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Thread: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

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    I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Hi, I was just writing a message to a friend... (forgive the spelling, no spell check here)

    универсами сегодня открито? (I was going to use работают instead of the last word, but was unsure if that makes sense in Russian... anyhow it is beside the point)

    my question is here... how do I write this correctly?

    there is no verb in the sentence... so it must be wrong, right? so what is the correct way to write this question? thanks.

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Quote Originally Posted by ycomp
    универсамы сегодня открыты?
    работают is okay too
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    thanks but I'm unsure what "открыты' is... I mean, what part of speech is it? I thought it was an adjective... if it is, then it is ok to write sentences without verbs sometimes?

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Quote Originally Posted by ycomp
    I'm unsure what "открыты' is... I mean, what part of speech is it? I thought it was an adjective...
    Yes, I think it's an adjective. It might be a participle, though. Sometimes, I find it difficult to tell those two apart, in English too.

    if it is, then it is ok to write sentences without verbs sometimes?
    Yes, sometimes.
    Я болен.
    Сегодня хорошая погода.
    Все ошибки в этом документе уже исправлены.
    etc

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Quote Originally Posted by ycomp
    thanks but I'm unsure what "открыты' is... I mean, what part of speech is it? I thought it was an adjective... if it is, then it is ok to write sentences without verbs sometimes?
    Let me first state I'm not a native speaker, so take the following with a grain of salt. It may be corrected further down...

    Открыты is the short plural form of the adjective открытый. The verb which is missing is, in English, "to be". In all Indo-European languages, as far as I know, this verb expressing existence is the most complicated. In English, it has a whopping eight distinct forms (be, am, are, is, being, been, was, were) which is more complicated than any other verb in English. Of course in German (sein) it has more than twenty or so. Don't even get me started about Latin... The speakers of Russian simply stopped using it most of the time, just like speakers of English don't use forms like "thou art" anymore. In present tense, only one form remains, есть, which is technically third person singular but is used generally to express that something is there (in one's possession): у меня есть машина (машины), I have a car, I have cars. Literally translated it is more like 'a car is with me' or 'there is a car with me'.

    In all other present tense instances the verb for 'to be' is simply missing. Supermarkets closed today. Period. If you put two noun phrases next to each other, the idea of 'is' is expressed using a dash: моя машина - Мерседес; my car is a Mercedes.

    In past tense the verb does exist, though it only marks number and, perhaps strangely, gender, but not person. It is also used, fully conjugated, to form the future tense of imperfective verbs.

    But there are many other ways to form sentences in Russian which also have no verbs. Many things which English expresses with auxiliary verbs (must, may, need, not being allowed) are expressed in Russian using words such as надо, нужно, должен, нельзя, all of which are adjectives rather than verbs, for instance нужно for "need" is the neuter short form of нужный which means "necessary". So "I need a book" in Russian is "мне нужна книга" which in fact, translated literally, means "book [is] necessary [for] me". We can't render such sentences without verbs in English, but Russian can.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Открыты is plural from открыт which is a short form of открытый (opened).

    The verb "to be" and its forms are very often omitted in Russian. So "are opened" is just "открыт(а/о/ы)" in Russian.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Quote Originally Posted by bitpicker
    Quote Originally Posted by ycomp
    thanks but I'm unsure what "открыты' is... I mean, what part of speech is it? I thought it was an adjective... if it is, then it is ok to write sentences without verbs sometimes?
    In all other present tense instances the verb for 'to be' is simply missing. Supermarkets closed today. Period. If you put two noun phrases next to each other, the idea of 'is' is expressed using a dash: моя машина - Мерседес; my car is a Mercedes.
    hmm, I just realized I do all this when speaking and don't notice it... it is just when I was writing SMS, I thought it was rather strange that I'm not writing a verb - thanks for the explanation...

    also interesting to know that there is a short form for adjectives, that fills a big hole in for me... I will read the section on adjectives on this site

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    Re: I just wrote a verb-less "sentence", please help )

    Like this:

    A: Stores open today?
    B: Yep.

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