In conversation, I just said:

Чтобы ты управляла лодкой? Еще чего! Ты еще не в силах справиться с ней в одиночку!

Looking back on it, I guess I picked the perfective "справиться", thinking that steering a boat (even once) was beyond her. But given that I used the imperfective "управлять", I wonder if the imperfective "справляться" might have been a better fit?

Then again, "управлять" doesn't have its perfective counterpart to begin with, I suppose. So it might not affect the choice of "справиться" vs "справляться". I haven't learnt Russian grammar methodically, so I might be missing out on some ground rules for verb aspects that I'm not aware of here.


1 Answer 1


No, your choice of words is absolutely correct. Here не в силах справЛЯться would not be idiomatic. The perfective might stem from the notion that normally you overcome or tame something once without doing it repeatedly or during a lengthy period.

Alexander's example in the comment shows that imperfective aspect is in principle not entirely invalid, however the conditions it's used under differ from those present in your sentence. Namely unlike in his example your sentence contains the adverb ещё and direct object in singular.

Still in Google the odds of perfective aspect in the phrase не в силах справляться/справиться с are over 20 times lower. And a fair amount of phrases using imperfective aspect have direct object in plural. That means that with multiple objects the action is likely to be understood as being performed multiple times over a period of time as the necessity arises, hence imperfective aspect.

I don't think the aspects of the two verbs управляла and справиться should necessarily agree with one another.

Imperfective would be correct had you used the verb управляться instead. This verb implies repeated efforts. Its perfective counterpart управиться means to finish the task and therefore would not fit here.

  • 1
    That depends. "Ты не в силах справляться со своими желаниями!"
    – Alexander
    Dec 17, 2018 at 18:40
  • @Alexander agreed Dec 17, 2018 at 19:48
  • "Ты не в силах справляться со своими желаниями!" isn't a valid equivalent of "еще не в силах справиться с ней" on two counts, it lacks ещё and its object is in plural, that's what allows for the use of imperfective aspect Dec 18, 2018 at 11:39
  • Hmm, yes, I think plural is the key here.
    – Alexander
    Dec 18, 2018 at 17:11

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