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  5. "Я думал, ты много читаешь."

"Я думал, ты много читаешь."

Translation:I thought you read a lot.

November 29, 2015



why is there no что at the beggining of the second clause? Is it optional in some cases?


As already mentioned, it's optional. Just like the English that .


It's optional, "я думал, что ты много читаешь" is perfectly acceptable


I'm curious, too. I'd imagine that, for simple constructions like this, native speakers don't always follow the rules. But I'm still curious, nevertheless.


it seems to be mandatory for negations ie я не думал что i did not think that...


as a female, do I say думала? my teacher mentioned that about something else, and I am curious if it is the same in this case


Yes for past tense you will say думала if female and думал if male. This applies to other past tense forms as well such as читала, ждала, говорила, etc. The present tense doesn't discriminate between gender as both male and female would say "я думаю." It's very similar to French if you have any experience as it's equivalent to pensé/pensée for past and pense for present.


The second verb does not need to be in past tense too?


Yes, this is explained in the notes for the lesson.


But the English translation is ambiguous in print, but not when spoken (haha). The 'wrong' translation actually makes sense. I wish there were a Duo French-Russian. Then we could cite French grammar rules here!


(...and would that make a difference to the translation?)


Is "read" in past or present tense here? (pronounced like "red" or "reed"?)


(...and would this make a difference to how it translates?)


This is actually a fairly complex question you are asking.

In Russian, the verb is clearly present tense because that's how these sentences are constructed. However, in English we must switch to past tense ("red") because of English grammar rules (sequence of tense). This rule does not exist in Russian.

The Russian sentence could also be written in past tense by making the following changes:

1) Я думал, ты много читал(а): you could potentially use the same English translation here, but I would rather use something like "I thought you used to read a lot" or "I thought you had been reading a lot" to clarify the difference.

2) Я думал, ты много прочитал(а): again, this could use the same English translation, but for this I'd rather use something like "I thought you had read a lot" to clarify the difference.

Not being a native speaker, I may be missing the subtle implications of the various Russian verbs, but the fact that English has far more tenses than Russian definitely complicates the issue — as well as the Sequence Of Tense rule AND, of course, the fact that read and read are spelled the same.

Short answer: It's past tense. "Red".


Thank you so much for this very helpful answer!


Does this mean "I thought [that] you read a lot" or "I thought [while] you read a lot"? i.e. does the second part of the sentence tell us what the speaker thought, or does it link two separate actions?


It means "I thought that you read a lot".

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