Не берись утверждать, что ты действительно знаешь, какая она.

Не вздумай утверждать, что ты действительно знаешь, какая она.

I'm wondering how they are nuanced. Is the former about telling them not to start/set about doing something and the latter more about telling them not to even think about / toy with the possibility of doing something? In short, dissuading "actions" vs "thoughts"?

Also, I notice that one is perfective and the other imperfective.

  • correct, the 1st is 'don't try to claim' while the 2nd is 'don't even entertain a thought of claiming', не вздумай has a synonymous imperfective counterpart даже не думай – Баян Купи-ка Dec 23 '18 at 16:42
  • @БаянКупи-ка I often use "Не вздумай" myself but have never heard "Не берись" in imperative before. Is "Не берись" less emphatic and more polite or formal? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Dec 23 '18 at 17:06
  • 3
    не вздумай is stricter, more categorical, more demanding, не берись is closer to a recommendation in intensity – Баян Купи-ка Dec 23 '18 at 18:25
  • In colloquial English, one of the idiomatic phrasings for this is "But don't go claiming that ...". Do you think it corresponds more to "Не вздумай" than "Не берись"? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Dec 23 '18 at 18:38
  • to me the English one sounds disdainful (am i wrong about that?) unlike these Russian imperatives which are neutral, therefore not sure i can match it up with any of them, i guess the most straightforward translation would be don't attempt to and don't think of doing – Баян Купи-ка Dec 23 '18 at 18:58

For starters, the last one is much more colloquial, along the lines of "don't you dare...".

The first one is "don't claim", "don't bear the responsibility", compare to Взялся за гуж, не говори, что не дюж proverb.

The last one is "don't you think", "don't you dare".

So, the first one is about "I do not recommend you to bear the responsibility of [doing something]", while the last one is "I advise you not to [do something]" or "if you [do something], you'd deal with me". Compare to Сейчас морозы! Не вздумай выйти на улицу без шапки!.

  • Agree. Не берись - like a warning you'll likely to fail. Не вздумай - like a stronger warning maybe smth bad can happen if you do it, etc. – alexsms Dec 24 '18 at 11:20

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