'ъ' Cyrillic Hardsign Explained Please

Hi, Could anyone explain to me that role and meaning of the Cyrillic Hard sign 'Ъ'.

Thank you!

August 6, 2017


ъ is used as a separator between the prefixes ending in a consonant and the letters е, ю, я, ё - подъезд, объявление, съёмка...

In simple terms if you see the letter "ъ" you have to pronounce the "й" sound after the consonant (and this consonant is not palatalized = "hard"). we say подъезд like [падйэст], съёмка as [сйомка]...

Without the "ъ" it would be подезд = [пад'эст] and сёмка = [с'омка] (where с' and д' are palatalized or "soft" consonants) without any sound of "й".

You can try to hear the difference:

Съёмка -

Сёмка -

Сёмга -

Подъезд -

Падение -

August 6, 2017

Thanks for the links so I can hear the difference!

August 7, 2017

This letter is the one you won't see too often, but it still has it's pupose. You see, there are four vowels in russian, that begin with a "y" sound: е (ye), ё (yo), ю (yu), я (ya). When these vowels follow a consonant, they lose this "y" sound and instead make the preceding consonant palatalised (or soft as some call it). However, if there is a "ъ" between them, it shows you that the consonant shouldn't be palatalased, and the vowel is pronounced with "y". It usually happens when a prefix ending with a consonant is added to a stem beginning with "е", "ё", "ю" or "я".

August 6, 2017
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