Hot answers tagged

8 votes
Accepted

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

Sometimes the agreement of verb predicates with subjects is governed by rather complex rules. With two or more subjects and one predicate, the general rules are: (a) When the predicate follows the ...
user avatar
  • 20.5k
8 votes

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

Ломоносов жил 300 лет назад. The Russian language has changed a lot since his fabulous time. :) Едать и игрывать are easily recognized as archaic words influencing the style. Nowadays we have thee ...
user avatar
  • 4,376
7 votes
Accepted

Understanding the future tense

The difference in aspect in Russian does not correspond to English concept of Perfect, let alone the difference between "will" and "to be going to". It is merely a matter of point-of-view: "буду ...
user avatar
  • 5,120
7 votes

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

That corresponds to Future Progressive in English: The memory will be coming back to them.
user avatar
  • 361
7 votes
Accepted

Subtleties of choosing the sequence of tenses in Russian

Конвульсирующего or конвульсировавшего? Are both variants acceptable? Is any of them preferable? If so, which one? I chose the present tense to stress that the squid was convulsing as I sliced it. ...
user avatar
6 votes

Subtleties of choosing the sequence of tenses in Russian

Напишу-ка я свой ответ на русском. Полагаю, Мицуко вполне сможет его прочесть и перевести. И, возможно, так будет даже полезнее. Да, раз уж мы намерены "translate absolutely flawlessly and in the ...
user avatar
  • 15.2k
6 votes

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

Since your original question was more generic than a specific question about two verbs, I'd venture my opinion on that broader question. It is unfair to compare Lomonosov's grammar to the modern ...
user avatar
  • 896
5 votes

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

You can think of both forms as 'future tense': давайте (будем) пить чай or давайте попьём чаю The difference is that imperfective verbs take the auxiliary verb будем (-ет, ут) to form future ...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
5 votes
Accepted

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

"Я мог бы покляться" appears in many translations of English books. However, it sounds bookish and not quite idiomatic. Let me turn the tables around a bit and ask: why does English use the ...
user avatar
5 votes

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

For reasons unknown to me, verbs of movement with prefix "по-" are used in the past tense to indicate intent. In general, prefix "по-" means the beginning of an action when used with any of the ...
user avatar
  • 3,039
5 votes
Accepted

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

I can see how this can be confusing. Он не был в школе. means "He was not at school". У него не было плохого настроения. is properly translated as "He was not in a bad mood," but it literally ...
user avatar
  • 3,096
5 votes
Accepted

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

If you can say like that, then едать and игрывать are absolutely normal verbs and do not have the connotation of distant past (and hence I was taught wrong things) In modern Russian language ...
user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Difference between imperfective (Будет) and perfective future verbs

Yes, more or less so, except for the two examples involving 'ходить'. Although 'Я буду мочь ходить' may seem grammatically correct, no one says «буду мочь». These words just don't go together (despite ...
user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

The present tense in Russian storytelling

This is not unique to the Russian language. Frequently, the past tense is used to create context while the present tense is used to relate events. For example, an English speaker may say: The ...
user avatar
  • 476
4 votes

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

Generally swearing isn't typical to modern Russian, but if used it's in the indicative mood including in the form of готов(а) поклясться which is dated and bookish. In the past one would hear вот ...
user avatar
4 votes

Talking about future in the past

There is no exact translation, so you should use some other phrasing that will have roughly same meaning, depending on the context. The simplest approach would be to use a verb stating your intent, ...
user avatar
  • 769
4 votes
Accepted

Talking about future in the past

The English Future-in-the-Past tenses are rendered as the Russian Future tenses. The English tenses have absolute meaning: • the Past tenses tell about the past, • Future-in-the-Past tenses tell ...
user avatar
  • 25.8k
3 votes

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

All these sentences are valid meaning you invite someone to come to your place and show some pictures. Заходи как-нибудь, покажешь фотки! {Imperative + Future} (come and you will/can show) Заходи ...
user avatar
  • 20.5k
3 votes

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

I'm assuming this phrase means "come and show me the photos sometime" Your assumption is correct. I wonder if "Заходи, покажешь X" is the construction commonly used... Yes, it is quite a usual ...
user avatar
3 votes

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

Давайте пойдем, давайте сыграем, давайте сделаем, давайте купим, давайте скажем - all those Perfect forms denote actions as such, which we propose to start, perform and finish. Давайте идти быстрее, ...
user avatar
  • 4,376
3 votes

'Надо было бы' - present or past conditional?

The conditional mood in Russian is 'timeless'. Specific time references may be needed to resolve the ambiguity: Если бы у меня был миллион долларов... If I had a million dollars... Если бы у меня год ...
user avatar
3 votes

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

Although it may mean that the desire has come or had come depending on the context, I won't use the phrase to say I want to drink now. To make it sound natural in the present perfect sense you have ...
user avatar
  • 1,772
3 votes

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

This is ambiguous, it can function as both Past Simple and Present Perfect. Past Simple - Когда я наелся вяленой рыбы, мне так захотелось пить, что я выпил литр воды за раз. Present Perfect ...
user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

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

Indeed были can be used without много, which ultimately changes the meaning of the sentence В этот период у нас были неожиданные трудности. (no info on their volume) No. In the original sentence ...
user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Stress on Particles and Past Tense

When не is written separately, I can only think of two cases when it's stressed: the past tense of быть, except the feminine form (so нé был, нé было, нé были, but не былá); the pronouns некого and ...
user avatar
3 votes

Future in the Past

"there wasn't going to be an event" has some connotations which are not represented by the translation "не знал/думал, что мероприятия (не) будет". When you want to say "не знал, что мероприятие ...
user avatar
  • 298
3 votes
Accepted

Future in the Past

You are correct, this is the best option. There is no future in the past tense in Russian as a separate language mechanism but it perfectly works as a way you have done it. So all situations like this ...
user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Expressing knowledge gained over time

Yup, definitely works. It doesn't go much deeper than that. If the situation is you specifically talking about some moment in the past, you may also add "тогда" or/and "ещё": "Я тогда ещё не знал, ...
user avatar
  • 5,120
3 votes
Accepted

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

There is no Past Perfect in Russian. You will have to use additional words, e.g.: Так я проиграл игру, которую вот было уже выигрывал. Он принес рыбу, которую она незадолго до этого приготовила. Or: ...
user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

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

Ему пришлось бежать быстрее своего соплеменника, ибо оказавшемуся последним предстояло быть съеденным львом.
user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible