I want to know what construction I should use in order to form sentences like "I saw you crying", "I caught him trying to steal smth" etc.


3 Answers 3


Literal translation for "i saw you crying" (participle) would be "я видел тебя плачущим",
while "я видел, как ты плакал" means "i saw, how you were crying" (verb) or "i saw, how you cried"

In my opinion, the second form is used more often because its simplier, but both have in most cases the same meaning.

Based on context and intonation, the second form "[...] как ты плакала" could also refer to the circumstances of how someone cried.
Better example: "я видел, как ты помыл посуду".
Translation: "i saw, how you washed the dishes", which means e.g. he washed it very bad. So the importat thing here is, how сomething happened.

Answer "Я видел тебя, когда ты плакал(а)." by Dmitry literally means "i saw when you were crying", which implies some contextual reference to the time.
Better example would be "i saw when you came home", so the time is important here and not the fact of coming home or seeing someone coming home.


I believe the most natural form is:

Я видел тебя, когда ты плакал(а).
Я поймал его, когда он пытался украсть что-либо.

So the pattern is:

Я [verb1 (past)] [pronoun (genitive)], когда [pronoun] [verb2] ...

  • 3
    Я видел, как ты плакала.(тебя is redundant ).
    – V.V.
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 15:43

"Я увидел тебя плачущим". "Я поймал его ворующим что-то" You use "плачущим" or "ворующим" which is participle. Words like this says that action they describe is not over yet.

  • Я поймал его ворующим.--nobody would say that, because the sentence is ambiguous.
    – V.V.
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 15:48
  • 1
    @V.V. I disagree. This construct sounds a bit strange, but nevertheless it is perfectly normal.
    – d.k
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 16:31
  • "A bit strange" is never "perfectly " normal. Поймал за кражей.
    – V.V.
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 17:59
  • @user907860 Even if Я поймал его ворующим is perfectly normal, nobody would say that. In this very sentence, a native Russian speaker will use idiom Я поймал его за руку.
    – Dmitriy
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 23:40
  • Even if this is not perfectly normal and few native speakers will use it , that is the correct translate of this sentence. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 6:22

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