So, I am answering a question asking for a definition of самобытная культура.

The definition I have given Это культура, которая была в регионе до того как другие [там были]. The action [там были] being implied. Is it appropriate to imply action in this manner in Russian as it is in English? How does use of implied action differ between English and Russian?

Is до того как an appropriate way to say before in this context and does it require an explicit action when used?

  • Could you provide examples of use of implied action in English?
    – AlexVB
    Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 8:07
  • @AlexVB Pulled from English Stack Exchange "However catastrophic the physical abuse [was], the lasting scars came from the verbal insults that had been hurled at them." Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


Yes, Russian uses "implied actions" (ellipsis) quite extensively:

  • Дени́с лю́бит кра́сное вино́, а О́льга [лю́бит] бе́лое [вино́].
  • Дени́с лю́бит футбо́л, а О́льга - нет [не лю́бит].

But the way you've built your sentence, it just doesn't work that way. You used a conjunction (до того́ как) to join a clause (кото́рая была́ в регио́не) and a nominal (други́е). If you use a preposition instead, it works:

  • Э́то культу́ра, кото́рая была́ в регио́не до други́х.

Even better to use 'ра́ньше' (a comparative adverb):

  • Э́то культу́ра, кото́рая была́ в регио́не ра́ньше други́х.

The English version works only because 'before' is both a preposition and a conjunction:

  • ...before others.
  • ...before others were there.

To illustrate why it's important, let's take a look at this example:

  • John finished in time because Ann helped.

You can't just take away the verb (helped). It won't work. But if you change the conjunction (because) to a preposition (because of / thanks to), it works:

  • John finished in time because of Ann.

You cannot omit an action in that manner in Russian. You sentence may be rearranged using до + genitive construction:

Это культура, которая была в регионе [до|раньше] других.

In Russian you do not use auxiliary verbs (like do) in present or past tense, so when in English you may say

- Did you go to the theater?

- I did.

In Russian you either answer simply yes/no or you can imply subject:

- Ты ходил в театр?

- Да. или - Ходил.

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.