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  5. "Мне всегда не хватает времен…

"Мне всегда не хватает времени."

Translation:I never have enough time.

November 28, 2015



In Russian we more often speak: мне никогда не хватает времени than мне всегда не хватает времени


Good to know, thanks


Thanks, I already wondered why никогда was missing in this negated sentence.


You can say as well Мне постоянно не хватает времени


A nice example showing the complexity of the double-negative rule. ('Постоянно' is definitely not negated, even though 'всегда' would give way to 'никогда' under the rule.)


Why всегда instead of никогда?


That's what I was thinking. In English, you woudn't say I always don't have enough time


That's a good point. Не хватать is a staple combination to express that you lack something or do not have enough. Also, "always"/"never" are fairly open to interpretation.

Usually what happens when you have consistent negation (in Russian) is that you replace English any-words with Russian ни-words. I think this is why the choice of всегда/никогда is not automatic for negative sentences. Sometimes you can use both, like in this sentence (всегда sounds a bit stronger).

  • you can, by the way, use постоянно ("constantly, always") and avoid this problem altogether.
  • if you have other "variables" you should decide whether you use the positive or negative sentence structure. It will either be "Никому никогда не хватает времени" or "Всем всегда не хватает времени".

In this particular situation "lack" is a singular, established meaning. Statistically, всегда is about two or three times more common with не хватает and не хватало. Both are possible, though. Now, what happens if you use this substitution in "I never eat them"?

  • Я никогда их не ем. = I never eat them. (neutral and fairly generic)
  • Я всегда их не ем. = I always do not eat them (like, literally every single moment—or you are habitually presented with the choice and make the decision to not eat them every time).

I wonder how flexible English is in this regard. Are "Do you always have no visitors?" and "Do you never have visitors?" both possible?


Thank you for this extensive detail. I would "almost never" :) say "Do you always have no visitors?" Also, "Do you never have visitors?" has a subtle connotation of surprise, predicated on some other part of the conversation, whereas something like "Do you ever have visitors?" is more agnostic and more clearly implies that i don't know.


Both are possible. Each has only one negative.


Why not "I don't always have enough time"?


There's a big difference between "don't always" and "always don't". Не in this sentence applies to хватает, not всегда.


So is this variant correct?
I always don't have enough time.


Which word caused the dative case here for "I" ?


Хватает is impersonal. "To me always it is not enough of time."


Why мне instead of я ?


Maybe because of хватает, but I'm not a native. Can someone confirm?


хватать in the meaning of "suffice" always has an "experiencer" in the Dative.


What's an "experiencer" ?


The one who experiences a state or emotion.

I do not think you should have known this term. Its name is self-explanatory but its use in linguistics and syntax is not.


I thought 'хватать' called for 'у + gen.' ('у меня') rather than the dative ('мне'). But maybe that is true only for affirmative sentences, not negative; 'недоставать' does use the dative, and maybe 'не хватать' does, likewise.

[deactivated user]

    можно говорить? мне никогда достаточно времени.


    Maybe "У меня никогда нет достаточно(го) времени"


    You can say "У меня никогда нет времени" (or use всегда or even вечно instead of никогда), but adding достаточно (-го as well) makes it sound very weird.


    No, you should also add a particle indicating refusal.

    Мне никогда не достаточно времени.


    <<Можно ли сказать>> would be a better question


    Мне недостаточно времени всегда. Так можно.


    why is хвтает conjugated like it was in the он/она form?


    Because it conjugates with времени, not with мне.


    Yeah and why not just plain Хватать?


    What do you mean by "plain"?


    Would this be the same as translating it as "I always have insufficient time"?


    So, I see хватать is imperfective, and схватить is perfective ---- if we wanted to say, "to seize, grasp." And then there's the second use of хватать (imperfective), with its perfective, of хватить, which has the meaning we're using here, "to suffice, to be enough."

    1. So do I have usage correct if I said, Я хватаю эту книгу, to mean, I am grabbing this book (regular subject / verb / accusative), and Мне хватает этой книги (dative / verb / genitive), to mean, This book is enough for me?

    2. And also ---- in these "sufficient" phrasings with the dative, хватать will always take the impersonal хватает form, no matter what number or person the sufficient thing is, right? So would it be, Мне хватает тебя (and not мне хватаешь тебя for, you are sufficient for me), and Мне хватает книг и диванов (and not мне хватают книг и диванов for, books and couches are sufficient for me), correct?


    "I don't always have enough time" ? Not ok ?


    The sentence above means you always do not have enough.


    Shouldn't it by хватаю here ?


    No. Хватать is used impersonally (without a subject) to say that something is sufficient. Хватает: it is enough. Мне хватает: it is enough for me. The thing that there is enough of goes in the genitive. Мне хватает времени: there is enough (of) time for me. Я хватаю means 'I grasp/grab'.


    This is complicated !!


    Could you say "I'm never having enough time"?


    it sounds unnatural in English to phrase it like that. Having is used more like: "She's having a party tonight" or "he's having a sandwich for dinner"


    Can it not be translated as "I don't always have enough time" ? That certainly seems the nuance of the choice of words in the original sentence, or is it a stock way of saying never?


    Is the word времени in genitive? Isn't it the subject of this sentence?


    This particular sentence has no formal subject.


    OK, so how would you define the syntactic role of the word времени here? Is it a complement of the verb?


    Maybe. It is a part of the predicate here. Usually, whenever you mean "lack", хватать attaches Genitive nouns.

    Certain structures with numerals may break this rule if you wish so, i.e. use the Nominative form of a numeral (e.g., "Пятьсот рублей хватит?" , "Человек десять хватило бы")

    There are suggestions that хватать has a subject, just does not agree with it. :)


    'short OF time' is acceptable British English and shouldn't be marked as a typo.


    Try telling that to Duo to explain why you forgot to practice Russian! Кошмар!


    Does хватать mean 'to have enough' of anything or only of time?


    No, not only of time. E.g.
    Тебе налить ещё молока? Спасибо, нет. Мне хватает.
    Мне хватает этого количества бензина, чтобы доехать до города.


    "The door's not shut on my genius but I just don't have the time..."

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