Ab und zu muss ich an diesen Satz aus einem anderen Duolingo Kurs denken: "Das ist nicht meine Meinung, nur meine Üebersetzung." (Das große "ü" lässt sich hier komischerweise nicht tippen, übrigens)
Would it still make sense if "совсем" was at the end? "Я не говорю по-Немецки совсем."?
Does the "I do not speak German at all" here mean "I cannot speak German"? The Translation seems to be that "I" know how to speak German but I "don't" speak it.
My answer was "I never speak German," as it would seem that "cannot" would call for a different verb. Why is this incorrect?
I have a question though, if the possible transaltions of ''совсем'' are: at all, really and entirely, why ''I don't really speak German'' is not accepted as a possible translation?
The correct translation is right below the title. I do not think yours means the same. It happens so because the order of operations is important: "not totally" ≠ "totally not".
Doesn't COBCEM mean QUITE? If so, why is "I don't quite speak German" not accepted?
I think it derives from the word всё witch means everything, or all of, and is a very all-encompassing word, as is совсем. The prefix со- sometimes used to make a verb perfect form (if now that is the right term), like творить, сотворить. Adding co- implies your will be done with it. Совсем therefore means "completely" or "totally".
Ah, now it makes sense! One thing I learned from studying Hebrew (which also applies to Russian) is that it always helps to know the root
Because it is not what the sentence means. "Not quite" and "not at all" are different things.
When does this word have one of the meanings you just mentioned and when does it have the other one?
It depends on what совсем and не act upon, which is affected by word order in the most predictable way:
совсем новый = completely new
- совсем не новый = completely (not new) = not new at all
- не совсем новый = not (completely new) = not quite new
совсем забыл = completely forgot
- совсем не забыл = totally (did not forget) = did not forget in the slightest
- не совсем забыл = did not (forget completely) or not exactly "forgot"
We do not have that many exercises with совсем (which is a pity because it is a very popular word). I looked through them all, and could not find the one you are talking about.
Совсем means "totally", "at all". By some leap of logic you may say that "definitely" is, in some sense, in some context, once in a blue moon approximately the same as "at all". However, this will only apply to contexts where such substitution makes sense.
I like to the think of совсем не as "not at all", e.g., I don't speak German at all. With совсем alone in a positive sense Я совсем понимаю implying I totally understand.
In the Tips & notes is the example: Мы совсе́м бли́зко. = We are really close (i.e. almost there). Why would we use совсем alone in that case, but not in Я совсем понимаю? It can be used with adverbs but not with verbs?
Its use is different with verbs, since совсем will imply an action performed to an extreme extent. "Understanding very much" is not well defined in Russian because you either have understanding or lack it to some degree.
However, совсем is very widespread in negative sentences as совсем не ("not ... at all"). You can also encounter совсем with verbs that mean a loss of some quality or generally carry a negative connotation (e.g. "Я совсем устал", "Она совсем забыла про нас").
For other verbs it is generally a good idea to look for corpus examples: we don't use совсем with that many verbs in positive sentences.
Ok, I understand. And I had to look up what corpus means in this context, and now I know. So I learned two things through your answer :) Thank you!!
I found a great reply from user zirkul on this discussion board. This user wrote:
There is a slight difference between "Вера говорит по-русски" and "Вера говорит на русском". To me, "Вера говорит по-русски" could mean either Vera's general ability to speak Russian or the fact that is it talking to someone in Russian (you've overheard her and ask what language she is speaking). "Вера говорит на русском" is only applicable to the latter.
So what I take from that is:
говорит по-русски = speaks Russian
говорит на русском = speaks in Russian
I have the same question as Rodrigo_B. -по- does not have a declension associated with it as far as I can see. -немецки- is not in the declension table for -немецкий- anyway. Could it be that -немецки- is the noun?
по-немецски, по-русски, по-английски are adverbs. Such adverbs are regularly formed from -ский-adjectives.
Thanks for your quick response, Shady_arc! In my other languages the adjective for the language becomes the noun. Russian appears to be big on adverbials; different & difficult & interesting.
Witzig wie viele deutsche russisch lernen , traurig das man in fast keiner deutschen schule russisch lernen kann