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  5. "Дети сейчас моют ложки."

"Дети сейчас моют ложки."

Translation:The kids are now washing spoons.

November 27, 2015



so how do I differentiate between мыть and помыть?


For present tense, it's really easy: There is no present tense for perfective aspects of Russian verbs. мыть is imperfective, помыть is perfective, so you can only use мыть here. You literally cannot use помыть to translate this sentence. As explained in http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/verbs_aspect.php
Imperfective - Incomplete, ongoing, habitual, reversed or repeated actions
Perfective - Actions completed successfully.

When you're talking about present tense, activities have to be on-going. It doesn't make sense to talk about something going on at the present moment which has been completed and thus is not going on at the present moment.


This doesn't explain why we use помыть with eg нам надо, at all. So why is the по there?


По is a prefix. This time, помыть (or вымыть) is a perfective counterpart of мыть. It means a single action finished at some point in time. You use these to express finished actions in the past or the future and also to tell stories in a sequence (i.e., when one action follows another).

Мыть, on the other hand, expresses a range of more blurry meanings like ongoing, repeated or habitual action, the name of the action or action mentioned without focusing on when exactly it happened.

English does not have this perfective/imperfective distinction in its aspectual system, so understanding the basics of it will take you some time.


BTW, English does have perfective/imperfective distinctions. They just come in different forms than Russian. For example, English may use auxiliary verbs and/or conjugation instead of prefixes. (I wash vs I am washing)


Well, нам надо помыть = we need to wash. In this case "to wash" is a whole, complete, singular action. This thing (wash) needs to be DONE. Speaking of it being done, ie completed, puts it in perfective.

If you were to say something like, we need to be washing, that would be нам надо мыть as far as I understand. As "washing" is an ongoing action, imperfective.


it's kind of like the difference between "cleaning" and "cleaning up". You can say we need to clean, just in general, or we need to clean up (which is a verb with a finish result, like помыть)


Большое спасибо


Thank you Jeffrey, that website really helped understand that. But in the website they give an example that I don't understand and would really appreciate if you could explain it to me. They say that "Говорить" is imperfective and its perfective is "Сказать". But, from this course, I got the idea that "Говорить" was "speak (a language)" or "talk" and that "Сказать" was "tell" or "say". I would be really thankful if you could clear my doubts.


Is it just me, or is the pronunciation on "моют" really butchered? It sounds more like they're saying "моэт"


The translation "The children are washing spoons at the moment". Isn't this also a viable answer?


Propably "now" and "at the moment" are too different. There is an extra translation for "at the moment" and Duolingo has to draw the line somewhere


Why wont "the kids are currently washing spoons" be accepted :(


Is the translation "the kids are washing the spoons right now" so with the added "right" an overstatement of "сейчас" or should it be allowed?


"Right now" works too. Added it.


Your sentence is a rare example of possibility to make a word-for-word translation:

  • The kids are washing the spoons right now.
  • Дети моют ложки прямо сейчас.

"right" ("прямо") just emphasizes "now"


Aren't kids and children the same in Russian?


These sentences should be allowed too:

The kids are now washing spoons The kids are washing spoons right now The kids are on their way to wash spoons

Tell/like if you agree, or comment if you want to add more, or comment if you disagree


Я слушаю "моет", может быть я слепой ахахахахаха


Children are washing spoons at the moment... What is the problem with that?

[deactivated user]

    Why not the children ate washing the spoons together now

    • 1383

    You play with washes and is washing...


    дети is plural, so the verb-forms are "wash" and "are washing"


    I instantaniously sang "the kids are washing spoons now" as the first line of "Pumped Up Kicks"


    properly you say: do the washing up


    The position of 'now' in the English translation has got me thinking.

    It's not incorrect, but there's something about it that just doesn't feel right.

    After some thought, I've decided that it might be because 'now' in that position seems very formal (and probably more likely to be written than spoken), but 'kids' is very informal, so it could be this mismatch of register that is the problem.

    'The children/kids are washing spoons now' and 'Now, the children/kids are washing spoons' sound much more natural to me.

    That said, the way in which this is said can convey quite different emotions, from simple, factual comment on the children's current activity, to exasperation/amusement at what is just the latest in a series of naughty/mischievous/amusing forms of behaviour. I don't know if the same is true of the Russian sentence or not.

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