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Thread: хотелось бы посмотреть, кто ей понравился; why perfective past?

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    хотелось бы посмотреть, кто ей понравился; why perfective past?

    'хотелось бы посмотреть, кто ей понравился'

    If I was asked to translate ' I'd like to see who she likes' into Russian, I would assume that she likes (him) in the present tense. Using 'понравился' instead suggests to me that she liked someone, and now maybe doesn't. Why is this sentence (again from Assimil book) past perfective?

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    Perfective forms can be interpreted as "to begin (and finish) action". Note, that "and finish" is optional. This is the case here.
    For example: "он поработал" means "he began and finished work". Work is complete.
    But "ему понравилась работа" means "he began to like work". The state of liking was turned on. There is no finishing part.
    Note the difference between imperfect and perfect in this case, it is what you are talking about:
    "Она ему нравилась" = "He liked her", but you doesn't sure he like her right now. Uncertainty is implied (you thought it is case of perfect form, but it is not), unless explicitly stated otherwise.
    "Она ему понравилась" = "He started to like her" and you do not know any reason for him to change his mind. Continuation is implied, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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    Okay, so I have got the distinction between perfective and imperfective backwards in this case. I can understand that perfective verbs don't automatically imply that the action which they describe has finished. The idea that the use of an imperfective verb can imply that is new to me.

    I would have thought that "Она ему нравилась" would be the one that means "he started to find her likeable and hasn't stopped yet (unless otherwise stated after this sentence)."

    So, would this sentence:
    'она мне понравилась сначала, но я уже думаю иначе'
    Be better rendered as
    'она мне нравилась сначала, но я уже думаю иначе'
    ?

    I have to admit I'm a bit confused now.

    Also, why is the original sentence not 'хотелось бы посмотреть, кто ей нравится'? This is how I would have translated the sentence 'I'd like to see who she likes' (English present continuous tense)...

    What are the differences in meaning between that sentence and the one in perfective past?

    Thanks!

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    Really, I don't feel essential difference between "она мне понравилась сначала, но я уже думаю иначе" and "она мне нравилась сначала", но я уже думаю иначе". At first sight both sentences are equal for me and carry one significance. Difference is in that I feel some process in second sentence. You say: "Сначала она мне нравилась", but I hear "Сначала она мне нравилась в течение некоторого времени".

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    > I would have thought that "Она ему нравилась" would be the one that means "he started to find her likeable and hasn't stopped yet (unless otherwise stated after this sentence)."
    Imperfect form has no accent on the beginning (nor ending). We talk about middle of some continuous process. If we talk about past: "Она ему нравилась" we state, that some time in the past he was in the state of liking her. We do not know anything about start point of this process, nor about ending point. This "uncertainty" is implied, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    > So, would this sentence:
    > 'она мне понравилась сначала, но я уже думаю иначе'
    > Be better rendered as
    > 'она мне нравилась сначала, но я уже думаю иначе'
    > ?
    No. Both variants are equal, because you have eliminated ambiguity by second part ("unless explicitly stated otherwise").
    But "Она мне нравилась." vs "Она мне понравилась." have different accents. Without details we think that you have no reason to state that you liked her (in the past) except that you do not like her right now. Otherwise you should say "Она мне давно нравится" - ("I like her very long time"). But perfect form has accent on the fact that some time ago you _started_ to like her. It is the main idea of perfect form in this case and there is no another accents.

    > Also, why is the original sentence not 'хотелось бы посмотреть, кто ей нравится'?
    This form is absolutely ok and has very close meaning. You will not make mistake with your variant of translation.

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    > Сначала она мне нравилась в течение некоторого времени

    This could be more clearer than my explanations. I stated that we do not know ending point of the process. But this seems false now. By default we think that in imperfect form ending point is really in the past too. So imperfect past form, by default, has "closed end in the past". But past perfect form of this "emotional verbs" has accent only on the "starting point" of the process and leaves ending point opened.

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    Thanks Alex and Звездочёт; what you are both saying totally makes sense. I will re-read all this tomorrow with a clear head...

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    Okay; been away, back now...

    So :-
    понравился says ' I began the process of liking...', and has nothing to say about whether that liking continued or not.
    нравился says 'I liked' ,without any implied beginning or end, but hints that maybe the liking has stopped, simply by omitting to mention whether this is still true.

    But поработал says 'I worked for a limited amount of time, and then stopped'

    In this way, the prefix 'по' has a different meaning for this verb than it does for нравиться:
    It means 'started to ' in perfective form понравиться;
    It means 'completed a small amount of ' in поработать.

    Hopefully this is an accurate way to understand this?...

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    I think it's good idea to perceive verbs with "по" and without "по" like different verbs. Don't try to perceive them like forms of one verb for different tenses (conception of verb teens works in english, but it doesn't work in russian).

    понравился says ' I began the process of liking...', and has nothing to say about whether that liking continued or not.
    Ok, lets recall the english verb "impress".
    If I say: "It impressed me" or "It has impressed me", what can you say about whether this emotion continued or not? The verb "понравился" works same. Both verbs focus us on bright moment in past, when we were feeling something, but both don't describe our state after this moment.

    I think it's not hard to come up with sentences were "поработал" and "работал" sound almost same like "понравился" и "нравился".

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    'I think it's good idea to perceive verbs with "по" and without "по" like different verbs.' - Do you mean that the perfective version with "по" can be assumed to have a somewhat different meaning to its imperfective partner?

    I understand that English tenses are very different to Russian aspect; I don't see aspect as being about tense, although that is one part of it. There isn't really an equivalent concept to aspect in English, or none that I can find anyway...

    I think that maybe a sentence with an additional clause (after the one containing поработал/работал) might have the same meanings? Like 'Я работал до семи' vs. 'Я поработал до семи'.

    But are there any simple sentences which use поработал or работал interchangeably that would have the same meaning? Without the added context of more information?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich View Post
    ...
    As I said above, I cannot explain which perfect forms "begin, but do not finish" action of imperfect form.
    I noted some interesting verbs, which means the same idea, but have different forms of our subject:
    1.a) "он летал самолётами"="he flew by airplanes" imperfect. something like indefinite.
    1.b) "он полетал самолётами"="he flew by airplanes some time ago" and, probably, if there is no other words, we tend to think that he has finished to do it.
    2.a) "он летел самолётом"="he was flying by airplane"
    2.b) "он полетел самолётом"="he started to fly by airplane". I think it is something like "He flew out (by airplane, at 6:00)".
    Летать vs лететь is our subject.
    Some words have both forms, some single one, some mixed.
    For example:
    "гневаться"="to feel anger"
    "разгневаться"="to begin feel anger"
    "погневаться"="to begin and end feeling of anger".
    Hm...

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    P.S.
    плакать=to cry
    поплакать=to begin and finish crying
    заплакать=to start crying

    работать=to work
    поработать=to begin and finish work
    заработать=to earn/to get something through process of working/acting.
    Hmm... Maybe grafrich is right and sometimes they are just different words.

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    P.P.S.
    I think it is just subject of memorizing:
    ЗАПЛАКАТЬ - "Начать плакать"
    ПОПЛАКАТЬ - "Провести некоторое время, плача"

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    I'm beginning to think the same thing... there are general patterns which are worth remembering, but also a lot of exceptions, which need to be remembered as such.

    Something like плакать and its perfectives are for me, predictable and easy to remember, but the same prefixes can mean very different things (as in your example of заработать)

    Although I understand why понравился/нравился have the meanings that they have, I can see that (from what you are saying above) some, like летал/полетал in example 1 have the opposite pattern of meaning for their imperfective/perfective verbs; in their case, the perfective is the one that says nothing about whether he still flies in/takes off in airplanes, if I understand you correctly.

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    Actually I didn't notice that Летать and лететь are 2 different verbs; I don't know if I understand the difference.
    Летал He flew. (there and back, multidirectional
    Летел He flew. (but didn't come back, unidirectional)
    I think this is going beyond what I understand, I haven't really looked into verbs of motion yet, I'm aware that they treat aspect differently to other Russian verbs.

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    Летать vs лететь is not important. "лететь" is about single event, "летать" is more like "present indefinite". maybe multiple times, maybe one time, indefinite.
    But the key idea is that perfect verbs can be divided by two groups: "(start and) complete event" and "start event" (if you mean by "event" meaning of imperfect form). I think you should look at vocabulary, because I do not know exact rules to distinguish these cases by prefixes or suffixes.

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    Thanks Alex, your efforts are appreciated!

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    If my memory serves me, in 2009 the problem of using perfect and imperfect aspects of verbs was discussing. Really, it's hard explain, but often such verbs could be used like equivalents if you do not care about "shades of meanings".


    1) Сегодня Вове снилось/приснилось, что он летал/пролетал/летел над городом.
    2) Я хорошо сегодня работал/поработал!
    3) Я так сладко спала/поспала!
    4) Я покричал/кричал громко, но никто не отозвался.
    5)
    - Как вы сюда добрались?
    - Я шла/прошла через переулки.

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    Thanks Звездочёт,

    I hope that one day I will have a good enough command of this language to need to know the subtle changes of meaning, but I think that for now, maybe I don't need to.
    My goal is to be able to read Russian very well, and I think that good writers use these subtle nuances of meaning between the aspects to great effect; I'm concerned that maybe I won't notice these 'clues' in their writing, and then I might well lose the thread of the story, or just fail to enjoy it...

    But that's for the future, I think. There's no hurry here...

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