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Thread: Two questions

  1. #1
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    Two questions

    Question 1

    Не прочитав письмо от мамы, он ушёл.

    Is there any possibility that he had read some part of the letter before he left?


    Question 2

    Нельзя + Imperfective such as Вам нельзя заходить туда.

    I think this generally means "prohibition". Can it mean "impossibility" as well?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    Question 1

    Не прочитав письмо от мамы, он ушёл.

    Is there any possibility that he had read some part of the letter before he left?
    No, there is no hints in this sentences that he ever started reading
    If you want to specify that he dropped reading in the middle it will be
    Не дочитав письмо от мамы, он ушёл.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    Question 2

    Нельзя + Imperfective such as Вам нельзя заходить туда.

    I think this generally means "prohibition". Can it mean "impossibility" as well?
    No, it means "prohibition"


    "Prohibition" or "impossibility", depending on context/intonation will be
    Вы не можете туда зайти

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    Concerning "нельзя": when you specify a person, who "cannot" do something, it may only mean prohibition. "Туда нельзя заходить" also implies that one "shouldn't" come in. However, "Туда нельзя зайти" does indeed mean impossibility.

    If you really need to specify a person, and still imply impossibility rather than prohibition, use verb "мочь":"Ты не можешь туда войти". You can even use perfective to say it in the future "Ты не сможешь туда войти" ("You won't be able to come in there").

    Note that English uses "you" extensively where Russian doesn't. For example, it is normal to say things like "You can't just steal other's work". In Russian you would rather say an impersonal sentence with "нельзя": "Нельзя просто красть чужую работу". So don't bother with following grammar too closely: it is perfectly normal to use the most usual way to render the idea.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    "Нельзя, надо знать!"
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...N_hvPyBQTaeGRw
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Yuki, didn't you get my replies by email and in PM?
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    Не прочитав письмо от мамы, он ушёл.
    Is there any possibility that he had read some part of the letter before he left?
    Imho, there is such possibility.

    Не читав письмо от мамы, он ушёл. — he has read nothing in the letter
    Не дочитав письмо от мамы, он ушёл. — he started to read but hasn't finished
    Не прочитав письмо от мамы, он ушёл. — we don't know if he read some part of the letter or not
    Please correct my English

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soft sign View Post
    Не читав письмо от мамы, он ушёл. — he has read nothing in the letter
    That's not really Russian no matter how you look at it. In modern Russian, at least, perfective adverbial participles (деепричастия совершенного вида) are only formed from perfective verbs. For "читать" the corresponding form is "читая".

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