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Thread: Aspectual Pairs List?

  1. #1
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    Aspectual Pairs List?

    Здравствуйте,

    I am a first-year Russian student at the Ohio State University; I'm actually trying to test out of the final required Russian class so I can save a few thousand dollars. I've been lurking on the message board here for a while but I've not had a chance to participate much; the test deadline is at the end of this week.

    One of the things that I've been trying to find to facilitate studying is a list of simple/common aspectual pairs: something relatively short (less than 50 pairs) but more than the list of 12 pairs I keep seeing. The lists that I've found of common verbs haven't paired them up or indicated which is imperfective and which is perfective (and for verbs of motion, which is definite and which is not -- but I've got a list of those already, so I'm not as bugged about that.) Is there, someplace, a quick "beginner/early intermediate" study list of aspectual pairs that just has a) their glosses and b) which aspect is which?

    If not, I think I'll write one up using my frequency lists and the 500 Russian Verbs/5000 Russian Words books.

    (for the record the pairs I keep seeing are: to write, to buy, to read, to put put/lay, to look/watch, to get up, to put/stand, to get/become, to do/make, to study, to pack (up), and to fix/correct; I also keep finding them in a list that doesn't have them by infinitive but rather by stem, which is annoying enough that I'm not going to post them here)

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Here are a couple that come to mind.

    to talk
    говорить imp
    поговорить perf

    to learn
    учить/ся imp
    выучить/ся perf
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

  3. #3
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    to write, to buy, to read, to put put/lay, to look/watch, to get up, to put/stand, to get/become, to do/make, to study, to pack (up), and to fix/correct

    to write
    писать imp
    написать perf

    to buy
    покупать imp
    купить perf

    to read
    читать imp
    прочитать perf

    to put
    класть imp
    положить perf

    to look
    смотреть imp
    посмотреть perf

    to get up
    вставать imp
    встать perf

    to do
    делать imp
    сделать perf
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  4. #4
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    It's best not to talk about pairs, as they don't really exist in aspectual pairs. Most verbs can have more than one perfective or imperfective form, formed by adding prefizes or changing the stem.

    I mean "to write" is писать (imp) / написать (perf). But if I add a different prefix I get подписать (perf) / подписывать (imp) - "to sign". The root is still писать. You may say "oh but that's a different verb". But why is it? Just because "to sign" in English is different from "to write", doesn't mean the same applies in Russian.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    It's best not to talk about pairs, as they don't really exist in aspectual pairs. Most verbs can have more than one perfective or imperfective form, formed by adding prefizes or changing the stem.

    I mean "to write" is писать (imp) / написать (perf). But if I add a different prefix I get подписать (perf) / подписывать (imp) - "to sign". The root is still писать. You may say "oh but that's a different verb". But why is it? Just because "to sign" in English is different from "to write", doesn't mean the same applies in Russian.
    No, I don't think that "Писать" has a meaning, cardinally different from "Подписывать". "Подписывать" - значит писать "под чем-то" или "после чего-то". Например, после написания текста ты что-то пишешь под ним (после него), т.е. подписываешь текст. It would be "underwrite" in english. Many prefixes can be explained in such a way.

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    Почтенный гражданин Mordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    Here are a couple that come to mind.

    to talk
    говорить imp
    поговорить perf

    to learn
    учить/ся imp
    выучить/ся perf
    in so far

    сказать

    поговорить is talk for awhile

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordan
    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    Here are a couple that come to mind.

    to talk
    говорить imp
    поговорить perf

    to learn
    учить/ся imp
    выучить/ся perf
    in so far

    сказать

    поговорить is talk for awhile
    See, learners are told that:

    Говорить / Сказать are an aspectual pair. Clearly they are not, and even in English they are not. "To talk" and "to say" are different verbs in English.

    Сказать is the PERFective, of Казать (IMPerfection)
    Показать - to show, is another perfective of Казать. it also has the seconday imperfective Показывать.

    I believe to fully understand Russian verbs one must identify the core root verbs for which many other verbs are formed.

    Further examples:

    спать - to sleep (imp.)
    поспать - to have a sleep (perf.)
    проспать - to oversleep (perf.), lit. (to sleep through)

    Notice how the prefix про- changes the meaning of the verb.

    But the "standard, neutral" perfective of Читать - to read, is Прочитать. (literaly - to read through = to complete reading).

    По- limits an action to a limited amount of time.
    Про- conveys the notion of "through"
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  8. #8
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    Сказать is the PERFective, of Казать (IMPerfection)
    че-то ты тут намудрил..

    Казать такого слова нету

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    Я тож сначала подумал.

    Это нелитературная форма. Используется редко.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

  10. #10
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    КАЗАТЬ несов. перех. и неперех. местн.
    1. Показывать кого-л., что-л.

    вот что показывает в словаре. Со "сказать" это вообще не связано..

  11. #11
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    Ну да.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

  12. #12
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    I've never come accross Казать in Russian, apart from Казаться of course.

    But they use it in Ukrainian:


    Говорити / Поговорити - to speak (imp/perf)
    Казати / Сказати - to say/tell (imp/perf)

    I was merely saying Cказать is clearly C + Казать.
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  13. #13
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    But they use it in Ukrainian:


    Говорити / Поговорити - to speak (imp/perf)
    ну тут про русский вообще-то спрашивали, а не про украинский?

  14. #14
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    Thank you thusfar...

    Thanks to those who have posted stuff so far -- my excel spreadsheet is looking more and more reassuring every day.

    And I know that it's a bit of an educational fiction to talk about pairs, and certainly, should I get a high enough score on Friday, I'll abandon the notion altogether with a tremendous amount of relief. But in the meantime, I know that Nachalo, the book OSU uses, is absolutely firm on the pair thing, and there are dozens of exercises where they say, for example,

    "Here is a 500-word essay with all instances of учить/научить and учиться/научиться excised. Insert the correct word, in the correct form, in each place."

    Or, instead of inserting the correct word, it says "please indicate whether the word used was perfective or imperfective."

    If the exercises in the exam are written the same way, I'll be fine, because I get about 80% of the questions right by looking at the context. But if it instead just says "mark whether each of the next twenty-eight verbs is perfective or imperfective" or, as the St. Andrews elementary Russian exams do, present a list of 10 pairs, each one randomly showing either the perfective or the imperfective, and asking for the matching set... that's where I'm in trouble, and need a list to study.

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    Well, yes, you can clearly identify which verbs are perfective and which are not. AND, although the orignal imperfective might have many perfectives, one is usually paired with it as its perfective form.

    like писать - написать
    подписать has the imperfective подписывать

    спать - поспать
    просыпать is imp of проспать

    the perfectives that are paired with the imperfectives are very close in meaning. проспать is not so close, since it means to oversleep and not just sleep like поспать, so if you were asked what is the perfective of спать, you would say поспать...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie

    the perfectives that are paired with the imperfectives are very close in meaning. проспать is not so close, since it means to oversleep and not just sleep like поспать, so if you were asked what is the perfective of спать, you would say поспать...
    Yes but who pairs them? People have decided to pair them up for the purpose of dictionaries, grammars and learner's material.

    If you look up "to drink" in the dictionary, they'll give you "(вы)пить" as the imp/perf pair.

    If you say "Я выпил" it means "I drank too much", "I over drank", "I got drunk".
    Попить means "to have a drink".
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  17. #17
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    Some verbs have 2 perfective forms.

    избегать - избежать - избегнуть

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    избегнуть - так уже не говорят почти сейчас.. устаревшее слово (к сведению)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    Some verbs have 2 perfective forms.

    избегать - избежать - избегнуть
    Yes, we have been discussing this at length earlier in the post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie

    the perfectives that are paired with the imperfectives are very close in meaning. проспать is not so close, since it means to oversleep and not just sleep like поспать, so if you were asked what is the perfective of спать, you would say поспать...
    Yes but who pairs them? People have decided to pair them up for the purpose of dictionaries, grammars and learner's material.

    If you look up "to drink" in the dictionary, they'll give you "(вы)пить" as the imp/perf pair.

    If you say "Я выпил" it means "I drank too much", "I over drank", "I got drunk".
    Попить means "to have a drink".
    well, I think the aspective pair shows incomplete action/process vs. completed action

    я пил молоко - I was drinking milk (imperfective) (process)
    я выпил молоко - I drank the milk (perfective) (completed)

    I think выпить is the only perfective of пить that means that you completed the action.

    BTW, is выпил really used to say I drank too much? I thought it was "напился" or "перепил"... oh, natives?
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