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Thread: once upon a time

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер
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    once upon a time

    What do all of these mean, and what are the differences?

    1. однажды

    2 жили-были

    3 жал да был

    4 давным- давно

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин Suobig's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Everything except first one is a common beginning of fairy tales (as well as "Once upon a time"). When you introduce multiple people, you say "Жили-были", when you introduce one man, you say "Жил да был" (or "Жила-была"). When you don't introduce anyone, you say "Давным-давно" (which, basically, means "Once upon a time").

    First is an introduction for a strory (not a fairy tale, just a story) that basically says that something happened in the past.
    fortheether likes this.
    I know it's "MR" not "ME", but still: fix my english mistakes, please!

  3. #3
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    Однажды is neutral and usually means Once.

    жили-были and the like are used mostly in fairy-tales (lit., They lived-They were)

    Давным-давно is emphatic way of saying 'Very long time ago' , very colloquial and informal. To be often used in fairy-tales, but not only.

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