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Phrases with the words "сколько", "как" and "что"

Hello, dear student! Today I would like to give consideration to the words in Russian, which begin with the phrases "сколько" [skol'ka], "как" [kak] and "что" [chto]. You can usually see them in questions, for example:

Сколько вам лет? [Skol'ka vam let] - How old are you?

This is a set expression, so you cannot replace the word "сколько" here with any other word.

Сколько лет этой красивой девушке? [Skol'la let ekhtaj krasivaj devushke?] - How old is that beautiful girl?

But be attentive, it's inappropriate to ask a woman's age like in most other languages and cultures, that is why ask this question in a delicate way depending on a situation how close you know a person not to offend him.

The word "как" is also a standard word in such phrases as:

Как тебя зовут? [Kak tebya zavut?] - What is your name?
Как ваше имя? [Kak vashe imya?] - What is your name?
Как мне вас называть? [Kak mne vas nazyvat'?] - How should I call you?

The first two examples show the phrases which we mainly use as in a standard language as in a colloquial one. And the third phrase with the word "как" is more used in business communication. You can often hear it in a telephone conversation, when a person wants to specify some personal data of his interlocutor not knowing with whom he is talking. It's quite high level of communication and if you memorize this phrase and know how and where to use it, then probably you would make a good impression on your interlocutor. You can also see such phrase as:

Как ваша фамилия? [kak vasha familiya?] - What is your surname?


Как ваше отчество? [kak vashe ochestva?] - What is your patronymic name?

Yes, there is such small nuance, too. Along with name and surname, there is also a patronymic name of a person in Russian, i.e. name of his father. For example:

Моё отчество Ивановна( для представителей женского рода) и Иванович (для представителей мужского рода) [Mayo ochestva Ivanavna i Ivanavich] - My patronymic name is Ivanovna (for female) and Ivanovich (for male)

And finally, the word "что" [chto]. Probably, you already know from previous articles, that it is an interrogative word which we use in Russian to denote inanimate objects (not alive). Here are also set expressions, for example:

Что вы делаете? [Shto vy delaete?] - What are you doing?

There is very good and set variation of this word. To know a person's profession, we usually ask the following questions:

Чем ты занимаешься? (for life) [Chem ty zanimaeshsya?] - What is your occupation?

Какая у тебя профессия? [Kakaya u tibya prafesiya?] - What is your profession?

Что ты предпочитаешь делать в свободное время? [Shto ty pridpachitaesh delat' f svabodnae vremya?] - What do you prefer to do in your free time?

Что тебе нравится в твоей работе? [Shto tibe nravitsya f tvaey rabote?] - What do you like in your job?

As all these examples show, we do not use in Russian the word "что" itself to find out the occupation or work of a person. We replace it with other words, which convey the meaning of the word "что". These are the words "какая" [kakaya] and "чем" [chem].

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