How To Construct Useful Russian Phrases

August 23rd, 2009 by Mark Leave a reply »

Because of something called cases, it can be difficult to construct useful phrases in Russian. However, if you’re willing to allow some minor grammatical mistakes in your communications, then there’s a host of useful Russian phrases you can create, using the fill-in-the-blank method below.

Before getting started, it should be pointed out that the only correct spelling of a Russian word is with the Russian (Cyrillic) alphabet. Since I will be using only English letters in this article, I will be giving two different spellings: The first will help with pronounciation, where capital letters indicate emphasis, and the second version will show the more common, simplified written form. Ready? Let’s get started:

Phrase #1: Do you like______ ?
Phonetic spelling: TibYEAH NRAHveetsa ________ ?
Usually written: Tebe nravitsa ________ ?
Literally: To you is pleasing _______ ?
Example: Tebe nravitsa chocolate? (To you is pleasing chocolate?)

Phrase #2: I like ________ .
Phonetic spelling: minYEAH NRAHveetsa ________ .
Usually written: Mne nravitsa ________ .
Literally: To me is pleasing _______ .
Example: Mne nravitsa pizza. (To me is pleasing pizza.)

Phrase #3: Where is ________ located?
Phonetic spelling: GihDYEAH naKHOdeetsa _______ ?
Usually written: Gde naxoditsa ________ ?
Literally: Where is located _______ ?
Example: Gde naxoditsa toilet? (Where is located the toilet?)

Phrase #4: How old are you?
Phonetic spelling: SKOILka tihBYEAH lyet?
Usually written:skolko tebe let?
Literally: How many to you years?

Phrase #5: I am ____ years old.
Phonetic spelling: minYEAH ____ lyet.
Usually written: mne ____ let.
Literally: To me ____ years.
Example: Mne 40 let. (To me 40 years.)

Phrase #6: I want _____ .
Phonetic spelling: Ya khaCHU ____ .
Usually written: ya xochu _____ .
Literally: I want _____ .
Example: Ya xochu soup. (I want soup.)

Phrase #7: D you want _____ ?
Phonetic spelling: Tee KHOchish _____ ?
Usually written: Ti xochish _____?
Literally: You want _____ ?
Example: Ti xochish coffee? (You want coffee?)

Phrase #8: What do you do?
Phonetic spelling: chem tee zahniMAIeshsya?
Usually written: chem ti zanimaeshsya?
Literally: With what do you occupy yourself?

Phrase #9: I spend my time doing _______ . [NOTE: This is in answer to the question above.]
Phonetic spelling: ya zahniMAHyous ________om.
Usually written: ya zanimayus _____om.
Literally: I occupy myself with _____ .
Example: Ya zanimayus sportom. (I spend my time playing sports.)
Example: Ya zanimayus businessom. (I spend my time doing business.)

Phrase #10: I live in ________ .
Phonetic spelling: Ya zhiVU v ______ .
Usually written: ya zhivu v ______ .
Literally: I live in ______ .
Example: Ya zhivu v America. (I live in America.)

As I mentioned, there are plenty of grammatical mistakes in these constructions, but you will absolutely be understood by native Russian speakers, and you will certainly find these phrases useful at some point.

Good luck!

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