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Thread: idomatic use with imperative

  1. #1
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    idomatic use with imperative

    ok, so i remembered this the other day, and also remembered that i wasn't %100 on usage etc.
    the book says that the informal form of the imperative can be used idiomatically to mean 'if...'

    eg:
    будь я на твоем месте, я бы ушла от нее
    if i were in your place, i would leave her
    знай они, что...
    if they knew that...

    i haven't seen this construction come up before, so is it used often? are there any instances where it would be better to use this construction?

    thanx

  2. #2
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    Re: idomatic use with imperative

    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. columbo
    i haven't seen this construction come up before, so is it used often?
    Very often.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. columbo
    are there any instances where it would be better to use this construction?
    You can use this construction interchangeably with "если бы" freely.
    будь я на твоем месте = если бы я была на твоем месте
    знай они = если бы они знали

    As you can see this construction is shorter than with "если бы" so it used in everyday speech widely.

  3. #3
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    ok cool, thanks for the speedy reply!

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    You can leave "будь я" out. Eg: на твоем месте, я бы ушла от нее. It's way more common.

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    Same thing as "Were I in your shoes, I would...."

    but apparently much more common, as this construction in AmE is atypical.

    (To non-native speakers: this is the first time I have ever seen the percent sign preceding a number, so I would advise against imitating this usage. I can't figure it out, not even in Russian is it like that.

    Just my .02$ worth.)

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    (To non-native speakers: this is the first time I have ever seen the percent sign preceding a number, so I would advise against imitating this usage. I can't figure it out, not even in Russian is it like that.

    Just my .02$ worth.)
    Lt. Colombo plays by his own rules.

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    любите искать блохи, egh? just thank heavans i wasn't on mastermaths.com.
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    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
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    блохи? Maybe баги (bugs)?

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