Russian Syntax for Advanced Students
eBook - ePub

Russian Syntax for Advanced Students

Marina Rojavin

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  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Russian Syntax for Advanced Students

Marina Rojavin

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About This Book

Russian Syntax for Advanced Students is a textbook which illuminates relationships between words, phrases, clauses, and sentences.

Using this book, students will acquire conscious knowledge of how words function in various syntactical constructions as applied to discourse, such as specific verbal situations, based not only on the underlying linguistic phenomena, but also on the content of sociolinguistic situations. The book helps develop communicative skills for advanced mastery and constantly emphasizes the importance of accuracy in the use of syntactic structures.

Russian Syntax is designed primarily as a textbook for classroom use for intermediate-high and advanced-level students. The text is also suitable for independent study by graduate students in linguistics or pedagogy, as well as being a valuable reference for instructors.

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The simple sentence

DOI: 10.4324/9781003174738-1
The simple sentence простόе предложéние in both Russian and English has only one independent clause—in other words, one finished sentence.


DOI: 10.4324/9781003174738-2

Main topics

  • Declarative sentences
  • Imperative sentences
    • – Perfective and imperfective imperative verbs
    • – The particles давáй(те); пусть‚ пускáй; бы with conditional mood; да; infinitives; verbs in the second person; in the past tense
  • Interrogative sentences
    • – With and without question words
    • – With the particles неужéли, рáзве, ли
  • Exclamatory sentences
  • Negative sentences
Simple sentences are classified by mood, focusing on the intent of the speaker. Depending on the purpose, a speaker can make a declarative statement, ask a question, or issue a command. In other words, speakers can form declarative, interrogative, and imperative sentences. A speaker can express additional emotion with exclamatory intonations. The utterance can be negative if the speaker forms the sentence using a negation; these sentences are exclamatory and/or negative.

Declarative sentences

Declarative sentences изъясни́тельные предложéния convey information about facts or events. In oral speech, a Russian speaker raises their voice somewhat at the beginning of a sentence and lowers it at the end of a sentence. In writing, this is expressed by a period.
В прόшлом годý лéто бьɪ́ло дождли́вое. Last year, the summer was rainy.
В воскресéнье у нас бýдет вечери́нка. On Sunday, there’ll be a party at our place.
Мáша болéет ужé вторýю недéлю. This is Masha’s second week being sick.

Imperative sentences

Imperative sentences побудúтельные предложéния express requests, advice, encouragement, orders, invitations, warnings, permission, demands, etc. A speaker addresses such sentences to a specific person (a listener), and in many cases, the second-person pronoun is implied. Certain contexts, situations, intonations, and gestures accompany imperative sentences. These sentences are uttered with a tense intonation and a raised voice. In writing, this is expressed by a period or an exclamation mark.
Perfective and imperfective verbs in the imperative form are more frequently used in the formation of imperative sentences.
Perfective verbs usually strongly convey a piece of advice, an order, or a request. Typically, a single action is required to meet the demands of such an imperative statement.
Ка́тя‚ возьми́ в холоди́льнике во́ду‚ нале́й в стака́н и принеси́ ба́бушке. Katia, get some water from the fridge, pour a glass, and bring it to Grandma.
Предъяви́те вáши билéты! Show your tickets!
Сходи́те на вьɪ́ставку цветόв! Go to the flower show!
ПокажИ́те домáшние задáния. Show your homework.
Imperfective verbs usually convey inducement to an action, which could be repeated or prolonged. They are also used for polite invitations.
Пиши́ кáждую недéлю. Write every week.
Звони́те чáще. Call us more often.
Пόмните‚ что у нас билéты на восьмόе. Remember that we have tickets for the 8th.
Сади́тесь, пожáлуйста. Please take a seat.


Век живи́ – век учи́сь. Live and learn (Lit.: Live for a century—learn for a century).
Ищи́ вéтра в пόле. Go on a wild goose chase (Lit.: Search for the wind in a field).


– Ко́стя‚ переста́нь смея́ться‚ отнеси́сь серьёзно к тому́‚ что тебе́ говоря́т.
Imperative imperfective verbs can express an additional inducement to action. They are used with this meaning (after perfective verbs have already been used) in cases when the expected action has not been done or completed.
Отéц протянýл сьɪ́ну газéту: «Прочитáй‚ что там напи́сано, – мáльчик нáчал читáть‚ но вдруг останови́лся. – Ну‚ читáй же‚ читáй». The father held out a newspaper to his son. “Read what it says there.” The boy started reading, but suddenly stopped. “Come on, read, then, read!”

Say it and write it correctly

The interjection ну well and the particle да are used with imperative sentences to intensify inducement. A comma is placed after ну, but it is not placed after да. These words are utilized in informal situations. They might express impatience. Ну, возьми́ конфéту, не стесня́йся. Да бери́ же. Take a candy, don’t be shy. Come on, take it.
Imperative imperfective verbs are usually used in sentences with negation to express generalization.
Не ешь‚ éсли не хόчешь. Don’t eat if you don’t...

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