How to determine the grammatical gender of the noun?
Russian has three genders: masculine, feminine, and neutral. You can usually tell the gender of a noun by looking at its last letter in the nominative singular (the dictionary form). From the dictionary form of a noun, here is how you can tell what the gender is: 1. Look at the last letter of the word: 2. If it is a consonant, or “й”, the word is masculine. 3. If it is “а” or “я” it is feminine. 4. If it is “о” or “е” it is neuter. 5. If it is a soft sign “ь” then it could be either masculine or feminine.
What is the difference between dürfen and können?
The verb "dürfen" corresponds to English "be allowed to" or "can" , "to have permission to do something" . For example: Dürfen Sie Alkohol trinken? (Can you drink alcohol?) Können is equal to English "to be able to do something" . For example: Ich kann Rad fahren. (I can (= know how to) ride a bicycle.) Ich darf Rad fahren. (I can (= have permission to) ride a bicycle.)
How to recognize the passive voice?
There are two "voices" in English grammar: active voice and passive voice. In active voice the subject is doing the action. The cat ate the food. The boy hit the ball. In passive voice the subject is acted upon. The food was eaten by the cat. The ball was hit. (Or, the ball was hit by the boy). In the second sentence , if we ask what is the subject? (Ball.) What is the subject doing? (Nothing.) So who exactly is doing the action? It is not clear unless we stick a prepositional phrase "by the boy" on the end of the sentence. The subject is passively sitting, while some outside agent performs the action (hitting). Since the subject of the sentence is passive grammatically, the sentence is a passive voice sentence.