I’m learning Russian. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I check off a word that it doesn’t increase my word count. Why is this?
Some (most) words in Russian change in their ending depending on how they are used in a sentence. Do I only get credit for the root word?
Or is it because I have waited so long to go back and review a lesson and there is a time limit on making a word “known”?
If you click on a the nominative singular masculine form of a noun in one segment yet in the same or later lesson click on the instrumental singular masculine form of the same noun, it will appear as different words. (The same is true for different forms of the same verb.) Once you learn the cases and know them well, you will recognize the cases of the nouns, adjectives and pronouns in context, but given your present word count (beginner), you probably don’t yet. To add to the challenge, the ending of a masculine adjective in the nominative case can look like the ending of a feminine adjective in another case and the feminine singular endings of adjectives are identical in several cases. Yes, it can be confusing.
To help you learn what case is used when, I strongly suggest that you identify the case of the noun, adjective or pronoun in the translation that YOU make in parentheses. Do not assume that what first appears is correct. Unfortunately, I have found that the “community” translation is very, very, very often not correct which will in turn make it impossible for you to learn what case to use properly in any phrase. Without this additional information, it is not possible to do some of the review exercises. For example, if you are prompted for the Russian word for “summer,” you will not know the case to use if you don’t see the rest of the sentence or have the notation of what case should be used. The same is true for verb tense, aspect and person.
Don’t worry about how this affects your word count. Click on any word that you don’t readily recognize/understand now. With practice, you will not need to click on the genitive form of a masculine noun that you already know or the past tense of a regular verb that you know in the present tense. Keep in mind that there are a lot of exceptions to every rule in Russian ( )
which is to say, irregular forms of nouns in the nominative and genitive plural, irregular forms of verbs. Definitely click on these irregular forms. Also, I strongly recommend clicking on phrases (the preposition plus the noun) since the cases vary in what follows different prepositions and in special expressions. The same is true for verbs. Click on the verb and what follows it so you know what case to use (dative, accusative, genitive, instrumental?). Some verbs typically are followed by a preposition so including that with the verb will help you to remember to include it when you use the verb on your own.