"Два голубя летали над домом."

Translation:Two pigeons were flying above the house.

December 3, 2015



Interesting. Here, Russian is like Spanish in that the word for dove is also the word for pigeon. In Spanish, it is paloma.

April 21, 2016


Just like Swedish (duva)! I wonder, what languages do really have separate words for pigeons and doves? Sure, English has it, but according to Wikipedia, the terms are in facto used interchangeably, although there is a discrete difference.

January 1, 2017


As far as I know, doves are white and a symbol of purity and hope. Pigeons are brown or grey and often called "flying rats"

May 23, 2018


Well doves are essentially just smaller, more delicate pigeons. They seem to technically be a different animal though.

It is interesting that the building where domesticated pigeons are kept is called a dovecote (голубятня)

June 27, 2017


Good point - most of the world may just see them as variants of the same bird. And not just Indo-European. Hato (ハト, also written as 鳩) means either dove or pigeon in Japanese, for example.

February 17, 2019


Some recordings sound garbled.

August 31, 2016


Does this mean that the pigeons were flying back and forth without any direction and that's why perfective aspect has to be used? I'm somewhat confused about 'were flying' and the fact that the flying action has not been completed. How would 'two pigeons are now flying above the house' be translated?

December 3, 2015


It's not a perfective verb. The perfective for "летать" is "полетать".

"летать" (without any direction) is an abstract verb. For flying in a certain direction use the concrete verb "лететь" (where from, where to).

There are also pairs

  • ходить (abstract) - идти (concrete)
  • плавать (abstract) - плыть (concrete)
  • ездить (abstract) - ехать (concrete)

Abstract verbs are always imperfective.

December 3, 2015


Aha, ok. I like the terms 'abstract' vs. 'concrete', that explains it a little better. I'm not even going to try to process the perfective по at this point. (Not to mention all the different prefixes like от-, у-, вы-, при-, до-)

December 3, 2015


Here are some examples:

  • Птицы лета́ют в небе (лета́ть, abstract) - Birds fly in the sky. No one knows where and why.
  • Этот самолёт лета́ет в Москву (лета́ть, abstract) - This plane flies to Moscow. Regularly.
  • Этот самолёт лети́т в Москву (лете́ть, concrete, imperfective) - This plane is flying to Moscow. At this moment, is in the air now. It's also used if I'm sure that the plane is going to fly right now.
  • Этот самолёт полети́т в Москву (полете́ть, concrete, perfective) - This plane is going to fly to Moscow. For sure, right now or in the future.
  • Этот самолёт прилета́ет в Москву (прилета́ть, concrete, imperfective) - This plane is arriving to Moscow. Right now, still flying.
  • Этот самолёт прилете́л в Москву (прилете́ть, concrete, perfective) - This plane flew to Moscow. Right now, just landed.
  • Этот самолёт прилети́т в Москву (прилете́ть, concrete, perfective) - This plane will arrive to Moscow. In the future.
  • Этот самолёт улета́ет (улета́ть, concrete, imperfective) - This plane is flying away. Right now.
  • Этот самолёт улете́л (улете́ть, concrete, perfective) - This plane flew away.
December 3, 2015


Спасибо за подробный ответ! I will print it out and study it :)

December 4, 2015


Why the extra д on на? Sure, домом starts with a д but на blends in so well with that initial д I don't see why another д would be necessary. Certainly not for ease of pronunciation...

July 11, 2017


It's not an "extra д". На" and "над" are just different prepositions. "На" is (mostly) "on" while "над" is "above".

July 11, 2017



July 11, 2017


Are these the drunk pigeons from the Hebrew course?

August 28, 2018


Почему здесь 'голубя', а не 'голуби'?

September 3, 2018


My educated guess: Dual , not plural. There are two of them

September 10, 2018


Ah that's right it's the genitive singular. Thanks.

September 12, 2018
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