by Don  

The verb pair кормить/накормить means to feed or to nourish. It is a shifting stress verb with a perfectly predictable л that appears in the я form:

Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive кормить накормить
Past кормил
Present кормлю
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду кормить
будешь кормить
будет кормить
будем кормить
будете кормить
будут кормить
Imperative корми(те) накорми(те)

First off, you can use this verb to discuss feeding farm animals:

Я кормлю скот два раза в день. I feed the cattle twice a day
Накорми кур и потом принеси воду из реки. Feed the chickens and then bring water from the river.
— Я целое лето кормил и скот и кур и свиней.
— Ой, какая скука!
— Да нет, я просто люблю животных. Такая работа мне в радость.
“All summer long I feed the cows and the chickens and the pigs.”
“Oh, that is so boring!”
“Oh, no, I just love animals. That kind of work is just a joy for me.”

You can also use it for feeding people:

Местные жители кормили новых поселенцев всю зиму. The local inhabitants fed the newcomers all winter.
Родить детей — это большая ответственность. Их ведь надо кормить и одевать, а деньги на улице не валяются. Having children is a great responsibility. After all, you have to feed and clothe them, and money doesn't grow on trees.
— Анна ещё кормит ребёнка грудью. Говорит, что это очень полезно для здоровья ребёнка.
— В этом, конечно, она совершенно права.
“Anna is still breast-feeding her child. She says that it is really good for the child's health.”
“She's absolutely right about that, of course.”
Он вообще хороший отец. Он сам кормит ребёнка с ложки и даже готовит чаще, чем жена. He's a pretty good dad. He feeds the child with a spoon and even cooks more than his wife.

In the US in the past there have been various food scandals, including that ridiculous time under Reagan when ketchup was defined as a vegetable for school lunch purposes. Russia, alas, is also not without its school food scandals. Right now there is company called Конкорд in Russia that has roused the ire of Moscow's parents by providing miserly food portions for public schools. They are even accused of providing the kids with fewer calories than prisoners used to get in the gulags. If you'd like to see some pictures of the food and look over a blog that deals with the issue, just click here.


Comment from: MMM [Visitor]  

“Я целое лето кормил и скот и кур и свиней.”
Вы забыли про запятые.

02/07/14 @ 04:55
Comment from: David Emerling [Visitor]

In the example sentence: “Я кормлю скот два раза в день", I’m curious about the usage of the word “скот". Shouldn’t it be in the genitive case (an animate noun) I would expect it to be either “скота” (genitive singular) or “скотов” (genitive plural). I don’t see how the nominative singular works.

Don responds: Скот is a singular collective noun that means “cattle.” Such nouns, oddly enough, are treated as inanimate in the accusative. Another such word is народ ‘people’ or ‘ethnic group.’ You can see it sometimes in phrases like this quote from Putin: «Я люблю Украину. Люблю ее народ.» “I love the Ukraine. I love its people.” (source).

11/13/11 @ 11:42
Comment from: Shady_arc [Visitor]

Я целое лето кормил и скот и кур и свиней. –> In Russian when you use “и” repeatedly to add more and more stuff, you typically add a comma before each new thing (after the first, of course). It works both for long lists ("и думал, и спал, и ел, и сидел") and for structures that would be “both .. and …” in English ("Ел там и суп, и кашу.” = “I ate both soup and porridge there").

Note that “скот” is, actually “cattle” or, more precisely, four-legged animals used in farming - like sheep, cow, goat, pig, donkey, horse… Yak and buffalo in other places (though, poultry, cats and dogs ARE NOT “скот")

Такая работа в радость мне. –> Words put in this specific order seem way too lofty, unless it is quotation from some book. “Такая работа мне в радость.” sounds more natural. “Такая работа мне нравится” is even more natural. ^_^

Анна ребёнка ещё кормит грудью.–> I would say “Анна ещё кормит ребёнка грудью".

Don responds: Thanks! Changes made.

10/05/11 @ 06:47

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