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  5. "Как зовут вашего директора?"

"Как зовут вашего директора?"

Translation:What is your director's name?

December 4, 2015



What is your manager's name? - Why not?


Директор is one of the top guys, the leader, only answering to the owners of the company (that is, if the so-called Russian "director" is not THE owner). In a smaller company директор is the "CEO", the boss of almost everything, minus the stuff done by the accountant in charge (more precisely, it is «генера́льный дире́ктор»). It is understood, though, that most moderately-sized companies will have more than one manager, so it does not seem quite right to accept that.

Admittedly, there is no one-to-one correspondence. In layman's terms, the CEO is probably the closest match your are going to get, while a "manager" is needlessly vague.


But "What is your boss's name?" is also not accepted. Should it be accepted?


so is "директора" both the genitive singular and the nominative plural..? meaning it just has irregular declension?


The Nominative plural is директора́, with a stress on the last syllable. It is always on the last syllable with masculine nouns.

The regular pattern usually has "typical" masculine nouns (e.g., стол, компьютер, ботинок, нож) end in -ы(-и) in plural: столы, компьютеры, ботинки, ножи. However, quite a number of masculine nouns have a stressed -а(-я) as their ending. Some of these are historical, coming from Dual number (глаз → глаза́, рог → рога́). Some of these are newly formed, first coming into colloquial use and then being accepted as a norm. Consider it an aspiring new regular pattern for some nouns.

The most important nouns of this kind for a beginner are:

  • дом → дома́ (house)
  • го́род → города́ (city)
  • до́ктор → доктора́ (doctor)
  • дире́ктор → директора́ (CEO, director)
  • профе́ссор → профессора́ (professor)
  • ма́стер → мастера́ (master, as in "skilled professional")
  • по́езд → поезда́ (train)
  • учи́тель → учителя́ (учи́тели is only for "spiritual" teachers)
  • глаз → глаза́ (eye)
  • цвет → цвета́ (colour)
  • ве́чер → вечера́ (evening)
  • го́лос → голоса́ (voice, vote)
  • лес → леса́ (forest)
  • па́спорт → паспорта́ (passport)
  • про́пуск → пропуска́ (ID)
  • но́мер → номера́ (ordinal number, hotel room)
  • счёт → счета́ (account, bill)
  • а́дрес → адреса́ (address)

These are truly irregular, some not even ending-stressed:

  • друг → друзья́ (friend)
  • сын → сыновья́ (son)
  • брат → бра́тья (brother)
  • стул → сту́лья (chair)

This mostly covers most popular 1000 words in Russian, and actually a bit beyond that.


Just letting you know that we really appreciate this, thanks so much!


Yes, thanks for the elaborate explanation and useful tips.


Oh wow, thanks!

Just for completeness, I'll add a m. noun where the stress falls at the beginning of the word in its npl. form:

2nd declension ns. Дя́дя, npl. Дя́ди

(Bizarrely, that's listed as a regular example on my PONS cheatsheet.)


It is marked as a regular example because it is. The word belongs to the same declension class as typical feminine nouns (мама, тётя, девочка, вода, земля, скамья, шея)


Yes it is irregular.


Why is it "вашего" and not just "ваша"?


m. genitive case


Как зовут -Accusative Case-

As Деректор is an animate masculine word, we have to use the genitive case Дире́ктора, the same applies for Ваш-Вашего.


what is wrong with "what's your headmaster's name?"


a { "headmaster" (British-English) || "principal" (American-English) } ONLY means the director of a school. (the boss of teachers and school staff)


Sure, but it should still be a valid translation option.


Ah, yeah, definitely. Somehow, we only had "principal" :)


"What do you call your director" is incorrect?


"Как его зовут?" is an idiomatic expression meaning "what is his name?", so it shouldn't be translated literally. It's not about how other people call him, unless they actually call him by name :)


It has a slightly different meaning. It can be correct if you want to know his title or nickname.

"We call him BB for 'Big Boss'."


We have previously been informed that зовут means to call, as in, what is he called.


What do you call your director?


What's wrong with: "What's your director's name?"


It's the suggested translation so I'm not sure why it wasn't accepted. Maybe Duo didn't recognize the contraction, then you just need to report it.


Why "What do they call your director ?" Is incorrect ?


is this genitive or plural?

  • 43

"Вашего" is the singular genitive form of "ваш" and requires the noun that follows to be the same. However, with the last syllable stressed in the recording ("директоРА" is plural nominative), the sentence is grammatically incorrect. Singular genitive (and accusative) is "диРЕКтора."


Why is the director in the genitive case, rather than the nominative?


To translate possessive situations into Russian, first convert sentences with 's into sentences with "of". Then the word(s) after "of" will be in genitive case and the rest of the sentence should maintain its word order.

So: What is your director's name? =>
What is the name of your director? =>
Как зовут вашего директора?

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