What's the difference between

И тут он внезапно запел.


И тут он как запоёт!


  • 2
    The second is more emotional with a touch of unexpectedness
    – V.V.
    Sep 1, 2018 at 5:18
  • In Russian, phrases with incorrect use of time mean: 'Draw this picture in your brain. Oh, it was a bright situation '///Прихожу я вчера домой и вижу...///И тут кот как прыгнет///И тут он как запоет///
    – Elena
    Sep 1, 2018 at 7:38
  • 1
    i don't think the phrase 'incorrect use of time' is a correct and fair term, because the use is perfectly correct for the purpose, rather unexpected, non-standard use of tense Sep 1, 2018 at 9:48
  • 1
    В лингвистике это называется историческое настоящее время (стилистически маркированное). Обычно используется в т.н. режиме нарратива (т.е. повествования), для большей образности.
    – Alex B.
    Sep 3, 2018 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


They differ in emphasis of suddenness, which is greater in the 2nd sentence as indicated by the exclamation mark, in addition to the fact that's it's more colloquial.

The 1st sentence is повествовательное (narrative) while the 2nd is восклицательное (exclamatory).

The combination КАК + perf. verb in the past/future tense || imperative is a way to express suddenness or intensity.

The 2nd phrase can also be put in the past tense or imperative

И тут он как запел / запой!

And it can also incorporate the adverb внезапно to sound pleonastic

И тут он внезапно как запоёт/запел/запой!

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