Russian For Everyone Learn Russian Language Online

Self study guide for elementary level learners of Russian
and for intermediate level students who wish to review basic grammar and vocabulary




Introductory Lesson 8

Unpaired hard and soft consonants. The soft consonant




Introduction. Russian letters and sound system
Russian alphabet
Sounds, handwriting, keyboard
Introductory Lesson 1
Reading syllables. Translating This is..., Here is...
Introductory Lesson 2
Reading syllables. Conjunctions and
Introductory Lesson 3
Learn Russian hushing and velar sounds. Stress and vowel reduction (, )
Quiz 1
Check what you have learned from Lessons 1-3 with this 10 minute quiz.
Introductory Lesson 4
Letters ,,,
Introductory Lesson 5
Learn Russian 7-letter spelling rule
Introductory Lesson 6
Learn Russian Hard and Soft onsonants. Vowel reduction (, )
Quiz 2
Check what you have learned from Lessons 4-6 with this 15 minute quiz.
Introductory Lesson 7
Letters and . Pronunciation of , , , . Letters , ,
Introductory Lesson 8
Unpaired hard and soft consonants. The soft consonant
Quiz 3
Check what you have learned from Lessons 7-8 with this 15 minute quiz.
Introductory Lesson 9
Voiced and Voiceless Consonants. Devoicing of Final Consonants. Consonant Clusters
Introductory Lesson 10
Pronunciation of , , and
Phrasebook Topic 1
Learn how to greet people and say goodbye in Russian
Phrasebook Topic 2
Introducing Yourself in Russian
Quiz 4
Check what you have learned from Lessons 7-8 with this 10 minute quiz.

                                                   Lesson 8 - 8

 
8.1. Unpaired hard and soft consonants
For almost every consonant Russian has two sounds: a hard consonant and a soft consonant. But there are three unpaired hard consonants: , , (they have no soft counterparts) and three unpaired soft consonants , , (these consonants have no hard counterparts). 


We learned earlier that Russian vowel sounds are spelled with one set of letters (, , , , ) after hard consonants and with an alternative set of letters (, , , , ) after soft consonants. The choice of vowel in the spelling of most Russian words is determined by the hardness or softness of the preceding consonant.

But for unpaired hard (, , ) and soft (, ) consonants the choice of vowel is often determined by the special spelling rules:

 !

 1. According to the 7-letters spelling rule, after the consonants , , ,   the letter is spelled (never ).

 
 

Click the words to listen, then read them aloud.

to live

car

chips

protection

 !

 2. After the unpaired soft consonants , the letters , are spelled (never , in spite of the fact that the  consonants are soft).

 
 

 

Click the words to listen, then read them aloud.

an hour

miracle

grove

I'm looking for

 !

 3. After the unpaired hard consonant the letter is spelled in the ending of a word, the letter is spelled in the root.

 
Click the each word to listen, then read them aloud.

     -

cucumbers - number

      -

Germans - circus

 

8.2.

 

The soft consonant

Do not confuse the unpaired soft consonant and the vowel .

The consonant follows vowel letters only (never follows a consonant).When pronouncing [] the tip of the tongue is pressed to the lower teeth. The air stream is stronger than when pronouncing the vowel [].

Click the words to listen, then read them aloud.

my

tea

bench

sea-gull

Usually occur in the middle of a word or in a word ending. There are only three common words in Russian that begin with the consonant (all of foreign origin, you can easily guess their meaning). Click these words to listen, then read them aloud.

yogurt

yoga

iodine

Exercises  
Listening and reading practice (words with , , , , , , , ).
Listening and reading practice (words with and ).
Listening and reading practice (words with and ).

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