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Lesson Transcript

Natalia: Здравствуйте, с вами Natalia.
Yura: And you’re listening to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 16; I Didn’t Recognize You.
Natalia: So Yura, what are we going to learn in this lesson?
Yura: In this lesson, you’ll learn about short adjectives and how to make a call in Russian.
Natalia: This conversation takes place on the phone.
Yura: And the people talking are still Ben and Nika.
Natalia: The speakers are friends, therefore, they will be speaking informal Russian.
Yura: So let’s listen and learn.
Natalia: Алло?
Yura: Алло, привет, узнала?
Natalia: Нет, кто это?
Yura: Это я, Бен!
Natalia: Ой, Бен, привет! Извини, я только что проснулась... Кстати, большое спасибо за вчера!
Yura: Тебе спасибо! Ты сегодня свободна?
Natalia: Дай подумать... Я буду занята до обеда, а после обеда я свободна.
Yura: Отлично! Я заеду за тобой!
Yura: One time slowly.
Natalia: Один раз медленно.
Natalia: Алло?
Yura: Алло, привет, узнала?
Natalia: Нет, кто это?
Yura: Это я, Бен!
Natalia: Ой, Бен, привет! Извини, я только что проснулась... Кстати, большое спасибо за вчера!
Yura: Тебе спасибо! Ты сегодня свободна?
Natalia: Дай подумать... Я буду занята до обеда, а после обеда я свободна.
Yura: Отлично! Я заеду за тобой!
Yura: One time natural native speed with the translation.
Natalia: Ещё раз с естественной скоростью и переводом.
Natalia: Алло?
Yura: Hello.
Natalia: Алло, привет, узнала?
Yura: Hi. Did you recognize me?
Natalia: Нет, кто это?
Yura: No. Who’s this?
Natalia: Это я, Бен!
Yura: It’s me, Ben.
Natalia: Ой, Бен, привет! Извини, я только что проснулась... Кстати, большое спасибо за вчера!
Yura: Oh, Ben. Hi. I’m sorry. I just woke up. By the way, thank you very much for yesterday.
Natalia: Тебе спасибо! Ты сегодня свободна?
Yura: Thank you. Are you free today?
Natalia: Дай подумать... Я буду занята до обеда, а после обеда я свободна.
Yura: Let me think. I’ll be busy before noon, and in the afternoon, I am free.
Natalia: Отлично! Я заеду за тобой!
Yura: Great. I’ll come pick you up.
Yura: The girl was so sleepy that she didn’t even figure out Ben’s accent and didn’t recognize him.
Natalia: Maybe he didn’t have an accent. Maybe he practiced his lines hundreds of times before giving Nika a call.
Yura: That’s a good thing to do. Everyone who learns a language do that. By the way, what time is it appropriate to call a person?
Natalia: Well, it depends on your relations with the person. But the etiquette norms tell us that the most appropriate time to call in Russia is from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Okay. Shall we take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson?
Yura: The first word we have is...
Natalia: узнать
Yura: to recognize
Natalia: узнать
Yura: And the next word?
Natalia: только что
Yura: just
Natalia: только что
Yura: And the next word is?
Natalia: проснуться
Yura: to wake up
Natalia: проснуться
Yura: And the next word?
Natalia: кстати
Yura: by the way
Natalia: кстати
Yura: And the next word?
Natalia: большой
Yura: big, large
Natalia: большой
Yura: And the next word is?
Natalia: за
Yura: behind, in, for
Natalia: за
Yura: And the next word is?
Natalia: сегодня
Yura: today
Natalia: сегодня
Yura: And the next word is?
Natalia: свободный
Yura: free, available
Natalia: свободный
Yura: And the next word is?
Natalia: дать
Yura: to give
Natalia: дать
Yura: And the next word?
Natalia: думать
Yura: to think
Natalia: думать
Yura: And the next word?
Natalia: занятый
Yura: busy, occupied
Natalia: занятый
Yura: And the next word?
Natalia: до
Yura: before, until
Natalia: до
Yura: And the last word on our list?
Natalia: обед
Yura: lunch
Natalia: обед
Yura: Okay. Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Natalia: And the first phrase we’ll look at is...
Yura: Let’s start with “to recognize.” As I remember, that was the only word Ben said instead of let’s say, in English, “Did you recognize me?".
Natalia: That’s right. He only used the word "узнать", “to recognize” in the past tense and feminine gender, and of course the intonation. Intonation is what turns a statement into a question.
Yura: I see. But as I can guess it’s rather a colloquial way of saying that. A shortcut. Is there a proper phrase to say “Did you recognize me?"
Natalia: Yes. You can say "ты меня узнала?" if you’re asking a girl or "ты меня узнал?" if it’s a guy you’re asking.
Yura: And Nika seems not have recognized him because she says...
Natalia: “только что проснулась”, “just woke up.” "Только что" is the said phrase which means “just now” or “just an instant ago.” Usually, you use it with the verbs in the past tense like "я только что узнала", “I’ve just found out."
Yura: And then we had a reflexive verb with the ending "сь", "проснулась".
Natalia: It means “woke up” in a feminine gender and comes from the infinitive "проснуться". So for a girl it’s "проснулась" and for a guy it would be "проснулся".
Yura: But Ben hasn’t just "проснулся", he’s up and ready for the day.
Natalia: Right. But before they start this day, Nika wants to thank Ben for yesterday. I guess it was for the park, movie, and him bringing her home safely. She says "кстати", “by the way,” “большое спасибо!” “thank you very much.”
Yura: Literally "большое" is an adjective for “big,” and in this case, it’s in a neuter gender. You can say “большой дом”, for example, “big house” or “большая улица” “big street.”
Natalia: And we have big “thank you” here which is "большое спасибо".
Yura: She says, “Thank you very much for yesterday.”
Natalia: Right. For yesterday will be "за вчера", where "за" is “for” and "вчера" stands for “yesterday.”
Yura: What if she wanted to specify like “Thank you for the movie” for example or “Thank you for popcorn?”
Natalia: Well, she would just put "фильм" or “попкорн” instead of "вчера" and say "спасибо за фильм" or "спасибо за попкорн"..
Yura: Sounds pretty easy, easy enough to move on. What’s next?
Natalia: He answers "тебе спасибо" emphasizing on "тебе", “to you,” and then he inquires whether she is free today. “ Ты сегодня свободна?” literally “You today free?"
Yura: So "свободна" is “free” or “available” in feminine. How does it sound in masculine gender?
Natalia: “свободен”. We should learn the antonym to this word as well, “занята” for feminine and “занят” for masculine. Yura, ты сегодня свободен?
Yura: Нет, я очень занят.
Natalia: Very busy, huh? Well, let’s hope Nika is more available for Ben today.
Yura: She’ll be busy until noon. How did she say that?
Natalia: “Я буду занята до обеда.” “Буду” means “will be” for the first person, you are already familiar with that. "занята" is “busy” and "до обеда" means “before noon.” Actually it literally means “before lunch” and "после обеда" means “after lunch.” But these are the expressions equivalent to the English “before noon” and “afternoon.”
Yura: And she is free “после обеда”. But to say that needs a moment to think, what did she say?
Natalia: She said "дай подумать", where "дай" literally means “give me” informally, like, “Give me a pen” "дай ручку". To say it more politely you would add "те" to "дай". "Дайте" and "подумать" comes from the word "думать", which means “to think.” This little prefix "по-" makes it sound like “let me think a little” “let me give it a quick thought.” So again, "дай подумать", “let me think.”
Yura: So she thought about it, realized she was "свободна", which made Ben super happy. She says "отлично!". "Отлично!" is an explanation which means “great, awesome,” and then goes the phrase “I will pick you up,” how does that sound?
Natalia: “Я заеду за тобой”, which literally means “I will come for you.” "Заехать" it just means “to come” and then leave with the person you came for whether you will take a bus together later or you will drive yourself.
Yura: So it implies transport, right?
Natalia: The word "заехать" does, so Ben will come to Nika’s by transport. If he’ll walk to her house, he would use the word "зайти", “to come on foot and pick somebody up” if he is her neighbor, for example.
Yura: But later, we don’t know whether Ben will drive or they’ll take a subway or even just walk, right?
Natalia: Right. And then we hear the proposition "за" again. Earlier, we heard it in the phrase "спасибо за", which meant “thank you for,” now we have "заеду за", which means “will come for” or “will come pick somebody up.”
Yura: The pronoun or the name of the person who is supposed to be picked up should be put into the instrumental case "За тобой", where "тобой" is just "ты", "you", in instrumental case. Okay. Do we have anything left for the grammar?
Natalia: Oh, always.
Yura: I would like to talk about adjectives in this lesson. In the previous lesson, we learn that Russian adjectives end in "ая" or "яя" if they have feminine gender, and then "ий" or "ый" if they are masculine. But in this lesson, we came across two adjectives that end in "a".
Natalia: занята – busy, свободна - free. We call them short adjectives.
Yura: That’s because they kind of lack a letter at the end. According to the rules about adjectives that we learned before, they are supposed to sound like "занятая" and "свободная".
Natalia: And we actually can say "занятая" and "свободная", but in a different context.
Yura: Right. We should use normal adjectives when we want to describe something and short adjectives when we want to make statements about something.
Natalia: It’s easy to understand if we go through some examples, but just so you know what we mean by statement is something that in English normally has the word “is” or “are” in them like in “She is busy.”
Yura: And unlike normal adjectives, short adjectives are not followed by the noun. Let’s compare.
Natalia: First, a simple description where the noun goes after the adjective. “Занятая женщина”.
Yura: Busy woman.
Natalia: “Свободная комната.”
Yura: Free room. And now a statement, where the noun goes before the adjective.
Natalia: “Женщина занята.”
Yura: The woman is busy.
Natalia: “Комната свободна.”
Yura: The room is empty. As you can hear, when the adjective is followed by a noun, it is used in its normal form. But when it precedes the noun and the phrase sounds like a statement, we use the short form.
Natalia: When using short adjectives, all you need is to modify them according to the gender of the noun.
Yura: Let’s take two normal adjectives and turn them into a short one.
Natalia: Okay. Занятый -“busy” and красивый –“pretty, handsome, beautiful."
Yura: For masculine gender, all you have to do is just drop the ending and it’ll get you short form.
Natalia: занят, красив
Yura: For feminine, take the short form of masculine adjective and add "a".
Natalia: занята, красива
Yura: For neuter, add "o" for the masculine short form.
Natalia: занято, красиво
Yura: And for plural add "ы" for the masculine short form.
Natalia: заняты, красивы. I’ll give you a couple of useful examples. Она так красива.
Yura: She is so beautiful.
Natalia: Я очень занят.
Yura: I’m very busy.
Natalia: Занято!
Yura: Occupied. That just about does it for this lesson.
Natalia: Listeners, have you ever dreamed of starring in of our lessons?
Yura: If your answer is yes, use the voice recording tool on the Lesson page.
Natalia: Record your voice with a click of a button.
Yura: And then play it back just as easily.
Natalia: Then compare it to the native speakers in the lesson.
Yura: And adjust your pronunciation.
Natalia: After a few tries, you’ll be speaking better Russian than Yora here.
Yura: Thanks.
Natalia: Go to RussianPod101.com and rapidly improve your Russian pronunciation.


Yura: Have a great day!
Natalia: Счастливо!


Please to leave a comment.
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Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hi RussianPod101.com Listeners! Do you feel nervous talking on the phone in a foreign language?

Wednesday at 11:04 am
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Hello Catherine Bouveyron,

You can find grammar about "в" and "на" here:



You can find grammar about "к" and "по" here:


You can find grammar about "перед" here:


Here you can find information about some other prepositions:



Team RussianPod101.com

Catherine Bouveyron
Wednesday at 12:03 am
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In the grammar bank, apparently, information regarding prepositions is limited to:

В или к?

Where in the course (or elsewhere?) is it possible to study the correct usage, in different contexts, of propositions like

B, k, на, по, o, до, за, про, для, etc.

It is so tricky that we badly need your help on that issue!

Thank you. ?

Tuesday at 3:13 am
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Hello Rodrigo.


-Привет, котик. Как дела?

-Хорошо, а как ты, дорогая?

-Всё хорошо. Котик, сейчас я очень занята, но потом давай посмотрим футбол с моим братом?

-Но радость моя, ты же знаешь, что я не люблю футбол… Мне нравится классическая музыка и я люблю смотреть фильмы… Я знаю! Сегодня давай посмотрим русский фильм?

-Что? Это шутка? Это очень скучно! Ты всегда пытаешься учить русский язык. Котик, я люблю тебя, но русский фильм смотреть не буду!


Team RussianPod101.com

Friday at 10:21 am
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Привет! Я Родриго.


-Привет, котик. Как дела?

-Хорошо, а ты, дорогая?

-Всё хорошо. Котик, зейчас я очень занята, но думаю, что потом даваи смотрим футбол с моим братом.

-Но радость моя, ты знаешь, что футбол мне не нравится... мне нравится классическая музыка, фильм... я знаю! Сегодя даваи смотрим русский фильм!

-Как? Это шутка? Это очень скучно! Ты всегда хочешь учить русский язык. Котик, я люблю тебя, но русский фильм не будет!

Это хорошо? Спасибо! :smile:

Monday at 8:14 am
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Hello Jouliane,

“I am hungry" - "я голоден" or "я голодный". In this case you can use both constructions. You can find grammar about short adjectives in Lesson 13, Lower Intermediate, Season 2.

“i am cold” - "мне холодно" . You can find grammar about it in Lesson 18, Lower Beginner Season .


Team RussianPod101.com

Saturday at 12:21 am
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I have not quite understood the difference between using an adverb and using the (short) adjectives. Let say i want to say: “I am hungry”, which construction would i use

-я голоден

-мне голодно

-я голодный

Or I want to say “i am cold”

- я холоден

-мне холодно

- я холодный

Which construction would i choose and why?

Saturday at 3:45 pm
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Hello Paul,

As far as I know, there is no such option. :disappointed:

But thank you for your feedback, we will think about it.


Team RussianPod101.com

Tuesday at 11:04 pm
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Is there a way to "turn on" accent marks? For new words it is helpful for me to see where the stress on the word is placed.

Wednesday at 10:04 pm
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Hello Elle,

Thank you for your questions.:smile:

Let me start with question 2.

"A little" is "немного". So, “Yesterday, I was eating a little” will be "Вчера я немного ел/поел" (depending on context). “Вчера я поел.” means "I ate yesterday".

Question 1.

This question is very wide and complicated. The prefix "по-" has many meanings and depends on type of verb. For example, with verbs of motions it has several meanings:

1.The onset or beginning of a movement in one direction.

2. Intention to perform an action.

3. Limited duration of motion, movement occurs for a while. (with multidirectional verbs)

With other verbs it can have a meaning "for a short period of time."

Regarding your examples, пописать - for a short period of time, написать - to write, to write down.

* Хочу немного пописать (Want to write a bit).

подумать - has several usages, but one of them is "to think over something for a short period of time".

Hope my answer could help you.


Team RussianPod101.com

Friday at 2:25 am
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1. Can you add this "по-" to any verb to mean "a little" like in Дай подумать - give it a quick thought?

For example, would you say пописать or написать (using the perfective) - to mean write a little?

2. And how can you tell if someone is trying to mean "a little" or if they are using the perfective tense, when the word is the same?

For example, in "вчера я поел?", would the correct translation be "Yesterday, I was eating a little" or "Yesterday, i ate."?

спасибо :smile: