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Я уже несколько раз доказала тебе, что ...

{instead of}: Я уже несколько раз доказывала тебе, что ...

I was under the impression that you should use an imperfective verb to express the idea of something happening multiple times.

I wonder why a perfective verb is used in this instance. Does the adverb "уже" have anything to do with it?

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In the first example the narrator states that she succeeded in proving something several times, in the second one she states that she attempted to prove something several times (and her attempts might or might not have failed).

These sentences can be translated into English like this:

I have proved to you several times that …

and

I have been proving to you several times that …

Perfective verbs in Russian are about state transition, i.e. if an action is described by a perfective verb it is assumed it has lead to some kind of outcome.

Imperfective verbs are about state, i.e. they describe the action itself, without focusing on its outcome.

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    Hi. I wonder if the former perfective version is close in meaning to saying "Мне удалось уже несколько раз доказать тебе, что ..."? And does the latter imperfective one imply that "Пыталась уже несколько раз доказать тебе, что ..."? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Mar 29 '18 at 11:03
  • @Alone-zee yes, that's correct – Баян Купи-ка Mar 29 '18 at 11:25
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    @Alone-zee and also the phrase with the perfective verb implies that the speaker either provided the proof in several different ways or provided several proofs, rather than repeated the same kind of proof several times – Баян Купи-ка Mar 29 '18 at 11:28
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I was under the impression that you should use an imperfective verb to express the idea of something happening multiple times.

This is not quite correct. Imperfective is used to express the idea of unfullfilled, ongoing, unfinished etc. actions. It does not mean that this action happens multiple times:

Андрей смотрел в окно (Andrey looked out of the window).

You can not say how many times Andrey looked out of the windows. In fact, the sentence in this form even implies that this was a single-time action (which lasted for some time).

And perfective aspect doesn't mean that the action was performed only once. It's always possible to specify how many times the action was done:

Андрей посмотрел в окно три раза (Andrey looked out of the windows three times).

Елена перешла улицу пять раз (Elena crossed the street five times).

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  • You'll need to find a different verb if you want to highlight the difference in aspects. In English we just use "looked"—and it can be translated both as perfective and imperfective in Russian. "To watch" is transative, so you need an object. Or you could say something like "spent some time looking out the window" vs., "looked". But that verb isn't very good for illustrating the difference in the usage of aspects. – VCH250 Mar 29 '18 at 20:14
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    @VCH250 That's the problem - most of the verbs can be translated both as perfective and imperfective. But I'll try to find another example. – Abakan Mar 30 '18 at 8:03

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