Categories: "Verb pairs"


by Don  

The verb “to die” is умирать/умереть, and it is conjugated like this:

to die
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive умирать умереть
Past умирал
Present умираю
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду умирать
будешь умирать
будет умирать
будем умирать
будете умирать
будут умирать
Imperative умирай(те) умри)(те)

Here are some sample sentences:

Мой дедушка по материнской линии умер в две тысячи седьмом году. My maternal grandfather died in two thousand seven.
Умрешь — начнешь опять сначала. (source) You will die; and then you will start again from the beginning.
Нет! Не отвози свою маму в ту больницу! Там умирают, как мухи! No, don't take your mother to that hospital! People are dying there like flies!
Ой, умираю с голоду! Дай мне хоть шоколадку! Oof, I'm dying of hunger! Give me a piece of chocolate at least!


by Don  

One of the consistent contrasts between Russian and English is that Russian uses simple verbs where English uses phrasal constructions involving verbs and nouns. One example is the verb обувать/обуть “to put footware (on someone),” which is conjugated like this:

to shoe
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive обувать обуть
Present обуваю
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду обувать
будешь обувать
будет обувать
будем обувать
будете обувать
будут обувать
Past обувал
Imperative обувай(те) обуй(те)

Sample sentences:

Я не хотел выйти на улицу, но мама меня обула и приказала пойти гулять. I didn't want to go outside, but Mama put my shoes on me and ordered me to go play.
Джиованни всегда обувал своих клиенток по самой последней моде, но потом они возвращаллись к себе но ничего нового не происходило. Мода просто не решает человеческих проблем, несмотря на утверждения современного маркетинга. Giovanni always put his clients in shoes of the newest style, but then they would return home and find it had done no good. Fashion simply doesn't solve human problems, despite the assertions of modern marketing.
Королевич обул Золушку в стекляную туфлю и понял, что она и есть девушка, которую он искал. The prince put the the glass slipper on Cinderella and discovered that she was the girl whom he had been seeking.
Белорусов обуют в отечественные сандали. (source) Belarusians shall be shod with sandals produced within the country.
В парламент Эстонии не пустят обутых журналистов. (source) Journalists wearing shoes will not be allowed into the Estonian Parliament.


by Don  

Let's think about the verb делать/сделать. The nice thing about this verb is that it is completely regular: it has no irregular endings whatsoever.

to do; to make
Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive делать сделать
Past делал
Present делаю
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду делать
будешь делать
будет делать
будем делать
будете делать
будут делать
Imperative делай(те) сделай(те)

The first meaning of the verb is “to do.” It can bear this meaning in any tense:

Что ты делаешь? What are you doing?
Что ты вчера делала? What did you do yesterday?
Что ты завтра будешь делать? What are you going to do tomorrow?

Actually, the question in the past tense can be said either in the perfective or the imperfective, although they don't mean quite the same thing. Remember that the perfective is used when the focus of the question is on the result of an action, and the imperfective is used if result is not particulary in focus. So, for instance, let's say you walk into a room and see your beloved for the first time in two days and you want to know what s/he did the day before. That context does not focus particularly on result, so you use the imperfective verb and ask «Что ты вчера делал(а)?» “What did you do yesterday?” In response you will hear some vapid comment about window shopping and visiting relatives. But if, for instance, you walk into a room bespattered with blood and there is a corpse lying on the floor with a grimace on its face and a knife protruding from its chest, then the result of your beloved's actions are in the forethoughts of your mind and you use the perfective verb and say, «Что ты сделал(а)!?» “What have you done!?” If you deduce from that contrast in translation that the English present perfect tense has something to do with a past action with current relevance, then you have made a linguistically astute observation.

Less dramatic situations work as well. At the end of a typical school day you may say to your son «Что ты сегодня делал в школе?» “What did you do at school today?” But if you walk into the kitchen and see that he has covered all the walls with mustard, then you say, «Что ты сделал?» “What have you done?”

The verb also means “to make.” The thing that is made appears in the accusative case, and the thing or substance of which it is made shows up in the genitive case after the preposition из:

Дима любил бывать на даче, так как дедушка ему делал лодочки из дерева. Дима их населял воображаемыми пиратами и моряками и так проводил всё лето, не думая о школе и наступающем первом сентября. Dima loved spending time at the dacha since his grandfather made him little boats out of wood. Dima populated them with imaginary pirates and sailors, and that's how he spent the whole summer, not thinking about school and the approach of the first day of class.
Утренний кофе делает из меня человека. Morning coffee makes me human.
Путин делает из Ющенко козла отпущения. Putin is making a scapegoat out of Yushenko.
Правительство делает из Владивостока центр Азиатско-Тихоокеанского сотрудничества. (source) The government is turning Vladivostok into a center of Asian and Pacific collaboration.
Каждая проходящая мимо девушка делает из Бори дурака. А скорее он из себя делает дурака по её поводу. Every girl that passes by makes a fool out of Boris. Or rather, he makes a fool out of himself on her account.

Садиться/сесть, часть третья

by Don  

When a plane or flying animal lands, the landing can be expressed by the verb садиться/сесть. There is a subtlety in the use of the prepositions with this idea. First off, if you land on something, then that is often expressed by motion phrases with the accusative case:

Почему, когда птицы садятся на провода, их не бьёт током? Why does the current not kill them when birds land on wires?
Утки часто садятся на воду. Ducks often land on water.
Частный немецкий самолёт сел на Красную площадь. A private German plane landed on Red Square.
В 1963-ем году советский самолёт сел на реку Нева. In 1963 a Soviet airplane landed on the Neva.
Во Флориде самолёт сел на одну из самых оживлённых магистралей. (source) In Florida an airplane landed on one of the busiest highways.
Из-за неисправности шасси самолёт сел "на брюхо" в Подгорице. (source) Due to a landing gear failure an airplane landed on its belly in Podgoritsa.
Вертолёт сел на крышу небоскрёба. The helicopter landed on the roof of a skyscraper.

But the location where the craft lands (not the the thing it lands on) is expressed with location phrases:

Грузинские самолёты еще садятся в Москве. (source) Georgian planes are still landing in Moscow.
Частный российский самолёт сел в Бресте без разрешения. (source) A private Russian plane landed in Brest without permission.
Самолёт сел на брюхо в Новосибирске. (source) An airplane landed on its belly in Novosibirsk.
Испанский военный самолёт сел в Греции. (source) A Spanish military plane landed in Greece.

1963 — Neva River

Садиться/сесть, часть вторая

by Don  

The verb садиться/сесть is also used to express the idea of boarding a bus, train, plane, or car:

Маша села в такси и поехала в аэропорт. Mary got in the taxi and went to the airport.
Сядь во сто одиннадцатый автобус и поезжай на Красную площадь. Get on bus #111 and go to Red Square.
В Москве каждый день в метро садятся миллионы москвичей. In Moscow millions of Muscovites get on the subway every day.
Каждые две недели летом мы садимся в электричку и отправляемся в Тулу. In the summertime we get on the local train and head to Tula every two weeks.

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