Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 13

INTRODUCTION

RUSSIAN GRAMMAR
Some useful hints on Russian phonetics

The Russian alphabet consists of 33 Russian Cyrillic letters: 10 vowels (marked in


blue) and 23 consonants.
0.1.
Russian letter Pronunciation Example

[] , , , /as in: car, after, father/


[b] , , /as in: back, bed, bat/
[v] , , /as in: vine, very, voice/
[g] , , /as in: golf, goal, go/
[d] , , /as in: desk, door, drop/
[j] , , /as in: yellow, yes, yen, yet /
[j] , , /as in: Yorkshire, yoga, your /
[zh] , , /as in: pleasure, measure, usual/
[z] , , /as in: zone, zero, zebra/
[i] , , /as in: beet, mirror, sheep/
[j] , , /as in: yogurt, boy, toy /
[k] , , /as in: cash, key, character /
[l] , , /as in: lamp, long, lock/
[m] , , /as in: March, number, mate/
[n] , , /as in: no, son, night/
[o] #, , /as in: not, offer,fog/
[p] , , /as in: pen, pepper, soup/
[r] , , /as in: rock, rent, proud/
[s] , , /as in: salon, soft, sauna/
[t] , , /as in: ten, time, met/
[u] , , # /as in: look,book, put /
[f] , , /as in: phone, fact, soft/
[h] [h] , , /as in: help, hotel, somehow /
[ts] , , /as in: pets, tsunami, tsar/
[ch] , , /as in: chair, child, much/

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
[sh] , , /as in: wish, shower, shoes/
[shsh] , , /as: fish+ship [shsh] /
[' ] , , /the letter does not indicate any sound/
[y] , #, /as in: letter 'e' = [i]; away, ago/
[''] , /the letter does not indicate any sound/
[] , #, /as in: bear, pear, pair/
[ju] #, , /as in: you, new, euro, document /
[ja] , , /as in: yard, yarn/

Vowels

The Russian phonetic system includes 6 basic vocal sounds: [], [], [], [o], [], [],
which are indicated by the following letters: , , , , , , , , , .
The letters , , , , correspond to the five most common vowels a, e, i, o, u in most
Indo-European languages.

The vowels [], [o], [], [], [], [] ([e, o, u, a, , i]) under stress are pronounced
with more force: for example:
0.2. [ser], [sup], [blank], [my], [khol], [stul], [git].


The sound [] in Russian is represented by two letters and E e.

The letter is pronounced as an open vowel. This letter is used at the beginning of
words and after hard vowels:
0.3. [tat], [etzh], [eklr], [ekrn], [mer], [ser],
[aeraprt]

The letter E , at the beginning of a word, in particular, contains the sound [je]:
0.4. [jd ], [j st'], [jl' n], [jv], [jvr pa]

This letter is used after soft consonants:


0.5. [p't'], [s't'], [v' ch'ir], [l' t], [d' n'gi]

When it is not stressed, it sounds like [] not [e]:


0.6. [t'iatr], [d'ila], [ch'itvjerg], [sr'ida], [r'istaran],
[fch'ira], [zv'init], [z'irno], [v'isna], [p'irchatki],
[ap'il'sin], [t'il'igraf], [t'il'ivizar], [v'jechjer],
[skat'irt'], [os'in'].

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein

In a stressed position the vowel is pronounced as the sound []:
0.7. [sort], [port], [stol], [nmer], [chisl], [fis]

In an unstressed position the vowel is pronounced as a short sound, similar to[]:


0.8. [abe t], [adn], [atl'], [akn], [aplta],
[kharash], [pagda], [vad], [dma]

[n]
[vd]
[pt#m] []
[kkd]
[psprt]


The letter is pronounced as the Russian sound [y] and never changes. In English, it is
similar to the sound [u] as in put, book, look:
0.9. [tut], [stul], [zhin], [zavt],
[zhdut], [bdu], [stuk], [uslga].


In Russian the letter is pronounced as the sound [] (e.g. [e] in sheep) and it is
always used after a soft consonant or at the beginning of a word:
0.10. [tr'i], [l'ift], [r'is], [igr], [vn'iz], [f'rma]


In Russian the letter is pronounced as the sound [] regardless of whether it is under
stress or not (similar in English to the sound in a stressed position e.g. car, bar, after):
0.11. [dm], [tm], [nm], [sm'i], [mrt], [bnk],
[fmlij], [krmjl']
However, the pronunciation of a vowel changes in quality and is pronounced as a sound
similar to [] in some words such as: > [chis], > [k piti] ([] = [i] in English).


The Russian letter has no equivalent in other languages. It is pronounced as the
sound[], similar in English to the pronunciation of a in away, ago.The letter is used after
hard consonants, in the middle or at the end of a word: , , , .
For example:
0.12. For example: [syr], [ty], [vy], [rba], [byl], [mla],
[vhat].

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
Listen and repeat.
0.13.

[] []
[dom] [tom] [dam] [tam]
[tot] [rom] [zal] [rad]
[zont] [kod] [bar] [sad]
[fta] [tost] [data] [park]
[port] [tort] [bank] [mart]

[] []
[vy] [my] [stul] [klub]
[syr] [myl] [dush] [trud]
[byt] [ty] [kud] [tud]
[syn] [byl] [sup] [drug]
[dym] [rba] [zub] [fut]

Listen and repeat.


0.14.
[] []
[eta] [etazh] [t'ir] [t'ip]
[ser] [etat] [v'id] [p'il]
[et'i] [mer] [pr'iz] [b'it]
[eta] [etat] [p'iva] [v'iza]
[ekl'er] [ser] [p'itsa] [f'irma]

Listen and repeat.


0.15.
[tut] [tam] [m'ila] [myla]
[sup] [sam] [b'il] [byl]
[stul] [stol] [m'il] [myl]
[suma] [zavut] [p'il'i] [byl'i]
[uzhin] [nuzhjen] [tir] [syr]

Listen and repeat.


0.16.
In unstressed position is read as []




[]

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
Listen and repeat:
0.17.






There are some letters in the Russian alphabet that have two corresponding sounds.
These are the letters , , , . There are no corresponding letters in English except for the
letter e, but it is pronounced differently. At the beginning of a word or after another vowel,
they represent a combination of two sounds: [j+], [j+], [j+], [j+]. If a word begins
with one of these letters , , , , you have to pronounce [j] in front of the vowel (similar to
the sounds [ja, je, jo, ju] in the English words yard, yes, yoga, document):

0.18. [jblaka], [jst'], [jlka], [juk].

The letter is always stressed (similar to [jo] in the English word yoga):
0.19. [fsjo], [paljt], [dajm], [pichjm], [uznajm]

In a combination of two vowels when the second one is , , , , they are pronounced
with [j] for English speakers. For example:  [fstaj),  (pradaj),  (maj).

In the other possible positions, the letters , , , also influence the pronunciation of
the preceding consonant. They require that the preceding letter is pronounced as a soft
consonant:
0.20. [m'jsa], [s'jst'], [l'jubl'j], [t'jt'ja], [n'jos].

When the letter [] is in an unstressed position after a soft consonant, it is pronounced


as [i] for English speakers:
0.21. [d'il], [n'idjl'ja], [m'ist], [f' ivrl'], [t' ib'j],
[v' isn], [s'imj], [m' inj], [st'in].

Listen and repeat.


0.22.
[an] [sr'id]
[ptm] [pajhat']
[et] [tsyn]
[mlt] [t'ib'j]
[vd] [v'isn]
Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP
Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
[kn] [s'im'j]
[chimadn] [s'ivdn'j]
[malak]
[tv't]
[magazi'n]
[taks']

[zaftr] - [n'il'zj] [stojt] [stjat']


[sumka] [sjud] [atv'jt] [atv'et']
[stul] [kastjum] [byt] [byt]
[zal] [vzjal] [v'es] [v'es' ]

[git] [votka]
[vhot] [lotka]
[garzh] [prpka]
[etzh] [zftrak]
[zaks]
[grat]
[krap]

[v'eshsh'i]
[ovshsh'i]
[plshshat']
[plashsh]
[shshjtka]
[jeshshj]
[zhnshshina]
[mushshna]

Listen and repeat.

0.23.
1. , ? [Skazhte, gde bar]
. [Bar vniz]

2. ? [Gde bas'ein]
. [Basein zd'es']

3. ? [Gde lift]
. [Lift rjdam]

4. ? [Eta vash pspart]


. . [Da.Eta moj papart]

5. ? [Shto eta]
. [Eta sejf]

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
Consonants

The letters , do not represent any sounds at all. The letter is written to show that
the preceding consonant is soft (marked here with the sign ['] after it). For example:
0.24. [gost'], [spl'nja], [dv'er'], [sol'], [ijun'],
[d'ikbr'], [pjat'], [kravt'], [tl'ka], [jest'].

The letter shows that the preceding consonant is hard and that the vocal after it
should be pronounced with j. For example:
0.25. [pad''jst], [s''jl], [ab''javl'nije].

There are 23 consonants in the Russian language. 12 of these consonants differ in


hardness softness. The soft consonants are marked with the sign ['] here:

0.26.
' ' ' '
' ' ' '
' ' ' '

hard consonants: soft consonants:


[byl] [b'il]
[vkhat] [V'ktar
[dom] [d'la]
[zup] [z'bra]
[msla] - [minibr]
[nda] [njnja]
[park] [p'jat']
[rba] [r'is]
[sok] [s'jomga]
[graz] [graz'ja]
[ty] [t'ikha]
[nos] [n'jos]

The pronunciation of 3 consonants requires special attention: '; '; '


(i.e. [g], [k], [kh]). In front of the vowels , they are always pronounced softly (softness is
marked here by the sign [']):

0.27.

' [g'it]
' , [ruk'i]
' [zftrak'i]
[kh'ek]

, , are pronounced as hard consonants when they precede the vowels , , .

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
0.28.
[grat]
[kt'ir]
, , [kshat']
[khalt]

The consonants , , are always pronounced as hard consonants. For example:


0.29. [zhyl]; [tsirk]; [shyfr]; [mashna]; [reshl].

The consonants , ['; ':] are always soft. For example:


0.30. [chay]; [shsh'i], [borshsh'], [shsh'ot].

The Russian consonant [j] appears in the middle and at the end of words after vowels:
0.31. [muz'j], [moj], [davaj]; [s'ejf], [pajd],
[rajn]

or at the beginning of words:


0.32. [jot], [jgurt], [jga].

There are voiced consonants in Russian phonetics (, , , , , ), which at the end of


the words are unvoiced i.e. are pronounced as voiceless consonants as in b p, v f, g k, d
t, z s, zh sh:

0.33.
[klup]; [grip]; [ab'et];
[praf]; [gatf];
[druk]; [ut'jk]
[g'it]; [grat]; [prajst]; [vkhot]
[zaks]; [gas];
[garsh]; [nosh] [bagsh].

Stress in Russian

The stress in Russian words is:

1) Free/ not fixed, i.e. it can fall on any syllable (1st, 2nd, 3rd):
-, -, --;
2) Flexible, i.e. it can change its position in the same word depending on its
grammatical form (infinitive or past tense, singular or plural etc.):
- - -- ; - -; - -- ;
3) Semantic, i.e. it can determine the meaning of a word:
(castle) and (lock), (already) and (narrower).
Always try to memorise the correct pronunciation and stress of the words you use
regularly.

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
Intonation
0.34.
\
A complete declarative .
sentence has a falling
Complete sentence. intonation with the tone of .
Statement. the last stressed syllable
falling sharply.

An incomplete declarative \
sentence has a falling .
Incomplete sentence /part intonation with a gradually
of a sentence. rising tone before the pause.

\
Questions with The emphasis is on the ?
interrogative words interrogative word followed
by a gradually falling tone. \
?

A rising tone on the \


Questions without semantic centre of the ?
interrogative words question and a sharp falling
tone on the unstressed \ \
syllables. ?

How to pronounce combinations of several letters

In Russian there are combinations of letters the pronunciation of which do not


conform to the rules described previously:

0.35.
 , [shsh]: [shchot], [shchst'e], [mushchna]
 [zhzh:]: [jzhzhu], [pzhzhe]
 [stv]: [zdrstvujte]
 [sn]: [izvsnyj], [uchsnik]
 [zn]: [pzna], [prznik]
 [sk]: [pajska]
 [sl]: [schsliv]
 [st]: [zdrstvuj]
 [sn]: [lstnitsa]
 [sht]: [shto], [shtby]
 [ts]: [dtskij]
 [shn]: in the word: [konshno]

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
 In Russian the word and in the endings - and - of pronouns and
adjectives, the letter is pronounced as [v]: (today) [sevdnja],
[tovo] (near this house)

 In words borrowed from other languages, consonants may remain hard before letter :
[tnnis], [komp'jter]

Gender of Russian nouns

Russian nouns belong to one of three genders: Masculine ( ), Feminine


( ) and Neuter ( ). Unlike nglish, some of the Romance languages
and Bulgarian, the gender of a noun in Russian can be easily recognised, simply by looking at
its ending in the nominative case (basic form) in the singular.

A Masculine noun ends in a consonant:


 hard: , , , , , , , , , ,
,
 soft: 1, , ,
- (-): , , , , ,

A Feminine noun ends in a vowel:


 -: , , ,
 - (-): , , , ,
 soft consonant: ,

There are a number of nouns, which end in - and can be either masculine or feminine.
There are generally few ways to predict this. Often, if a noun ends in -, - such as
(part), (value, price) or it ends in a -, -, -, - it is feminine. These
are often abstract nouns.

A Neuter noun ends in a vowel:


 -: , , (cafe), , ,
 -: , , , , , , , ,
 -: , , ,
 -: ,

(Masculine) # (Feminine) # (Neuter)




(cafe)



1
Letter (soft sign) is not pronounced, it indicates that the consonant preceding it is pronounced softly.
Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP
Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein






There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are easy to spot:

- There are a few masculine nouns that end in -a, -; these are usually associated
exclusively with males, such as # (man), , # (uncle)
# (grandfather), # and the like, or diminutive forms of masculine
names, like , #, # and so on. These nouns have one attribute that
is easy to remember: they decline/inflect like feminine nouns, but any
demonstratives, adjectives and the like decline like masculine nouns.
- Neuter nouns ending in -, -, -, - that are direct imports from foreign
languages such as , , , , , , , ,
do not decline at all, regardless of what case they ought to be in, however any
adjectives or demonstratives tied to them do:

Number

1. asculine nouns ending in a hard consonant - , ,


add in the plural

Feminine nouns ending in -a change to - ,


in the plural

2. Any nouns ending in -, -, - change to ,


- in the plural ,
,

3. Neuter nouns ending in o change to a -a a,


in the plural

4. Neuter nouns ending in -e change to - ,


in the plural

5. Masculine and feminine nouns with their - , ,

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
stem ending in -, -, -, -, -, -, -, , ,
change to in the plural ,
,

6. NB the following exceptions:
, , , ,
,

7. The following nouns are used only in the plural. They have no singular:
, , , , ,

8. NB: the following words do not change in case and have no plural forms:
, , , , , ,

Write the plural forms of the words.

Cases

In the Russian language a noun (as well as an adjective, a numeral and a pronoun) has
several forms. For example: , #, #, #, #, #. Each form has its
own meaning, answers a question and performs a role in the sentence. These forms are called
cases.

There are six cases in the Russian language:

Nominative (Nom.) - ? ?
Genitive (Gen.) - #? #?
Dative (Dat.) - #? #?
Accusative (Acc.) - #? ?
Instrumental (Instr.) - ? ?
Prepositional (Prep.) - ? ? ?

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein
Each case has several meanings.
The Nominative case indicates a person or a thing and is used as the subject.
The Genitive case indicates possession, object of negation, location.
The Dative case indicates the indirect object of an action.
The Accusative case indicates the direct object of an action.
The Instrumental case indicates the instrument or means by or with which the
subject achieves or accomplishes an action.
The Prepositional case indicates the place of action.

The Nominative case is never used with prepositions, whereas the Prepositional case is
always used with prepositions. The rest of the cases may be used either with prepositions or
without them.

The meaning of each case as a grammatical category, the declension (the formation of
the case inflections) of nouns, adjectives, pronouns and numbers will be discussed in detail in
the teaching materials.

Project RETOUR, 543384-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-KA2-KA2MP


Agreement number 2013 3841/001-001
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This
publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the
Commission can not be held responsible for any use which may be made of the
information contained therein