Скоро should be pronounced as *скора and used in situations like below:
Sounds a bit like SCORE, doesn’t it? Soon you will score best marks in Russian!
Nothing difficult as today is Monday!
СТАТЬ sounds a bit like British English START, doesn’t it? Just mind the soft Т in the end. I want to start and become a…
Also, we use Instrumental case after this verb:
Я хочу стать врачом. – I want to become a doctor.
Я хочу стать космонавтом. – I want to become a cosmonaut.
Я хочу стать звездой. – I want to become a star.
A little joke to practice (it’s Friday today, don’t work too much!):
We don’t always put dots above Ё (like in the second word above).
In English, nationalities look like slightly modified adjectives. For example, we say “British culture” (adjective) and – about people – the British (adjective turned into a noun) or British people.
In Russian, for nationalities we use special nouns:
Британия (Britain) – британцы (British people)
Англия (England) – англичане (English people)
Шотландия (Scotland) – шотландцы (Scottish people)
Америка – американцы (Americans)
Therefore, we do not say something like “английские люди” (English people) as we have this special word – англичане – which already means “English people”.
1) in Russian, endings will change depending on how many people we mean and what their genders are:
англичанин (English man) – англичанка (English woman) – англичанки (English women) – англичане (English men or a mix of English men and women)
2) the word for “Russians” looks grammatically like an adjective (yet it is a noun) and changes therefore like an adjective:
русский (Russian man) – русская (Russian woman) – русские (Russian men or Russian women or a mix of Russian men and women)
Just because it is actually a noun, you don’t need to specify that it is a person, so you can just say:
Она русская. Он русский.
If we don’t mean just “people” in general but rather something specific, of course we will need adjectives + nouns. For example, to say “British scientists”, we need to say “британские учёные”. Here the ending in bold font depends on the noun after. A good one to practice:
Surprisingly, but many students I teach, even though they know that the Russian word “проблема” is feminine, still say “проблем”. Male students like to think it is feminine (they say, “Of course it’s feminine!”) but fail to say it correctly.
Well, here is another reminder:
Those who already know this word well and that ее = её (we don’t always put these dots), can master a more complicated word:
распилить – to saw into parts
пилить – to saw (process)
Russian men like joking that жёны всегда пилят своих мужей (wives are always “sawing” their husbands).
Today we will look closely at a great concept – marriage. In English, a woman is married and a man is married, so the same word can be applied to both genders. Therefore, the following joke would be hard to translate from Russian:
The thing is that in Russian the word “жениться” means “to get married” (about men). Literally, “to be wifed”.
The phrase “(выйти) замуж” also means “to get married”, but is applied to women. Literally, “to go behind a husband” (to be protected behind his back).
The Russian language reflects a clever observation about different attitude to marriage men and women generally have. Maybe this difference explains why women are often more eager to get married than men?
Words used in the joke:
Люди – people
Редко – seldom
Хотеть – to want
Куда чаще – way more often
Across most countries and languages we dislike Mondays and cherish Fridays. Therefore for today:
Ужасный – horrible
Новости – news
Пятница – Friday
Сегодня – завтра – послезавтра – Today – tomorrow – the day after tomorrow
A wonderful example of Russian double negations and today’s businesses.
– Где ты работаешь?
– Нигде не работаю.
– А что ты делаешь?
– Ничего не делаю.
– Какая хорошая работа!
– Да, но какая большая конкуренция!
Работать – to work. Работа – a job.
Нигде – nowhere.
Делать – to do.
Ничего – nothing.
Конкуренция – rivalry, competition.
In Russian, negative words are used all the time you would like to negate something (anything), so double, triple, etc, negations are possible and even required.