Intermediate russian grammar workbook

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    Intermediate Russian: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an acces-sible and practical grammar with related exercises in a single volume.

    Using a wide variety of texts from Russian sources, Intermediate Russianenables students to gain an insight into contemporary Russian societyand culture whilst strengthening their fluency in the language. Its 18 unitspresent a broad range of grammatical topics, illustrated by exampleswhich serve as models for the wide-ranging and varied exercisesthat follow. These exercises enable the student to master the relevantgrammar points.

    Features include:

    tests and exercises reflecting contemporary spoken Russian

    concise grammatical explanations

    full key to the exercises

    detailed index

    Intermediate Russian, like its sister volume, Basic Russian, is ideal forboth independent study and use in class. The two books comprise acompendium of the essentials of Russian grammar.

    John Murray and Sarah Smyth are Lecturers in Russian at TrinityCollege, Dublin.

  • Titles of related interest published by Routledge

    Basic Russian: A Grammar and Workbookby John Murray and Sarah Smyth

    Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course for Beginnersby Svetlana Le Fleming and Susan E. Kay

    Russian Learners Dictionaryby Nicholas Brown


    John Murray and Sarah Smyth

    London and New York

  • First published 2001by Routledge11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

    Simultaneously published in the USA and Canadaby Routledge29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

    Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group

    2001 John Murray and Sarah Smyth

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprintedor reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical,or other means, now known or hereafter invented, includingphotocopying and recording, or in any information storage orretrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataMurray, John (John Damian)

    Intermediate Russian: a grammar and workbook / John Murray & Sarah Smyth.p. cm.1. Russian languageGrammarProblems, exercises, etc. 2. Russian

    languageTextbooks for foreign speakersEnglish. I. Smyth, Sarah. II. Title.

    PG2112.M874 2000491.782421dc21 00031058

    ISBN 0415221021 (hbk)ISBN 041522103X (pbk)

    This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001.

    ISBN 0-203-18430-0 Master e-book ISBNISBN 0-203-18457-2 (Glassbook Format)

  • To Stanford and Francesca


    Introduction xiAcknowledgements xiiiSources xvLists of abbreviations xvii

    Interacting1 Naming, greetings and congratulating 1

    NamingFunctions: greetings and congratulatingLetter etiquetteFunction:

    2 Thanking, apologising, requesting and advising 16ThankingApologisingAsking a third party to do something: /Giving advice: /Phone etiquette

    3 Possession, desire and making suggestions 25Expressing possession: Expressing desire/subjunctive: Making suggestions: modalsVerbal nouns: -, -Innitive constructions: ?Partitive genitive: ?

    4 Seeking and giving clarication 37The interrogative: Relative clauses 1: , , Softening the question

  • Asking questions: Indenite particles: - and -

    5 Identifying and describing people 47Relative clauses 2: , He who/whoever: , The interrogative and conjunction:

    6 Going places 55Present tense usage of and Present tense usage of and Past tense usage of and Past tense usage of and Verbs of motion in the future: and If and when (naming conditions): , ,

    Narrating7 Keeping a diary 66

    The sequencing of eventsAdverbs of time: , / Punctuation, co-ordinatingAspects of verbsExpressing necessity: Aspects and verbs of motionPrexed verbs of motionWord order: subject and predicate

    8 Memoirs 77Lexis: /Prepositions denoting the sequencing of events in timeStructuring of discourse using adverbs of timeWord order: , Sequence of tenses: reported speech, thought or perceptionAspects: use of the present tense in a narrativeFigurative meanings of verbs of motionPunctuation: parenthetic words and expressionsNaming places and objectsAdverbs of degree: , etc.

    9 Anecdote 90Adverbs of timeAspects: use of the present tense in narrativePrexed verbs of motion: and EllipsisWord order: subject and predicate

    viii Contents

  • Punctuation: nouns in appositionAdverbs of purpose: , The comparative degree of adjectivesAdverbs:

    10 Biographical sketch 101Lexis: Adverbs of time: datesAdverbs of cause: , , Aspects in biographiesLexis: verbs commonly used to express deathAspects: the prexes - and -Past passive participle (short form)Adverbs used as predicatesWord order: adverbs of timeAlphabetisms

    11 News items 114Adverbs of time: telling the timeApproximation and exactitudeAdverbs: , , Aspects: past imperfectiveWord order: adverbs of time and adverbs of placePunctuation in co-ordination and subordination: commas and

    embedded clausesAdverbs of cause: -, Lexis: gurative uses of the verb

    12 Narratives in the future 124Establishing and maintaining a relationship with ones audienceFractions: Adverbs of purposeWord building: -, -Adverbs of timeAspects

    Describing13 Adjectives 133

    Adjectives: long and short formWord building: verbs from adjectivesAdjectives: hard and softAdjectives: compoundSuperlative degree of adjectives

    Contents ix

  • Short form neuter adjective/adverb as predicateLexis: Impersonal constructions

    14 Pronouns 146Structuring discourse: linking parts of speechThe reexive pronoun The reexive possessive adjective The reexive pronoun The reciprocal pronoun Any ()The same ( )

    15 Compound nouns and imperfective gerund 158Lexis and word building: compound nounsImperfective gerundLexis and idioms: wearing and wears

    16 Aspects and perfective gerund 166Aspects in foregrounding and backgroundingIrregular nounsComparative degree of adverbsPerfective gerundAspects in the past tense

    17 Negation and numerals 178Negative pronounsNegative adverbs: /Word building -/-Declension of numerals

    18 Participles 192Present active participlePast active participlePresent participles as nounsPresent participles as adjectives

    Key to exercises 200Index 215

    x Contents


    This grammar and workbook is intended for learners of Russian at anintermediate stage or for those who want to refresh their knowledge of thegrammar. It is suited for people studying on their own and for those partici-pating in language courses. Intermediate Russian is not intended to replace acourse book or indeed a reference grammar, but to be an additional resourcefor teachers and learners. The focus of this book is to provide scope forpractising and consolidating Russian structures.

    Intermediate Russian is divided into three parts, each of which is made upof six units containing concise explanations of grammatical points which areillustrated and then tested in exercises. Alongside sentence-length exercises,which focus on particular grammatical points, all units contain at least oneextended passage, enabling the student to engage with continuous text takenfrom a variety of genres.

    The main focus in Part 1 is on the norms of social interaction. The sampletexts have been selected to illustrate the norms of interaction between variousgroups of people in both written and spoken discourse. The units in this partare structured according to functional principles, that is to say according tothe uses to which language can be put. Each of the six units in this part looksat aspects of the following:

    establishing and maintaining a relationship with your speaker politeness formulae and appropriacy seeking and giving information/advice oering to do things expressing wishes and desires.

    In Part 2 we look at various genres of narratives: diary entries, memoirs,anecdotes, biographies, news reports. The main focus in this part is on thestructuring of narratives, i.e. the telling of stories. The texts have beenselected to illustrate diering degrees of formality and diering relationshipsbetween the author, the events narrated and the readership. Each of the sixunits in this part looks at aspects of the following:

  • the sequencing of events: aspects, adverbs, adverbial phrases, adverbialclauses, co-ordination

    verbs of motion: prexed and unprexed; adverbials of place after verbsof motion

    word order: the positioning of adverbial phrases and clauses punctuation between clauses expressing cause and purpose establishing and maintaining a relationship with ones audience.

    In Part 3 we look at various ways of describing objects, people and events.Whereas in the previous part the focus was on narrative which presupposeschange and a certain dynamism in this part the focus is both on the lin-guistic means available in Russian for conveying the static and on the featureswhich characterise (as in a still) the participants and their environment. Theunits in this part are structured according to syntactic categories, and eachunit looks at the various parts of speech used to describe objects, people orevents. Each of the six units looks at aspects of the following:

    the use of noun phrases: compound nouns, numerals and nouns, prep-ositional phrases

    the use of adjectives: degree, predicative and attributive adjectives the use of verbal forms: participles, gerunds, aspects, impersonal con-

    structions, negation.

    In reading the extended texts and doing the exercises that follow,