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Lesson Transcript

Anna: [Здравствуй Пекин! Меня зовут Анна.]
Eric: Eric here. Beginner Series Season 1, Lesson 22 – “Russian Verbs. We used to be so happy.” Hello and welcome to the beginner series at RussianPod101.com, where we study modern Russian in a fun, educational format.
Anna: So brush up on the Russian that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Eric: And thank you for joining us for this beginner lesson here at RussianPod101.com
Anna: The focus of this lesson is perfective and imperfective verbs.
Eric: Today’s conversation takes place on the phone.
Anna: And the conversation is between James and Marina.
Eric: The speakers are friends, therefore they will be speaking informally.
Anna: On the website, you can find the accompanying PDF to this lesson.
Eric: It has the transcript of the conversation in Cyrillic, its Romanized form and the translation in English.
Anna: It also has vocab, sample sentences, a grammar explanation and a cultural insight section.
Eric: The cultural insight is actually my favorite.
Anna: Really? You read those?
Eric: Well, I write some of them actually so… But yes, believe it or not, I learn a lot from the section, especially from the native speakers of Russian. It’s very interesting.
Anna: It’s good, but don’t take our word for it. Please, have a look for yourself and let us know what you think.
Eric: Ok, let’s listen to today’s conversation. I’ll be playing James.
Anna: And I’ll be playing Marina.
Eric: Ok, here we go.
Anna: [Джеймс, у тебя странный голос.]
Eric: [Я слишком много выпил вчера у Кати и Макса.]
Anna: [Что ты пил?]
Eric: [Ой, шампанское, водку, вино,потом опять шампанское.]
Eric: Once again, slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Anna: [Джеймс, у тебя странный голос.]
Eric: [Я слишком много выпил вчера у Кати и Макса.]
Anna: [Что ты пил?]
Eric: [Ой, шампанское, водку, вино,потом опять шампанское.]
Eric: One time, natural native speed with translation.
Anna: Еще раз, с переводом.
Anna: [Джеймс, у тебя странный голос.]
Eric: “James, you sound strange.” Literally, “You have a strange voice.”
Anna: [Я слишком много выпил вчера у Кати и Макса.]
Eric: I had too much to drink yesterday at Katia and Max’s.
Anna: [Что ты пил?]
Eric: What were you drinking?
Anna: [Ой, шампанское, водку, вино,потом опять шампанское.]
Eric: Champagne, vodka, wine, then more champagne.
Anna: Eric, you sounded so real in the dialogue. Have you been drinking yesterday?
Eric: Anna, trying to paint me in a corner, aren’t you?
Anna: No, no, I'm not.
Eric: No, you would never do that. No, I was not drinking yesterday, I was studying Russian.
Anna: Really? I'm so glad to hear that. Ok, then just tell me what’s your favorite drink? Do you like vodka?
Eric: I actually do love vodka. My favorite alcoholic drink is a vodka tonic with lime. But Russians don’t usually drink vodka tonic, they usually drink vodka straight.
Anna: Straight, right, shots.
Eric: Or you could have the [самогон], which is the home-made vodka.
Anna: Right.
Eric: Which I tried at a friend’s house. The strongest alcohol I think I’ve ever tried.
Anna: How was that? Did you like it?
Eric: It was great.
Anna: Really?
Eric: Yeah, it was really pure, but very strong. So to our listeners, be very careful with [*] or home-made alcoholic drinks. They can be very strong and make sure you’re safe before you drink something like that. I don’t know if I would recommend it, but for me it was a good experience.
Anna: Well, I mean you can try it.
Eric: Just be careful. Ok, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. Our first word is…
Anna: [странный]
Eric: Strange.
Anna: [странный]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [опять]
Eric: Again.
Anna: [опять]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [шампанское]
Eric: Champagne.
Anna: [шампанское]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [слишком]
Eric: Too much.
Anna: [слишком]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [голос]
Eric: Voice.
Anna: [голос]
Eric: Now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we’ll look at is [слишком].
Anna: [слишком] means “too” or “too much” in English.
Eric: I remember hearing in Russia an expression with [слишком]. Maybe you can translate this for our listeners. [Это слишком]
Anna: That’s too much.
Eric: Too much.
Anna: Eric, what did you do then?
Eric: No comment. But I also noticed that [слишком] is used commonly with a few words like [много] or “a lot” or [мало] or “a little”. So Anna, how do you say “money” in Russian?
Anna: [деньги]
Eric: [деньги] And how do you say “too much money”?
Anna: [слишком много денег]
Eric: [слишком много денег]
Anna: Right.
Eric: Ok, so we have the genitive case thereafter [много]. And “too little money”?
Anna: [слишком мало денег]
Eric: I think this would be more common, at least for me. [слишком мало]
Anna: [денег]
Eric: [денег] Ok, so just to recap. [мало] and [много] are often used with [слишком], right?
Anna: Right.
Eric: Or you can use the expression [Это слишком] or “it’s too much”. Ok, great. Anna, the next word we’ll look at is the adjective “strange” or…
Anna: [странный]
Eric: [странный] Anna, can you give an example with this word?
Anna: For example, [здесь странный запах].
Eric: Let’s break that down, Anna. Ok?
Anna: Ok. [здесь]
Eric: Here.
Anna: [странный]
Eric: Strange.
Anna: [запах]
Eric: Smell.
Anna: [здесь странный запах]
Eric: I think our sound technician is to blame. He has just taken off his shoes so…
Anna: So terrible, Eric.
Eric: And now he’s giving us a strange look.
Anna: [странный взгляд]
Eric: [странный взгляд] “Strange look”.

Lesson focus

Eric: Alright. Well, let’s go into our strange grammar. I think it’s time before… So Anna, our grammar point is really important today, actually, because as some of you may already know, Russian has two types of verbs. So every verb has a perfective and an imperfective form, right, Anna?
Anna: Right, Eric.
Eric: So it’s double the fun for verbs here. First of all, let’s go over what are perfective verbs.
Anna: Ok. So perfective verbs are generally used to talk about actions that happen only once, are completed or don’t have prolonged character. For example, in sentence [Я слишком много выпил вчера], it isn’t the action itself that is important, it’s the result.
Eric: So Anna, could you translate that sentence for us?
Anna: Ok. [ Я слишком много выпил вчера] “I drank too much yesterday.”
Eric: [выпил] is a perfective verb here, isn’t it?
Anna: Right, it is.
Eric: And if we put an imperfective verb, which we’re going to talk about in a minute as an example. Could you give us a side by side comparison?
Anna: Ok. So using the perfective verb you would say [Я слишком много выпил вчера] “I drank too much yesterday.” And using imperfective verb, you would say [Я слишком много пил вчера] “I was drinking too much yesterday.”
Eric: Ok, so [выпил], the action is finished and it’s a done thing.
Anna: Yes.
Eric: But “I was drinking” maybe still you’re feeling the effects.
Anna: I feel somehow you want to emphasize that you were drinking for a long time.
Eric: Yeah, ok.
Anna: It’s like a process. It’s not the result, it’s a process.
Eric: Got you. Great. So let’s move on to imperfective verbs. Can you describe imperfective verbs for us, Anna?
Anna: Ok. Imperfective verbs are used to talk about actions that happen regularly, are completed or have prolonged character. For example, Marina says [Что ты пил?] or “What were you drinking?” And we see it as a prolonged action.
Eric: So Anna, let’s have one more example with the verb “to call”. I think this is a good way to see the differences between perfective and imperfective verbs.
Anna: Right, Eric.
Eric: Ok, so how would you say “I call every day”?
Anna: [Я звоню каждый день]
Eric: [Я звоню] Ok. And that was the imperfective verb, right?
Anna: Right.
Eric: Because it’s a continuous action, something you do as a habit. “I call every day”.
Anna: Right, you’re right, Eric.
Eric: Ok. So let’s take the same verb, but in the perfective form and we add a prefix or a particle [по] to the verb [звонить]. So if we say [позвоню] instead of [звоню], what does [позвоню] mean, Anna?
Anna: It means “I will call”.
Eric: “I will call.” Ok.
Anna: For example, [Я позвоню тебе завтра] “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Eric: Ok, great. That’s a singular action in the future.
Anna: And [Я звоню тебе каждый день] “I call you every day.”


Eric: So for more information about perfective and imperfective verbs, please check out our PDF file for this lesson. There will be examples of the verbs in both aspects, both imperfective and perfective. Anna, I think that does it for today, but before we go I’d like to tell you about a powerful tool that could significantly improve your listening ability. The line by line audio is located in the Learning Center. There, conversations are broken down into comprehensible, bite-sized sentences you can listen to at your own convenience. Simply click on the flash button and listen to the recordings of native Russians again and again until every word and syllable becomes clear.
Anna: It’s great, Eric. Listeners, don’t forget to leave us a comment.
Eric: See you next time.
Anna: [До встречи]


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

RussianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Russianpod101.com Beginner Lessons are now published on Tuesdays !! In this lesson we talk about drinking alcohol... (Or drinking too much alcohol)  ;-) What are your favorite drinks?

robert groulx
Monday at 09:02 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript

my phrase [Что ты пил?]


RussianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 02:46 AM
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Hello Peter,

Thank you for your positive comment❤️️

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Team RussianPod101.com

Saturday at 03:44 AM
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Привет эрик и Анна!

Спасибо за урок. I agree, if the dialogues were longer then this would be better for learning. В остальном всё отлично!


RussianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:56 PM
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Hello Поверт,

It depends on situation.

But in general:

позвоню - I will call

буду звонить - I will be calling.


Team RussianPod101.com

Saturday at 11:46 AM
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What is the difference of using я позвоню и я буду звонить??

RussianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:25 AM
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Hello Shelby,

"звонить" is imperfective verb, so to form future tense you should use the word буду/будет/будем/будут/будешь/будете+"звонить".

But we have also perfective verb - позвонить. In this case you can form future tense by adding the ending - ю - позвоню.

Please, let me know if you have other questions.

Best regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Friday at 12:42 PM
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In "звоню" to make it future tense you drop the ending -ить and add -ю?

Just making sure I am not confused ?

Thank you!

Thursday at 10:45 PM
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What would be a good idea is to put the translation with the Russian when it is spoken slowly and also, when the sentences are being translated, to break them down so that perhaps 3-4 words are translated at a time and not one or two sentences. :smile:

Thursday at 09:10 PM
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Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the lesson.

Recycling vocabulary in lessons is certainly a good idea and we try to have a balance of new and previously introduced words. We will certainly consider reviewing previous material as we design future lessons.



Thursday at 08:41 PM
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The dialogues are long enough but I would prefer new vocabulary in each lesson. Sometimes old vocabulary comes back and it would be more useful to learn another couple of words rather than go other old ones. The review tracks are for reviewing previous vocabulary!