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Thread: (possibly) stolen stuff

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    Почтенный гражданин Serge_spb's Avatar
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    Angry (possibly) stolen stuff

    I was on my ordinary way to muai thai club, when I bumped into some sort of an incident today. A central station (Gostiniy Dvor), a dozen of people trying to enter a train car that is about to leave, I`m trying to make my way through, when one petty man, ca. 40-45 y.o., grey hair, in suit and probably not of russian origin holding a flower is pretending that he is trying to get out from train, in reality he`s just blocking the way for everyone, some mess is starting out, then in 5-10 seconds when I finally got in it came obvious that a pickpocket just tryed to steal a wallet from a nice german couple. As one russian was still trying to hold the door, hesitating if to follow the "thief" or not, asking (in russian) them if they`ve lost something, those replied with shrugging, and nothing better came into my mind to say "Do you miss something?".
    I realized pretty soon that it sounded kinda weird, though they got the point and assured me that (hopefully) it`s ok.

    And I still bugging myself for freezing like that, not the first occasion when my fluent english turns into sht. under stressful situation.

    What was the better way to ask? "Are you missing smth?" or anything different?

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    It's totally common for any person to freeze up in situations like that, even when everyone involved is speaking the same language. Those situations just happen really fast.

    (1) "Are you missing anything?" Is the very base question to suggest that they check if something's been stolen, or ask if they have had something stolen. Shows concern and care with not really any possible misunderstandings.

    Are you two...
    Are either of you... Both address the group

    (2) "Are you missing something?" is a more detailed sentence. It'll very very likely be interpreted exactly like (1), if the speaker and listeners are 'on the same page', or at least know all the details and context for the question. However, particularly between native speakers,
    (Shortened to "Missing something?" at times ) This shortened form accentuates the potential implication of using "something" instead of "anything", which is that the sentence has a different tone than (1). Instead of concern for the listeners' possessions, it can show sarcasm (and by extension humorous or mocking tone). It's what someone might say when a person makes a dumb mistake by leaving an important object behind, and the speaker is cheekily telling them that they obviously left something behind. This is largely a movie/tv trope and probably isnt something you should worry about.

    Saying "Do you miss anything" makes the word "miss" slide out of meaning "lose an object", and into "not notice an object". Strangely, the -ing ending is crucial for the first meaning (English!!! WHY!?)

    Other than using the word "missing"... You could say "(Has) anything been stolen (from you)?", I guess, but using the word "missing" is the best way.

    By the way, before this I'd never seen the abbreviation ca. before, so kudos on that lol
    Serge_spb likes this.

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    Почтенный гражданин Serge_spb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xXHoax View Post
    It's totally common for any person to freeze up in situations like that, even when everyone involved is speaking the same language. Those situations just happen really fast.

    (1) "Are you missing anything?"l
    Back to the drawing board of my knowledge...

    Thank you.
    Take care and be safe.

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