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  5. "The writer sat in the armcha…

"The writer sat in the armchair and started writing."

Translation:Писатель сел в кресло и начал писать.

November 26, 2015



Why not в кресле instead, please?


Сесть, being perfective, is actually better translated as "to sit down," so there definitely is an implication of movement here which calls for accusative rather than prepositional :-)


If that's the case then the recommended translation is poor. The English sentence clearly has the sense of location rather than motion. It should probably be changed to "sat down into" or similar.

  • 1093

I agree that it's subtle but I think the fact that he "begins to write" shows that it's a change of state and not a description of what he's currently doing. Of course you might argue that he might have been sitting in the chair for a while and then suddenly started writing but without further clues that seems an unlikely scenario. I'm not a native English speaker but wouldn't you rather use the past progressive in this case? "He was sitting in the chair and started writing" for instance.


All clear now - many thanks.


Wouldn't you say "sat down" instead of only "sat" in English?


Yes you would. That should be reported since simply saying "he sat in the armchair" implies he'd already been there for a while when we started talking about him.


Four years later, still no 'down'!


feminine gender should be accepted. reported.


Sure, but...писатель is (grammatically) only a masculine word. If you want to use the feminine form of the verb you would also need to use the feminine form of писатель, which is писательница. I'm not sure how common that word is.


Agree, there is no indication about the gender of the writer


So they still haven't fixed accepting feminine endings even though this was reported as early as 2016? come on Duolingo!


Could написать be used here? If yes, what would be the difference in meaning? Having a hard time still with the perfective / imperfective thing.


Perfective verbs describe a single moment in time and have no duration, so you can't "start" doing a perfective verb's action. (nor can you resume it, prolong it, end it, etc)

The imperfective is used here because you're describing the actual process of writing, without a goal specified, and that's exactly what imperfective verbs are for. If the sentence was, say, "I sat in the armchair and wrote down my statement." then you would use perfective because the relevant bit of information is the statement having been written down: «Я сел в кресло и написал заявление.»


Is сел and посидел the same thing?


No. I'd say посидел is about process in the past, as "had been sitting for a while", meaning that now he is not sitting anymore.


Is there a difference between писатель сел and писатель садился?

  • 1368

Садился can be used to:
- describe that something happened during that action:
Он вспомнил о ней, когда садился в кресло - He remembered her when he was sitting down into the armchair.
- describe a repeated action:
Каждое утро пока все спали, он садился в кресло и начинал писать - Every morning while everybody were asleep he sat down into the armchair and started writing.


Why is wrong "на" instead "в"?

  • 1368

That's just how we say it
Садиться в кресло
Садиться на стул / диван / кровать
Садиться за стол


But then again you say "я сажусь НА кресло". right? At least in this video it says so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA21DAwN2pc (0:22)


If I may chip in here: In the video, she is not sitting in the armchair with her back touching the back of the chair, but she's only sitting on the edge. That could be the reason for her using "на".


Because "на"-on (surface), "в"- in (inside). Sat on the armrest, sat in the armchair

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