by Don  

Most qualitative adjectives that end in -ый can be turned into adverbs by dropping the last two letters of the nominative singular and then adding -о. The adjective интересный ‘interesting’ is no exception, thus интересно means ‘interestingly.’ Of course no one says ‘interestingly’ in English, but the Russians use интересно all the time:

Мы очень интересно провели время. We had a good time. Lit., we spent the time interestingly.
Профессор очень интересно объяснил формирование солнечной системы. The professor explained the formation of the solar system in a very interesting fashion.

What is really interesting is that Russians use this word where Americans use the phrase “I wonder?”

Интересно, когда наконец-то начнутся летние дожди? I wonder when the summer rains will finally begin?
Интересно, сколько теперь стоит номер в гостинице в Москве? I wonder how much a hotel room costs in Moscow nowadays?

1 comment

Comment from: Bryan [Visitor]

Oh, man, Don, this is so useful. I tend to think in Russian as much as I possibly can - mostly because I’m not actively studying it at the moment. Kind of a way to maintain my skills without having to do any work, and I often say “I wonder", but up until now I didn’t know how to say it. Totally sweet.

08/26/09 @ 07:48

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