Archive for September, 2012

We must cultivate our garden! (or, more about tools) Posted by on Sep 26, 2012

In Monday’s post, I talked about some of the basic ручные инструменты (“hand tools”) that might be employed by a плотник (“carpenter”) or a сантехник (“plumber”) — as well as some of the verbs that go along with these tools. Today, we’ll take that theme out into to the огород (“backyard vegetable patch”), with some…

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Going Negative with Accusative and Genitive Posted by on Sep 25, 2012

 How about this phrase Не вижу смысла (It doesn’t make sense to me). The verb видеть is transitive, so according to the rule the noun смысл must be in accusative. Yet смысла is not accusative, but genitive case (check out the complete declension table). Besides, if I were to say Я вижу смысл в чём-то (Something…

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The right tool for the job Posted by on Sep 24, 2012

Once upon a time, when мы с товарищами снимали небольшую квартиру недалеко от Киевского вокзала (“some friends and I were renting a small apartment not far from the Kievsky train terminal”), the door on one of the kitchen cupboards got a bit wobbly, because a петля (“hinge”) was loose. Alas, although it was a furnished…

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Walking a Dog or More About Transitive and Intransitive Verbs Posted by on Sep 20, 2012

Last week I did a post about whether to use nouns in accusative or genitive case after verbs. If you missed the post and don’t feel like reading it now, here’s the rule in the nutshell: If a verb is transitive, then use the accusative case. If a verb is intransitive, then use the genitive…

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To everything (Turn, turn, turn!)… Posted by on Sep 19, 2012

♪♫ …there is a season (Turn, turn, turn!): A time to sow, A time to reap, A time for war, A time for peace, A time to learn confusing Russian verbs with an indecent number of syllables, A time to say “Фиг с этим!” and study Esperanto instead…♪♫ Hi, everybody — can you guess what…

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«Икра» (“caviar”) without any fish eggs! Posted by on Sep 17, 2012

In this video post, I’m gonna play “Julia Child” and walk you through the recipe for one of my favorite Russian hors d’oeurves — баклажанная икра, or “eggplant caviar,” which is essentially a chunky version of Middle Eastern babaganoush. In fact, the word баклажан (“eggplant; aubergine”) is itself from the Middle East, and was borrowed…

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Doing Business по-русски Posted by on Sep 14, 2012

It’s the end of the week, so let’s do something fun. How about watching cartoons? Some time ago I found a cartoon on YouTube called Бизнес по-русски (Russian-style Business). Of all the episodes I could find, I liked Труба (Pipe) one the most. The story is of обычный россиянин (an ordinary Russian) who comes up…

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