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Forum Russian Step By Step » Russian Language » Grammar Questions » а and и
а and и
harpsichordDate: Thursday, 2013-02-07, 9:20 PM | Message # 1
Group: StudentF1
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Sigh... Yes, it's me again. LOL

In the Reading Russian workbook, we learn the two words for "and": а and и. It says we use "а" to list different things, like муж а жена, and "и" for similar things, like "Это жук, и это тоже жук." I am just now realizing that throughout the lessons, we hear things like "Слушайте и отвечайте," and "Слушайте и повторяйте." Why do we not use "а" in these instances? How do you determine what is "similar" enough to warrant using "и"?

Thank you,

Message edited by harpsichord - Thursday, 2013-02-07, 9:21 PM
OlgaDate: Friday, 2013-02-08, 11:57 AM | Message # 2
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Здравствуйте, Мэнди,

I started to worry: Did she quit? How come she doesn't ask new questions?
No, you are not a quitter!

And you asked a very good question.

The answer is: sometimes you think about the same things differently.
Это муж, а это жена. (You think: a man and a woman are two different planets)
Это муж, и это жена (You think: they are the same family)

When you hear “Слушайте и повторяйте!” it means: You are doing the routine, it’s all about you.
I can say: Оля слушает, а Дима повторяет.- Here we separate the actions.

Actually in English you do the same things by using different intonation.
Try to say these 2 phrases in English:
1) Jonh listens and repeats.
2) John says and Jane repeats.
When you say the second phrase, you have to turn to Jane, or change your intonation. In Russian we distinguish it even more: with a different conjunction.
smile :) smile :) smile
harpsichordDate: Friday, 2013-02-08, 4:01 PM | Message # 3
Group: StudentF1
Messages: 30
Status: Offline

Ha! You had me laughing out loud here. No, of course I didn't quit...I am fascinated by this language, and I am in it for the long haul. biggrin Thanks as always for your explanation.

Until next time... tongue

Forum Russian Step By Step » Russian Language » Grammar Questions » а and и
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