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Thread: The russian past tenses

  1. #1
    JackBoni
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    The russian past tenses

    Hello everyone

    I'm new to these forums so I don't really know how to use them, so please bear with me

    I am currently trying to learn russian completely on my own, with the aid of only a few books. In the books, it doesn't say how to form the english past tense construction "I used to do something"

    I don't really understand the past tense and when to use the two different aspects anyway, for example играть versus сыграть but I will get there. Can someone please explain to me in as much detail as possible how to form the past in russian, explaining as much of the grammar as they can? Especially the construction "used to" in English.

    Большое спасибо за помащь
    Thank you very much for your help

    Джек
    Jack

  2. #2
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    Re: The russian past tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by JackBoni
    Большое спасибо за помощь
    Hello, Jack.

    We usually bear with everyone
    You are welcome!


    I think the question you asked is very complex. But briefly, несовершенный вид means that the action was started and lasted some time or it was repeated several times. And совершенный вид means that the action was started and finished and it was once, single.

    I.e. "играть" means "to play" (generally), and "сыграть" means to play one time (to start to do it and to stop to do it).
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Have I misheard you or you said bear?

    You are welcome Jack!
    Я так думаю.

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Re: The russian past tenses

    Добро пожаловать! You are welcome here, Jack.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  5. #5
    DDT
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    I think he still wants to know about the "used to" expression. Here is my best guess but I am sure there is a better way. So this would be a good time for someone to correct me.

    В прошлом, я играл в теннис с медведем.

    In the past, (I used to) I played tennis with a bear.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    I think he still wants to know about the "used to" expression. Here is my best guess but I am sure there is a better way. So this would be a good time for someone to correct me.

    В прошлом_ я играл в теннис с медведем.

    In the past, (I used to) I played tennis with a bear.
    Раньше я часто играл в теннис с медведем.
    Раньше я любил играть в теннис с медведем.

    It's required несовершенный вид, because the action was often repeated.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    DDT
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    So, we must use Раньше plus imperfective, to give the English equivalent to "used to"?

    Actually I was originally going to use Раньше but I could not remember how to spell it so I used в прошлом instead thinking that it would be just as good.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    "В прошлом" is not a mistake, but I think "раньше" is much better here.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    We greet thee, JackBoni

    I used to do things
    Бывало делал я вещи.

    The word бывало fits perfectly for the construction used to.

    This used to be my t-shirt
    Раньше это была моя футболка.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Раньше я часто играл в теннис с медведем, а сейчас – нет. (а сейчас не играю)

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