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  5. "My brother has been working …

"My brother has been working for fourteen hours already."

Translation:Мой брат работает уже четырнадцать часов.

November 3, 2015



Any reason why уже can't come before the verb работает?


It is a lot less natural, though not unheard of. After all, it does not make any sense to have it there: the "already" part refers to the duration rather than the fact of working ("My brother is working already" is totally different in meaning).


"sense" is ever a strange concept when it comes to language :) "My brother has already been working for fourteen hours" is completely natural, probably a good deal more common than the suggested translation (which has a certain emphatic connotation)

Would "уже" be more natural before the verb in a sentence with a concluded rather than ongoing duration: "Мой брат уже работал четырнадцать часов сегодня"?


Работал 14 часов usually refers to an action in the past. I can imagine your sentence as a complaint, though a weird one ("he worked his 14 hours already—he won't work another 14"). Other than that, "уже" does not work in such sentence.

Also, сегодня would rather come right after мой брат or maybe in the beginning of the sentence. Admittedly, in spoken language adverbs often lag behind, especially if the sentence is long and unplanned.

The "sense" I refer to is the specifics of placing уже , только, очень or other such adverbs in Russian. They modify a certain part of the sentence and are usually placed accordingly (i.e. before that part). Только, for instance, in an adverb with a rather varied distribution: like in English, it can attach to verbs, nouns, prepositional phrases, other adverbs, adjectives, pronouns and numbers. Unlike in English, the following does not work in Russian:

  • I only started working here recently.

In Russian this particular word order would suggest a pretty odd interpretation of "The only thing I did was starting working here recently", which seems a mess (so you'd probably be undestood in the end). In English, though, this placement of "only" is extremely common. The listener should use their common sense to deduce the suitable interpretation ("only recently", "only started", "only here", or " only working").

Let's take one more Russian sentence. What do you think it means?

  • Мы начали заниматься красками уже потом.


Thanks for this exposition; I don't think I've ever come across just a detailed description of adverb placement.

Yeah, I had something like a complaint in mind with my example.

Hmm, I guess your final example is something like "We started painting then" where the "then" would ordinarily be referring to "after the previous event in a sequence"? Admittedly, I don't exactly understand the role "уже" is playing.


I had the уже at the end of the sentence. Is this also unnatural? To me, if it's after the amount of time, it seems to be referring to the amount of time too.


"Мой брат уже работает четырнадцать часов" why it was not accepted?


It seems like it should be accepted because it is emphasizing working 14 hrs not jusr the 14 hrs itself. It would be more in line with how we have been doing it in the course. Duo should accept both answers.


English translation confuses me: "My bro is working for fourteen hours already." (and still continues to do so)
"My bro has already been working for fourteen hours" (and whatever he's doing now, it isn't working)

I am born (now) I have been born (then)

I am here (now) I have been here (then) Я здесь Я был тут.

Any thoughts?

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