"I can read and write."

Translation:Я умею читать и писать.

3 years ago

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dakota_Potts

Is there a difference in connotation between "я могу" and "я умею?" and if so, where would each case make more sense?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JustAnotherNick

There was a more elaborated answer in another lesson. It can be boiled down to:

я умею -> to know how to do something (thus being used with skills most likely)

я могу -> to be physically able to do something (e.g."I cannot call the police because I'm all tied up")

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustineLim

But surely it is not wrong to say, for instance, "Я могу немного говорить по русский"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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It is not completely off here, especially in a context of discussing what you are capable of, provided you have to. Note that могу when used with abilities still has that real feel of saying what you can do in a hypothetical real-life circumstances. Уметь, howeverm describes a skill regardless of whether you plan on using it (e.g. I can write Japanese kanji however I am rather busy, so I am not going to study Japanese any time soon).

However, normally you would just say you "know" the language or "speak" it. In Russian, unlike English, "know" is more popular while "speak" is ambiguous and may just mean what it says literally (i.e. you are able to talk using said language). Thus, "I can speak X" is rarely ever used (why would anyone say "I am capabale of talking in Russian")?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustineLim

If I appear to sound as if I am challenging the advice given by you and the rest of the very helpful native Russian speakers then I must apologise unreservedly. You see, I only ask because with other app, such as Memrise, I have recently burnt into my brain the phrase "Я могу немного говорить по-русски" as the translation. I learnt from Memrise that "Я могу" simply means "I can". I hope to learn the more nuanced context-based variations of each Russian word I come across in due course. But right now, I am just drilling in as much words as I my poor brain can cope per week. My aim was to learn 2000 Russian words in four months. I have achieved my first month goal somewhat from Memrise. As of the end of January 2016 I have just managed to learn the superficial meanings in excess of 500 words already (not including the words I learnt in Duolingo), but I see I am far from mastering the variations of each words in different context. For instance, нужно and надо both are translated by Memrise as "it is necessary", but I have yet to learn which one follows which declensions thus far. I only know it's "мне нужно" not "я нужно" and so on and so forth... They say most people gave up their New Year resolution of learning a new language by the end of January, I am really trying to make sure I break this convention as I really hope to be able to converse basic and largely correct sentences with a native Russian speaker by summer (June, Juy) this year...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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Wow. That's an ambitious goal. But I think it is rather manageable if you have good resources and sample sentences. Fortunately, these are easy to find for Russian. As for words... well, I have a learner's dictionary which not only has B1+ vocabulary but also includes synonyms/antonyms, sample sentences and examples of typical use.

As for надо/нужно, both are used with infinitives, with the person in Dative (if the person is mentioned at all). Надо is considered a bit informal, though it is up to question whether there is any logical reason for that (given that надо is easily found in academic papers):

  • Мне на́до/ну́жно бо́льше рабо́тать. = I need to work more
  • Не ну́жно/на́до спеши́ть. = No need to hurry (here, the person to whom this applies is not specified)
  • Надо/Нужно подожда́ть = It is necessary to wait ("Need to wait"; stylistically speaking it is the same as the previous example, i.e. not overtly formal).
  • Не надо больше так делать. = "Do not do something like that again, in the future" ("не надо" can be used as, effectively, a recommendation to not do something).

Ну́жен, нужна́, ну́жно, нужны́ are also used with NOUNS:

  • Тебе́ ну́жен учи́тель. = You need a teacher. (masculine)
  • Тебе́ нужны́ учителя́. = You need teachers (plural)
  • Мне нужна́ вода́. = I need water (feminine)
  • Нам ну́жно то́пливо. = We need fuel (топливо is neuter)

Надо is used with nouns in some restricted grammatical context (it does not have gendered forms, so this use is problematic). This is more advanced stuff. Do not try this at home.

  • Не надо паники. = No need to panic ("No panic is necessary")
  • Нам надо больше топлива. = We need more fuel.
  • ??? Нам надо воды. = We need some water. (a bit clumsy; I am not sure I would use it)
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustineLim

Should be "по-русски", I think. Sorry...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JustAnotherNick

Actually this should be the same case where умею has to be preferred over могу. Being able to speak a language is a skill, thus we use умею.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustineLim

Yes, I have been drilling myself with other free apps on my tablet, and one of them that taught me "Basic Russian phrases" gave "Я могу немного говорить по-русски" as the stock phrases that I have successfully drilled into my brain for the past few weeks. The app is called Memrise...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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Memrise's Basic Russian has its share of funny phrases. Nothing really bad there, but a few sentences are weird.

My personal favourite is «Мне бы хотелось чая, пожалуйста» (~"I would please want some tea). It sounds just about right, similar to a real Russian sentence, if only fairly roundabout. However, «пожалуйста» in Russian is associated with requests; saying that you want tea is not a request. You would not say "I currently live in Australia, please" in English — similarly, "I would like tea, please" does not have any "please" in Russian ("please" requires you to actually ask for something).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bkofman
Bkofman
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If you're going to memorize a phrase for that occasion, why not just "Я немного говорю по-русски." (If you're just answering the question, "Вы говорите по-русски?", a simple "Немного." will do.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/edyapd
edyapd
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"Я могу немного говорить по-русски" - вполне нормальная фраза. Так же можно сказать "Я немного говорю по-русски."

И на вопрос: "Как хорошо вы знаете русский?", можно дать ответ: "Я могу поддержать простой разговор".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slycelote
slycelote
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Умею is used with skills. If you can replace "can" with "know how to", it's translated as умею.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ColinRG
ColinRG
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Why is it wrong if I omit "Я"? By conjugating мочь correctly, the system should assume I'm intentionally omitting the Я...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elsantodel90
elsantodel90
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Unlike Spanish, which omits the subject when it is only a pronoun very, very often, in Russian it is only done at very specific sentences, in set expressions or informal speech. That is what I have been told at least.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bkofman
Bkofman
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"The system" can, but most of the time you'll be speaking Russian to people, not systems :) Seriously, though, personal pronouns can be omitted in certain contexts, but in general, they are not. Very different from Spanish, as elsantodel90 pointed out. In this case, you could omit "Я" if, for example, you were answering the question, "What are you skills?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Espanito
Espanito
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Where can I find conjugations of Russian verbs; i have looked on the internet but did not find a site that could help me. Can you please help? And I do not have a Russian keyboard.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ColinRG
ColinRG
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Russian Cooljugator is my favorite.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Espanito
Espanito
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Hi Colin, thank you very much. I have looked at it just now and I think this is exactly what I need. You have earned a lingot!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sagie
Sagie
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"Open Russian" (http://en.openrussian.org) is an excellent source of information, providing for input words their translation, usage example, partner verbs (if applicable) and conjugation/declension tables.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diogogomez

Great link, Sagie. Thank you, have a lingot.

Espanito, Cooljugator is an excellent tool, but unfortunately it gets out of work often. When it's not working, I use en.bla.ba ( http://en.bab.la/conjugation/russian/ ), but I have to look for the infinitive form first using another tool ( http://starling.rinet.ru/morph.htm )

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FBB17
FBB17
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What about "мне можно читать и писать"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ColinRG
ColinRG
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That would translate closer to something like, "I am allowed to read and write." It's a little strange, but given the correct context, you could say it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daughterofAlbion
daughterofAlbion
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Wouldn't я могу читать и писать be better here? Without context, the English sentence does not distinguish between being literate (hypothetically able to read and write) and being physically able to do so (not disabled, in the dark etc.)

As I understand it, Умею refers to the skill set, могу to whether doing something is actually possible.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwenci
Gwenci
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"Я могу читать и писать" is possible, but I don’t think it’s better. After all, Duolingo sentences lack any context, so the most probable interpretation is the most valid one. "I can read in the dark" surely could (and would) be translated as "Я могу читать в темноте."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daughterofAlbion
daughterofAlbion
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To be honest, it was the disability context that primarily occurred to me - "my arm is in plaster and my spectacles were broken in the attack, but I can still read and write. I will therefore be giving a statement to the police."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gwenci
Gwenci
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Ah, yes, in this case "I can" also = могу.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/standa1956
standa1956
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Could it be: я знаю читать и писать? я знаю and я уьею are synonyms according to many dictionaries

Stanislav

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius
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No, it doesn't work even grammatically. You could say something like «я знаю, как читать и писать», but that refers to some abstract or technical knowledge of how reading and writing work and doesn't mean you can read and write.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CsabaSndor
CsabaSndor
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I can't find "ч" - this must be a combination of two characters. Any tips?

My keyboard is like: я ш е р т

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danibozzi97
danibozzi97
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It's approximately in the middle of the keyboard. Have you tried pressing all the Keys?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CsabaSndor
CsabaSndor
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Accidentally I found out, I need to press "c" then "h" and then it's displaying "ч" :) Thank you though!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jary01
Jary01
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Я знаю читать и писать. Why not?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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It makes no sense in Russian. Знать means to have some knowledge or to be familiar with something/someone. This verb does not combine with infinitives—it only works with nouns and clauses.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bkofman
Bkofman
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See Norrius' post 3 months ago.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pye20
pye20
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Знание ‧ knowledge
Я знаю читать ‧ ( for humanity ) I command the knowledge of how to: ( read, recite, lecture, teach, tell, say, preach, deliver, interpret, decipher, discern )

Писание ‧ writing ‧ | ‧ Рисование ‧ drawing
Я знаю писать ‧ ( for humanity ) I command the knowledge of how to: ( paint the picture in words, put meaning into words, convert knowledge into written script, write )

19 hours ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dusics95
dusics95Plus
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Can't the Я be omitted??

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
Shady_arc
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In a concise listing of your skills in a resumé, maybe.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bkofman
Bkofman
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See the same question by ColinRG above.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElinaMller

again just one answer right which is not true....please get that sorted as it is frustrating

2 years ago
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