Lesson 075

Russian conjuctions А and И

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Conjunctions are the words used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause. Today we’ll learn two Russian conjunctions: A and И.

Conjunctions А and И are both translated as and.

However, while И is a joining conjugation, А is a separating conjugation. Russians use the conjunction A for contraposition.

For example:

Я живу́ в Петербу́рге, а она́ живёт в Москве́.
I live in Petersburg and (but) she lives in Moscow.

Я люблю́ ле́то, а он лю́бит зи́му.
I love summer and (but) he loves winter.

Pay attention, that the conjunction А is always preceded by a comma.

Used in a negative sentence, А must be translated as BUT.

Он не италья́нец, а францу́з.
He is not Italian but French.

Это не мой зака́з, а чей-то чужо́й.
This is not my order, but someone’s else.

Russian Pod 101

И is always translated as AND and used to join words or phrases together.

Я и мой друг рабо́таем в одно́й компа́нии.
Me and my friend are working in the same company.

Я хорошо́ говорю́ и понима́ю по-ру́сски.
I speak and understand Russian well.

Both conjunctions can be used to start a sentence.

When a sentence is started with И, it smoothly continues the previous discussion.

If a sentence is started with А, it can either continue the previous discussion (maybe taking it to some other direction or not), or such a sentence often stands on its own. А in the latter case is added as an exclamation or expression of emotions. In these cases it can be translated as “what if”, “how about” or “and”.

Examples:

И что да́льше?
And what’s next?

А дава́йте пойдём в кино́?
How about going to the movies?

А вот и нет!
Actually, not at all!

Practice all today’s examples with the audio track.

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