Russian Language Grammar

    Stress

   The stress in Russian words is most important. A misplaced stress may alter the meaning of a word (зáмок – castle; замóк – lock), or render it incomprehensible. A stressed vowel is pronounced louder; it is also slightly lengthened – except when final. Only a few helpful rules can be given in regard to stress.

Remark:   The letter ё is always stressed!

Nouns

  1. The ending is always stressed in masculine nouns which end in -у in the prepositional case:   в саду – in the garden; на полу – on the floor.
  2. The ending is always stressed in masculine nouns which end in -a or -я in the nominative plural: дома – houses; края – edges; учителя – teachers.
  3. Feminine nouns, as a rule, are not stressed on the ending in the nominative plural: руки – hands; горы – mountains (with the singular: рука, гора).  

 

Exceptions: статьи – articles; скамьи – benches; черты – traits; and a few others.

  1. Most neuter dissyllabic nouns change the stress in going from singular to plural:   окноокна (windows);  поле – поля (fields).
  2. The stress remains fixed in all nouns which in the nominative singular are not stressed on the first or on the last syllabic: учебник – manual; газета – newspaper; внимание – attention.
  3. The only exceptions are masculine nouns which in the plural end in stressed -a or -я:   профессора, учителя (for example: профессоров, учителей, etc.).

Adjectives

In the same word, the stress never varies. Thus, “красный” will retain the stress on a in all genders, numbers, and cases.

In the comparative degree and with short adjectives, it may or may not vary:  “красный, краснее, крaсна”.   But:  “красивый, красивее, красива”.

Verbs

The stress is fixed throughout a verb when it does not fall on the ending of the infinitive: слушать – to listen; плавать – to swim.