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Cute Russian Language

Or how to use diminutives in Russian

Published on Friday, 20 October 2017 and posted in Russian - Beginner

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Russian language is popular for the use of diminutives, which emphasize either the small size of object or person, or to express speaker's emotional relationship towards a certain object or person. The sound of these specific forms is very cute and when foreigners try to use them in real life it sounds even more and more cute.

Russian native speakers use diminutives everywhere so it's quite important to identify them.

Let’s learn some common examples how to build diminutives with a help of different suffixes:

Diminutives suffixes for nouns (female gender)

- к (а)
кровать — кроватка (a bed)
рука — ручка (a hand)

- очк(а), - ечк(а)
карта — карточка (a card)
кошка — кошечка (a female cat)

- онк(а), -енк(а)
собака - собачонка (a dog)
песня - песенка (a song)

- оньк(а), - еньк(а)
лиса — лисонька (a fox)
дорога - дороженька (a road)

- иц(а)
сестра — сестрица (a sister)
вещь — вещица (a thing)

Diminutives suffixes for nouns (male gender)

- ик
стол - столик (a table)
зонт - зонтик (an umbrella)

- чик
круассан - круассанчик (a croissant)
огурец - огурчик (a cucumber)

- ок, ёк, ек
город — городок (a city)
день — денёк (a day)
замок - замочек (a lock)

- ец
брат — братец (a brother)
мороз — морозец (a frost)

Diminutives suffixes for nouns (neutral gender)

- ишк(о), ышк(о)
вино - винишко (a wine)
солнце - солнышко (a sun)

Also we can use diminutives to emphasize a pejorative meaning of the noun:

Nouns with a pejorative meaning (female gender)

- онк(а), -ёнк(а)
душа — душонка (a soul)
работа — работёнка (a job)

Nouns with a pejorative meaning (male and neutral gender)

- ишк(о)
вор - воришка (a thief)
люди — людишки (people)
пальто — пальтишко (a coat)

As you see from examples of diminutives in Russian language we quite often use them in colloquial style. Therefore you should be very careful to use them because they can express speaker's emotional relationship towards a certain object or person in a positive and pejorative way!

Our LAE school wishes you a good luck in learning both serious and cute Russian language!

Wishing you good luck and see you soon at LAE school

Lesia Lishchuk