Categories: "Emotions"


by Don  

One of the verbs that means ‘to fall in love’ is:

Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive влюбляться влюбиться
Past влюблялся
Present влюбляюсь
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду влюбляться
будешь влюбляться
будет влюбляться
будем влюбляться
будете влюбляться
будут влюбляться
Imperative влюбляйся

Note that the verb is complemented by a prepositional phrase with в followed by the accusative case.

Антон влюбился в Анну. Anton fell in love with Anna.
Анна влюбилась в Антона. Anna fell in love with Anton

Although the verb is mostly used in the past tense, it can be used in other tenses as well.

— Не поверишь, но я вчера влюбилась!
— Верю. Ты ведь влюбляешься каждые два дня.
“You're not going to believe this, but I've fallen in love!”
“I believe it. You fall in love every other day.”
— Я существо чистого разума. Я и разумом подберу себе подходящую жену.
— Помяни моё слово. Как только ты в девушку влюбишься, и ты потеряешь голову, как каждый мужчина.
“I am a creature of pure intellect, and it's by means of my intellect that I shall choose an appropriate wife for myself.”
“Mark my words: as soon as you fall in love with a girl, you'll be head over heels just like any other man.”

You may recall that we previously said that полюбить can also mean ‘to fall in love.’ That leaves us with the question of when to use which verb. Actually, you can start some pretty interesting arguments among Russians about which is the more serious emotion, полюбить or влюбиться. Nonetheless, I can give you one guideline, if you suddenly fall head over heels in love with a person, then влюбиться is the verb you use to describe it, not полюбить.


by Don  

One of the verbs that means to love is:

Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive любить полюбить
Past любил
Present люблю
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду любить
будешь любить
будет любить
будем любить
будете любить
будут любить
Imperative люби(те) полюби(те)

When you use the imperfective, it means the subject has an established liking for the direct object, and it can be translated as like or love:

Моя бабушка любила шоколад. My grandmother loved chocolate.
— Ты любишь кофе?
— Да, люблю.
“Do you like coffee?”
“Yes, I do.”

The verb can also be complemented by the infinitive:

Мой брат любит кататься на лыжах. My brother loves downhill skiing.
Я люблю играть на гитаре. I love to play the guitar.

The prefix по- often adds the idea of ‘start to,’ and that applies to this verb. In English the equivalent of ‘start to love’ is ‘fall in love with’:

В прошлом году я так полюбил Казань. Last year I simply fell in love with Kazan.
По-моему, ты полюбишь Париж. Город такой замечательный. I think you will fall in love with Paris. The city is so amazing.


by Don  

Love... it comes in so many forms... specifically nouns and verbs, and today we are going to talk about the Russian noun любовь, which is a third declension noun, complicated by a fleeting vowel:


You don't encounter the plural forms very often, but theoretically they exist.

Любовь has several meanings. First off, it's love, the positive feeling that binds people to other people in the best sense:

Наша любовь длится уже тридцать лет. Our love has lasted for thirty years now.
Я раньше не верил в любовь, но как только я познакомился с Клавой, я понял, что всё было не так, как я раньше думал. I used to not believe in love at all, but as soon as I met Klava, I knew that everything was different than I had previously thought.
Молодые люди вообще женятся по любви, но совместная жизнь складывается удачно по другим причинам, точнее по дружбе и взаимоуважению. Young people usually get married for love, but life together thrives for different reasons, specifically due to friendship and mutual respect.
Наша бабушка относилась ко всем своим восемнадцати внукам с любовью. Our grandmother related to all eighteen of her grandchildren with love.

Любовь can also mean the person that instills love in you:

Мы с Таней поженились сорок лет назад, и она ещё моя любовь. Tanya and I got married forty years ago, and she is still my true love.
Мы с Антоном скоро поженимся. Жду не дождусь. Он ведь был моей любовью с детского сада. Anton and I will be married soon. I can't wait. After all, he has been the love of my life since kindergarten.

Now here's an interesting cross-cultural parallelism. In the Christian tradition there are three theological virtues, which are usually called faith, hope and love. But if you read a King James Bible, you will find that one of the older words for love is charity. Faith, Hope and Charity can all be women's names in English. And in Russian those words can also be women's names:

Russian woman's name
and virtue
English woman's name
and virtue
Вера Faith
Надежда Hope
Любовь Charity

I Cor 13:13 still makes me tremble:

А теперь пребывают сии три: вера, надежда, любовь; но любовь из них больше. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Жаль (часть вторая)

by Don  

The word жаль has several meanings, and today we will discuss its use in the sense of “to feel sorry for” a person. We English speakers have to do a grammatical backflip when dealing with the construction. In English the person who experiences the emotion is the subject of the verb, and the person pitied is the object of the preposition ‘for.’ In Russian the person who experiences the emotion appears in the dative case, and the person pitied appears in the accusative case:

Жаль sentences can be translated into English several ways:

Лене жаль Бориса. Lena feels sorry for Boris. or
Lena feels bad for Boris. or
Lena feels pity for Boris.
Мне жаль тебя. I feel sorry for you. or
I feel bad for you. or
I feel pity for you.

You will notice there is no verb in the sentences. To put them into the past tense, you add было; for the future, add будет:

Лене было жаль Бориса Lena felt sorry for Boris. or
Lena felt bad for Boris. or
Lena felt pity for Boris.
Лене будет жаль Бориса Lena will feel sorry for Boris. or
Lena will feel bad for Boris. or
Lena will feel pity for Boris.

Here you can see the phrase in more complicated sentences:

Женя потерял ногу в Афганистане. Мне так жаль его, но не знаю, как я могу ему помочь. Gene lost a leg in Afghanistan. I feel so sorry for him, but I don't know how I can help him.
На дворе стояла девочка, промокшая до костей от дождя. Бабушке было так жаль её, что она привела её в квартиру, переодела её в сухое платье, напоила горячим чаем и положила в постель. There was a little girl standing out in the year, soaked to the skin from the rain. Grandma felt so sorry for her that she brought her into the apartment, put a dry dress on her, gave her hot tea to drink and then put her to bed.
Как ты можешь так со мной разговаривать? Разве тебе меня не жаль? How can you say such things to me? Don't you feel sorry for me?
Вере было жаль Олега, потому что он никогда не испытывал родительскую ласку. Vera felt sorry for Oleg because he had never experienced affection from his parents.

Жаль (часть первая)

by Don  

Sometimes in life you're just bummed out about something, and one of the words that expresses that idea in Russian is жаль. Жаль expresses an idea of sadness or regret or irritation; it can form an entire sentence unto itself:

Жаль. That's a shame. or
That's a bummer. or

If want to add the “what a” idea to it, you use как:

Как жаль. What a shame. or
What a bummer. or

Very often жаль is followed by a clause beginning with что:

Жаль, что она не пришла.
It's a shame that she didn't come. or

It's a pity that she didn't come.
Жаль, что ты так мало зарабатываешь.
It's a pity that you earn so little. or

It's a shame that you earn so little.

If you want to incorporate the idea of who is experiencing the pity, then the person goes into the dative case. Once the person is added, though, it flows best if you don't use the words pity and shame in Engish translation. Instead other versions sound better:

Мне жаль, что она не пришла.
I'm disappointed that she didn't come. or
I'm sad that she didn't come. or

I'm bummed that she didn't come. or

I feel bad that she didn't come.
Лене жаль, что ты так мало зарабатываешь.
Lena's sad that you earn so little. or
Lena's disappointed that you earn so little. or

Lena's bummed that you earn so little. or

Lena feels bad that you earn so little.

To put the жаль phrase into the past or future tense, use было and будет respectively:

Мне было жаль, что она не пришла. I was disappointed that she didn't come.
Мне будет жаль, если она не придёт. I will be disappointed if she doesn't come.
Лене было жаль, что она не смогла встретиться с тобой. Lena was disappointed that she couldn't get together with you.
Лене будет жаль, если ты ей не позвонишь. Lena will be disappointed if you don't call her.