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  5. "Ты уже видел новую больницу?"

"Ты уже видел новую больницу?"

Translation:Did you already see the new hospital?

November 21, 2015



I would have translated this sentence with "have you already seen ..." instead of "did you ..."


Indeed. The 'did you' sounds strange here in England at least.


They both sound fine to me.


"Have you already seen..." is British English, but I believe this use of "Did" is standard American English.


I have deduced why the given translation sounds odd to my British ears: 'have you seen' would be used for something which is still there, whilst 'did you see' for something transient, thus 'have you seen the new hospital?' [it is still there] and 'did you see the doctor in the green suit going in?'


No, it's not really to do with transience or permanence. It's that we tend to use the present perfect to talk about past events that have a consequence on the present. 'Did you see the new hospital?' is perfectly grammatical, but describes a completed action in the past. 'Already' places this event in a continuing timespan (today, this year, your life...)


Same - should be in present perfect!


This sounds like a threat :-)


Why is the imperfective used in this sentence?


To use perfective you have to complete a goal of seeing a new hospital, which is a bit strange, by the way. Though, you may be a villager visiting a city specifically to look at a new modern hospital. Your wife is calling and ask you "ты уже увидел новую больницу?".
Using imperfective "видел" you ask if a person has seen a new hospital, without implying that he had a goal to do so. He may has seen it once or many times, you do not imply a specific complete action of seeing the hospital.


Ohh ok, I get it. I was confused because it seemed like by saying "have you already seen it" it was implying only one time (the first time you have seen it).


The pair of verbs видел/увидел is a bit confusing. If we take, for example, the pair читал/прочитал (read), прочитал means that you finished reading a book. Compare two phrases:
Я увидел всё, что хотел. I wanted to see something, and I finished (or have finished) my goal to see it.
Я видел всё, что хотел. I was able to see anything the moment I wanted to see it. I don't know, maybe through a magic mirror in some fairy tale. :)

Sometimes, perfective and imperfective can be used interchangeably. "Я увидел/видел достаточно" may both mean that you have seen enough to come up with some decision.


Why the words for "hotel" and "hospital" are not similar to "hotel" and "hospital", as it happens with most of European languages, as far as I've seen? It's surprising considering Russian seems to have so many "borrrowed" words (матч, футбол, баскетбол, кёрлинг, покер, блэкджек, теннис, журнал, магазин, газета, касино, билет, бутерброд, газ...)


We also have words "отель" and "госпиталь" but we use these words a little less often, especially the second one.

  • гости́ница is from гость (a guest)
  • больни́ца is from боль (pain)


I've always been curious about the word гость because it's similar to "guest". Are they related or it's purely a coincidence?

[deactivated user]

    Words оте́ль and го́спиталь also exist in Russian. Оте́ль means pretty much the same thing as гости́ница, but it's probably less commonly used. Го́спиталь usually means a military hospital, so you can't call any hospital this way.


    "Have you seen the new hospital yet?" is the correct general question in English. We would only ask "Have you already seen the new hospital?" if we think you have seen it, and are a little surprised that you were so quick.


    It sounded to me more like "увидел", is that also appropriate?


    How would "do you already see the new hospital?" be different in Russian?

    And before someone says "that's not correct English", I'll provide a scenario: someone is giving directions to a location just beyond the hospital over the phone.

    [deactivated user]

      That would be «Ты уже́ ви́дишь но́вую больни́цу?»


      Ahhhh thank you. I still haven't got my head around those verb declensions and tenses yet, embarrassingly.


      'Have you seen the new hospital before?'


      The correct English should be Did you see already the new hospital. Already here creates a split infinitive and is not in the correct position in the sentence.

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