How do you construct a sentence like I heard you talking or maybe I saw you walking?

  • Explaining the difference between "I saw you talk to him" and "I saw you talking to him"we usually use different conjunctions.Я видел, что ты разговаривал с ним.and Я видел, как ты разговаривал с ним. We build a sentence with a subordinate clause.
    – V.V.
    Nov 5, 2016 at 1:40
  • 1
    With some verbs we can use a noun. I found him reading. Я застал его за чтением.
    – V.V.
    Nov 5, 2016 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


Here is a straight-forward translation:

  • I heard you talking. - Я слышал, как ты разговаривала.
  • I saw you walking. - Я виделa, как ты шёл.

In a spoken speech [как] could be dropped, especially when English participle has some dependent words:

  • I heard you talking on the phone. - Я слышал, ты разговаривала по телефону.
  • I saw you walking in the park. - Я видела, ты гулял в парке.

You can also use Russian participles:

  • I saw you talking. - Я видел тебя разговаривающей.
  • I saw you walking. - Я видел тебя гуляющим.
  • However, слышал тебя разговаривающей." sounds unnatural to me.

Be careful when some expressions have idiomatic meaning:

  • Я слышала, ты гулял. "Я слышала" could mean "I heard a rumour". "Он гуляет" could mean "He is a playboy / goes around." The participles "гуляющий" and "гулящий" have distinctly different meanings,
  • 1
    Complex object shouldn't be translated with the present participle, it's considered like a "bad translation "
    – V.V.
    Nov 5, 2016 at 1:45
  • 1
    Гулящий isn't a participle, it can be an adjective or a noun.
    – V.V.
    Nov 5, 2016 at 6:59
  • @V.V. "Я видел тебя гулявшей в парке?" This is using past participle. Is it considered better style, than present participle?
    – Vitaly
    Nov 5, 2016 at 13:44
  • Sorry, the most common translators' mistake is using a calque, a loan translation.
    – V.V.
    Nov 7, 2016 at 7:29

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