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When someone is about to tell you some long-awaited news:

Угадай, что мне сказал шеф сегодня.
Guess what my boss told me today.

you may ask him y saying one of these phrases:

Давай, порадуй меня.

or

Давай, обрадуй меня.

both meaning

Come on, give me some good news.

I've heard both alternatives, but I don't know if they both are acceptable (I feel that "порадовать" is colloquial) and if they actually mean exactly the same. Can you think of an example where one is possible and the other is not?

  • 1
    You really should translate "шеф" as "boss". A "chief" is a leader of a tribe, i. e. "вождь" – Dima Jul 6 '12 at 15:52
  • In this particular example, обрадуй would imply to me anticipation of a specific piece of news, while порадуй would sound just like a desire to hear something pleasant or funny (anything, really). More generally, порадуй would also imply (to me) an expectation of more than one piece of good news or whatever. I believe, the по- prefix in this case means (implies) repetitiveness of the action. – Andriy M Nov 24 '12 at 18:33
7

Порадовать = to give pleasure, обрадовать = to give joy.

The first one is continuous sense of pleasure, the second one a burst of good feelings, as when surprised.

Compare:

  • А вот не только порадовать, но и удивить публику своими новыми произведениями ― это редкость для часового салона. [Екатерина Блинова. Время не имеет значения (2002) // «Домовой», 2002.08.04]

  • Любителям картин и офортов стоит порадовать себя горным пейзажем ― выбирайте скалы, а не лесистые склоны. [Наталия Наумова. Во власти стихий (2002) // «Домовой», 2002.12.04]

and

  • Николай Петрович Шереметев, имел, кроме прочего, в мыслях: музыканта Фомина нежданно обрадовать, Эвридику для него ― оживить! [Борис Евсеев. Евстигней // «Октябрь», 2010]

  • Вскоре он завис над полем в десятке метров от Зализиной и Кэрилин Курло. ― Спешу всех обрадовать: они живы! К ним бегут санитарные джинны. [Дмитрий Емец. Таня Гроттер и колодец Посейдона (2004)]

Comparative adverbs usually cannot be used with порадовать: you cannot replace the word in phrases like он так обрадовался, она очень обрадовалась.

In your example, порадуй меня would be kind of ironical, as in "go ahead, make my day".

  • 1
    I don't feel that difference, but maybe it is just me. I agree with your examples with degree adverbs and reflexive verbs, but I think that the difference between порадовать and обрадовать is not "parallel" to the difference between порадоваться and обрадоваться. I would accept a sentence like "Твоя шутка меня очень порадовала", wouldn't you? – Olga Jul 6 '12 at 12:29
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    'to give pleasure' can also probably be translated as сделать приятное. Probably it also spots the difference between the two forms here, that порадовать is really a synonym of сделать приятное, while обрадовать is definitely not. – texnic Jul 6 '12 at 13:07
  • +1 for the 'make my day' bit. – kotekzot Jul 29 '12 at 19:28
1

I would say, it's really in the specific meaning a speaker wants to express. The words have an extremely close meaning, and in most cases can probably be exchanged. Обрадовать is a perfective aspect, and therefore, intuitively, it is applied when something has already happened or is expected to happen, and the fact of learning it brings joy. On the other hand, порадовать is an imperfective aspect, and carries exactly this meaning—of some process or action in progress. For example:

Ребёнок обрадовался мороженому (the child has enjoyed an ice-cream) vs. порадуй ребёнка, почитай ему (give a child some pleasure, read him a book).

The examples by Quassnoi give a perfect illustration of this distinction: each sentence has some hint of the time scale. Порадовать would relate to a landscape or a new watch collection which will last for some time. Неожиданно and спешу, to the contrary, emphasize the suddenness of the news.

So, to answer the OP, in that particular example the two words would be interchangeable, though the meaning would be exactly the same.

Давай, порадуй меня

assumes some process of telling me a good news; I will feel the pleasure for some time during and after being told.

Давай, обрадуй меня

assumes that right after having been told the good news, I'll be glad though this feeling may also be not really prolonged.

  • They are both in perfective form (lack present but have future simple). – Quassnoi Jul 6 '12 at 13:39
  • OK, thanks, I see what you mean. Although they both a perfective, one denotes a limited process, another denotes an achievement. I guess, any context with "вдруг" would be good to distinguish the verbs. Thanks! – Olga Jul 6 '12 at 14:30
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    Or compare this! "Ваш визит его очень обрадовал" = he was happy because you came, "Ваш визит его очень порадовал" = He was happy because you stayed for some time. – Olga Jul 6 '12 at 14:36
0

“Давай, обра́дуй меня” can imply that the one who is about to share the good news with you is only doing it at this very moment and may never be able to do it in the future and might’ve never done this to you in the past. Обрадуй implies reaching the end of the good news very soon.

“Давай, пора́дуй меня”, however, can imply that he might’ve already done it a number of times in the past and has the potential of doing it again in the future. In other words, it is sort of "possible to be continued" sense. It can also imply that the good news is kind of structured and is going to be reported as a string of a few successive portions (not the whole news all at once), each one being a point of joy of its own. An illustration with a child that is being bathed by her mom in баня could help here: compare “Мама, облей меня!” and “Мама, полей на меня!”

Two more examples illustrating all of the above said:

Что? У тебя радостная новость?! Впервые слышу, чтобы у тебя была какая-нибудь радостная новость. Обычно ты приносишь с собой только рути́нные отчёты о том, что нам и так всем xорошо известно. Ну что-ж, давай, попробуй обрадуй нас. Посмотрим как это у тебя получится.

О, я вижу у тебя опять xорошие новости! Ну давай, скорее порадуй нас. У тебя это особенно xорошо получается.

Обрадуй fits in better in the first example, and порадуй fits in better in the second.

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