-Basic Russian for beginners-

                               AND WHAT'S YOUR NAME? 

In this lesson you will learn:
- the cases of some personal pronouns.
- to form the opposite (antonym) of an adjective.


                          Listen and repeat the following sentence:


  (mye-nya za-vut na-ta-sha. a kak tye-bya za-vut?)

Russian cases: In this lesson you will see that sometimes instead of saying я, we say меня or мне. That is because я is sometimes the "direct object"  in the sentence (and turns into меня) or the "indirect object" (and turns into мне).

In English he transforms into him (direct object) in a sentence like "I saw him".

If you want to learn more, visit our course on Russian Cases. Go to lesson 1.


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

  • To say / to tell
  • Time
  • Please
  • If
  • Good-looking (male)
  • Good-looking (female)
  • True / really
  • There is / there are
  • I have
  • You have
  • For me
  • For you
  • Сказать
  • Время
  • Пожалуйста
  • Если
  • Красивый
  • Красивая
  • Правда
  • Есть
  • У меня есть
  • У тебя есть
  • Для меня
  • Для тебя
  • ska-zat'
  • vrye-mya
  • pa-zha-Lus-ta
  • yes-li
  • kra-si-vij
  • kra-si-va-ya
  • prav-da
  • yest'
  • u mye-nya yest'
  • u tye-bya yest'
  • dlya mye-nya
  • dlya tye-bya

   These Russian dialogues will help you memorise this lesson's vocabulary:



- I saw you yesterday.

- You saw me yesterday?

- Yes... I have time for you always, but not yesterday. Sorry.

- You have always time, but not for me.


- Я видела тебя вчера.

- Ты видела меня вчера?

- Да... у меня есть время для тебя всегда, но не вчера. Извини.

- У тебя
всегда есть  время, но не для меня.

- ya vi-dye-La tye-bya vchye-ra.

- ty vi-dye-La mye-nya vchye-ra?

- da... u mye-nya yest' vrye-mya dlya tye-bya vsyeg-da, no nye vchye-ra. iz-vi-ni.

- u tye-bya
vsyeg-da yest' vrye-mya, no nye dlya mye-nya.




- You know? I don't like him.

- But he told me, that you are cute.

- He said that? Then I'm telling you, that for me he is ugly.

- Знаешь? Он мне не нравится.

- Но он сказал мне, что ты красивая.

- Он это сказал? А я скажу тебе, что для меня он некрасивый.

- zna-yesh? on mnye nye nra-vit-sya.

- no on ska-zaL mnye, shto ty kra-si-va-ya.

- On e-ta ska-zaL? A ya ska-zhu tye-bye shto dlya mye-nya on nye-kra-si-vyj.


- Hi, my name is Michael, and what's your name?

- Hi. My name is Natasha.

- I saw you yesterday.

- Really? You saw me and you didn't tell me anything?

- I didn't tell you anything, because my Russian (is) bad.

- But that isn't true. You speak very well.

- Привет. Меня зовут Майкл, а как тебя зовут?

- Привет. Меня зовут Наташа.

- Я видел тебя вчера.

- Правда? Ты видел меня и ты мне ничего не сказал?

- Я ничего не сказал тебе, потому что мой русский нехороший.

- Но это не правда. Ты очень хорошо говоришь.
- pri-vyet. mye-nya za-vut maj-kL, a kak tye-bya za-vut?

- pri-vyet. mye-nya za-vut na-ta-sha.

- ya vi-dyeL tye-bya vchye-ra.

- prav-da? ty vi-dyeL mye-nya i ty mnye ni-chye-vo nye ska-zaL?

- ya ni-chye-vo nye ska-zaL tye-bye, pa-ta-mu shta moj rus-kij nye-ha-ro-shij.

- no e-ta nye prav-da. ty o-chyen' ha-ra-sho ga-va-rish.


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:


                                         Read the following grammar explanations for this lesson:

What is "to decline"?

When you decline a word you modify it. After that, the word has a new function in a sentence.

In English we don't decline  nouns:
- Subject: The man is big
- Object: I saw the man yesterday.

However, pronouns are declined:
- Subject: He is big.
- Object: I saw him yesterday.

This modification is called "case". So, you could say that "him" is a case of the pronoun "he".

Some opposites (antonyms) in Russian

In Russian you can find adjectives like these:
good (хороший) - bad (плохой)
good-looking (красивый) - ugly (уродливый).

But there is an easier way to create the opposite of an adjective: simply adding "
не" to the adjective:
хороший (good) - нехороший (not good = bad)
красивый (good-looking) - некрасивый (not good-looking = ugly)

Pay also attention to the transformation of the following particles when adding "ни":
когда (when) - никогда (never)
где (where) - нигде (nowhere)
кто (who) - никто (nobody)

Examples of cases seen in this lesson

In Russian we decline pronouns, nouns and adjectives. In other words, pronouns, nouns and adjectives can have "cases".

Now you will see examples of cases from this lesson's dialogues. They are cases of the pronouns you already know (я, ты, он,...). In this lesson you have seen, for example, меня / мне (cases of "я") or тебя / тебе (cases of "ты").

Example taken from dialogue 1:
- You saw me yesterday?
- Ты видела меня вчера?
"Me" is the accusative case of "I". In English we can't say "You saw I yesterday?", we have to transform "I" into "me".
"Меня" is the accusative case of "я". In Russian we can't say  "Ты видела Я вчера?", we have to transform "я" into "меня"

Example taken from dialogue 3:
- I saw you yesterday.
- Я видел тебя вчера.
In this example "you" doesn't change. We can say "You have money" and "Mary saw you".
Pay attention that this doesn't happen to "I", because we say "I have money" and "Mary saw me" (instead of "Mary saw I").
In Russian "тебя" is the accusative case of "ты". We can't say "Я видела ты": we have to transform "ты" into "тебя".

The Russian cases

  When we decline a word, we classify it in "cases". The grammatical case expresses the function of a word (subject, direct or indirect object...). In Russian there are 6 cases (so far you only know the nominative):

  1. Nominative (subject)
  2. Genitive (possession)
  3. Accusative (direct object)
  4. Dative (indirect object)
  5. Instrumental ("with someone" / "with something")
  6. Prepositional (when there is a preposition before the noun)
 *Remember that we have a course to help you with cases. Here you can go to lesson 1.


 5. TEST

                          Check how much you have learnt in this lesson:

Number of correct answers on the first try.

    1. What can be declined in Russian?

    2. Complete the sentence: У меня есть время для .....

    3. What does "У тебя есть время?" mean?

    4. How do you say "never" in Russian?

    5. How do you say "It's not true" in Russian?

           go to lesson 10

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