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Thread: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

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    Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    The only difference I'm aware of is that сейчас seems slightly more "immediate" to me but I'm not sure that this presumption is correct?
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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Butterfly
    The only difference I'm aware of is that сейчас seems slightly more "immediate" to me but I'm not sure that this presumption is correct?
    "Теперь" is using when there is an opposition between past and present. E.g. in an old song it is said:
    "Не уйдет, казалось, лето, а теперь листья желтые над городом кружатся"

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    Да. Они взаимозаменяемые.
    И действительно, "сейчас" больше подходит для right now, в то время как "теперь" - для now. Однако оба варианта возможны.
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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    It wasn't easy to come up with a context where they are not interchangeable but I managed it.
    For example, somebody asks you to do something and you say "сейчас", meaning "I will do it immediately". It is impossible to say "теперь" here.

    Sometimes, when they are interchangeable, they have a slightly different ring to them.
    For example, one of your friends changed his job and somebody asks you, "Где он теперь/сейчас работает?"
    The one with "сейчас" is more like plain "Where does he work (now)?".
    The one with "теперь" has an overtone of "Now that he doesn't work at XYZ, where does he work?"
    In other words, сейчас -- now, теперь -- now, that circumstances changed. This is my theory anyway.

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    Native speakers have corrected my usage of one word instead of the other far too frequently for me to believe they are synonymous. But I am still not clear on the actual difference. Maybe сейчас is restricted to meanings of "right now, at this time", whereas теперь is more like "these days"? Also, сейчас seems to express more immediacy.

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    So is "теперь" used when there has been a change in circumstances between then and now (e.g. I used to live in Leeds but now I live in London) wheras "cейчас" means more "right now" (e.g. Let's go now). If that is the case, could you correctly replace "теперь" with "cейчас", but not always vice versa?
    Learning Russian through self-study since 12th March, 2010. Current progress: On New Penguin Russian Course lesson 7.
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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Butterfly
    So is "теперь" used when there has been a change in circumstances between then and now (e.g. I used to live in Leeds but now I live in London) wheras "cейчас" means more "right now" (e.g. Let's go now). If that is the case, could you correctly replace "теперь" with "cейчас", but not always vice versa?
    I think they are interchangeable almost always in both directions (unless there is an idiom or a fixed phrase).
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Butterfly
    could you correctly replace "теперь" with "cейчас", but not always vice versa?
    I will put it this way: I can think of an example where I, personally, would use only "теперь", but I am sure that there are enough people around who could use both.
    An example:
    Your friend is not a good swimmer, to say the least, but he was careless, had swum too far out and almost drowned. You say to him, by way of reproach:
    Теперь будешь осторожней.
    which implies, "Now that you had this horrible experience, you will be more careful."

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    I think they are interchangeable almost always in both directions (unless there is an idiom or a fixed phrase).
    Ok, let's check this out:
    1) "Одну минуточку, я сейчас подойду!" - it can't be "теперь"
    2) "В России две беды, а теперь еще и футбол" - not "сейчас"
    I'd put it this way (roughly): "сейчас" says about present relatively to future, while "теперь" is relative to past. It's not that straight, just slight nuances, that's why these words often can be interchanged.

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    And even when these words are interchangable, they have slightly different meaning. For example, let's take a look on the next two phrases:
    1) Ну, сейчас начнётся!
    2) Ну, теперь начнётся!
    The first sentence is concentrated on the coming events, while the second one refers (though not saying it directly) to events that happend before and had lead us to what we are going to face shortly. Something like:
    1) Oh dear, something terrible / unpleasant is gonna happend.
    2) Ok now we have a problem!

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    Re: Are "теперь" и "сейчас" interchangable?

    What if we adhere to the literary translation? Perhaps it would spill some beans ...

    сейчас = сей+час = this [very] moment
    теперь = now

    So, being more generic, "now" includes "this moment", but not the other way around. However, they are both interchangeable when "now" is used in a more narrow sense of "this moment".

    What do you think of that? Does it make sense?

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