Немно́го о языке́ 5.8 Свобо́дное вре́мя

More About Time: Вре́мя

The noun вре́мя, like и́мя, belongs to a very small set of nouns ending in –мя.  These nouns are all neuter and have unusual forms.  Below you will see a table of these forms of вре́мя and expressions where you have seen these case forms. 

Nominative вре́мя
Genitive вре́мени Ско́лько вре́мени?
Нет свобо́дного вре́мени.
What time is it?
There is no free time.
Accusative вре́мя всё вре́мя
в свобо́дное вре́мя
all the time
in one’s free time
Prepositional о вре́мени    

Use good learning strategies!

Learn the phrases with вре́мя so that you can use them in conversation.  This table with the noun endings is here just to help you organize and understand the connections and relationships between the forms of this word.

More on Locations: Prepositional Case in –у́

In Unit 3, you will recall Светлана Борисовна’s complaints about Josh’s sloppy habits, and where objects wound up in his room.

Полоте́нца на полу́. Towels are on the floor.
Чемода́н не на шкафу́, а на столе́. The suitcase is not on the wardrobe, but on the table.

In this section of the story, you have seen the following sentences:

Мои́ хозя́ева рабо́тают в саду́. My hosts work in their garden.
Ми́ла ча́сто гуля́ет в лесу́. Mila often walks in the forest.

The italicized phrases in these sentences indicate location, but в and на are being used with a special form of the prepositional case, that consists of stressed –у́.  The stressed –у́ ending is used only with a small group of masculine nouns, and then only when talking about location.  These six words that you have met have this special form:

The Multidirectional Verbs of Motion ходи́ть and е́здить

By now you will have noticed that the verbs ходи́ть and е́здить have meanings that are similar to идти́ and ехать. Both идти́ and ходи́ть are used to describe motion where the subject is doing it with its own power, while е́хать and е́здить describe motion that happens by means of a vehicle or transportation.

Упражне́ние 1. Listening activity.

Listen to the sentences below and select whether they imply going on foot or by vehicle/transportation.

In addition to the means of motion (by foot or by vehicle), Russian consistently distinguishes motion that is in progress (verbs like идти́ and е́хать) versus motion that is habitual, that focuses on making multiple round trips back and forth to a place (verbs like ходи́ть and е́здить).  The “action in progress” verbs are also known as unidirectional verbs of motion; the multiple round-trip verbs are known as multidirectional verbs of motion. 

On one’s own power/
by foot
By vehicle/
using transportation
Unidirectional verbs:
action in progress
“on one’s way”
“be headed to”
идти́ е́хать
Multidirectional verbs:
habitual action
“make round-trips to”
“go there and back”
ходи́ть е́здить

Because the multidirectional verbs ходи́ть, е́здить describe habitual action, they are often used together with the frequency expressions, like ча́сто, ре́дко, etc.

Упражне́ние 2

Below you will find a collection of sentences that use verbs of motion. As you read each sentence imagine the type of motion that it describes. Once you have a clear idea of that motion, click on the sentence to see a graphical representation.