Questions tagged [non-native-speaker]

Questions asked from the perspective of people who are not native speakers of the Ukrainian language.

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5 votes
2 answers
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How do you form questions with чи?

I know you can make questions that are just declarative sentences with a question mark or intonation, like this: "Цей хлопчик хороший?" But if you want to make a grammatically explicit ...
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1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Is ж softened when followed by i? E.g. are the two ж's in жінка жне different?

The title says it all really. A friend of mine who's also learning Ukrainian says she hears жінка as starting with a softened sound; I always assumed it was a hard sound but now I'm having doubts. ...
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  • 371
4 votes
1 answer
50 views

Difference between вчити, вчитися, вивчати?

What's the difference between the words вчити, вчитися, and вивчати? As far as I can tell they all mean "to learn" - are they just synonyms or is there more to it? In particular I don't ...
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  • 371
1 vote
0 answers
8 views

What case do you use with зрозуміти? [duplicate]

I've been doing Duolingo exercises again, and I ran into these two sentences in a row, which was very confusing: Вона не зрозуміє це Вона зрозуміє мого листа These two sentences are using different ...
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  • 371
2 votes
1 answer
31 views

What's the difference between відчинений and відкритий?

When you say something is open, do you use відчинений or відкритий? Are they synonyms, or does it depend on the subject (or something else)? Which is more intuitive to use for "the border is ...
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  • 371
4 votes
2 answers
286 views

Is "Я ходив у банк вчора" a sensible sentence, or should it use пішов?

The Ukrainian course on Duolingo just gave me this sentence to translate: "Я ходив у банк вчора". But my understanding so far has been that you use іти for one-time specific instances of ...
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  • 371
4 votes
1 answer
78 views

Is "повинен" "should" or "has to"? How do you make the should/must distinction in Ukrainian? Or do you just not?

I'm trying to figure out how to mark the difference between "should" and "must" in Ukrainian, and it's turning out really confusing. Google-translate translates "I should cook&...
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  • 371
5 votes
1 answer
266 views

Why can some words end in either ся or сь? What is the difference?

(Apologies if this question doesn't make sense, I've only been learning Ukrainian for a couple of months.) I keep seeing words that seem like they can end in either ся or сь and I'm not sure why or ...
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  • 371
7 votes
1 answer
350 views

Якраз meaning "actually"

So in these examples: він якраз в магазині зараз. Я якраз хотіла зробити пару знімків того критого мосту по дорозі. Якраз ії я розумію I've seen people translate this usage of "якраз" as &...
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4 votes
1 answer
79 views

Чому вживаємо давальний відмінок у "нема кому [щось зробити]"

З Шевченкового "Не хочу я женитися": Нема кому привітати, Ні з ким пожуритись, Треба було б молодому, Треба б одружитись. Минулися молодії Веселії літа, Немає з ким ости[г]лого Серденька ...
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4 votes
1 answer
77 views

What is the difference between перенести and перевести?

I am more specifically asking about when they mean 'to transfer something', not the other meanings like with перенести meaning to undergo and to postpone. I thought that generally вести was usually ...
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1 vote
2 answers
76 views

What could "kn." abbreviation stand for?

Chuzhynoiu: kn. VII describes an edition of a book by Oleksandr Oles'. What does kn. mean? is there an online list of Ukrainian abbreviations where I could have found this?
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  • 11
8 votes
1 answer
210 views

Іван написав листа/лист -- facultative animacy in Ukrainian

I have read in "Ukrainian - A Comprehensive Grammar" by S. M. Pugh and I. Press that some Ukrainian inanimate nouns, such as лист, can optionally take singular-accusative in -а, i.e. they are treated ...
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  • 307
7 votes
2 answers
285 views

How to figure out how many syllables Голубамголовивідкушувальне has

I'm trying to understand what this word means: Голубамголовивідкушувальне (heard it on a Toronto Talk Show) and how many syllables it has. It's the longest word I have ever seen. I've looked around ...
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4 votes
1 answer
445 views

What is the meaning of Shcho na khuy... something

A long time ago I made friends with some dudes from Ukraine that spent the summer in America for a high school program. They taught me a few phrases but the one I’ve never forgotten but never been ...
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  • 53
8 votes
1 answer
178 views

What are the major pronunciation mistakes of Italians speaking Ukrainian?

I'm Italian and I'm a beginning student of Ukrainian. I have no contact with the language in my daily life apart from the time I devote to it through self-study, and, as a consequence, I've been ...
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  • 307
8 votes
1 answer
141 views

Respectful terms of address (to someone you know)?

How would a Ukrainian person respectfully address someone much older than them? That is, someone who isn't a stranger (e.g. an elderly neighbour, teacher, etc). Is it пані/ пан [surname] like in ...
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5 votes
1 answer
147 views

Does the letter "т" in Russian tend to be "ч" in its Ukrainian parallel?

I noticed that "хотя бы" in Russian becomes "хоча б"`. Is it true that in the Ukrainian language letter "ч" sometimes corresponds to the Russian "т" when the words have the same proto-slavic root?" Is ...
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10 votes
2 answers
253 views

Is it correct (or obligatory) to put a comma before the word "що" in Ukrainian?

I was told that normally Ukrainian people almost always put a comma before the word "що" in Ukrainian language? Is it true and correct or it is common mistake? For me as a non Ukrainian native speaker ...
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8 votes
1 answer
173 views

What is "допавши зміни" in "І так любо, допавши зміни, налітати, мов княжа рать"?

From a poem by Яр Славутич: Нами снили поліські пущі, Гайдамацькі яри в полях. І прийшли ми до них, живущі, Подолавши пекельний шлях. Повернулися із Берези, З-за Байкалу, із ...
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6 votes
2 answers
237 views

Я бачив дім means I saw a house or I saw the house or both?

In English I if I want to refer to something specific or non specific I can just do it by adding articles. For example: I saw a house. (non specific house) = Я бачив дім Vs. I saw the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
118 views

Is the letter Ґ back?

It has come to my attention that the letter Ґ, once banned from the Ukrainian alphabet, is coming back into favor in words like ґудзик and ґазета. Is this so, and are there other words where Ґ has ...
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3 votes
2 answers
73 views

Я хочу його зїсти. I want him to eat

Я хочу його зїсти. I’m trying to say "I want him to eat", but when translated, sounds rather cannibilistic. What is the correct way to say "I want him to eat." in Ukrainian? I thought possibly "I ...
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3 votes
1 answer
54 views

Чи я можу бути менш старим чоловіком?

Can I be a less old man? I’ve learned that a simple way to form comparative adjectives is to put більш or менш before the adjective to mean more or less. When translated literally, менш цікавий (...
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3 votes
1 answer
56 views

When to use the perfective and imperfective form of розуміти

"Я розумів, або може бути я зрозумів". I’m having difficulty understanding when to use the perfective form or the imperfective form of розуміти. If Я зрозумів, що він сказав (I understood what he ...
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10 votes
3 answers
265 views

Casual response to "What time is it?"

When asked Котра година? (what time is it?), the only way I’ve found to reply is by way of a formal 24 hour format. For example: It’s 9:45 PM Котра зараз година? Зараз, двадцять перша година, ...
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5 votes
3 answers
360 views

How do you say "gaming series" in Ukrainian?

I have been interested in Ukrainian for quite a while now,having some knowledge of Slavic languages and their grammar. I am attempting to translate a text I made into Ukrainian to begin studying the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
105 views

How did питати and пытать come to have such different meanings?

A comment on this question of mine alerted me to the difference. Is this a case of the linguistic equivalent of "convergent evolution"? I don't see how that can happen with two languages as closely ...
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7 votes
1 answer
122 views

What is the difference between допомагати and допомогти?

Both words seem to be derived from the same root. Is one more favored in certain geographical areas? Or is one more closely related to Russian than the other? Google translate list both as possible ...
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  • 2,735
3 votes
1 answer
75 views

Determining the declension of an unknown word

So a while ago I was informed of the general rules for declensions. However, there is some overlap of these groups. For example, a word with no ending could be either 2nd or 3rd declension. ...
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  • 2,735
13 votes
1 answer
157 views

Can "з" be used without a word following it?

In English, it is acceptable to use "with" without a word to follow it. I would go to the dance, but I don't have anyone to go with. Is this kind of construction acceptable in Ukrainian? If not, ...
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  • 2,735
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Ukrainian formal/professional direct address

Essentially I'm looking for a Ukrainian equivalent to "sir" or "ma'am" that would be used to address a professor or police officer or someone else in a formal situation. By "direct address" I mean ...
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  • 2,735
2 votes
1 answer
110 views

What kind of grammatical errors would I use to make a joke about how I can't speak Ukrainian?

Bytebuster's answer to my last question alerted me to the name of the phenomenon of Cacography. (Yes, I understand that cacography relates to spelling and my question relates to grammar). Since I don'...
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  • 2,735
7 votes
1 answer
83 views

How to call someone in an empty room?

Imagine I have walked in to a room and nobody is there, but I'm pretty sure that someone is nearby. How can I call someone in? Is there a general shout for that, or maybe it depends on what room it ...
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  • 3,854
8 votes
2 answers
110 views

Under what circumstances are the archaic conjugations of бути used?

Wikipedia notes that бути can be conjugated as such: я єсьми | ми єсьмо -------------|---------- ти єси | ви єсьте -------------|---------- він, | вона, єсть | вони суть воно ...
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  • 2,735
11 votes
1 answer
5k views

"Alex": Олександр чи Олексій для міжнародного спілкування та аліасів в онлайн сервісах

Дуже часто при спілкуванні з іноземцями українці спрощують свої імена на латиниці, оскільки для іноземців вимова українських імен часто є надскладним завданням. Крім того, при реєстрації в онлайн ...
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12 votes
4 answers
213 views

Is it a strong requirement to use vocative in Ukrainian language?

I learned that the vocative should always be used and that it is not optional. I also assumed that all native Ukrainian speakers use the vocative in their normal, natural, everyday speech. However, ...
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10 votes
6 answers
322 views

When I come to Kyiv, is it possible to learn Ukrainian on the streets or should I visit some special places for this purpose?

I know that Kyiv is both Ukrainian and Russian speaking city, but if I talk to people in Ukrainian, will they respond in Ukrainian as well? I know the written language quite well, but I need to ...
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  • 11.1k
13 votes
1 answer
126 views

Conventions for the omission of verb `Є`

I understand that verb Є can either be written, omitted, or replaced with an em-dash(—). I know that there are no semantic differences between these, but are there any circumstances in which one would ...
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  • 2,735
11 votes
2 answers
319 views

The proper way to express a great gratitude in Ukrainian

What is a proper way to express a great gratitude in Ukrainian? What I mean here is not something you normally say to a cashier at a shop. For that you would use: Дякую or Спасибі I have heard so ...
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11 votes
4 answers
387 views

Pronunciation of ий, ій, і

As a native English speaker the endings -ий, -ій, and -і all seem to sound the same to me. I can somewhat understand the difference between -ий and -ій, but it seems almost indistinguishable. ...
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  • 2,735
16 votes
4 answers
674 views

Is there a significant sound difference between Й and Ь?

This question also has an answer here (in Ukrainian): Як пояснити іноземцеві "м'який знак"? I am aware that most sources say that Ь does not have a sound but instead "softens" the ...
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  • 2,735
9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Comprehensive rules for noun case endings

I tried to create a chart based on a few books, but it was largely guesswork. Key: The first column of tables is for noun endings, the second is for pronouns, and the third is for adjective endings. ...
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