Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Jo:Hello everyone and welcome to RussianPod101.com. This is the Upper Beginner Series, season 1, lesson 11- Where Can You Go Mountain Climbing in Russia? I’m Jo.
Svetlana:And I’m Svetlana. Privet. In this lesson we're going to learn how to use the negative pronoun ничего in Russian.
Jo:And we will also listen to Elena taking an interest in mountain climbing for an unusual reason.
Svetlana:The conversation is between Elena and a sales person and it takes place at a sportswear store.
Jo:The speakers are strangers so they will be using formal Russian.
DIALOGUE
Elena: Мне очень понравились эти кроссовки. Хоть я в них ничего не понимаю, мне понравился их дизайн. Думаю, я их возьму. Тем более они отлично сочетаются по цвету с моим новым спортивным костюмом.
Shop assistant: Отличный выбор. У вас очень хороший вкус. Эта фирма пользуется популярностью среди профессиональных спортсменов. Но, к сожалению, эта обувь не предназначена для занятий в спортзале. Она рассчитана на походы в горы.
Elena: Правда? Как жаль...может мне заняться альпинизмом?
Elena: Mne ochen ' ponravilis ' eti krossovki. Hot ' ya v nih nichego ne ponimayu, mne ponravilsya ih dizayn. Dumayu, ya ih voz 'mu. Tem boleye oni otlichno sochetayutsya po tsvetu s moim novym sportivnym kostyumom.
Shop assistant: Otlichnyi vybor. U vas ochen ' horoshiy vkus. Eta firma pol 'zuyetsya populyarnost 'yu sredi professional 'nyh sportsmenov. No, k sozhaleniyu, eta obuv ' ne prednaznachena dlya zanyatiy v sportzale. Ona rasschitana na pohody v gory.
Elena: Pravda? Kak zhal '...mozhet mne zanyat 'sya al 'pinizmom?
Elena: I really like these sneakers. Although I don't know much about sports shoes, I like the style. I think I will take them. They also perfectly match the color of my sportswear.
Shop assistant: Great choice. You have good taste. This brand is very popular among professional athletes. But unfortunately, these shoes are not for gym training. They're for mountain climbing.
Elena: Really? That's a shame...then maybe I should try mountain climbing?
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Jo:So Elena is really excited about her new outfit!
Svetlana:Yeah, a new outfit is always great motivation for sports or exercise.
Jo:She’s lucky the salesperson was there to tell her those were mountain climbing shoes.
Svetlana:Yeah, actually being able to talk to a salesperson is a new thing in Russia. But because of this service prices have been affected as well.
Jo:That’s not good, but I suppose in specialized shops it’s necessary to make sure that you’re buying the right thing.
Svetlana:And it is a great practice in terms of language. You can go to the store and just talk to the consultant since shopping is a very social event in Russia.
Jo:I’d assume you can’t do that in fancy stores though.
Svetlana:Well you can if you dress right and look like a potential buying customer!
Jo:Right, it’s the same as any upscale retail store. Well,
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Jo:Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Svetlana:The first keyword is the verb сочетаться.
Jo:“to match”. For example,
Svetlana:Эти аксессуары сочетаются с её платьем.
Jo:“These accessories match her dress.” Like many verbs in Russian, it also has another meaning - “to blend”, “to go with” or “to harmonize with”. For example,
Svetlana:Этот кофе отлично сочетает в себе насыщенный аромат и вкус.
Jo:“This coffee is a perfect combination of rich aroma and taste.” Okay, what’s the next word?
Svetlana:предназначенный. And let’s take a look at the adjective рассчитанный as well because they’re used as synonyms in our dialogue.
Jo:The meaning of both is “designed, “suitable”, and/or “appropriate”. For example,
Svetlana:Это видео предназначено только для местного просмотра.
Jo:“This video is only for domestic use.”
Svetlana:Книга, рассчитанная на широкого читателя.
Jo:“This book is designed for a general audience.” The only difference between these two synonyms is that they are used with different prepositions.
Svetlana:In the case of the adjective предназначенный, we need the preposition для, which is “for” in English and a noun in the genitive case. For example,
Эти очки предназначены для плавания
Jo:“These goggles are for swimming.”
Svetlana:The adjective рассчитанный is mostly used with the preposition на, which means ‘“on”, and a noun in the accusative case. For example,
Столовая, рассчитанная на 100 обедающих.
Jo:“This dining hall is designed for 100 people.” Okay, and what’s the last key word for this lesson?
Svetlana:The verb заниматься
Jo:“to do”. This verb is one of the most commonly used verbs in everyday conversation and it can be used in several different contexts.
Svetlana:In our dialogue we said заниматься альпинизмом
Jo:“to go mountain climbing”. The interpretation of this verb is “to be occupied with something” or “to be engaged in something”. It’s always used with a noun in the instrumental case. For example,
Svetlana:Моя сестра занимается спортом с детства.
Jo:“My sister has been playing sports since she was little.”
Svetlana:The verb заниматься is often used to mean “studying” or “learning something”. For example Сделай музыку потише, я занимаюсь.
Jo:“Turn the music down, I am studying.” Okay, let’s move to the grammar now.
GRAMMAR POINT
Svetlana:In this lesson, we’re going to learn about the negative pronoun ничего in Russian.
Jo:It is translated into English as “nothing”. We used it in the dialogue for this lesson.
Svetlana:Хоть я в них ничего не понимаю, мне понравился их дизайн.
Jo:“I don’t know much about sport shoes, but I like the style. ”
Why do we have to be careful with this word?
Svetlana:Well, the negative pronoun ничего is used a lot and has several meanings, and it is also frequently mistaken with the pronoun нечего.
Jo:Can you give us more examples of how to use this word to mean “nothing”?
Svetlana:Он ничего не сказал, прежде чем уехать.
Jo:He said nothing before he left.
Svetlana:Что с ним случилось? Ничего!
Jo:“What is the matter with him? … Nothing!” Okay, as we said this word has different meanings. The second meaning is “so-so” or “not bad”. Here are some examples-
Svetlana:Как ва́ше здоро́вье? —— Ничего́
Jo:How’s your health? - Not bad.
Svetlana:We can also use так себе to mean “so-so” or “not bad”. This is also used frequently.
Jo:So can we use that phrase to answer the question “How’s your health?”
Svetlana:Absolutely. Как ва́ше здоро́вье? так себе.
Jo:Great. Let’s move on.
Svetlana:The word Ничего can also be used as praise or appreciation, or for complimenting somebody or something. For example,
Пирог на вкус получился очень даже ничего.
Jo:“This pie turned out to be not so bad” or “quite good.”
Svetlana:Очень даже ничего is a set expression that is often used in everyday conversation.
Jo:But it’s a very casual phrase, and it’s not used in writing.
Svetlana:Right. Ничего́ can also be used when you are trying to comfort or cheer up somebody by saying “it is nothing, don’t worry”. For example, Ничего, время лечит.
Jo:“It’s okay! Time is the best doctor.” And the last meaning is “never mind!”, “that's all right!”, or “no problem!” For example,
Svetlana:Что ты сказал? - Ничего, не обращай внимания.
Jo:What did you say? - Nothing. Never mind.
Svetlana:Okay, another thing is that the synonym нечего sounds very similar, but the only difference is the letter -Е- in the prefix НЕ. So when emphasized, we always say and write the prefix НЕ, нечего. But when not emphasized, we will use ничего. For example, Нам было нечего сказать друг другу.
Jo:We have nothing to say to each other.
Svetlana:Он мне ничего не сказал.
Jo:He didn’t tell me anything.

Outro

Jo:Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Be sure to check the lesson notes, and we’ll see you next time.
Svetlana:Pokapoka

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Can you use the pronoun ничего and make a sentence in Russian?