Preposition «в» (in) / Предлог «в»

In Russian we use the preposition «в» (in) when we are focusing on being inside of something. And don’t forget to use the prepositional case for location. For example,

    • Я в банке – I am in the bank
    • Я в Москве – I am in Moscow
    • Я сижу в машине – I am sitting in the car

In Russian we use the preposition «в» also for the destination, when in English is used the preposition «to». And here is used the accusative case, not prepositional.

  • Я иду в банк – I go to the bank
  • Я еду в Мадрид – I go to Madrid

And we also use this preposition for time and days of week.

    • У меня урок в 6 часов – I have a lesson is at 6 o’clock
    • Я не работаю в понедельник – I don’t work on Monday.

And we also use this preposition for clothes. For example,

  • Я в свитере – I put a sweater on (I am in the sweater)
  • Я в шляпе – I am wearing a hat.
    когда используется предлог в


Direct and Reported speech in Russian

For a start compare these two images and say, where the person says with the direct speech (прямая речь) and where with the reported speech (косвенная речь).

что такое прямая и косвенная речь

She said, «I’ll think about this».        She said that she will think about this

As you can see from the example the direct speech is when we quote somebody. For example:

  • Мама сказала: «Сегодня я не хочу работать!» — My mom said, «I don’t want to work today».
  • Папа сказал: «Вставай! Хватит спать!» — My father said, «Get up! Stop sleeping!»
  • Друг спросил: «Ты пойдёшь со мной в бар?» — My friend asked, «do you go to the bar with me?»

In the reported speech we change people’s  words a little.  It is not a quote anymore:

  • Мама сказала, что она не хочет сегодня работать. — My mom said that she doesn’t want to work today..
  • Папа сказал, чтобы я вставал.  — My father said to me to get up.
  • Друг спросил, пойду ли я в бар с ним. — My friend asked me if I go to the bar with him.

So as you can see from the examples above  to make  reported speech in Russian you need to use the conjunction «что» (that) for retelling somebody else’s speech.

  • Ты сказал мне, что  хочешь пойти со мной. — You told me  that you wanted to go with me.

But if they talked to you using a verb in the Imperative Mood, you should use the conjunction «чтобы» (that for imperatives).

  • Мама сказала, чтобы я купил хлеб. — My mom told me to buy a bread.

If they asked something, it is better to use the particle «ли» after the verb:

  • Мама спросила, хочу ли я ужинать. — My mom asked me if I want to have dinner.

But if they asked something using the question word  (кто? что? где?когда? почему? как? etc.) — do not use «ли»,  just use the question word:

Мама спросила, почему я не хочу есть. — My mom asked me, why I don’t want to eat.


The difference between conjunctions «а» and «и»

Both Russian conjunctions (и, а) are translated in English as «and«. Look at these examples to figure out when they are used.

когда употребляется и а когда а разница между и и а

We use «и» when we have same things.

Look at the example 2, she is saying, «I am Maria and that’s Maria too«. But when we have something different, we use «а«. Look at the example 1: She is saying, «I am Maria and that’s Max.» (Max is a different name from Maria).

So if we focus on both of them together we can say, «Это Мария и Макс»(This is Maria and Max).

And when we talk about them separately, we should say, «Это Мария, а это Макс»(This is Maria, and this is Max).

You should also know that we use the conjunction «а» at the beginning of question sentences, when we question back. For example,

А: Как дела? — How are you?
Б: Хорошо! А как вы?  – Fine. And how are you?