Russian Language Grammar

    Specifying Adverbs

pecifying adverbs refer to extrinsic characteristics of a notion (time, location, etc.). They usually pertain to verbs, sometimes to adverbs and nouns, and, less frequently, to adjectives. For example:

 

  

Part of speech to which adverb pertains 

Я еду туда 

I am going there

verb 

рано утром 

early in the morning

adverb 

в доме напротив 

in the house across

noun 

всегда веселый

always cheerful

adjective

These adverbs are subdivided into adverbs of time, adverbs of place, adverbs of cause (or reason) and adverbs of purpose.

Adverbs of Time

They answer the questions: когда? (when?); с каких пор? (since when?); до каких пор? (up to when? until when?); сколько времени? (how long? how much time?); как часто? (how often?):

Он приехал вчера.

He arrived yesterday.

Я живу здесь давно.

I have lived here for a long time (since long ago).

Мой конь и доныне носил бы меня. (Пушкин)

My steed would be carrying me up to this day.

Мы недолго ждали.

We did not wait for long.

Он редко приходит.

He seldom comes (visits us).

A list of currently used adverbs of time follows. The majority of these answer: когда? 

Usage of Adverbs of Time 

The following adverbs, which express duration or repetition, are used with the imperfective aspect of verbs: всегда; никогда; обыкновенно; иногда; всё время; часто; долго; ежедневно. However, никогда may be followed by the perfective when it expresses a single action which never took, or never will take place.

сегодня

today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

иногда

sometimes

вчера

yesterday

тогда

then

позавчера

the day before yesterday

потом

afterwards

третьего дня

the day before yesterday

сперва

at first

завтра

tomorrow

сначала

at first

послезавтра

the day after tomorrow

сразу

right away

рано

early

скоро

soon

поздно

late

тотчас

immediately, right away

утром

in the morning

впоследствии

later, thereafter

днём

in the afternoon

обычно

usually

вечером

in the evening

после

afterwards; after (more often, a preposition)

ночью

at night

с тех пор

from then on

весной

in the spring

смолоду

since youth

летом

in the summer

издавна

since long ago

осенью

in the fall

до сих пор

until   now, until here

зимой

in the winter

надолго

for a long time

сейчас

now

ненадолго

not for long

теперь

now, at present

навсегда

forever

давно

long ago

доныне

until this day

недавно

recently

долго

long, a long time

раньше

before, earlier

недолго

not long, not a long time

прежде

before, formerly

часто

often

на днях

one of these days

редко

seldom

однажды

once

ежедневно

daily

накануне

on the eve

всегда

always

вовремя

on time

 

A few set expressions function as adverbs of time: 

со дня на день

any day (now)

 

 

не по дням, а по часам

very rapidly (lit. not   by days, but by hours)

изо дня в день

from day to day

чуть свет

at daybreak

Examples:

Она никогда не ответила на это письмо.

She never answered this letter.

Он никогда не узнает об этом.

Не will never find out about this.

Note:  Occasionally, some of these adverbs will be followed by the future perfective (when the tense implied is really the present).

Она всегда скажет что-нибудь неприятное.

She will always say something unpleasant.

Иногда он придёт в восемь, иногда в девять.       

Sometimes he will come at eight, sometimes at nine.

 

Сейчас, теперь, сегодня 

  • Сейчас means "now," "just," "shortly," "right away." It is used with the present, past, and future:

Я сейчас пью кофе.

I am drinking coffee now.

Он сейчас звонил.

Не just called up (a moment ago).

Она сейчас вернётся.

She will return shortly (right away).

  • Теперь means "now," "at present." It is used chiefly with the present tense, but sometimes with the past or future:

Я теперь работаю в банке.

I am working at present in a bank.

Теперь он решил уехать

(And) now he decided to leave.

Он теперь уж не вернётся.

Не will   not return now   (any more).

  • Сегодня means "today" (rarely "at present"). Thus, "Where are they living today (at present)?" is translated "Где они живут теперь?"

 

Всегда, всё время 

  • Всегда means "always"; всё время means "all the time," "constantly."  Sometimes these adverbs are practically interchangeable:

Он всегда жалуется.

Не always complains.

Он всё время жалуется.

Не complains all the time.

But normally, they express different ideas:

Я всегда сплю после обеда.

I always sleep after dinner.

Мы всегда говорим с ним по-русски.

We always speak Russian with him.

Вы всё время спали?

Did you sleep all this time?

Мы всё время говорили по-русски.

We spoke Russian all the time.

 Долго, давно      

  • Долго means "for a long time," "long." It is used with the present, past, and future: 

Я долго жил там

I lived there for a long time.

Как долго он говорит!

How long he is speaking!

Я там долго не останусь.

I won't remain there for long.

  • Давно means "a long time ago," and also "for a long time" – when the action is carried into the present:

Это было давно.

That was long ago.

Мы здесь давно живём.

We have lived here for a long time (and we still are living here).

Adverbs Of Place 

Adverbs of place answer the questions: где? (where?); куда? (where to?); откуда? (from where?); докуда? (how far? up to where?):

Он дома.

Не is at home.

Они пошли домой.

They went home.

Отсюда всё видно.

You can see everything from here.

Мы едем дотуда.

We are driving that far (up to there).

A list of currently used adverbs of place follows. The majority of these answer где? and куда? 

здесь

here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

внизу

below, down(stairs)

тут

here

наверху

above, up(stairs)

там

there

впереди

in front, ahead

везде

everywhere

позади

behind

всюду

everywhere

повсюду

all around

вокруг

around

вперёд

forward, ahead

нигде

nowhere

вниз

down (motion)

негде

nowhere to

наверх

up (motion)

где-то

somewhere

куда-то

somewhere (motion)

где-нибудь

anywhere

куда-нибудь

anywhere (motion)

гдеибо

anywhere (you wish)

кудаибо

anywhere you wish (motion)

кое-где

here and there

кое-куда

somewhere (motion)

дома

at home

домой

home(ward)

направо

on (to) the right

вправо

to the right

налево

on (to) the left

влево

to the left

справа

on (from) the right

отсюда

from here

слева

on (from) the left

оттуда

from there

напротив

across, opposite

отовсюду

from everywhere

далеко

far

издалека

from far away

недалеко

not far

издали

from afar

близко

near

ниоткуда

from nowhere

поблизости

in the vicinity

неоткуда

from nowhere to

рядом

beside, next (to)

откуда-то

from somewhere

около

near, nearby

откуда-нибудь

from anywhere

мимо

past, by

откуда-либо

from anywhere (you wish)

туда

there (motion)

дотуда

up to there

сюда

here (motion)

досюда

up to here

назад

back(wards)

обратно

back(wards)

Note: Several adverbs among those listed above frequently function as prepositions: впереди; позади; напротив; мимо; вокруг; and especially около.

Adverb 

Я живу напротив.

I live across.

Preposition

Напротив вокзала есть ресторан.

Opposite the terminal there is a restaurant.

Adverb 

Посмотреть вокруг.

To look around.

Preposition

Путешествие вокруг света.

A trip around the world.

Usage of Some Adverbs of Place 

  • Направо and налево answer both: где? and куда?

Парк направо. (где?)

The park is on the right.

Он пошёл направо. (куда?)

Не went to the right.

  • Сверху and снизу may answer: где?, куда?, and откуда?

Сверху лежало одеяло. (где?)

On the top lay a blanket.

Положите это сверху. (куда?)

Put it on the top.

Сверху что-то упало. (откуда?)

Something fell from the top.

  • Здесь and тут are synonymous (тут being a trifle more informal).

Ресторан здесь (тут).

The restaurant is here.

Ваши дети тут, а мои там.

Your children are here, mine are there.

Директор завода здесь.

The director of the plant is here.

Note:  See usage of the demonstrative particle вот (here is, there is, here's, there's).

  • Там, тут and здесь are essentially adverbs of place. Occasionally, however, they function as adverbs of time:

Тут он мне и говорит...

(And) then he tells me...

Ну, там видно будет.

Well, we'll see (then).

Но здесь председатель остановил говорившего. (А. Н. Толстой)

But then (here) the chairman stopped the man who was speaking.

  • Туда and сюда express motion (These adverbs are used constantly in Russian – in contrast to their English equivalents “thither” and “hither”). The motion expressed is motion from one locality to another:

Кто едет туда?

Who is going there?

Мы приехали сюда.

We arrived here.

When the motion is contained within the same locality, там and здесь are used:

Кто там едет?  

Who is driving there? (Who is that man driving over there?)

Мы гуляем здесь.

We are walking here.

  • Отсюда and оттуда are used with motion or to express a distance.

Я уезжаю отсюда.

I am leaving this place.

Оттуда десять километров до города.

It's ten kilometers from there to the city.

  • Куда occasionally may function as an adverb of quantity or measure. It is used with the comparative degree:

Это куда лучше.

This is much (far) better.

Этот дом куда дороже.

This house is much more ("way" more) expensive.

  • Далеко не may mean "far from" in the figurative sense:

Он далеко не глуп.

Не is far from stupid.

Adverbs of Cause or Reason

These adverbs answer the questions: почему? (why?);  отчего? (why? because of what?).

There are not many adverbs of cause:

  • неспроста – for some (special) reason

  • поневоле – against one's will, willy-nilly

  • потому – therefore

  • почему – why

  • поэтому – therefore

  • сгоряча – rashly, in anger

  • сдуру – foolishly, out of stupidity, etc.

Adverbs of Purpose

These adverbs answer the questions:  зачем? (why? what for?); для чего? (what for?); с какой целью? (with what purpose?).

There are few adverbs of purpose:

  • затем – therefore

  • зачем-то – for some reason

  • назло – for spite

  • нарочно – on purpose

  • на смех – for fun, to make fun of

  • нечаянно – unintentionally, by chance.