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Lesson Transcript

Anna: [Здравствуй Сеул! Меня зовут Анна]
Eric: Eric here. Beginner Series Season 1, Lesson 25 – “How many are allowed through Russian customs?” Hi, my name is Eric and I'm joined here by…
Anna: Anna.
Eric: [Привет Анна]
Anna: [Привет Эрик!]
Eric: [Как дела?]
Anna: [Отлично! Как у тебя?]
Eric: [Очень хорошо], Anna.
Anna: Hello everyone and welcome back to RussianPod101.com.
Eric: With us you’ll learn to speak Russian like a native.
Anna: We also provide you with cultural insights and tips you won’t find in a textbook. In our previous lesson, we talked about the time and transportation.
Eric: The focus of this lesson is how to say you’re not allowed to do something and asking why.
Anna: This conversation takes place at the airport customs.
Eric: And the conversation is between James and a customs officer.
Anna: The speakers are meeting each other for the first time, so they will be speaking formally.
Eric: Ok, let’s listen to the Beginner Series final conversation. I’ll be playing James.
Anna: And I will be playing the customs officer.
Eric: Ok, here we go.
Anna: [Нельзя везти две бутылки водки.]
Eric: [Почему?]
Anna: [Потому что можно только одну.]
Eric: [Извините, я не знал.]
Eric: Once again, slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Anna: [Нельзя везти две бутылки водки.]
Eric: [Почему?]
Anna: [Потому что можно только одну.]
Eric: [Извините, я не знал.]
Eric: One time, natural native speed with translation.
Anna: Еще раз, с переводом.
Anna: [Нельзя везти две бутылки водки.]
Eric: You can’t transport two bottles of vodka.
Anna: [Почему?]
Eric: Why?
Anna: [Потому что можно только одну.]
Eric: Because you can only transport one.
Anna: [Извините, я не знал.]
Eric: I’m sorry. I didn’t know.
Eric: So Anna, this lesson is kind of focusing on a stereotype of Russians, which is that all Russians like vodka. Is this true?
Anna: You know, Eric, it’s kind of a cultural icon, but still a lot of young people now drink beer instead of vodka.
Eric: So do you think the older generations still drink vodka?
Anna: Yes, I think so.
Eric: Some of the older people. And maybe not every day, just like for special occasions, right?
Anna: Of course, of course.
Eric: Like a birthday or New Year’s. And yeah, like most countries, Russians probably enjoy a variety of drinks.
Anna: Yes, of course. We have wine and we have [самогон]. We mentioned this in our previous lessons here, remember? It’s some kind of home-made vodka. And also beer.
Eric: You’re steering the stereotype back, Anna. You’re not helping the cause.
Anna: This is…
Eric: Breaking this…
Anna: I’m not trying to break because it’s true. It’s half-true, right?
Eric: Partially true.
Anna: Partially true.
Eric: And of course, not all Russians drink.
Anna: That’s true, Eric.
Eric: Anna, do you drink vodka?
Anna: I don’t drink vodka at all.
Eric: Ok. Well, there you go. Ok, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Eric: Our first expression is…
Anna: [нельзя]
Eric: You can’t, you mustn’t, it’s forbidden.
Anna: [нельзя]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [можно]
Eric: As a question, “Can I”, or a statement, “it’s allowed”.
Anna: [можно]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [потому что]
Eric: Because.
Anna: [потому что]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [бутылка]
Eric: A bottle.
Anna: [бутылка]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [везти]
Eric: To transport.
Anna: [везти]
Eric: Ok, Anna. A common word I heard from Russians was [нельзя].
Anna: Really?
Eric: Yes.
Anna: Did you hear that quite often?
Eric: It wasn’t being directed at me. I don’t think.
Anna: Ok.
Eric: But probably because I worked at a school that [нельзя] or “you can’t, you shouldn’t, you mustn’t”. It should be the opposite, “you can” [можно], but sometimes I would hear [нельзя] “You can’t do that”, right? And it’s a great word because it expresses…
Anna: Restriction.
Eric: Yeah, expresses restriction in one word. Like “You can’t do that, you’re not supposed to do that, please don’t do that”. Just one word.
Anna: [нельзя]
Eric: [нельзя] And you can kind of say it in a tone if you really want to be like “No, no, no, no, no…”
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: Like [нельзя].
Anna: Or [нельзя].
Eric: So how do you say “you’re allowed to do something”, the opposite of [нельзя].
Anna: You should use the phrase [можно].
Eric: Which is very common. I think one of the most common words I heard. [можно]
Anna: Because you can use it in different context.
Eric: Right. “Sure, you can.” “Can I sit here?” “Yes, [Можно].”
Anna: Or for example, if I want to ask something, for example, [Можно спросить?] “Can I ask?”
Eric: [Можно] “Yes, you can.”
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: So you can use [можно] as an answer to [можно].
Anna: Right.
Eric: Right? You’re asking permission. [Можно?] “Can I?” And I can say back [Можно] “Yes, you can.”
Anna: Or you can say [Нет, нельзя] “No, you cannot.”
Eric: Ok. Great.

Lesson focus

Eric: Ok, Anna, let’s talk about the grammar from our lesson. What are we going to talk about today?
Anna: Ok, let’s talk about numbers. So in our dialogue, we used this with word [бутылка] “bottle” and [бутылки] “bottles”.
Eric: So Anna, how do you say “one bottle”?
Anna: [одна бутылка]
Eric: “Two bottles”?
Anna: [две бутылки]
Eric: So the ending changed on “bottle”, right?
Anna: Yes, because we have the genitive case here. Ok, Eric, so let’s talk about the number [один ] which means “one” first. It changes according to the gender of the noun that follows it. For example, [один] is used with masculine nouns. [один дом]
Eric: One house.
Anna: [одна] is used with feminine nouns. [одна девушка]
Eric: One girl.
Anna: And [одно] is used with neutral nouns. [одно яблоко]
Eric: “One apple”. Anna, does this rule apply for [два] or the number “two” in Russian?
Anna: [два] is a little bit different. For [два] we have two forms. The first form [два] is used with masculine and neutral nouns, plural. For example, [два дома].
Eric: Two houses.
Anna: [два яблока]
Eric: Or “two apples”.
Anna: Right. And we use [две] for feminine and plural. For example, [две девушки] “two girls”.
Eric: So is there a different form for the word [три] or “three” in Russian?
Anna: No, Eric, there is only one form. [три]
Eric: What about [четыре] or “four”?
Anna: Same, only one. [четыре]
Eric: [пять].
Anna: That’s same.
Eric: Ok, so 1 and 2 there are different forms.
Anna: Right.
Eric: So that’s all the listener needs to remember for this lesson is that 1 and 2 change according to the noun that follows it, and 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, they don’t change.
Anna: Yes, but please be careful that noun that follows numbers can change depending on the case, as well.
Eric: Well, that’s for a different lesson, a different series, right?


Anna: Right. But there are some examples in PDF file. Please check this out.
Eric: Ok, great idea, Anna. Ok, that just about does it for today.
Anna: On the website, you can find accompanying PDF for this lesson.
Eric: It has the transcript of the conversation in Cyrillic, its Romanized form and the translation.
Anna: It also has vocab, sample sentences, a grammar explanation and a cultural insight section.
Eric: So please check it out at RussianPod101.com and thank you for listening. We hope you’ve enjoyed this Beginner Series and we hope to see you for the next one.
Anna: [До встречи]
Eric: Until next time.


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

RussianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Hello everyone!

Have you ever been to Russia? What according to you is the best thing about Russia?




RussianPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:22 PM
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Здравствуйте, Sphinx!

I hope to be helpful to you 😇😇😇

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Kind Regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Wednesday at 09:36 PM
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Hi teacher Evgeniia,

Glad to hear from you!

Now I have new reason to continue the study.😄

RussianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:15 PM
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Здравствуйте, Sphinx!

Спасибо for your concerns! ❤️️ We've missed you here!

Everything is OK, I am here and ready to teach Russian 😉

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Kind Regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Tuesday at 09:45 PM
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Hi Evgeniia,

It's been a long time I haven't left comment.

Hope everything is OK on you.

RussianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 12:02 AM
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Hello UmmiKulthum,

thank you for your kind feedback, I am happy to hear that you like Russia! ❤️️

Kind Regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Thursday at 12:54 AM
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Hi, I have been to Russia and was lucky to visit 3 Russian cities- Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. I had an amazing holiday in Russia. The best thing about Russia is that it has such a rich, well preserved history and there are so many sightseeing things to see and do. I can't wait to back and visit some other Russian cities.

RussianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:56 AM
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Hi Robert,

Thank you for posting. We are happy to have you here!

If you have any questions, please let us know.



Team RussianPod101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 01:39 AM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


RussianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 02:15 AM
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Hello Christophe,

1. Right.

2. Because we have direct object here: "везти" what? - only one.

it is like:

"читать" what? - only one (book).

Please let us know if you have more questions. 😄


Team RussianPod101.com

Sunday at 07:15 PM
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Hello RussianPod101,

Quick questions for you.

1. When I say : ‘У меня есть один брат / одна сестра’ (I have one brother / one sister) брат and сестра are in the nominative case. But when I say ‘У меня два брата / две сестры’ then we use the genitive case (singular form). Is it right ?

2. I am confused by this sentence in the lesson : "Потому что можно везти только одну". I don’t understand why we use the accusative case for одну.. Based on the examples above I would have said ‘олько одна’ (nominative case).

Kind regards,