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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lesson: Making compliments

We have already been practicing this so it won't be hard but it is a good thing to cover regardless.

When someone shows you their relative (especially if you are still using formal address with them), you should probably do more than nod and/or wretch. You should probably say something nice about them.

So far you are familiar with a few words that work as nice compliments.

For instance, your boss shows you a picture of his wife and says "Это моя хена". You want to make a good impression so you answer "Ваша хена молодая". He's not sure how to take this compliment, so you quickly add "Она очень красивая!"

Let's say that you are introducing your widowed mother to your professor who has recently been divorced. You would start off by saying "Господин Смитт, это Ольга Антоновна." He can't seem to take his eyes off her (which is no surprise because your mom is super good looking) and replies "Это ваша сестра?". Your mother laughs and you reply "Нет, моя мать!"

Another word you can use as a compliment is "симпатичный". This word generally means "nice" but when it is used as a compliment it also functions to say they "look nice". When you are saying that a male is good looking, you would choose "симпатичный" over "красивый" which means "beautiful" and is used to describe woman.

Now that you can make some positive compliments, what if the person in question is ugly? The words we have just reviewed can all be put in the negative by placing "не" or "not" in front.

"Твой врат не симпатичный"
"Ваша бабушка не молодая"
"Твоя сестра не красивая"

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