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  5. "Я ни слова не понимаю, говор…

"Я ни слова не понимаю, говорите медленно."

Translation:I do not understand a word; speak slowly.

March 24, 2017



Is the "ни" just for emphasis? I've seen it used in situations where the word "neither" comes in to play, but never like this.


For now, I'll just think of it as "not a" and see how useful that is


I needed this phrase much earlier in the course. Lol.


I don't understand any of the words... should also be accepted


Except слова here is singular


слова could be either genitive singular or nominative / accusative plural, which may be the source of the confusion. In this case I think it's the "genitive of negation" and thus singular.


слОва is genitive singular словА is accusative plural. Right? in the audio i hear слОва but in the slow version I hear словА. Are both versions correct?


;) I hear the same thing.


I couldn't tell if it was singular or plural, and guessed wrong.


it's because the slow version speaks word-by-word, and it assumes "слова" is nominative plural by default, since there's "no word" preceding it.


What's wrong with "the word" as opposed to "a word"?


I believe that «ни» followed by any genitive singular word is going to be somewhat of a set expression which means "not a _," or "any ___(plural)." To express that you do not understand a certain word in particular could probably be accomplished with the following Russian sentence:

«Я не понимаю слово.»

The «ни» here emphasises that the speaker does not understand any of the words that are being spoken.

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