"Я пишу своим детям длинное письмо."

Translation:I am writing a long letter to my children.

November 19, 2015

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Well actually учитель means teacher and учить to teach. Учиться as a reflectiv verb means to learn ;) Other prepositions are: В - in --> воидти, входить (то еnter) Вы - Out --> выидти, выходить (to leave, (also "так вышло" - it came "out" to this) До - to the end, till --> допить (to drink the rest) --> добраться до... - getting to... Под - like "till", near --> подойдти - to come near, подходить - also to be like something (он тебе подходить) С - down --> сбросить - to throw down --> спуститься - to go down Вз - up --> взлететь - to fly up --> взрывать - to blow up У - out, away --> уйдти - to go out --> убить - to kill Пере - changing, transformation, again --> переехать - to move (to another appartment) --> переделать - to make it again --> переводить - translate По - often like "starting a movement" --> пошли! - let's go But also often the perfect form of the verb --> завтравать/ позавтракать

I hope I didnt forget a preposition... and sorry for the undetailed explenation, but there are a lot of exceptions and other rules (especially concerning the verbs of movement)... But its more like a feeling you need for the prepositions ;)


Gah, I knew I was going to get things wrong - but I got some great information from you! Definitely saving this, hugely helpful!

> I hope I didnt forget a preposition...

You forgot at least two, though I could be completely wrong again. :) (Regardless, don't feel like you have to add them in, though)

На и При

> and sorry for the undetailed explenation,

Oh goodness no! Your examples were great. I imagine the details would take forever to fully explain. But what you posted was really helpful!

> but there are a lot of exceptions and other rules (especially concerning the verbs of movement)...

English is my native language, we exist entirely on strict rules and then numerous exceptions to those same rules. Though I never really noticed how much we did that before now.

> But its more like a feeling you need for the prepositions ;)

Oh definitely. From what I've read, it's those little "function words" (or, in the case of Russian, prefixes) that you learn early in life and just innately know how to use that are much more difficult for someone newly learning the language. I'm not going to romanticize things and say "there's a poetry to it" but it's definitely a shift in mindset and how you look at things. So far it seems like most of them do make a certain amount of sense in some fashion.

I'll get there, I hope. Honestly, it's puzzles like these that are half-logic and half-art that keep me interested in Russian.

I'm still not sure about находить (it's in/on this place but... moving?). But that could have been one of those movement verbs you were talking about.

Thank you again.


It's easy to see that письмо́ (letter) comes from the verb писа́ть (write).


This is one of the things that I like and find really interesting about Russian. This happens everywhere (I'm sure you know these - and hopefully I'm getting it right, but for others) - off the top of my head:

учить - To learn

читать - To read

учитель - To teach

Not to mention how it seems like Russian word construction works a lot like legos - you just have to find the pieces that fit and if you know some of them you can kind of figure out (or more easily remember) the rest:

никогда - "Never" = ни - "No" + когда - "When"

никто/ничто - No one/Nothing = ни - "No" + кто/что - "Who/What"

входить - "To Enter" = в - "In" + ходить - "To Go"

For all of the frustrating things about Russian, the word construction seems really interesting and organized... well, like many things Russian, it's like that right up until the point where it's very much not that way at all.


Sounds a lot like Esperanto! Thanks, this might make it easier for me to learn russian


Is the accent over о to help us know that it's pronounced "piece-moe" and not "piece-mah" ?


Those accents are used in dictionaries, children's books and some other obscure places but not in general writing. They are there because every word has one (and only one) vowel sound that is stressed while the others are not only unstressed, but also reduced to a less pronounced sound (this also occurs in English, albeit less commonly, when you consider e.g. the "e" sound in "budget").

So письмо́ is pronounced like pissmoe (actually the о sounds like the American "or" but without the "r" sound at the end). And пи́сьмо would sound like piecemuh.

Note that this has nothing to do with avoiding ambiguity. Plenty of Russian words are hard to tell apart singular and plural, the stress doesn't help. Picking the correct stress syllable is incredibly complex in Russian. There are many different stress patterns for different words: sometimes all the noun forms have the same syllable stressed, sometimes stress changes from singular to plural forms, sometimes it's even more complex than that.


Oh yeah, without the accent, it'd sound plural


Do I even dare ask my it isn't моим ?


I don't know if it's strictly wrong (probably correct actually), but it sounds quite awkward in Russian. When talking about one's own someone, use свой.


I used моим first and it marked me wrong. Russian uses this completely different pronoun family when referring to something that is “my own”, “your own”, “his/her/their own”, which is quite elegant when you think about it; English has no equivalent, so when you say “they sold their house” you don’t have to guess which “they” it is.

I seem to recall French had something similar: “soi-meme”?


soi-même means oneself so it's not a direct analogue.


Ok, my French is rusty but I just remember “soi” being a weird pronoun that didn’t necessarily map to English.


Why could this not also be translated as "his children" or "their children"?


своим (and all the related forms) means "from the subject of the sentence", in this case Я. That's why is "my children"


Is it often used colloquially?


If you're asking if the word is too formal to be used colloquially then the answer is no.


Thank you! I could not understand this.


Why is it not accepted to use "for" in any of these?


For these what? Do you mean "for my children"?

I think, at the very least, you'd need to use "для" in there somewhere for that meaning (for).

As for where that would fall and how that might change declensions, I'll leave that to someone else.


These exercises involving writing / having a letter for someone. So для is "for".


So для is "for".

Yes, but not always. Best I can figure from what I've (struggled to) read:

Для seems pretty common but За and На are also used for "for".

This could absolutely be confirmation bias but it seems like Для is a "generic" "for".

За seems to be a "for" for a purpose or result or a forward motion.

The На usage I... don't quite grasp yet.

But, like I said in another reply to you, I'm kind of guessing.


Depending on who the person is telling this to, would it be correct to say "своим детям" meaning "to our children?"


No, it wouldn't be correct.
You can translate своим to 'our' only in sentences where the speaker represents a group: Мы пишем своим детям письма. We write to our children letters.
In this context своим = нашим.


I got it exactly right except the automatic dictation from my voice spelled it пищу instead of пишу, so it marked me wrong :(

The strictness is getting SO tiring


Im not sure if the kids will like it though...


Once I had thought I knew the Accusative, the Dative came in confusing me all the way


А почему "детям" поставили в конец предложения ?


Можно I am writing my children a long letter.


Why is it translated "to my children" only? "For my children" has a nearly identical meaning in English?


But if you want it to be "for my children" you would translate "for" into the Russian sentence.


I am writing a long letter for my kids, was wrong...

23/6-21 got a message from DL, it is accepted now. Yay!


Writing a letter “for my children” isn’t quite right. You can buy presents FOR your children, cook dinner FOR someone; but when you’re sending or transmitting a message, or speaking, or listening for that matter... it’s always TO that person.


I would slightly disagree with my Canadian comrade, I think you can write a letter "for" somebody, if you are emphasing that the letter will benefit them in some way, and that they are not just the general recipient. But I don't think that works as a translation here because then the Russian sentence would need для.


When I try to picture writing a letter “for” someone, I picture writing a letter on behalf of say a young child who hasn’t learned to write, or you’re an old timey secretary writing while someone dictates, or even writing a letter “for” your school newspaper or something. Maybe that’s what you meant.


Just got a message from DL that "I am writing a long letter for my kids" is accepted now


Why "For my children" is not acceptable?


There's no translation of "for" in the Russian sentence.

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