Russian Language Blog

Test Time – Check Your Knowledge of Russian Language Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Culture, language

It’s the end of the school year in Russia. The good news is that летние каникулы (summer school break) is about to start. The bad news is that first there are some экзамены (exams) that need to be passed.

Of course, if you studied hard all year or, say, took time зазубрить (here: to cram) all the required materials the night before, you will do just fine. Besides, some years ago Russia changes its traditional high school exam-taking format to the ЕГЭ, единый государственный экзамен (unified state examination).

So no more pulling билеты (tickets) with open-ended questions in them. Instead, each ЕГЭ, and there are lots of them, including по физике (physics test), по биологии (biology test), по математике (mathematics test) and such, has три части (three parts) – one for multiple-choice questions, one for fill-in-the-blanks and one for essays.

If it sounds like ACT or SAT tests, then you’re on the right since ЕГЭ was modeled partially on these standardized tests.

So let’s do our own testing right here right now. But don’t be scared. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you will have no problem figuring out the answers. And in case you forgot what you read (happens to me all the time) or if you just started reading this blog, I’ll include links to the relevant posts in the answers.

1. Choose the correct pronoun to use in the sentence

Я люблю русский язык. Наперекор всем правилам и исключениям, наперекор трудно-произносимым согласным и непредсказуемому ударению, я люблю _____. (I love the Russian language. Regardless of all the rules and exceptions, regardless of the hard-to-pronounce consonants and unpredictable word stress, I love ____)

a) него
b) её
c) его
d) их

2. In what order should you put these words so that the sentence is grammatically correct – молоток (a hammer), нужен (needed), очень (very much), мне (for me):

a) Мне очень нужен молоток.
b) Молоток очень нужен мне.
c) Мне молоток очень нужен.
d) Очень нужен мне молоток.

3. Fill in the blank

Не только в русском языке, а ______ в действительности, крысы чаще всего молчат. (Not only in the Russian language, but also in real life, rats are usually silent)

a) тоже
b) также
c) то же
d) так же

4. What is фига с маслом

a) Traditional way Russians serve figs
b) Fig-flavored butter that became a big hit at some of Moscow’s эксклюзивные рестораны (exclusive restaurant).
c) An expletive, an extremely rude way to say “Nyet, you get nothing” to somebody
d) A mildly rude way to say “Nyet, you get nothing” to somebody

5. Complete the sentence

Тише едешь, ___________ будешь.

a) Дальше
b) Хуже
c) Проще
d) Толще

6. How would you say “cold wine” in Russian

a) холодный вино
b) холодная вино
c) холодное вино
d) холодные вино

7. An easy way to form an opposite in Russian is to add “не-” (no) to the beginning of the word. However, it doesn’t always work. Which of these pairs is the example of when this rule DOES NOT work:

a) удача – неудача
b) смелый – несмелый
c) друг – недруг
d) ряшливый – неряшливый

8. Choose the correct word to describe this person in Russian

мать жены (wife’s mother)

a) свекровь
b) невестка
с) мать в законе
d) тёща

9. Which of these are NOT viewed as traditional women’s chores in Russia

a) приготовление шашлыков
b) глажка
c) уборка
d) стирка

10. According to a well-known Russian superstitions, what happens when you свистеть в доме (whistle in the house)

a) Получишь в зубы (you will get punched in the teeth)
b) Жена уйдёт (your wife will leave you)
с) Денег не будет (you will have no money)
d) Тараканы заведутся (the house will be infested by ‘roaches)

11. As you know, труд сделал из обезьяны человека (work turned an ape into a man). According to Russian sayings, what other animal is affected by work, albeit with negative consequences, as in от работы __________ дохнут (__________ die from work)

a) Слоны (elephants)
b) Кони (horses)
c) Хомячки (hamsters)
d) Кошки (cats)

12. What town is столица российской глубинки (a capital of the Russian provinces)?

a) Урюпинск
b) Мухосранск
c) Тьмутаракань
d) Деревня Гадюкино

And now let’s check the correct answers (give yourself 1 point for each correct answer). They are

1. c – find out more about confusing Russian pronouns
2. all answers are correct. Make sure to review the post on word order in Russian sentences.
3. b – if you are wondering about the sentence itself or why также is the correct answer, then revisit the post about тоже и также as well as the post about то же и так же
4. d – brush up on other ways to use figs in conversations
5. a – read this post for lots of useful driving words and phrases, including a great way to say “designated driver” (this one is in the comments since it was suggested by a reader)
6. с – review genders of Russian nouns
7. d – find some more fun “no-words”
8. d – don’t let Russian words for family members confuse you!
9. a – check out a post about traditional gender roles in Russia (it has lots of useful words too)
10. c – it was in the post about Russian superstitions
11. bКони also die from одна капля никотина (a single drop of nicotine). No more перекуры (smoke breaks) for you means more time to learn Russian sayings about work.
12. a – check out the comments to the post about Russian provinces.

Interpreting your results:

0-5 points – looks like you are новичок (a newbie) to the blog and to learning Russian. No worries, you’ll catch up soon enough. You can check out the posts I linked to and retake the test.

6-10 points – ok, so you’re not exactly new to this blog and your Russian language skills are pretty good. Either that, or you are incredibly lucky guessing so many correct answers. Не останавливайся на достигнутом! (Don’t stop after achieving something). There’s always room for improvement.

11-12 points – awesome job! would you like to write a guest post for the blog or tell us your secret to learning the language? Let me know in the comments.

And if you are on a roll and would like to take another test, try the one in my September 1 post.

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  1. A. Catherine Noon:

    Just a quick note to say thank you for all your hard work with this blog. I studied Russian in college and have lost a lot of it, since I don’t use it often. I really enjoy getting my “fix” of Russian words and concepts. Please know that your work is appreciated.

    • yelena:

      @A. Catherine Noon Catherine, thank you so much for such a nice comment. If there’s a specific topic you’d like to read about on this blog, do let me know.

  2. Rob McGee:

    LOL at the “fake joke names” in 12! (“Bumf*ck”, “Nowheresville”, and “Podunk” would be US English equivalents, I guess — actually there are a few real-life towns called “Podunk”, but it’s normally used jokingly as the name of a fictitious “hamlet in the sticks”.)

  3. Minority:

    “от работы кони дохнут” made me smile. This phrase reminds me of one popular poem in social networks:

    Я люблю свою работу,
    Я приду сюда в субботу
    И, конечно, в воскресенье.
    Здесь я встречу день рожденья,
    Новый год, 8 Марта,
    Ночевать здесь буду завтра!
    Если я не заболею,
    Не сорвусь, не озверею,
    Здесь я встречу все рассветы,
    Все закаты и приветы.
    От работы дохнут кони,
    Ну а я… бессмертный пони!