A lot of words in Russian use this soft sign, because it is useful for having soft consonants. In any case, let’s move onto the hard sign, which is the last symbol of the Russian alphabet that you need to know.
The hard sign (твёрдый знак) looks like this:
This sign is used pretty rearly, though. It looks very similar to the soft sign, but it has a tail on the top. I am going to mark it as ’’ to distinguish it from the soft sign. You can just think that this extra ’ is used because of the extra tail in the letter.
The hard sign acts in a way contrary to that of the soft sign: the hard sign makes consonants before the sign hard, regardless of what follows them.
In theory, this sound should have no sound of its own. In practice, here is a tip that the Russian have understood: the best way to make a consonant hard is to add a short pause after it!
So, basically, all the Ъ sign does is it acts as a pause in the word. It just splits the word into two. That’s it. Because of that, the consonant going before the hard sign sounds hard, and you can hear the letter going after the hard sign better as well (because there is no hard consonant before it, but rather there is a pause now).
Enough theory. Let’s get some practice. I’m thinking, four examples and we are done with learning all these letters.
First, a doorway is pod’’jezd in Russian.
Next, an object is ob’’jekt.
The word for filming is s’’jomka.
Finally, the word for a convention is s’’jezd.
Try writing all of these words: