Graphic abbreviations accepted in the Russian language are numerous and diverse. They are used in academic and non-fiction literature, in dictionaries and reference lists, in cartography and private correspondence.
The Russian language learners will meet shortenings while reading textbooks, newspapers, abstracts and letters, as well as in the street, at the office, in transport and at the stadium.
Even advanced native speaker though not always can decipher one or another encountered shortening, that is why the Russian language learners should pay their attention to the shortenings which have practical and communicative importance and are used everywhere in everyday life.
The following shortenings belong to such graphic abbreviations:
1. The denotations of grammatical categories and notions in textbooks and dictionaries: м. р. (masculine gender), ед. ч. (singular), пр. в. (past tense) 2-е л. (second person), гл. (verb), сущ. (noun), суф. (suffix)…
2. The denotations of measurement units (without affecting terminology and shortenings accepted in professional and academic literature):
Weight: г (gram), кг (kilogram);
Time: мин (minute), ч (hour), г. (year);
Pressure: мм. рт. ст. (millimeter of mercury), атм. (atmospere);
Distance, square, volume: км (kilometre), га (hectare), л (litre);
Information: б (byte), Гбайт (gigabyte);
Coordinates: с. ш. (northern latitude), в. д. (east longitude);
Quantity: тыс. (thousand), млн (million), млрд (billion), ед. (one/unit);
3. The denotations of monetary units: р., руб. (ruble), дол. (dollar), шек. (shekel), у. е. (standard unit)
4. The toponymic denotations on maps and in figures: ул. (street), пл. (square), ст. м. (metro station), пр. (avenue), р. (river), г. (city, mountain)
5. The generally accepted shortenings intended to save time and space and to accelerate a text writing: т. н. – so called; т. е. – that is (i.e); т. к. - as; т. о. – therefore; см. – which see (q.v); стр. – page; до н. э. – B.C.; ж/д – railroad; б/у – secondhand; и. о. – acting; и др. – and others; чел. – person; и т.д., и т.п. – and so on and so forth.
There are some rules and standards that regulate the spelling of graphic abbreviations, presence or absence of full stops, commas and blanks used in a shortening, adding the endings to numerals. It is worthwhile to offer students to learn these rules to the extent of evolving necessity.