hard endings Soft stem adjective
интере́сный рома́н после́дний рома́н
интере́сная статья́ последняя статья́
интере́сное сло́во после́днее сло́во
интере́сные но́вости после́дние но́вости

It is not hard to learn the forms for soft adjectives like последний if you remember the following substitutions:

            when hard adjectives have ы, soft adjectives will have и

            when hard adjectives have о, soft adjectives will have е

            when hard adjectives have а, soft adjectives will have я

            when hard adjectives have у, soft adjectives will have ю