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Questions tagged [tense]

Questions regarding the usage and formation of verbal tense (future, present or past).

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4 votes
2 answers
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Talking about future in the past

There is a similar question that doesn't fully cover what I am asking, so I do ask nevertheless. If I tell a story in the past and, at some point, want to talk about what used to be the (expected) ...
Bubaya's user avatar
  • 257
1 vote
1 answer
261 views

Difference between imperfective (Будет) and perfective future verbs

It seems to me that the difference between the imperfective and perfective future tense of verbs is that the imperfective refers to a general or uncompleted action; while the perfective refers to a ...
Kohjah Breese's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
177 views

How can I translate "would" in "He had to run faster than his tribemate, as the hindmost would be eaten by the lion"?

Let us consider the sentence shown in the title of my post: (1) He had to run faster than his tribemate, as the hindmost would be eaten by the lion. (For context, watch this short commercial: ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
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0 votes
5 answers
488 views

How should I interpret phrases like "должен ли Путин уйти"?

I recently wrote a question about the modal должен, explaining that this modal is very hard to me because it has very different meanings. As my question was deemed too broad and put on hold, I would ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
500 views

Conditional sentences about unfulfilled past situations

Let us compare the following two sentences: (1) If I had enough money with me, I would order shark fin soup. (2) If I had had enough money with me, I would have ordered shark fin soup. Both ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
238 views

How can I translate expressions like "had been winning" to Russian?

Recently I was doing an exercise, which was to translate a small text about playing Go to Russian and contained the following sentence: そのうちに私は勝っていた碁を負けてしまったのだが、紙屋は、 「いかがですもう一石、もう一石願いましょう。」 I got ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
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12 votes
7 answers
1k views

Can you use "едать" and "игрывать" in the present and future tenses?

There is a big conflict between what I was taught here in Japan and what is written in most Russian grammar sources, and I am very curious what the native speakers have to say about it. I am ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
600 views

Subtleties of choosing the sequence of tenses in Russian

I am very happy to have found such an interesting forum and to have received an excellent detailed answer from a native speaker to my first question, and I am very tempted to ask about something else ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
133 views

Russian equivalents of "I could've sworn ..."

Я не ослышалась? Клянусь, я только что слышала, как она поблагодарила меня. I just heard this (sarcastically said) in conversation. In English, you'd express the same idea with the conditional tense: ...
Con-gras-tue-les-chiens's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
329 views

Why does давай(те) take different forms - давай + inf. or давай + future?

давай(те) пить чай / let's have some tea давай(те) сыграем / let's play I'm confused; they both mean 'let's', but why does one take an infinitive and the other a future form?
Segwayinto's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
136 views

'Надо было бы' - present or past conditional?

Что бы ты выбрал, если тебе надо было бы писать видео про это каждый день? If I understand correctly, 'Что бы ты выбрал' can mean both 'what would you choose' in present conditional and 'what would ...
Segwayinto's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
132 views

«Мне захотелось пить» - do I want to have a drink now? Or I wanted to have a drink in the past?

In "мне захотелось пить" - should I think that past tense «захотелось» means «A desire to drink has come to me, and as a result there's an ongoing state where I want to have a drink now»?
Segwayinto's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
97 views

In what context is the imperfective future tense "будет возвращаться" used?

память вернулась к ним [his their memory (has) returned (at last)] память возвращалась к ним [his their memory was coming back (gradually)] память возвращаемся к ним [his their memory is coming back (...
Segwayinto's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
190 views

Is "Заходи, покажешь X" {Imperative + Future} an equivalent of "come and show me X" {Imperative + Imperative} in English?

1) Заходи как-нибудь, покажешь фотки! {Imperative + Future} I'm assuming this phrase means "come and show me the photos sometime". In English, both "come" and "show" are in Imperative, while in ...
Con-gras-tue-les-chiens's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
530 views

Why do you say <Я пошёл> when should be present tense

The expression <я пошёл к себе> is in the past tense but it means "I'm off home" which is the present tense. Why is this?
Bob Daley's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
146 views

“Быть” with tenses, gender, number but in affirmative sentences

A homework question, exactly quoted, В этот период у нас было много неожиданных трудностей. but in reviewing my previous question, When to use 'не было' and 'не будет' regardless of ...
nate's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Verb быть in past tense sentence inversions: был, была or было?

I know Russian is quite a "strong" language in terms of word order, which I actually like. However, I recently learned that the verb быть changes in past-tense sentence inversions. For ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
806 views

When to use 'не было' and 'не будет' regardless of person, gender, or number

It seems that the two 2-word phrases are only used in negative possession, e.g. У меня не было плохого настроения. У меня нет плохого настроения. У меня не будет плохого настроения. Is this ...
nate's user avatar
  • 1,299
5 votes
2 answers
141 views

Stress on Particles and Past Tense

I am never quite sure when to stress particles such as не. Also, I am confused about people saying that the a in the past tense feminine is stressed, and whether or not this is always the case. I am ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
500 views

The present tense in Russian storytelling

I've noticed twice now that in situations where someone is reporting past events, they suddenly switch to the present tense for no apparent reason. The first example is from this fairy tale. The ...
Jack M's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
485 views

Future in the Past

How is the "future in the past" rendered in Russian? Example: Context: A particular event was not planned for a certain evening, so I made other plans. At the last minute, however, the ...
supergra's user avatar
  • 370
4 votes
1 answer
92 views

Expressing knowledge gained over time

The title of this question is ambiguous as I couldn't think of anything better. What I'm trying to articulate is the thought of 'I didn't know at the time but do now'. Can this be expressed by saying '...
Timr's user avatar
  • 359
6 votes
2 answers
264 views

Understanding the future tense

When we're speaking of the future in English, we usually say will ... or am going to .... In French, the same is accomplished using Futur Simple for will, and aller for going to. In Russian, however, ...
Timr's user avatar
  • 359
9 votes
2 answers
358 views

past tense without л

The phrase я ошибся is past tense but doesn't include an л near the end. Are there any other examples of this phenomenon? I asked some native speakers and they couldn't think of any. One of them ...
KCd's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is there a future tense in Russian?

There is widespread consent among grammarians of Germanic languages that there is no future tense in those languages. The idea of futurity is either conveyed periphrastically (often with modal or ...
stillenat's user avatar
  • 779
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

Swearing: "пошёл на ..." vs. "иди на ..."

Has anyone ever thought why in swearing people use not only the imperative "иди", but also (and even more frequently) the form "пошёл"?
Olga's user avatar
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23 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the first person singular future of победить

What is the first person singular of победить in future tense? The other person-numbers have obvious forms such as: ты победишь, мы победим, они победят, вы победите, он победит, я ??? The obvious &...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I know when to use -тся or -ться in a verb

The title pretty much says it all. It's a very common mistake which (unfortunately) even many native speakers make. Is there a rule to unambiguously decide should I end this verb with -тся or -ться?
Sergio Tulentsev's user avatar