RUSSIAN COURSE
-Basic Russian for beginners-


LESSON 6: YESTERDAY I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING,
                                BUT TODAY I KNOW EVERYTHING


In this lesson you will learn:
- to conjugate verbs in the past tense.
- to conjugate the past tense of "быть".



 


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


- YESTERDAY I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING, BUT TODAY I KNOW EVERYTHING      
- ВЧЕРА Я НИЧЕГО НЕ ЗНАЛА, НО СЕГОДНЯ Я ВСЁ ЗНАЮ
  (vchye-ra ya ni-chye-vo nye znaLa, no sye-vod-nya ya vsyo zna-yu)

Pronunciation of "Л": Now you will see that, to build the past tense in Russian, you only have to add "-л", "-ла" or "-ли" to the verb root. Pay attention to the sound of "л":
"-ли" sounds like in "litter", but for "-л" and "-ла" the sound is a bit different (similar to the one in "title")
 




 2. RUSSIAN VOCABULARY

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



  ENGLISH
  • today
  • yesterday
  • nothing
  • all / everything
  • always
  • when
  • in / on
  • where
  • to look / to watch
  RUSSIAN
  • сегодня
  • вчера
  • ничего
  • всё
  • всегда
  • когда
  • в
  • где
  • смотреть
  PRONUNCIATION
  • sye-vod-nya
  • vchye-ra
  • ni-chye-vo
  • vsyo
  • vsyeg-da
  • kak-da
  • v
  • gdye
  • sma-tryet'







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

DIALOGUE 1:



ENGLISH
 
- What did you do yesterday? Where were you?

- I didn't do anything. And you? Where were you yesterday?

- I was in the cinema. I wanted to watch the film "Avatar".


- I also watched "Avatar", but not yesterday.
RUSSIAN
 
- Что ты делал вчера? Где ты был?

- Я ничего не делал. А ты? Где ты была вчера?

- Я была в кино. Я хотела смотреть фильм "Аватар".


- Я тоже смотрел "Аватар", но не вчера.
PRONUNCIATION 
 
- shto ty dye-LaL vchye-ra?


- ya ni-chye-vo nye dye-LaL. a ty? gdye ty by-La vchye-ra?

- ya by-La v ki-no. Ya ha-tye-La sma-tryet' film a-va-tar.

- ya to-zhe sma-tryeL a-va-tar, no nye vchye-ra.
DIALOGUE 2:

ENGLISH
 
- Mr Smith, what did you do yesterday? Where were you?

- I didn't do anything. And you and Lena? Where were you?

- We were in the cinema. We watched "Avatar". Have you watched "Avatar"?

- No, I haven't.
RUSSIAN
 
- Мистер Смит, что вы делали вчера? Где вы были?

- Я ничего не делал. А ты и Лена? Где вы были?

- Мы были в кино. Мы смотрели "Аватар". Вы смотрели "Аватар"?


- Нет, я не смотрел.
PRONUNCIATION
 
- mis-ter smit, shto vy dye-La-li vchye-ra? gdye vy by-li?

- ya ni-chye-vo nye dye-LaL. a ty i lye-na? gdye vy by-li?

- my by-li v ki-no. my sma-trye-li a-va-tar. vy sma-trye-li a-va-tar?


- nyet, ya nye sma-tryeL.

DIALOGUE 3:

 ENGLISH

- When was Pedro at the café?


- I don't know, I didn't see Pedro, but I have seen Stephanie.

- You always see everything! And what was she doing?

- When I saw Stephanie, she was in the metro. I don't know what she wanted to do.

 RUSSIAN

- Когда Педро был в кафе?

- Я не знаю, я не видела Педро, но я видела Стефани.

- Ты всегда всё видишь! И что она делала?

- Когда я видела Стефани, она была в метро. Я не знаю, что она хотела делать.
 PRONUNCIATION

- kak-da pe-dro byl v ka-fe?

- Я nye zna-yu, ya nye vi-dye-La pe-dro, no ya vi-dye-La ste-fa-ni.

- ty vsig-da vsyo vi-dish! i shto a-na dye-La-La?

- kak-da ya vi-dye-La ste-fa-ni, a-na by-La v mye-tro. ya nye zna-yu shto a-na ha-tye-La dye-lat'.

DIALOGUE 4:

 ENGLISH
 RUSSIAN
 PRONUNCIATION
 
- I thought that she knew everything.

- I also thought that she knew everything.

- Mr Smith, did you also think that she knew everything?

- Yes I also thought it... we thought that Lena knew everything.

- I am Lena... they though that I knew everything. But today I only know that don't know anything.
 
- Я думала, что она всё знала.

- Я тоже думал, что она всё знала.


- Мистер Смит, Вы тоже думали, что она всё знала?

- Да, я тоже думал... Мы думали, что Лена всё знала.


- Я Лена... Они думали, что я всё знала. Но сегодня я только знаю, что я ничего не знаю.
 
- ya du-ma-La, shto a-na vsyo zna-La.

- ya to-zhe du-ma-La, shto a-na vsyo zna-La.

- mis-ter smit, vy to-zhe du-ma-li, shto a-na vcyo zna-La?

- da, ya to-zhe du-maL... my du-ma-li, shto lye-na vsyo zna-La.

- ya lye-na... a-ni du-ma-li, shto ya vsyo zna-La. no si-vod-nya ya tol-ka zna-yu, shto ya ni-chye-vo nye zna-yu.




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 past tense in Russian

It is very easy to express a verb in the past tense in Russian. This is the general rule that applies to almost every Russian verb:

First, you remove "ть" from the verb (for example думать / дума-). Second, you add:

   for masculine singular (думал)
-ла for feminine singular (думала)
-ло for neuter singular (думало)
-ли for every form of plural (думали) y and for formal forms (both in singular and plural)

Examples:

- I thought (said by a woman):я думала
- I thought (said by a man): я думал

- You did (it's a woman who did): ты делала
- You did (it's a man who did): ты делал

- She saw: Она видела
- He saw: Он видел

- We wanted:
Мы хотели
- You (plural) wanted: Вы хотели
- They: Они хотели

- You talked (said to one person, addressing him or her formally): Вы говорили
- You talked (said to more than one person, addressing them formally): Вы говорили

 

Russian conjugations: verb смотреть

I this lesson we give you the verb смотреть (to watch), conjugated in the present and past tenses. Compare it with the verb говорить.


 






Я
Ты
Он/она/оно
Мы
Вы
Они
Verb:
смотреть


PRESENT
смотрю
смотришь
смотрит
смотрим
смотрите
смотрят


PAST

смотрел
смотрела
смотрело
смотрели
Verb:
говор
ить


говорю
говоришь
говорит
говорим
говорите
говорят



говорил
говорила
говорило
говорили
 
 How to translate Russian verbs in the past tense

 In Russian there is only one form to express the past tense. However, in English there are many.

 This means that, for example, я думал  could be translated for "I thought", "I was thinking", "I have thought" "I have been thinking",...


 The context will always helps us know which "past" in English should we use.

  In dialogue 3 you have seen different ways to translate the past in Russian. For example:
   
но я видела Стефани    = but I have seen Stephanie
 
Когда я видела Стефани = when I saw Stephanie
 





 5. TEST

                          Check how much you have learnt in this lesson:

1. Complete the sentence: Я ....... не знаю.     всё          ничего       где    

2. Complete the sentence: Я ..... тебя вчера.   видела    видели       вижу    видим

3. How do you say "They were at the cinema"?    она был в кино   они были в кино  вы были в кино

4. Complete the sentence: Вы ...этот фильм?   смотрел            видели           смотрели   

5. How many Past tenses are there in Russian?    as many as in English   two    one   zero





          go to lesson 7


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