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  5. "Мой брат всегда умел готовит…

"Мой брат всегда умел готовить."

Translation:My brother has always known how to cook.

November 21, 2015



He knew how to cook borscht as soon as he jumped out of his mother's womb? That's impressive.


This points out an interesting question about уметь - being able to in the sense of knowing how to is not the same thing as being physically able to do something. All evidence aside, it could be that all babies know how to cook from conception, even in the womb, but are not physically able to for obvious reasons.


A child prodigy, clearly.


Would the Russian be different for "My brother has always known how to cook" ?


That's the translation given here. Did you mean to write something else?


Yes. Sorry. I think my question was about "My brother always knew how to cook."


It translates as the same (and is also an accepted answer).


Why is умел used and not знал, for the past tense of know?


Знать, как готовить means you understand the theory of cooking, but it doesn't mean you actually "know how" to cook - that you have to crack the egg before you put it on the skillet for instance. But уметь готовить means you know to turn the stove on and when to take the egg off so you don't burn your omelette >_>.


But does уметь also mean being physically able to do so?
Stephen Hawking, for instance, could both know the theory of and the practical principles of cooking - but he couldn't actually do the cooking.

So, does уметь signify not simply knowing the things that need to be done - knowing how to do something - but also being physically able or capable of doing them?


почему нельзя 'my brother always can cook' ?

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