"I am eating sushi and the boy is eating an apple."
Translation:Я ем суши, а мальчик ест яблоко.
The difference is the person you use it with. Amusingly, Russian speakers ask the same question a lot. What's the difference between "is" and "am", "has" and "have", "eats" and "eat".
WARNING! An iregullar verb incoming!
- Я ем га́мбургер
- Ты ешь га́мбургер
- Бен ест га́мбургер
And the plurals are:
- Мы еди́м га́мбургеры
- Вы еди́те га́мбургеры
- Они́ едя́т га́мбургеры
You don't have to learn it all right now, though...
We use "a" when we have a juxtaposition. It goes like this:
- Я Илья, а она Алиса. = I am Ilya and she is Alisa.
- Я программист, а ты актёр.= I am a programmer and you are an actor.
- Я программист, а ты нет. = I am a programmer and you aren't.
- Я ем, а ты спишь. = I am eating and you are sleeping.
- Я не ем суши, а ты ешь. = I do not eat sushi and you do.
- Я люблю суши. А ты? = I like sushi. And you?
We use "и" when we add up stuff. Imagine a list. We also use it to continue a thought, giving our comment:
- Я ем яблоки, бананы и груши. = I eat apples, bananas, and pears.
- Я высокий и сильный. = I am tall and strong.
- Я глупый и толстый. = I am stupid and fat.
- Я ем, и Анна тоже ест. = I am eating, and Anna eats, too.
- Утром я одеваюсь, завтракаю и ухожу на работу. = In the morning, I get dressed, have my breakfast, and leave for work.
- У меня много яблок, и это хорошо. = I have a lot of apples, and this is good.
To express "both ... and ..." use и ... и ... . In Russian you can connect more than two items this way:
- Я люблю и яблоки, и бананы. = I like both apples and bananas.
- Я люблю и суши, и борщ, и гамбургеры.
As for с, do not bother for now. It is sort of more advanced, though not extremely complicated. The preposition means "with", but in Russian it is sometimes used to connect two items into a pair. An English speaker would rather use "and" in many such cases (so "мама с папой" will essentially be used as "mom and dad", not "mom with dad").
Yeah, I think, even in Russian villages most kids past the elementary school age have been able to read the Latin alphabet since the times of Stalin.
Modern day Russians had this experience around 10-15 years ago with sending messages from mobiles that had no Russian keyboard or fonts. Cheap schlock that is, thankfully, a thing of the past. This being said, reading transliterated Russian texts of any length is quite tedious for native speakers. We simply lack the experience in reading paragraphs and pages of Russian converted into the Latin script (FYI, several systems exist).
Would I recommend keeping using the transliteration? Definitely not, unless you have quite specific needs. A major drawback of only using transliteration is that your learning materials are going to be severely limited (as for authentic texts....go luck). Here are the main reasons I think spending a day on the alphabet early on makes sense:
- Cyrillics is, probably, one of the easiest non-Latin writing systems. Memorising AIUEO as АИУЭО is way easier than mapping them to あいうえお (and, please, do not confuse symbols like れ、ね、わ、ぬ、め—they look different and do not sound anywhere near each other).
- as you imagine, there are almost no transliterated Russian texts and learning materials anywhere. However, if you know the standard writing system, there is no shortage of free and not-so-free useful stuff on the web. Including countless sites and articles that teach the alphabet. Russian is spoken by several 億 people, and has been taught for ages.
- if you do not plan to go to Russia books and subtitled films are your best friends. So is Russian Wikipedia. Guess which writing system they use.
- if you plan to go to Russia, knowing how to read whatever signs you see is... actually more useful than knowing a few dozen phrases. I will not lie to you—Russian is not 90% loanwords. Still, some words that are likely to appear on signs might be the ones that were borrowed from English OR the ones that English borrowed from the same source. As for stuff like "entrance" and "exit", well, better memorize the words ( вход / выход )
All things considered, there are some short-term goals that are indeed better achieved without learning to read. Try to understand what your goal is and how not being able to read anything anywhere impacts it. For example, if you only need to know the structure of the language and use it for some linguistic research, you may very well skip learning the alphabet.
- it is just that most essential grammar we have is densely packed in the part before the 3rd checkpoint. "Only" three spans. I believe it would be quite hard to get that far using only transliteration. The transliteration being automatic does not exactly help.
Then why don't we just always translate "a" to "but?" That would make more sense to me.
@Shady_arc In almost every one of those examples, "and" can be replaced with "but." The only example that you gave, in which it wouldn't make sense to replace "and" with "but," is, "I like Sushi. And you?"
I'm Russian. Why can't i use "i is eating" instead of "i am eating"?
I am eating - Я ем
You (sing.) are eating - Ты ешь
He is eating - Он ест
We are eating - Мы едим
You (plur. or formal) are eating - Вы едите
They are eating - Они едят
BTW it's an irregular verb.
Read something about the russian verb conjugations.
It looks to me like "i" (don't have a cyrillic keyboard, sorry) is for the meaning of "and also", and "a" is for the meaning of "but" or "however" or "whereas". If after changing "and" to "but" in the original sentence, it still makes sense, then use "a" not "i". I am not Russian - if I am wrong, please correct me if you are Russian.
Use "a", the original "and" can be replaced with "but"/"however"/"whereas":
I am eating sushi but the boy is eating an apple. I am eating sushi however the boy is eating an apple. I am eating sushi whereas the boy is eating an apple.
Use "i", the "and" can't be replaced with "but"/"however"/"whereas":
I am eating sushi and the boy is eating sushi too. I am eating sushi and also the boy is eating sushi. I am eating sushi and I am also having dessert.
Я ест - I is eating (it's incorrect)
Я ем - I am eating/I eat
Он ест - He is eating/he eats
Btw, есть is an irregular verb.
A regular verb делать (to do/to make)
Why does both яблоко & яблока sound exactly the same, but mean something different?
Я ем с"у"ши, а мальчик ест яблоко. I put quotes around the letter that is different.