Немно́го о языке́ 3.2 Ама́нда мно́го и́ли ма́ло рабо́тает?

Stress in Russian verb conjugation

In many Russian verbs you will learn stress will remain on the same syllable through the whole conjugation. That syllable can be in the stem (like: слу́шай-) or the ending (like жив- ́). However, for a small number of verbs (like пиш-) the stress in the я form is on the ending, and then the stress shifts backwards onto the stem in all remaining forms.

Listen to the recording of the three verbs conjugated as you read through the table and pay attention to their stress patterns.

  Always stressed on the stem Always stressed on the ending Stress shifts backward from ending to stem
я слу́шаю живу́ пишу́
ты слу́шаешь живёшь пи́шешь
он/она́ слу́шает живёт пи́шет
мы слу́шаем живём пи́́шем
вы слу́́шаете живёте пи́шете
они́ слу́шают живу́́т пи́шут

Упражне́ние 1. Кто что де́лает?

You will hear the second half of a sentence in Russian. Who do you think might be doing the action mentioned? Select the subject pronoun that makes a complete sentence.

1. я ты он / она́ они́
2. я мы вы они́
3. я мы вы они́
4. ты он вы они́
5. я ты мы вы
6. ты она́ вы они́
7. я он она́ вы
8. ты она́ мы вы
9. ты она́ мы они́
10. я он вы они́

Use good learning strategies!

As you work on understanding, learning and using new forms of verbs, be sure to do all these things:

1) Go back to the soap opera and listen and read again, paying attention to where you hear the verb forms used. It will help you associate the words and forms with context, and hear word stress and pronunciation.

2) Link the verb form with a subject, and practice saying meaningful subject-verb phrases aloud. It may help you to think of, say and write down some of the facts you know about what our four students are doing when we see them.

3) When you practice reading phrases with subjects and verbs, say them slowly, tracking each syllable. As you listen again to audio that includes verb phrases, think about what the phrase looks like written down. You won’t always hear exactly what you see.

4) If you practice matching pronouns with forms, don’t just use the order in which the pronouns are listed in a grammar table. And always think about what you are saying or writing; meaning is paramount. You should be able to picture what an illustration for any verb phrase you use might look like.

5) As you go through your day, take note when you know a Russian phrase to describe what you are doing, and say it to yourself: я пишу when you are writing homework, for example, or я отдыха́ю when you are taking a break from your studies.

Russian verbs and their English equivalents

Compare the English and Russian phrases below.

по-англи́йски по-ру́сски
Do you read magazines? Ты чита́ешь журна́лы?
I do not read magazines. Я не чита́ю журна́лы.
Josh reads magazines rarely. Джош ре́дко чита́ет журна́лы.
Are you listening to Russian songs? Ты слу́шаешь ру́сские пе́сни?
No, I am listening to the radio. Нет, я слу́шаю ра́дио.
Tony is listening to Russian songs. То́ни слу́шает ру́сские пе́сни.

Consider the bold-faced words in the English sentences. Do the Russian sentences have an equivalent word for them? The English words “do, does, am, is, are” in these sentences are “auxiliary” or “helping” verbs, which Russian does not use.

To give nuance to the type of action or to ask questions, English verb forms are often accompanied by the auxiliary verbs am, is, are, do, does, etc. The single conjugated form of the Russian verb covers all of these meanings. It does not require any auxiliary verbs. Be sure not to translate literally from English when expressing your thoughts in Russian.

For example,

Does Viktor play soccer?
Ви́ктор игра́ет в футбо́л?

In speech it is the intonation, not the auxiliary verb “does,” that turns the Russian sentence into a “yes/no” question.