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Thread: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

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    Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    So far, there have been only two instances when I had to use Вы, once when I was at the airport and I met a Russian woman and the other is when I talk to my teacher. 95% of the time I am talking to my friends so I am using ты, but then when I talk to my teacher, I know I need to use Вы, but I always end up using ты (and ты forms of verbs) by accident.

    I know that I am supposed to use Вы with elders and the like, but in an attempt to not talk slowly ты usually spills out unless I concentrate on using only Вы, but then my fluency is much worse. I am going to St. Petersburg in 4 weeks with some members of my class for an exchange program and I would like to be able to show respect where it is due, so how can I practice using them correctly? (Ты with friends and Вы with elders)
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Your mum played her balalaika for me all last night.
    АК АК, АК47

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    I think it will be useful to read articles like this to realise how to use Вы and ты. To train fluency you can repeat some samples ( вы идёте ты идёшь, вы слышали ты слышал etc. ) taking verbs from a dictionary.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    When using the singular Вы past tense verbs are still singular right?
    Ex:
    Куда Вы шёл? (Where did you (singular) go?)
    vs.
    Куда вы шли (Where did you (plural) go?)

    I always assumed singular stayed singular, but with Вы I just want to make sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Your mum played her balalaika for me all last night.
    АК АК, АК47

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Автобус
    When using the singular Вы past tense verbs are still singular right?
    Ex:
    Куда Вы шёл? (Where did you (singular) go?)
    vs.
    Куда вы шли (Where did you (plural) go?)
    No. Verbs are plural.

    Куда вы шли?

    Verbs are plural both in the present and in the past tense. If it's "Что Вы думаете?" (plural), why should be "Что Вы думал?" (singular) ?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Автобус
    When using the singular Вы past tense verbs are still singular right?
    Ex:
    Куда Вы шёл? (Where did you (singular) go?)
    vs.
    Куда вы шли (Where did you (plural) go?)
    I always assumed singular stayed singular, but with Вы I just want to make sure.
    No, "Вы" requires plural.
    "Что Вы сказали? Повторите, пожалуйста" (to a teacher, for example).

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    OK, so Вы always requires plural, even when talking to/about one person.

    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Your mum played her balalaika for me all last night.
    АК АК, АК47

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    ТЫ И ВЫ

    Пустое Вы сердечным ты
    Она, обмолвясь, заменила
    И все счастливые мечты
    В душе влюблённой возбудила.
    Пред ней задумчиво стою,
    Свести очей с неё нет силы:
    И говорю ей: как вы милы!
    И мыслю: как тебя люблю!

    Александр Сергеевич Пушкин. 1828

    It is a classiclal example of the using Вы/ты.
    "Меньше малого довольно, чтобы сердце взволновать; больше самого большого надо, чтоб его разбить."
    Anne Brontё, "Agnes Grey"

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Существовало даже "они" когда-то
    Quote Originally Posted by [url=http://www.tfile.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?t=186980
    "За двумя зайцами"[/url]]Барышня легли и просят

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Автобус
    So far, there have been only two instances when I had to use Вы, once when I was at the airport and I met a Russian woman and the other is when I talk to my teacher. 95% of the time I am talking to my friends so I am using ты, but then when I talk to my teacher, I know I need to use Вы, but I always end up using ты (and ты forms of verbs) by accident.

    I know that I am supposed to use Вы with elders and the like, but in an attempt to not talk slowly ты usually spills out unless I concentrate on using only Вы, but then my fluency is much worse. I am going to St. Petersburg in 4 weeks with some members of my class for an exchange program and I would like to be able to show respect where it is due, so how can I practice using them correctly? (Ты with friends and Вы with elders)
    Using Вы is a matter of showing good manners, the person doesn't have to be an elder, he could be any person of practically any age or social status (even a child sometimes). Of course, using Вы would sound strange with close friends, but otherwise you can't go wrong with Вы. How do you practice to say "please"?

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcloadletter
    Using Вы is a matter of showing good manners, the person doesn't have to be an elder
    It's not a matter of good manners at all. The person you're addressing by "Вы" actually should be an elder. You can't address your teacher or your neighbour (if he's not your peer) by "ты". Never, even if you know him/her very well. In many situations, using "ты" could sound VERY rude and inappropriate, and your interlocutor will not think, "Oh, he said "ты" to me, he must have bad manners"; he simply will say, "What?? Why are you saying "ты" to me??"
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Never, even if you know him/her very well. In many situations, using "ты" could sound VERY rude and inappropriate, and your interlocutor will not think, "Oh, he said "ты" to me, he must have bad manners"; he simply will say, "What?? Why are you saying "ты" to me??"
    Well, Оля, do you think that sounding rude and inappropriate is, in fact, a synonym of showing bad manners? What do you say?

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcloadletter
    Well, Оля, do you think that sounding rude and inappropriate is, in fact, a synonym of showing bad manners?
    Of course, not!

    Rudeness (an intentional thing) and bad manners (an unintentional thing) are different things!
    Someone can be rude knowing that what he's saying is rude and inappropriate; and someone can have no any bad purpose saying or doing something what is considered as "bad manners". For instance, if you don't open a door in front of a lady and enter first into the room, she could think, "What a uncouth guy", and that's all. But if you say "ты" to a professor at the exam, he would not "think" anything, he simply would say, "What????"
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля

    Rudeness (an intentional thing) and bad manners (an unintentional thing) are different things!
    I suggest you look up these words in a dictionary (Merriam-Webster perhaps?). Let me know if any distinctions regarding intent are mentioned.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pcloadletter
    I suggest you look up these words in a dictionary
    I suggest you to be more well-reasoned.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    I suggest you to be more well-reasoned.
    Ах, Оля! Смею ли я Вас поправить?
    В предложении "I suggest you to be more well-reasoned" частица "to" излишня. После suggest употребляется инфинитив без "to". Правда, я не твёрдо уверена, но вот Кот Матроскин может сказать, так это или не так.
    "Меньше малого довольно, чтобы сердце взволновать; больше самого большого надо, чтоб его разбить."
    Anne Brontё, "Agnes Grey"

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    The person you're addressing by "Вы" actually should be an elder.
    Addressing someone by "Вы" doesn't correlate directly with age. It's a matter of courtesy and respect, especially in the formal setting. A teacher at my school addressed us by "Вы" since we were 11 years old, so I think it effectively proves your theory wrong, as we were not only her elders, but even not her equals in the strict sense of the word.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    The person you're addressing by "Вы" actually should be an elder.
    Addressing someone by "Вы" doesn't correlate directly with age. It's a matter of courtesy and respect, especially in the formal setting. A teacher at my school addressed us by "Вы" since we were 11 years old, so I think it effectively proves your theory wrong, as we were not only her elders, but even not her equals in the strict sense of the word.
    Все равно это не вопрос хороших манер. Если я скажу "ты" человеку, который мне этого не позволял, это его может даже шокировать, и он вряд ли промолчит. А плохие манеры не шокируют, они просто вызывают неприятие, чаще всего даже внутреннее, когда человек вслух ничего не говорит.

    Addressing someone by "Вы" doesn't correlate directly with age.
    I meant that usually it does.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by Pcloadletter
    Using Вы is a matter of showing good manners, the person doesn't have to be an elder
    It's not a matter of good manners at all. The person you're addressing by "Вы" actually should be an elder.
    No.

    You can't address your teacher or your neighbour (if he's not your peer) by "ты".
    I can in some rare cases. Of course, before switching to 'ты' with somebody you don't know very well you'd better obtain his/her explicit consent.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: Using Вы and ты at the correct times.

    Несмотря на то, что пол и возраст собеседника имеют большое значение, решающую роль играют взаимоотношения между людьми. Сформулировать чёткие правила использование обращений невозможно. Попробуйте объяснить в каких случаях следует говорить "sir", "ma'am", а в каких обращаться по имени.

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