Question: Can someone explain what the difference between
смеяться (to laugh) as their imperfective form, so I am really confused about what the difference might be -- usually perfective verbs with different meanings have different imperfective forms, yet not this time.
Both verbs appear in my flashcards of the most common verbs in Russian, and I am unsure of what to write in order to remember the difference between them.
Attempt: Here is my working hypothesis for now:
засмеяться- to laugh only in the sense of "to begin laughing"
посмеяться- to laugh in any other sense.
This seems to be corroborated by the following lines of evidence:
- The Wiktionary articles for
- These internet flashcards I found, which define
засмеятьсяas "to start laughing" and
посмеятьсяas "to laugh, to chuckle".
- Most of the google image results for
засмеятьсяsay "попробуй не засмеяться" which I would translate as "try not to (begin) laugh(ing)" while a lot of the google image results for
посмеятьсяare "демотиваторы для посмеяться" which I would translate as "demotivators for laughing (but not necessarily beginning to laugh)".
On the other hand, this dictionary translates both verbs as simply meaning "to laugh".