Mini Russian lessons with Anastasia
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Long and short adjectives
Do you know that in Russian we have “long adjectives” and “short adjectives”? Let’s learn how to use them!
We’re going to take the adjective “weak” and see its two forms:
- слабый (long adjective)
- слаб (short adjective)
Long adjectives describe a general condition
Let’s imagine a boy who is weak by nature. He’s weak in general. It’s not a temporary condition that is going to get fixed tomorrow.
In order to describe him, we’ll use a long adjective
- Это слабый мальчик. Этот мальчик слабый.
Short adjectives describe a precise moment in time
Now let’s imagine a different boy. He’s a normal person, but today he’s feeling weak because he’s ill. This boy is not weak in general, only now.
In order to describe him, we’ll use a short adjective:
- Этот мальчик слаб, потому что он болеет.
As you can see, short adjectives can never go before a noun. It’s not correct to say «слаб мальчик».
The only position for short adjectives is after the noun: мальчик слаб.