by Olga  

The Russian word for compliment is комплимент. People enjoy expressing their feelings through a compliment whether it is a special holiday such as Valentines Day or any day of the year. When a man wants to compliment a woman about her beauty, he can say «Ты выглядишь очень красиво» “You look very beautiful.” A few variations of this could type of compliment are «Ты выглядишь прекрасно» “You look lovely” or «Ты выглядишь хорошо» “You look well.”

A few years ago, my father’s friend moved into a new home and decided to invite my family and a few other friends for a housewarming party празднование новоселья. When my parents arrived, there were many guests with whom my parents were not acquainted. In particular, my parents noticed a couple with a few small children and decided to introduce themselves. After my family met the couple, they looked at the beautiful children and said «У вас очень очаровательные дети!» “You have very lovely children”. The lady began laughing and said «Это не мои дети. Это мои внуки!» “They are not my children. They are my grandchildren!”. My mother’s eyes seemed to dilate as she said «Удивительно! Вам не дашь ваших лет!» “Amazing! You don’t look your age!”. The lady began lecturing my mother about her extremely healthy lifestyle while I stood smiling and thinking to myself «Какая ложь! У нее просто хорошие гены.» “What a lie! She just has good genes.”

The phrase Olga's mother used to mean “You don't look your age” may seem confusing at first glance. Why are there ты forms and вы forms in the same sentence? It turns out that ты has two uses, just like English “you.” It can mean either the person you are talking to, or it can mean a generic “you,” like in the sentence “No matter where you are in Seattle, within fifty feet you'll find an espresso stand.” The “you” there doesn't really have a specific person in mind in that sentence; rather it catches the idea that anyone in that situation would find espresso easily. Similarly in «Вам не дашь ваших лет», the ты form of the verb catches that generic use of “you,” while the вам and the ваших are actually taking about the young-appearing woman. Thus the sentence in effect says, “No one would attribute to you your actual years.”

1 comment

Comment from: ava41 [Visitor]

Thanks for the site, glad I could stop in and read. Came over from this Woodlands Pet Sitter site

12/10/11 @ 13:44

Form is loading...