Basic Russian Grammar for Heritage Speakers

Quick-Access Index

Spelling: Palatalized and Plain Consonants

definition
paired and unpaired
ь in жизнь, сядь, познакомьте, больше, etc.
ь at the end of certain verb forms: лечь, знать, знаешь, etc.
palatal indicator letters е ё и ю я
и у а after ж ч ш щ except брошюра, жюри, парашют
ё, not о after ж ч ш щ in the root when stressed
и vs. ы after ц
ь vs. nothing after ж ч ш щ аt word's end
о vs. е after ж ч ш щ ц in endings
always и after к г х

Spelling: Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants

definition
paired and unpaired
с vs. з in prefixes
voiced vs. unvoiced in roots voiced vs. unvoiced in prefix

Spelling: Consonant Clusters

silent consonants

Spelling: the sound Й

when to use the letter й
when to use ё е и ю я
when to use ь or ъ

Spelling: Unstressed Vowels

definition
in roots
root vowels that cannot be verified: очень, который, вчера, завтра, etc.
root vowels in -оро- and -оло-
in prefixes
at the end of an o-word

Spelling: Vowel and Consonant Alternation, Inserted Vowels, Suffixes

vowel alternation
consonant alternation
inserted (fleeting) vowel
suffixes
examples of word nests

Spelling: Special Cases

что, чтобы, конечно
счастливый, считать
мужчина
здравствуй, чувство, лестница
root vowels that cannot be verified: очень, который, вчера, завтра, etc.
в in вчера, завтра
нч, нщ in кончик, бантик, обманщик, etc.
vowels in foreign words
т in свитер, компьютер
-ого, -его, сегодня
vowel in compound words: самолёт, русско-английский, etc.
-ся и -сь in reflexive verbs
Upper or Lower Case?

One Word or Two?

Prepositions vs. Prefixes
Conjunctions
не vs. ни
некогда vs. никогда, etc.
Negation
Hyphenation

Compiled by Slava Paperno. Not copyrighted. May be reproduced without asking for permission. Comments sent to sp27@cornell.edu will be appreciated.