How to make your Russian "perfect"
or Introduction to Imperfect & Perfect
Жить, Прожить - live
Любить, Полюбить - love
Делать, Сделать - do, make
Говорить, Сказать - talk, speak, say.
Работать, Поработать – work
Imperfective aspect (несоверше́нный вид):
- Ятебя́ слу́шаю. – I’m listening to you.
(present tense, ongoing action)
- Яразгова́ривалапотелефо́ну, когда́ онпришёл. – I was talking on the phone when he arrived.
(I was talking – ongoing, unfinished action)
- Яходи́лавмагази́н. – I went to the store.
(habitually repeated action, and we don’t know the result)
- Фильмдли́лся 2 часа́. – The movie lasted 2 hours.
(specifying a length of time)
- Она́ не́рвничала. – She was nervous.
(the state, no action)
- Янечита́лаэ́тукни́гу. – I didn’t read this book.
(something didn’t happen)
- Ячита́лаэ́тукни́гу. – I have read this book.
(but you don’t know what I think about it – the result is unknown)
- Онхоте́лчто-тосказа́ть, нопереду́мал. – He wanted to say something but changed his mind.
(he wanted – the actions was undone)
Perfective aspect (соверше́нный вид):
- Онсъе́здилвИта́лию. – He has been to Italy.
(and now he isn’t there, completed action)
- Она́ пошла́ подела́м. – She has gone on business.
(She is gone, she is not here – completed action)
To sum up, perfective aspect is completed action or that will finished soon (if we talk about future), while imperfective aspect is for ongoing action. So don’t get confused when you want to express it, remember practice is the biggest friend of Russian grammar.
Wishing you good luck and see you at LAE language school in Kiev!
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