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  5. "Что вы записываете?"

"Что вы записываете?"

Translation:What are you writing down?

November 21, 2015



I thought adding the prefix за makes it future?....


Caveat; not a native speaker. Hopefully one will come along and clarify or correct anything I get wrong.

The regular imperfective of to write is писать. The usual perfective is написать. However, you can use different prefixes to express different nuances. In this case, записать. But what if you want to use that meaning as an imperfective? писать won't work, and записать has to be perfective. So then a new imperfective needs to be formed from the new perfective verb, and that's what записывать is.

If it was perfective future it would be запишете.



flootzavut is correct. That was a good piece of advice.

Nuance or a slightly different meaning is what prefixes are often used for. For example, "записать" means to record or to write down. You write all kind of stuff for different reasons, but when you record (when you note it down), you do it to "store" the information—be it someone's words, a note to buy eggs and milk or audio of an actor's voice).

Now, since "to record" might be an action performed repeatedly or as a prolonged process, you would ideally want an imperfective verb for it. How inconvenient would it be if we made up thousands of new shiny verbs but could not use them half of the time! Thankfully, Russian often forms a secondary imperfective using some suffix. -Ива/-ыва is a very frequent and productive one (for example, E-conjugation verbs behaving like читать use it very easily).

  • 1594

Given this, why isn't the 'canonical' translation: "What are you writing down?" instead of simply "What are you writing?". Seems like the nuance is glossed over otherwise.


I don't know. It seems odd that the main translation has neither "write down" nor "record". It might as well be a bug because I sure remember editing this sentence.

  • 1594

Thank you. Came across a multiple choice version that has 'write down'.


This is confusing for me. I can't think of any real scenario where someone writes something if thwy don't want to record or store that information.

Is писать only valid if you are waiting at the bus stop, you are bored and you decide to write something silly on the marquee?

Or if you are bored in class and you write "I am bored in class" in a piece of paper for no reason?

What verb should I use if I am writing a letter to my lover? And if I am writing financial records for an archive?


I am writing a book, not writing down a book. I am writing down the grocery list, not writing a grocery list. There are nuances.


I think Записываете is a more formal way of saying, "To write." Though not too sure myself.


No no it means write down not write there is differance


However, native speakers will often only say "write" instead of "write down", but mean "write down."


Native speakers usually know less about the grammar of their own language than ESL students.


I looked this up on dictionary.reverso.net. I think the word записываете originates from the word записать, which according to the dictionary means to write down, record, or making a recording.


Like writing what someone said/dictated/wrote somewhere else, right?


can this also mean to copy?


No. to copy would be списать (e. g. homework) or копировать (e. g. somebody's acts or behaviour, it's rarely used for notes, but you can use it to say "copy smth on printer")


Presumably not... does "write" mean "copy" in English?


how does this differ from писать

Im confused


Where in English we use a phrasal verb (to write down), Russian generally uses prefixes to show shades of meaning. Писать means to write, записывать means to write down.


You can write a poem, article, song but you can write down lesson notes, to do list for the day, your mom's market list for the day.


Why use записываете and not пишите?


Why not пишешь???


Firstly, пишешь goes with ты - вы пишешь would be wrong. Secondly, this is specifically "write down"; in English we use a phrasal verb, but in Russian the same nuances of meaning are usually expressed using prefixes.


"jotting down" should be accepted


Is "taking down" correct here?


Я записываю всё русские слова, которые я ещё не знаю. :)


Pisat' = write as in writing a book, article, story, poem etc. Zapisyvaet' = write down as in writing down notes, ideas, a recipe being told to you?


Could someone tell me what the infinitive of записываете is? Thank you ^_^


Записывать. It is a regular -ать verb, like читать.

Actually, this is true of all secondary imperfectives formed with -ывать/-ивать (the derivation is basically писать "write", imp. → записать "record", perf. → записывать "record", imp.), which makes читать-like verbs the most common class.


Is there a way to see the grammar notes on the mobile version of Duolingo? I've been missing them all.


I tried "document" since it suggested record, not accepted.


Document would be задокументировать. But it's rarely used


This word doesn't sound as it looks, specifically the end part!


When languages are spoken at normal speed they often sound different frrom the written form. In English, "Do you want to go?" often sounds more like "Dyawannago?" This is not a matter of ignorance, it is just how people talk. Part of learning a language is tuning your mind and ears so you can recognize a spoken word in context even if it sounds a bit (or a lot) different from its written form.


Oh no. The words just got longer. Now there's a difference between the shorter and sweeter "write" and "writing down" (вгдьпкшщххрвкаыцкитдхюьгнаапнидхзнеуцйф).


Had to put 'What are you smoking?' Could not resist

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