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Posted: 2006-05-15, 20:52
by nettchelobek1
What's the difference between the verb знать and узнать? :?

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:01
by Nukalurk
- знать (imperfect): know, be aware (of)
- узнать (perfect): know (again), recognize, learn
- узнавать (imperfect): know (again), recognize, learn

It has to do with the aspects of verbs. Adding a prefix like "у-" to an imperfect verb, in this case "знать", turns it into a perfect verb.

Adding certain suffixes to the perfect verb will make it imperfect. The imperfect verb of "узнать" is "узнавать".

Aspect partners have in most cases (nearly) the same meaning but they are not interchangeable, e. g. perfect verbs don't have a present tense (though in colloquial speech they can also be used for expressing present tense). But be aware that prefixes alter the meaning of the verbs.

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:13
by nettchelobek1
Yeah, I though that, but what about познать, isn't it the perfect of знать?, Can you use both "perfectives" in the same contexts and meaning?

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:21
by Nukalurk
It's another perfect verb meaning "perceive, come/get to know", and its imperfect form is "познавать".

You should get acquainted with the prefix system. :)

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:38
by nettchelobek1
Well, it's just that my dictionary is sometimes ambiguous and in cases like this, it doesn't show clearly the difference, I also have a book called: строение русского слова and there stated that the the word узнать comes from the verb знать, and that makes a little difference, but never states that it's another verb, therefore I didn't grasp the difference. :?

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:41
by Nukalurk is a very good helper, and for declinations and such I use (Character encoding: Cyrillic (Windows-1251); note that you cannot enter ё in the search field). :D

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:47
by nettchelobek1
Vielen Dank. :D Wo findest du alle diese wunderbare Seiten?

Posted: 2006-05-15, 21:51
by Nukalurk
I find useful pages by either stumbling over them accidentally or by being told by others. In this case a friend had shown them to me a couple of months ago, and I use both since then and am very happy with them. :)

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:00
by nettchelobek1
That's great. By the way, what's the difference in pronunciation between the letter u and ŭ, I found just a little difference. :?

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:05
by Nukalurk
I suppose you mean "и" and "й" which happen to look like и and й in italic letters.

"и" [ i] is like the German "i" and "й" [j] like the German "j".

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:11
by nettchelobek1
No, sorry, I didn't make good the question, I refered to Esperanto u and ŭ :)

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:26
by Nukalurk
Well, then this is the wrong forum section. :P

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:28
by Zorba
Just to add to what others have told you already...

As you know, verbs in Russian are of two aspects, perfective and imperfective, and the addition of a prefix often makes them imperfective.

One of the mistakes that I made when I started out was presuming that every verb in English would have both an imperfective and perfective form in Russian too. This isn't always the case. For example, "to know" in English always has an imperfective meaning, you can't suddenly "know" something, you will "find out" something (узнать), realise (понять) or recognise (признать) it. (Of these, the first two are most common)

Other common examples of this which spring to mind are искать/найти (to look for / to find), сдавать/сдать экзамен (to take / pass an exam), ловить/поймать (to try to catch, to fish / to catch), работать / заработать (to work / earn)

You can then often make a new imperfective from the prefixed verb. So работать = to work (impf), заработать = to earn (pf.) and зарабатывать = to earn (impf.)

говорить = to speak, talk; уговорить = to persuade (impf.), уговарывать = to persuade (impf.)

In many cases, of course, the prefix doesn't affect the translation, it rather denotes the start of an action or the duration of the action.

Мы тут простояли около 40 минут (My god - we were there for 40 whole minutes!)
Мы тут постояли около 40 минут (We were only there for 40 minutes or so)

Всю ночь собака выла и выла (The dog howled and howled all night)

Услышав шаги, собака завыла. (On hearing the footsteps, the dog started howling.)

The aspect system is one of the most difficult things to master in Russian (a bit like phrasal verbs in English), but it's always something which makes the language special - it allows economising on words and introduces nuances that would normally expressed with additional words.

If you're confused about prefixes, it's often best to look in a specialist verb dictionary or grammar (i like Derek Offord)... or ask on here.

Espero que lo que he escribido te ayuda.

NOW, the (wo)man who can help me with the Latvian verbal system will be truly deserving of a Guinness.

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:41
by nettchelobek1
Well, thank you very much Zorba, this explanation enlightened me a lot. Just one thing, better improve your Castilian. :D

Espero que lo que he escrito te ayude.

Posted: 2006-05-15, 22:47
by Zorba
Oi, sabes, en el pasado, hablaba muy bien en castellano pero mis estudios de ruso han destruido mi castellano!

I couldn't remember if "esperar que" was followed by the subjunctive or not (and guessed wrong), but my mistake with the past participle "escribido" for "escrito" just makes me cringe. :{

Posted: 2006-05-15, 23:02
by nettchelobek1
Don't worry, you can practice your Castilian with us in the spanish forum, just take a look of it and if you like something just post whatever! :D Btw, Where are you from? Where did you study Castilian?