9

I see both forms being mentioned as perfective forms of кушать

1 Answer 1

6

Покушать (or поесть) means to have eaten some unspecified portion of meal, while скушать (or съесть) is for finishing a whole thing (meal or just dish). A pair of examples:

Вы хотите есть? -- Нет, спасибо. Я уже покушал. (i.e. I have eaten [something] already.)
А где мороженое? -- Я его уже скушал. (I ate it already)
Он съел свой обед (He has eaten/finished his lunch)
Попейте молока. Покушайте вот хлебца (Take some milk, eat some bread)

Also note that in Russian they more often use the verb form for "having a meal", e.g.: "(по)завтракать / (по)обедать / (по)ужинать" (to breakfast / to dine / to supper) vs. "съесть завтрак / обед / ужин" (to have breakfast / dinner / supper). Although in this context "съесть" doesn't necessarily imply eating meal a whole, yet it is less popular in speech and sounds a little bookish.

5
  • 1
    Попейте молока, покушайте вот хлебца. Я заплачу. [Павел Нилин. Интересная жизнь (1969-1980)] [ You can add this point.
    – V.V.
    Aug 6, 2016 at 5:27
  • @V.V. Ok, I have rewritten my answer.
    – Matt
    Aug 6, 2016 at 6:46
  • +1 It's an invitation.
    – V.V.
    Aug 6, 2016 at 6:47
  • 3
    +1. скушать is necessarily transitive ("have this"), покушать is mostly intransitive ("have some meal").
    – Quassnoi
    Aug 6, 2016 at 10:23
  • @Quassnoi скушать is necessarily transitive Except when used in figurative meaning, e.g.: "Ну что, съел?!"
    – Matt
    Aug 6, 2016 at 10:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.