12

I've heard people say "понимаешь" when they clearly intend to mean "I understand", such as in this line from the Serebro song Не Время:

Я понимаешь, я это чувствую потом мы всё наверстаем, я предчувствую

Why is it "Я понимаешь" and not "Я понимаю"? Does this have some sort of rhetorical effect?

Also, in everyday conversation: I've heard people respond to my question "Понимаешь?" with: "Понимаешь". This has happened more than once with multiple people.

1

4 Answers 4

27

Right punctuation is

Я, понимаешь, я это чувствую, потом мы всё наверстаем, я предчувствую

The translation is

I, you know, I'm feeling it, we will catch all then, I forefeel it.

"Понимаешь" in this case isn't a really the verb, but acts as a filler. The full phrase would look like "понимаешь ли ты?" (do you understand?)

6
  • A better translation for "всё наверстаем" would be "[we'll] catch up completely". Aug 31, 2021 at 20:36
  • Still doesn't explain why I've heard people respond to my question "Понимаешь?" then they say: "Понимаешь". This has happened more than once with multiple people.
    – Isa
    Sep 15, 2021 at 17:11
  • @Isa Am I right (just for clarity) that you've expected to hear "[Да], понимаю"?
    – artptr
    Sep 15, 2021 at 17:56
  • Yes, I expect to hear "Да, понимаю" but instead the speaker answers "Понимаешь"
    – Isa
    Sep 16, 2021 at 18:57
  • It's ungrammatical and perceived as throwing the question back.
    – artptr
    Sep 16, 2021 at 22:24
2

You should say: "Я, понимаешь, ...", or: "Я понимаю". In the first case, "понимаешь" is related to "ты" - not "я".

1
  • Please provide additional details in your answer. As it's currently written, it's hard to understand your solution.
    – Community Bot
    Sep 1, 2021 at 6:55
0

As a native speaker I do this too when talking to someone. Let’s look at понимать and its present tense conjugations to understand.

Я понимаю

Ты понимаешь

Он, она, оно понимает

Они понимают

Вы понимаете

Мы понимаем

So saying я понимаешь looks like it makes no sense, but it is like saying, I, you know, or “I, as you know.”

:)

-3

Я понимаю = I understand

Ты понимаешь = You understand

Я понимаешь = "wrong",

Я, понимаешь (что-то) = I, you know (something)

2
  • 1
    Please read other answers to see that it's actually your answer that is wrong.
    – shabunc
    Sep 8, 2021 at 11:25
  • Я понимаешь - wrong /// Я, понимаешь, ... = I, you know, ...
    – Elena
    Sep 16, 2021 at 6:59

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.