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  5. "Я завтракал два часа назад."

"Я завтракал два часа назад."

Translation:I had breakfast two hours ago.

December 1, 2015

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnastasiaStyIes

Marked wrong for "I breakfasted two hours ago". Reported.

"To breakfast" is a verb in English too.

See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/breakfast#Verb


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D-Shosty

Ha! Yes, I used breakfasted on the first time I answered this. So glad that it was marked correct!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/booshnok1

i've never heard anyone say breakfasted. i really don't think that's proper english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SS_Coyote

It's rare, and it's bookish. But it's correct English. As is "broke fast", BTW.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBooth1971

"Break" is a verb. "Fast" is a noun/verb. So although it makes sense that "breakfasted" could be a verb, i have never heard any human ever utter these words. I recommend you don't use this phrase when speaking with an American because they will think its weird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurenJM

I know you're not supposed to spam the comments, but I just love the idea of "breakfast" as a verb :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Molly359032

What about second breakfast? Elevensies? ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurenJM

Elevensies is also a great word! And concept! :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gulpepper

But, but... Wot aboot luncheon?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonyjrslm

my translation would be "i was eating breakfast 2 hours ago" - in contrast to the perfective я позавтракал два часа назад which i would translate "i had breakfast 2 hours ago" (and finished it)!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

My question, also. This seems like a - well, perfect case for Perfective, since it's a single event that's over and done with. That's what the English means, after all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rekty

Is it normal that this sentence was marked wrong: "I had a breakfast two hours ago"? I reported it in case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

The English idiom is "I had/ate breakfast" not "a breakfast". I don't recall ever seeing or hearing "a breakfast" in that context - it would require some special circumstances or statement, such as "a breakfast to remember" or "a breakfast like I have not had in years".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZachTL

I ate breakfast two hours ago was marked as incorrect... This seems like it should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dragonfruit

2 is not accepted for два??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/5Lqu3

I had a breakfast two hours ago, marked me incorrect? Hmm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

English idiom: "breakfast" not "a breakfast"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ougntnarak

I have had breakfast two hours ago

Why is this answer marked as incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

"have had" is present perfect, it requires the events to be tethered to the present moment but if the time you had breakfast was two hours ago (a clearly defined moment in the past) then the present perfect form cannot be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qU4Z4

Thanks)) i made the same mistake


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

That's not an easy question to answer. The English idiom requires simple past: "I ate, I had breakfast two hours ago."

"I have had" is often used to refer to regular or repeated events: "I have always had breakfast at this restaurant."

The verb-form you used is also used in emphatic sentences: "I have already had breakfast, so I don't need more food."

Note that in both examples I give, the verb is qualified or modified by an adverb, ("already" or "always").

It's a specialized form that has particular uses, and the simple, generalized past event in the exercise is not such a use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KH40bu

It sounds like a complaint about the service industry lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MagoGi2

Anybody else having problems with Duo being very picky with the pronunciation of numbers?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cjccorn

The notes say that назад needs the accusative, but "часа" is genitive here. Can anyone explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shady_arc

It is not часа, it is два часа.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cjccorn

But два часа is still genitive not accusative isn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shady_arc

It isn't. When два, три, четыре are used in Accusative with inanimate nouns, the same form as in the Nominative is used. And the "Nominative" form of a combination of a noun with два (две), три, or четыре uses the Genitive singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bleepandbloop

I'm still confused. So you're saying that два is taking the accusative here, and if the noun that there is 2 of was animate, then два would be in genitive? Reading about grammar is confusing for me, could you give a couple examples to demonstrate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shady_arc

Well, in the phrase with "ago" it is rather hard to imagine an animate noun.

  • come to think of it, I would treat inanimate and animate nouns the same with 2,3,4, 5,6 and so on (e.g., in metaphorical contexts like "two presidents ago"~два президента назад). You'll encounter a lacuna for "one" anyway: I do not think I can say "one president ago" or "twenty-one husbands ago" in Russian.
  • when you have 1 or when there is no number, it is quite obviously Accusative: "неделю назад" = "a week ago". You are out of luck with animative nouns, though.

The details of how small numerals combine with nouns do not make much sense. It is that way because it "sounds right", and it sounds right due to the habits born when Russian had the dual number. When it fell out of use (over 500 years ago) the Genitive singular was hastily put there to cover the hole. In present day Russian there is no justification for the Genitive singular to be there (apart from native speakers putting it there).

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