Friendly Russian: Learning How to Read & Write in Russian

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Chapter 1: Lesson 8

Grammar: Numerals 1-10

The word for "0" is "ноль". When you count, begin with "1" like in English:

ListenListen

1

2

3

4

5

оди́н

два

три

четы́ре

пять

         

6

7

8

9

10

шесть

семь

во́семь

де́вять

де́сять

In very casual situations, people (especially children in play) may begin their count with the word “раз” instead of “оди́н:” “раз, два, три...”, etc. Outside the count, the word “раз” means “time, occasion, once” and is used in such combinations as “оди́н раз” (once, one time), “ещë раз” (once more, one more time), etc.

Try to avoid using numerals for stating the quantity of things. You will only be able to do it correctly after you study the Genitive case of nouns which is used with words of quantity. However, you can start using numerals now.  For example, you can ask or give telephone numbers, numbers for bus, train,  trolley bus, and streetcar (trams) lines, and house or/and apartment numbers. You may find the word “но́мер” (number) very handy for this purpose.

1. Complete the crossword with new words! (click on number in square to see clue)

Conjunction "A"

Sometimes “А” may begin a sentence, making it sound more casual or less abrupt. Somebody can stop you in the street with the question “А где метро́?” – which sounds absolutely natural in Russian. The English sentence doesn’t need such an “opening signal” unless you opt for the more polite form: “Excuse me, where is the subway (station)?” (Извини́те, где метро́?)

Quite often “A” begins a sentence which is a reaction to a statement made by a previous speaker. In this case, it corresponds to the English “and.” You can see it in the following situation. Two girls are getting acquainted:
 
"Mеня́ зову́т  Та́ня." -- My name is Tanya.

"А меня́ Ната́ша." --And mine is Natasha.

cf: “И меня́ Та́ня” - And mine is also Tanya.

 
As a conjunction within a phrase, “a” is always preceded by a comma and is used to show the difference between two comments or even to juxtapose them. In this function “A” oscillates in meaning between “and” and “but”:
   
Та́ня тут, а Ви́ктор там. – Tanya is here, and/but Victor is there.
Это не газе́та, а журна́л. – This is not a newspaper, but a magazine.
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