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Thread: Кушать vs Есть

  1. #1
    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    Кушать vs Есть

    Словарь трудностей

    When I translate the words in this article, sure, I understand the english words, but I've never come across English text that uses this amount of consistent large words. Words like "manifestation" and "designation" are not used in English internet language articles. I don't know if that's just a translation illusion, or if Russians' language education is just more thorough. Maybe a more fleshed out language requires more fleshed out explanations of itself.
    Anyway, should I be worried about using a wrong word for "to eat", considering it seems there are dozens. I mean, I was telling a few Russians that I had to go eat and I said something like я ем, which... Is already bad.. But is there a word difference for things like "eat dinner", or "get a snack" that is importantly enforced?
    Antonio1986 likes this.

  2. #2
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    Есть is the most neutral and widely used word for "to eat". You can use it in any appropriate situation with no doubt.
    We normally use various synonyms too (завтракать, обедать, ужинать, перекусывать). But it is nothing wrong with using just есть.
    Antonio1986 likes this.

  3. #3
    Почтенный гражданин
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    Quote Originally Posted by xXHoax View Post
    Словарь трудностей
    But is there a word difference for things like "eat dinner", or "get a snack" that is importantly enforced?
    "Перекусить" = "to eat (usually) small amount of food between or instead of breakfast/lunch/dinner, to supress hunger". Something like "немного, но достаточно, поел". "- Будешь обедать? - Нет, спасибо. Я перекусил по дороге сюда."
    note "переесть" = "to overeat".
    "Закусить" = "to eat (usually) small amount of food during alcohol consumtion, to clear taste, to soften drunkness and so on". It is associated with alcohol. However, term "закуска" is a little more neutral and similar to "snack", but anyway food producers prefer to adopt term "snack" - "снек" instead of "закуска".
    note: "заесть" = "to eat some kind of food immediately after another (often to soften some effects of it, for example bitter or strong taste)". It is not associated with alcohol.
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  4. #4
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    xXHoax ,

    This article is from one the most famous Russian grammar resources. I am sure this resource is under development by professional linguists, so the style of this and other explanations there is scientific and full of exact linguistic terms and definitions.

    That article deals with the concrete problem, i.e. use of кушать / есть.

    It's better to use есть , which is neutral. This word means just to have food in any situation.

    Кушать is used in one of the cases in the context when kids eat.

    But most of the native Russian speakers are not aware of that, and use these two words interchangably which is stylistically incorrect according to that article.

    xXHoax likes this.

  5. #5
    Почтенный гражданин Suobig's Avatar
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    A bit more about the word "кушать".

    There's a lot of softness and even some kind of intimacy in this word. It's usually used with diminutive-hypocoristic suffixes -чк- (i.e. "кушать курочку", "скушать яблочко". Such phrases are usually used in mother-child or men-women relationships that mimic mother-child.

    If you can express yourself properly with diminutive-hypocoristic suffixes - you'd easily find proper way to use the word "кушать". If not - you should consider avoiding it.
    I know it's "MR" not "ME", but still: fix my english mistakes, please!

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