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A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)


: buy some cheese

Well pause inour round-the-clock coverage of the Olympic Games fora small commercial break. That means you get off thecouch, stretch andhead forthe kitchen. ? (What do you want?), you ask your significant other. ? ? ? (Some tea? Some cognac? Some chocolate?)

How charming tooffer toget your companion something toeat. How clever ofyou touse thepartitive case.

Thewhat?

Also by this author: A Trip Down Soviet Culinary Lane

Youll be forgiven if you missed this inyour Russian language lessons. Called inRussian (the genitive partitive case), it is anifty way ofindicating some or part ofsomething. With most nouns it is just thestandard genitive case endings andmeans some, alittle, part ofwhatever is being discussed. Forexample, ateenager heading tothe mall tobuy apair ofglasses might approach aparent with ahand extended andthe phrase: ! (Give me some money tobuy glasses). That is thepartitive case. But if said teenager has already ordered theglasses andknows theexact price, therequest would be: (give me themoney forthe glasses).

Also by this author: Words of the Year 2013

This might be one ofthose arcane bits ofRussian grammar that you file away andfigure no one will notice if you get it wrong. That is fine. Except fora list ofabout ahundred Russian words all masculine gender that have aspecial partitive ending: - or inthe singular. Recognizing them is important. Using them makes you sound less like you just got off theboat clutching your Russian-English dictionary. The-/- partitive forms are alittle like Dr. Whos bowties: alittle old-fashioned, alittle dorky, but cool.

Besides, you probably hear or use these forms every day inthe kitchen: (some tea); (some chocolate); (some cheese); (some sugar); (some soup); (some garlic); and (some fat, grease). Or you might use them when you are knocking back some cold ones: (a little cognac); (a bit ofmoonshine); (some grain alcohol).

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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