Novice Mid / Party Invitation


Может, что-нибудь еще принести? Should I bring anything else?

Ну, кто на этот раз звонил? Who has called you this time?

И пригласил на вечеринку? Has he invited you to a party?

Какие конфеты купить? What kind of chocolate should I buy?

Ну, об этом потом. Well, let’s talk about this later.

In Russia when you visit someone’s house you should always bring a little something for the kitchen. Things like flowers, chocolates, pastries, and candies are common gifts for visiting.

Grammar Notes

1) In Russian the distinction between ‘что-то‘(something) and ‘что-нибудь (anything) tends to be stricter than in English. So, for those pronouns ending in ‘-то‘and ‘-нибудь‘usage is not exactly as the translations here imply. In practice, the determining factors should be found in the context. ‘Что-то‘implies that something is unknown to the speaker, whereas ‘что-нибудь‘implies that there is an element of choice from several alternatives. Use of these particles gives the English-speaking student some difficulty. The question ‘Что-то принести?‘ is grammatically inaccurate, however in colloquial Russian it can often be heard. The phrase ‘Он принес что-то, но я не знаю что would be perfectly correct (i.e. sth definitely was brought but the speaker does not know exactly what it was). To make the choice easier for you I would suggest saying ‘что-нибудь in sentences about the future, in questions, in orders, in combination with expressions such as ‘вероятно’/наверно (probably), which indicated uncertainty, e.g. Может быть, что-нибудь еще принести?

2) A quick reminder: Russians use perfective when the action is completed, performed on one occasion, and relevant to the speaker at the time of its expression. Remember, the perfective is used when all of the three conditions are met as in ‘И пригласил на вечеринку?‘ Keep in mind that only imperfective verbs can refer to actions in the present. A perfective action is possible only in the past or future. Note that question ‘Какие конфеты купить?‘ is referring to the future.