Jonnie (David Sellinger) (jonniez) wrote in linguaphiles,
Jonnie (David Sellinger)

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Russian Verbs/Vowels Question

Okay, I'm beginning to learn (i.e. teach myself) Russian. Some of these questions have resolved themselves, but now there's one thing I can't seem to get my head around:

I know that when a stem that ends in a vowel (like жда-) gets an ending that begins with a vowel, the vowel on the stem is removed. I can see this happening in a lot of verbs, but sometimes (usually when there's a '-ю' ending), I'll still see that stem vowel (like in работать, понимать, and Знать). Are these verbs just irregular/exceptions to the rule, or is there something I'm missing? Or are the other verbs I'm looking at irregular (ждать is the only one I can find right now).

ETA: Oops, I think I made a mistake, I was thinking completely backwards. I think the verbs I were assuming were regular weren't...I feel silly now.

Anyway, another question: the soft sign at the end of words—this something to be memorised with the word, right? I was studying the numbers and saw how so many had a soft sign after the the 'т', and then some higher numbers didn't—I started thinking there might be a pattern, but that's just wishful thinking, right?
Tags: russian, spelling, vowels

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