Today was a holiday

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by tupelo bound, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. tupelo bound New Member

    English - US

    In the sentences "Today was a holiday" and "Yesterday was a holiday," is the linking verb "был" masculine to match "праздник"?

    Сегодня был праздник.
    Вчера был праздник.

    Thanks in advance for any help or confirmation. I've always found these forms difficult for some reason!

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2013
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Hello and welcome to WR,

    Please take the time to carefully read the WR rules - (CLICK here)

    Please always provide a FULL sentence and a detailed context. (rule 3)

    Context and Background

    Ask only one question for each thread (rule 2)
    Put the ORIGINAL sentence in the title, not your translation attempt.

    Thank you.

  3. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hi tupelo bound, and welcome to the forum. Both your examples are correct, and you can find an example of this phrase used in a Russian context here (source: А у нас сегодня был праздник в детском саду!

    As you say, "был" is, indeed, masculine to match "праздник".

    If you were using a feminine noun, the verb ending
    would be feminine, agreeing with the noun, and likewise (verb ending would be neuter) if the noun were neuter. Here's a little загадка (riddle) which illustrates the gender agreement of the verb, since the different days of the week are either masculine, feminine or neuter.

    Сегодня не воскресенье, а завтра не среда. Вчера была не пятница, а позавчера был не понедельник. Завтра не воскресенье, и вчера было не воскресенье. Послезавтра не суббота и не воскресенье. Вчера был не понедельник, и не среда. Позавчера была не среда, а завтра не вторник. Да, и сегодня не среда. Какой же сегодня день недели, если учесть, что одно утверждение в списке - ложно? (Source:

    No, I can't work it out either.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  4. tupelo bound New Member

    English - US
    Thanks Enquiring Mind. I appreciate your help.

    My original question (as reflected in the original title and posting before being moderated) was actually about copula agreement (был/было) with a 3 more very short example sentences. Am I really not allowed to post grammatical questions here with Cyrillic in the title, but only use this strictly for sentence-by-sentence translation? I saw franknagy's general question about possessive adjectives (2 different words) and thought my posting would be appropriate as I originally wrote it. Was it really necessary to post a context for "Yesterday was a holiday"? I have belonged to many forums and have never had problems violating terms of posting or had my posts so radically altered. So is this site only for translation or can it be for general questions with very specific titles?

  5. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Hello Christopher,

    Please, don't take offence.

    This site is definitely not for sentence-to-sentence translation. This site is about understanding and explaining the language, its words and constructions.
    However, general questions are always troublesome. This is because a proper and complete answer to a general question requires lots of efforts (and text). The question has to be specific, so that the answer would not require the regulars to reproduce an entire language course in a post... Just saying; I haven't seen your original title and post. If it was something like "what are the agreement rules", then it would not qualify. Language researchers could write books on this subject. :- )

    And yes, the context is required. Almost every word and phrase could have different meanings if used in various contexts. Whenever a question is posted without any explanation of why, what for and in which situation the phrase is used, we have to make guesses. In your particular case the context does make a difference, because the combination "было праздник" is also possible in certain context. For example: "Решено было праздник устроить на большой поляне". Since you never know whether the context is important or not, you'd better always provide at least a brief explanation, it could save us all some guessing and mutual misunderstanding.

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