Questions and answers about the Russian language

1. – Can anyone explain the grammar in “Мне б его сдержать” ? I get that it’s saying something like “I should have held it back”, but why is it “Мне” and not “я”? I mean, it’s “me” that’s doing the holding back. Also, why is “сдержать” not conjugated?

 – This is colloquial Russian where brevity of speech takes a toll on the grammar and syntax, like in any other language. This phrase when translated into English would go something like this: It was necessary for me to hold him/it back (which I did not, I presume). Here “for me” relates to Мне (no ‘I’s here), and ‘to hold’ relates to сдержать(Infinitive verb like in English).

by Yeshwant Umralkar

Мне б его сдержать = Мне следовало его сдержать + Если бы я его сдержал! (Implies that something would be different and more desirable as a result). That is modality + subjunctive in one structure.

by Alla Ter

2. – How to say in Russian “Check in….? and Check out …?”

–  Check in – заезд, Check out – выезд

by Marina Pashina

3. Скажите пожалуйста, на русском почему используют слово “сглазить”? С каким менталитетом связанно это слово? В каких ситуациях разговора используется такое выражение “чтобы не сглазить” ?

– It’s a superstition. When some “bad” person makes someone’s life unlucky or spoils his health because of envy or bad thoughts towards this person by using “bad” eye. It is says that gypsies and witches have this capacity.

by Alexander S. Makarov  (more on the topic in Russian http://www.anubis-sub.ru/praktik/533-sglaz.html)

4. – What does “подъезд” mean? Is it an entrance?

–  The word “подъезд”can be similar in meaning to the word “entrance” (“вход”). “Трёхподъездный дом” means that the building has 3 major entrances to 3 separate sections. But unlike “вход”which comes from the verb “входить” “подъезд” comes from the verb “подъезжать”. So it means not only the entrance itself but the area around it which is enough to drive up to the entrance. There can be a sign which says: “Подъезд не загораживать”. This means “Don’t park your vehicles near the entrance”

by Alla Ter

5. – “Ветер осенний стучится в окно
Плачет опять надо мной.”

Полная песня:http://megalyrics.ru/lyric/vitas/opiera-2.htm

What do the words “надо мной” mean?

– Надо мной = обо мне/по мне
When someone dies all the relatives near with this person. The person who dies lies on the bed. People t
ry to say last words and always cries. They all take standing position. For person who dies it seems that surrounding people crie over him literally.
I’m not sure that my explanation fully matches with official version. This meaning more like an idioma.

by Anton Dali

6. – По английски у нас есть “curator”, которое значит человек, который выбирает и организовывает выставки в музее. Есть ли такое значение этого слова на русском?

Куратор и есть. В русском значение этого слова шире чем организатор музейных выставок. Это человек который организовывает и сопровождает какое-то действие. Куратор ответственное лицо по заданным критериям.

by Anton Dali

7. – When should I use “есть”? Like, if I write for example, “у меня есть книга” and “у меня книга” what is the difference in the two sentences?

– It is like that: you use “est” when you emphasize that this exact thing is in your possession: for example, the teacher asks: ?All of you have a textbook?” – the student answers: “I have a book = I have one”, so I can participate. The same is with the family members “I have a sister” (you possess something some other people might not have). That is why you need “est”. If you say I have blue eyes, you do not use “est”, because in a normal state everyone should have a pair of eyes. She has a car – should be “est” because not everyone has a car, but she has long legs, “est” is not used because if a person is not an invalid, she should have legs.

The second example in that attachment, without “est” is a colloquial version, not typical, or requires the continuation of the statement: “I have a book, which you have been looking for”. Another rare meaning can be when you make an accent, emotionally emphasizing the words “u menya” – meaning that you, not anyone else have the book. it is also possible to emphasize with voice the word “book” in the second example from the attachment, but it will mean, that you have the book, not any other thing (like a notebook).

by Jacklyn Coats ‘s tutor

I feel the basic idea is the following:

“У меня есть книга” = shows you possess the book. Better use “есть”.
You are focussing on the fact that you have a book.

BUT when you are focusing more on any adjective related to book then you omit the word “есть”. Like you wanna say you have an “interesting” book. The focus shifts to the fact that book is INTERESTING. Then you will say:
“У меня интересная книга”  Here you drop “есть

by Naveen Manchanda