English and Russian Grammar for Russian Students
The examples below are intentionally simplified to help you understand the concepts, terminology, and principles underlying English (and Russian!) grammar. Though these pages are fairly basic, as time permits they will be expanded and improved. We plan to have pages discussing verbal adverbs and participles, a page explaining number declension, and a page explaining some of the mysteries of negation in Russian next year. Surf through some of the pages and you'll find some exercises (or simply go to the grammar exercise main page). An excellent site to use as well is Russian For Everyone, an introduction and overview of basic Russian pronunciation and grammar for students beginning their study of Russian, complete with quizzes. Developed by Dr. Julia Rochtchina of the University of Victoria, Canada. More listings of grammar and language sites outside DU can be found under the "academic" column on the suggested Russian websites page. Come visit us again!
Russian Nouns and their Cases
Below is the example sentence that will be used to provide some basic explanations on Russian grammar. To find out about any word, click on it in either the English or Russian versions. Or, if you prefer, click on an item in the list above to find out more. (A more detailed set of options is also provided further down on the page.)
This is the sample sentence that will be used in the explanations on nouns and case (and please note that the word order in Russian is slightly different than in English). Once you understand how these words are used in this sentence, you should be able to apply these principles to Russian. Some items to remember: in Russian, boths nouns and the words which describe them take the same case as required by the grammar and syntax of the sentence. For example, if the sentence above were embellished to include a few adjectives, then in Russian, the adjectives would mirror the function of the noun:
In the dark hallway, young Anna gave old Igor's blue book to nice Ivan [with her] tender hands.
В тёмном коридоре, молодая Анна нежными руками дала милому Ивану голубую книгу старого Игоря.
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The English Grammar for Students of Russian site was originally designed by Jill Pommrehn (BA Russian 1993 [University of Denver], MA Russian Literature 1998 [University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill]). Many thanks to Jill for getting this started. Any questions or comments on this site can be directed to Luc Beaudoin, the Russian Program Webmaster.