QUICK GUIDE TO COMMON VERBS
I've just made this because I get easily confused with some common verbs and its conjugations.
For full conjugations, see link on the bottom.
If it seems usefull for you, use it at your own risk. I hope this is all correct. I'm not a native Russian or English speaker. If you see something wrong, please let me know.
To mean, to know, to understand, to think
«Значить» = “to mean”.
- «Что это значит?» = “what does this mean?”
«Знать» = “to know”.
- «Да, я знаю.» = “Yes, I know.”
«Понять» = “to understand”.
- «Я понимаю.» = “I understand.”
«Думать» = “to think”.
- «Да, я думаю.» = “Yes, I think.”
Я живу ≠ Я вижу
«Жить» = “to live”.
- «Я живу…» = “I live…”
«Видеть» = “to see”.
- «Я вижу…» = “I see…”
Они идут ≠ Они едят
«Идти» = “to go”.
- «Я иду. Она идет. Они идут.» = “I go. She goes. They go.”
«Есть» = “to eat”.
- «Я ем. Они едят.» = “I eat. They eat.”
«Хотеть» = “to want”.
- «Я хочу рисовать.» = “I want to paint.”
«Делать» = “to do/make”.
- «Что он делает?» = “what is he doing?”
This works, too. However, "думаю" in the 1st person singular and in the 2nd person allows quite a bit of leeway in speech:
- Думаю, ты их знаешь.
- Я думаю, ты их знаешь.
- Я думаю, что ты их знаешь.
- Думаю, что ты их знаешь.
But be careful, since simply omitting "что" does not seem to work for a negative sentence.
"Я не думаю, ты их знаешь." seems not to work, as I have been instructed in comments regarding another sentence that "что" is necessary in the negative for the sentence not to sound really awkward: "Я не думаю, что ты их знаешь."
I'm really confused, I thought it would be, "I think they know you." What would that be then?
That would be «Я думаю, они тебя знают». You can also use «Я думаю, они знают тебя» but I feel that for pronoun objects being just before the verb is a bit more common and natural (we usually allow both).
Oh, OK, so I was just having a moment where I couldn't grasp the difference between они and их. Wow. I'm embarrassed. Anyways thanks so much for your post, and your work on this course.
Same reason. Commas usually separate clauses unless there is some magic. For example, in a sentence like "In our city, dogs live and cats die" you cannot really treat dogs live and cats die as separate clauses because both "sentences" share "in our city".
At least, that's how Russian punctuation conventions work.
Somewhat. It sounds as if someone is reading a sentence from a piece of paper rather than saying it in a conversation (which is what Text-to-Speech voices generally sound anyway).
The computer voice pauses on the comma after "Я думаю" in this sentence -- you wouldn't say "I think (pause) you know them" in english, or put a comma after "I think."
In English, the comma is not necessary after think. Man, I need to dig out my grammar books now to see if I'm correct.
In Russian, commas are placed to logically separate parts of phrases and usually express by pauses (more or less remarkable) in speech
It's not necessary, but often it helps readers to put them in appropriate places. IMO, English speakers could use punctuation more carefully - or use a "that" as I did in this sentence. Duo accepted "I think that you know them" 20 May 2018
Can the second part be a different word order like "Я думаю, их ты знаешь" or would that be a different meaning?
It can be. Of course, it means a different thing (namely, of all other people, THEY are the ones you know for sure)
сказать* - because мочь (я могу...) requires infinitive form ;)
But yes, you can. It just puts more emphasis on их. (See also the comments above)
So the object pronoun in Russian tends to be moved before the verb, just like in French (e.g. Je l'aime)?
There is a thread on this somewhere...not a clue atm. If the object is a pronoun it is more common before the verb, if it is a noun it is after.
It is just that
- pronoun objects are commonly used before verbs while noun objects less so, at least not without it seeming emphatic ("Мы их купили" vs. "Мы стулья купили")
- pronouns are generally short and often carry only a weak stress, so they get moved around for maintaining the rhythm. The placement of nouns usually means something.
знать seems to function the same in Russian as in English: you can know facts and you can know people using the same verb.
In Romance languages like French and Italian, those take separate verbs, e.g., savoir/connaître, sapere/conoscere