RUSSIAN COURSE
-Basic Russian for beginners-


LESSON 4: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

In this lesson you will learn:
- that in Russian articles do not exist.
- the full conjugation of a new Russian verb in the present.
- two question words: "what" and "how".



 


1. USEFUL PHRASE IN RUSSIAN
                          Listen and repeat the following sentence:


- WHAT DOES THIS/IT MEAN?  - ЧТО ЭТО ЗНАЧИТ?
                                                     (shto e-ta zna-chit?)

Что это? This is another useful question. It means "what is this? / what is that?". So now you know how to ask two important questions: what is this? and what does it mean?
 




 2. RUSSIAN VOCABULARY

Read, listen and repeat the basic Russian vocabulary of this lesson:



  ENGLISH
  • What
  • This / that/ it
  • Excuse me / sorry (informal)
  • Excuse me / sorry (formal)
  • Of course
  • To know
  • How
  • How do you say...?
  RUSSIAN
  • Что
  • Это
  • Извини
  • Извините
  • Конечно
  • Знать
  • Как
  • Как сказать...?
  PRONUNCIATION
  • shto
  • e-ta
  • iz-vi-ni
  • iz-vi-ni-tye
  • ka-nyesh-na
  • znat'
  • kak
  • kak ska-zat'







 3. DIALOGUES IN RUSSIAN
   These Russian dialogues will help you memorise this lesson's vocabulary:

DIALOGUE 1:

ENGLISH
 
- Excuse me, Lena. What is this?

- This is a book.

- What means "книга"?(*)

- "Книга" means "book" in English.


- Ok, thank you.
RUSSIAN
 
- Лена, извини, что это?


- Это книга.

- Что значит "книга"?

- "Книга" значит "book" по-английски.


- Хорошо, спасибо.
PRONUNCIATION 
 
- lye-na, iz-vi-ni, shto e-ta?


- e-ta kni-ga.

- shto zna-chit kni-ga?

- kni-ga zna-chit book pa-an-glijs-ki.

- ha-ra-sho, spa-si-ba.

(*) что значит "книга" = what does "book" mean?

Here we give you a literal translation ("what means 'книга'?" instead of "what does 'книга' mean?") to help you understand how the Russian sentence is built.



DIALOGUE 2:

 

ENGLISH
 
- Michael, do you know what means "book" in Russian?

- No, I don't know, but Lena knows.

- Lena, do you know how to say "book" in Russian?

- Книга.

- Thanks!
RUSSIAN
  
- Майкл, ты знаешь, что значит "book" по-русски?

- Нет, я не знаю, но Лена знает.


- Лена, ты знаешь, как сказать "book" по-русски?

- Книга.

- Спасибо!
PRONUNCIATION
 
- Mai-kl, ty zna-yesh, shto zna-chit "book" pa-rus-ki?

- nyet, ya nye zna-yu, no lye-na zna-yet.


- lye-na, ty zna-yesh, kak ska-zat' "book" pa-rus-ki?

- kni-ga.

- spa-si-ba!

DIALOGUE 3:

 ENGLISH
  
- Excuse me, Mr. Smith. What is this?

- This is a book.

- I don't know what means "книга". Do you know how (is) "книга" in Spanish?

- Of course I know. "Книга" means "libro" in Spanish.

 RUSSIAN
  
- Мистер Смит, извините, что это?

- Это книга.

- Я не знаю, что значит "книга". Вы знаете, как книга по-испански?

- Конечно знаю. Книга значит "libro" по-испански.

 PRONUNCIATION
  
- mis-ter smit, iz-vi-ni-tye, shto e-ta?

- e-ta kni-ga.

- ya nye zna-yu, shto zna-chit kni-ga. vy zna-ye-tye, kak kni-ga pa-is-pans-ki?

- ka-nesh-na zna-yu. kni-ga zna-chit "libro" pa-is-pans-ki.




RUSSIAN LANGUAGE FORUM

Do you have any questions about this lesson, about grammar rules or vocabulary? 
Ask in our free forum. If you want to learn Russian, it's very important that you ask everything you don't understand:





 4. RUSSIAN GRAMMAR

                                         Read the following grammar explanations for this lesson:


The articles in Russian

In Russian articles (a, an, the) do not exist. That is why a word like "книга" could mean either "a book" or "the book". Usually the context will help us know which is the right translation.

- Это книга = This/it is a book.
- Это книга = This/it is the book.

 
How to say "it" in Russian

 In English "it" is used very often. In most cases "it" will be translated in Russian with the word "это" (which also means "this" and "that").

Above you have seen the example of "это книга". In future lessons you will have the chance to see more ways to say "it" in Russian.

 

Russian conjugations: the verb знать

In the previous lesson you have seen the present tense of the verb говорить. In this lesson you will learn the verb знать (to know).

Compare the endings of both verbs. As you can see, they have similarities and differences. In Russian there are two different "conjugations", that is, two different ways to build the present tense of a Russian verb.


 



Я
Ты
Он/она/оно
Мы
Вы
Они
Verb: знать
знаю
знаешь
знает
знаем
знаете
знают
Verb: говорить
говорю
говоришь
говорит
говорим
говорите
говорят
 





 5. TEST

                          Check how much you have learnt in this lesson:

1. Complete the sentence: Что это ....... по-русски?         знать      говорить     значит    знаю

2. Complete the sentence: Как ..... "Internet" по-русски?  сказать    знать       говорить  очень

3. How do you "excuse me" in a formal way?            извините  знаете    извини  знать

4. How do you say "what is that?" in Russian?           что?         ты знаешь?       что это?   

5. How many articles are there in Russian?   3    0    as many as in English   only the article "the"



 


           go to lesson 5


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