Categories: "Adverbs"


by Don  

The Russian word for ‘there’ in the sense of being located ‘there’ is там.

— Разве ты не знаешь, что Серёжа служил в Афганистане?
— Серьёзно? Удивительно, как он там выжил.
“Didn't you know that Sergei served in Afghanistan?”
“Really? I'm amazed he survived.”
— Я очень люблю Москву.
— Правда? А я считаю, что там живут только подлизы и негодяи.
“I really like Moscow.”
“Really? I think only brown-nosers and jerks live there.”

Of course, it's used in much simpler sentences as well.

Там сегодня нет лука. “There are no onions there today.”
Я там не был. I've never been there.

The one thing we as Americans have to be careful about is not to use the word when talking about going ‘to’ a place. In other words, you can't say in Russian «Я там езжу каждое лето» “I go there every summer.” For that sense we have to use туда, which we will address in the next couple of days.


by Don  

Russian has a specialized adverb that means “from here,” and that word is отсюда. Sometimes you can find it in extraordinarily short sentences that confound beginners:

Вон отсюда! Get the heck out of here!
Иди(те) отсюда! Get out of here!

The word combines naturally with verbs of departure, although it can often be left out of as well, just as in English:

Поезда (отсюда) отбывают каждые пять минут в час пик. During rush hour trains leave (from here) every five minutes.
Когда она (отсюда) ушла, я думал, что я её в жизни больше не увижу. When she left (from here), I thought that I would not see her again in the land of the living.

The old-fashioned word for отсюда in English is hence. Nowadays it is mostly used when discussing the source of a logical conclusion. The Russian word can be used the same way:

В этом магазине продаются только китайские товары. Всему миру известно, что всё китайское производство — барахло. Отсюда вывод — здесь ничего покупать не стоит. This stores sells only Chinese goods. Everybody knows that Chinese products are junk. Hence we conclude that it is not worth shopping here.
— Американцы — люди. Все идиоты тоже люди. Отсюда понимаем, что все американцы — идиоты.
— Ты не хрена понимаешь в логике.
“All Americans are people. All idiots are people. Hence we know that all Americans are idiots.”
“You don't understand diddly squat about logic.”


by Don  

The Russian word for “here” in the sense of motion “to here” is сюда. For instance, if your little brother still has trouble tying his shoelaces, you might say:

Иди сюда, я тебе зашнурую туфли. Come here, and I'll tie your shoes for you.

The word combines fairly naturally with words that indicate bringing things or people somewhere:

Принеси сюда, пожалуйста, словарь. Bring the dictionary here, please.
Я люблю этот парк. Я сюда всегда привожу племянника. I love this park. I always bring my nephew here.

It can also combine with verbs of arrival, but just as in English it can be left out of those sentences as well:

Она (сюда) пришла в семь вечера. She arrived (here) at seven in the evening.
Они (сюда) прилетели уже вчера. They arrived (here) yesterday.

When you make a phone call to a location, that's conceived as a motion phrase in Russian, thus in «Я позвонил ей на работу» “I called her at work” the noun работу is in the accusative case, which makes it a motion phrase; thus the prepositional phrase can be replaced by сюда in sentences about phoning:

Люба, не звони мне сюда. Ты же знаешь, что директор не любит личных разговоров в рабочее время. Lyubov, don't call me here. You know that the boss doesn't like personal calls during working hours.

Здесь, тут

by Don  

Russian has two words for “here” in the sense of location “at here”: тут and здесь. They mean exactly the same thing; the only difference is that тут has a more conversational tone, so if you are writing a formal essay, stick to здесь. Sample sentences:

Ты тут живёшь?
Ты здесь живёшь?
Do you live here?
Где тут аптека?
Где здесь аптека?
Where is there a pharmacy around here?
Вот тут я первый раз поцеловала Бориса, и хотя с тех пор прошло уже двадцать лет, ощущение его губ на моих никогда не покинуло меня. Here is where I kissed Boris for the first time, and although twenty ears have passed since then, the memory of his lips on mine has never left me.
Видишь вот этот ресторан? Я здесь первый раз ел щи. Do you see this restaurant? I ate cabbage soup for the first time here.

One mistake English speakers make in Russian is to use these words when trying to say “Come here,” and they produce something like «Приходи здесь». The sentence is completely awful in Russian. The first problem is that здесь/тут can only be used to mean location “at” a place, not motion “to” a place. The second problem is that if you are talking to someone in person, then they have already arrived, so приходить/прийти “to arrive/come” just doesn't make sense. The right way to say it is «Иди сюда». We'll discuss сюда in the next few days.

Как долго идти

by Don  

Today we'll learn about asking “How long does it take to get to such-and-such a place.” Probably the easiest way is to use the phrase «как долго» “how long” followed by a unidirectional infinitive and the prepositions от/до. (От and до are usually used to mean “from” and “to” when talking about distances or times.) Of course, you will want to change the verb depending on the mode of transport:

— Как долго идти от почты до аптеки?
— Недолго. Минут пять.
“How long does it take to walk from the post office to the pharmacy?”
“Not long. About five minutes.”
— Как долго ехать от Москвы до Петербурга?
— На скором поезде туда ехать всего восемь часов.
“How long does it take to get from Moscow to St. Petersburg?”
“On the express train it takes only eight hours.”
— Как долго плыть от Хельсинки до Стокгольма?
— На пароходе семнадцать часов.
“How long does it take to get from Helsinki to Stockholm?”
“By boat seventeen hours.”
— Как долго лететь из Москвы в Париж?
— Только три часа.
“How long does it take to get from Moscow to Paris.”
“Only three hours.”

If you want to ask about how long it will take on a particular occasion, then of course you can use either the past or future as well:

— Как долго будем ехать от Москвы до Петербурга?
— Часов восемь.
“How long will it take to get from Moscow to Petersburg?”
“About eight hours.”
— Как долго вы ехали от Москвы до Петербурга?
— Шестнадцать часов. Не было билетов на скорый поезд.
“How long did it take to get from Moscow to Petersburg?”
“Sixteen hours. There weren't any tickets for the express train.”

The phrase «сколько времени» can replace «как долго» in all those sentences and will mean the same thing.

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