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  Home > TEFL Clinic > Teaching Knowledge > Problems for Russian Learners

Questions & Negatives; Auxiliaries


The auxiliaries do, have, will and be have no equivalent in Russian. Typical mistakes in statements, questions and responses are:

I no like it.
When you went there?
How you like it?
Do you like football?- Yes, I like.

Do is often confused with does, and vice versa:

She don't go there now.

Negative question forms may be wrongly used:

Don't you know when he's coming? (for 'Do you know . . . ?')

Not having auxiliary verbs, Russian lacks question tags. Russian have great difficulty in forming these and often make mistakes when using them. They also tend to employ them far less frequently than native speakers:

You like her, doesn't it?
Is many people in room, isn't it?
Did you see him, didn't you.
You ddn't do it, didn't you?

Russian learners find the use of short answers and reply questions difficult:

Can he play tennis?- Yes (for 'Yes, he can.')
Are you tired?- No, not tired. (for 'No, I'm not.') 
Don't forget to write.- No. (for 'I won't.')
it was a very pleasant evening. yes. (for 'Yes, it was. / Yes, wasn't it?') 
I don't understand.- No, I explain again. (for 'Don't you? I'll explain it again.')

Russians have difficulty witht he use of let in imperatives:

Let they to do it.
Let's no do it.







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