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As you may know, nouns and adjectives have different forms in Russian. For example, a strong wind (сильный ветер) is different from a windmill (ветряная мельница). But how do you make a noun into an adjective and how do you make sure the chosen adjective is appropriate for the situation?
Let us look at some nature-related nouns and some adjectives derived from them. Sometimes, there will be an overlap between the meanings of the different adjectives and they can be used interchangeably. I will also be listing some set expressions with the adjectives below.
Ветряной — this means “powered by wind”
Ветреный — “windy, characterized by high winds,” of a person: “careless, fickle”
Ветровой — “pertaining to the wind”
Солнечный — anything pertaining to the sun, “sunny, solar”
Водный — “referring to water”
Водяной — “powered by water, containing water”
Огненный — “fiery, hot, bright”
Огневой — can mean the same as above but also “pertaining to fire and its effects” or “referring to military fire”
Песочный — “made of sand, sand-colored,” also “shortcrust pastry”
Песчаный — “made of sand or covered with sand”
Земляной — “pertaining to soil or consisting of it, living in the ground”
Земельный — “pertaining to land”
Земной — “pertaining to planet Earth; earthly” (as opposed to heavenly in the spiritual sense)
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