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Five Tips To Avoid Common Mistakes

The Focus of This Lesson is Tips to Help Russian Students Overcome Common Errors

Tip 1: Learn Your Cases

    • There are no cases in English. That means that nouns and adjectives always stay the same no matter what their function and position in the sentence is. It’s different in Russian. The endings of nouns and adjectives change depending on their function.
      • Of course, it’s possible for a native speaker to understand someone who speaks like this but…
        • It can be irritating because you are slaughtering their language
        • It can be totally confusing!

          Tip 2: Watch Your Word Stress!

            • Like in English, word stress is extremely important. In Russian, you don’t say all the syllables of the word with the same strength, but accentuate one syllable.
              • If you don’t stress the right syllable, it can lead to confusion, and native speakers will have difficulty understanding you.
                • Unfortunately, unlike in Italian or French, there are no rules to help you stress a word correctly. It’s just something you have to learn for each word.

                  Tip 3: Don’t Repeat the Verb in the Question

                    • In Russian, you use a different verb ending for “I” and “you” in the present. It is very common for English speakers to forget about it, as in English the verb doesn’t change. Also, they hear the ending -ешь in the question and tend to reply using ешь.

                      Tip 4: Watch Your Gender

                        • In Russian, the ending of the verb in the past tense changes depending on the gender and the plurality.
                        • If the subject is я or ты, use the ending -л if the pronoun refers to a man, and -ла if it refers to a woman.

                          Tip 5: Don’t Try to Translate “It”

                            • In Russian, the pronoun “it” doesn’t exist. We replace “it” with “he” or “she,” depending on their gender. That means, for example, that when you speak, you have to remember that книга (”a book”) is feminine, and that you should refer to it as она (”she”).