Совместная жизнь (вступить, заключить, состоять)

by Don  

The most neutral of all the the marriage phrases is вступать/вступить в брак which means to enter into marriage, to get married. By “neutral” I mean that the subject of the verb can be a man or a woman, and the context can be religious or non-religious:

Она вступила в брак с однокурсником.She got married to a classmate.
Почему люди вступают в брак?Why do people get married?
Скоро мы вступим в брак. Для нас это — самый счастливый день в жизни.Soon we will get married. For us it will be the happiest day of our lives.
Вступить в брак по любви — невозможно!It's impossible to marry just because of love!

(BTW, if you want to read an article that seriously makes that last claim, you can find it here.)

The phrase заключать/закючить брак “to contract a marriage, get married” means about the same thing as the вступать/вступить в брак, but I've noticed that it seems to be particularly used in contexts where the legal complications of marriage are involved or where the legal implications of marriage are involved:

Я еду в США по туристической визе, на лето, и могу захотеть заключить брак со своим женихом-американцем.I'm going to the USA for the summer on a tourist visa, and I might want to get married to my American fiancé.
Борис Березовский заключил третий брак с уроженкой Латвии Анникой Анквериной, не расторгнув два предыдущих. (source)Boris Berezovski has contracted a third marriage with Annika Ankverina, a native of Latvia, not having dissolved the previous two.*
Сегодня все больше пар заключают брак без интима… По утверждению Спарр никто и не догадывался о том, что скандально известная Мадонна и обаятельный Гай Ричи уже полтора года обходятся без секса. (source)Now more and more couples are contracting marriage without physical intimacy… According to [Pam] Sparr, nobody even guessed that the scandalously famous Madonna and the affable Guy Richey had done without sex for a year and a half.
8 августа в Москве заключат брак 1678 пар.1,678 couples will marry in Moscow on August 8.

Last but not least the verb состоять “to be a member of” is often used with the word брак in offical contexts to ask «Вы раньше состояли в браке?» “Have you ever been married?”

* This is an example of what happens when we try to translate a Russian sentence too literally: it comes out strange sounding and wooden. Long Russian sentences, especially those with participial phrases or verbal adverbs, sometimes need to be broken up into two or more sentences so that they sound natural in English. A better translation would be something like: “Boris Berezovski has married Annika Ankiverina, a native of Latvia. This is his third marriage; the previous two have not been dissolved.”

1 comment

Comment from: Del [Visitor]

Great, Don! Very informative…

01/31/09 @ 17:34

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