"I put on a uniform, and you put on a sweater."
Translation:Я надеваю форму, а ты надеваешь свитер.
The point is that this is an English-to-Russian exercise, and the English sounds more like past tense, leading many people to make a "mistake". It could also be construed as present simple, but present continuous would be more natural anyway, and wouldn't lead to this confusion: "I am putting on a uniform, and you are putting on a sweater."
It's present tense English to me, but you'd just have to stress it to make sure the listener understands if there's no context.
For present tense it would be "I am putting on a uniform." or "I put on a uniform.", but Russian doesn't make this distinction for present tense, as far as I'm aware.
For past tense it would be "I had put on a uniform." or "I put on a uniform.", but I don't know enough about perfective/imperfective in Russian to say how to translate that. :)
I'm also of the opinion that this could be translated as "I don a uniform.", but I don't know if this suggestion has gotten through yet. If it were, it would also be clear that the past tense is "I donned a uniform."
The past in Russian would be Я надел(-а) форму for a one-time action, or я надевал(-а) for repeated actions, or an action in progress: Каждое утро он надевал форму 'Every morning he put on a uniform' (repetition); Она вошла, когда я надевал форму 'they came in when I was putting on a uniform' (action in progress in the past).
I put on (or don) a uniform can be present tense but only if there is more to the sentence showing some kind of additional action. I put on a uniform when I play soccer. I put on a uniform 3 times a week. I put in on cause I have to.
To show a one time action in the present we would say., I am putting on a uniform (now). I'm putting on the uniform but it's too tight. I'm putting on a uniform, but he's putting on a sweater. Hope that's helpful, don't know how else to explain it.
Same here, I also struggle with 'и' and 'а'. I believe you use 'а' when you use 'and' in the 'versus' sense, i.e., when you contrast one part of the sentence to the other. In this kind of cases, the 'and' meaning is very close to 'but' (or so it seems to me). For instance, "I do this, and you do that" ~= "I do this but you don't, you do that, not this". Besides these cases, if it's just a concatenation ("A and B and C") we must use 'и'. Would it be correct to say "А и В и С, а не Д"?
As Russian, I am baffled too why "a" is translated as "and" and not as "but" :) They way i figured if it is actually ",and" then it means "but" as in "a". As correctly stated "a" is used for contrast; "и" is used for concatenation. You should be able to replace "и"\"and" with coma "," without loosing\changing meaning of the sentence. If not - then it is "a"\"but"
Is it Ok to say "Я надеваю форму, а ты свитер."? In German you can drop the second verb even though it is declined differently than the first one. I think it is even OK in formal speech but I'm 100 % sure for informal. I guess in English you could drop it, too, since it is the same word: I [put on], you [put on], but I'm not sure. How about in Russian?
In colloquial Russian, «одева́ть» can be used to mean both things. However, many people would insist this is incorrect.
I am also struggling to understand why и is incorrect here. The English sentence is "I put on a uniform, AND you put on a sweater." It is not clear that they are contrasting. The scenario doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless someone is getting dressed for a game, and he is telling the other person to dress warmly since he will be outside.