1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Кто мне вчера звонил?"

"Кто мне вчера звонил?"

Translation:Who called me yesterday?

December 6, 2015

30 Comments


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

Звонить requires dative ? Why don't we use меня ?


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

Yep, звонить requires Dative.


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

I like to think of "звонить" as calling to someone, which would require dative, since the person you are calling is the indirect object.


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

In fact, my problem here is to translate the sentence in my native (Turkish) language, which we use the verb 《звонить, to call》 in accusative case :) Though, 10 months past, I am already used to it..


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

Well, it work the same in English.

On the other hand, in English you listen to something or someone. In Russian, "слушать" is not any different than "hear" or "see".


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

Well.. every language has differences. "Listen to" works different in english, 《слушать》 is easy to grasp for my native ears :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gacowi1

who telephoned me yesterday - should be accepted, not everyone contracts words


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

I said "Who was calling me yesterday" but it was unaccepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s.c.reardon

Shouldn't the verb be perfective in this case?


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

Itcan, in theory, be perfective here but using imperfective is more natural. We can assume that one or several people might call you, at arbitrary moments of time (within the period labeled "yesterday"), which are probably not as important when you ask who these people were.

When actions in the past are referred to as facts of something either happening or not, while the exact moments at which the events occurred are irrelevant (as are the "results"), we normally use imperfective forms. Perfective forms in this context are associated with the action being specific and expected to have been performed.

Imperfective verbs being used for a number of purposes is one of the more difficult parts of Russian for a learner. The perfective aspect has a rather well-defined interpretation whereas the imperfective aspect is an amalgamation of a number or different meanings.


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

It's said on this page (http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/verbs_aspect.php) that:

【Understanding “successfully” completed.

Using the perfective implies that the action was completed successfully, unless used in the negative (see note below). So for example saying that ‘He took an exam on Friday’, if ‘took’ is used in the perfective it implies that he passed the exam. Using the imperfective would imply that the result is unknown, or he didn’t pass. It’s important to remember that by using the perfective you are implying that the action was indeed completed successfully. You are also implying that the action was not reversed or undone.

Aspects in the negative

Using the negative with perfective verbs indicates the person failed to do that action. Using the imperfective will normally simply mean that it didn’t happen.

Я не позвонила - I failed to phone (perfective) (but I was expected to)

Я не звонила - I didn't phone. (imperfective)】


So can I think about it this way: the imperfect verb звонить is used here, because I didn't answer the phone, so the calling was not successfully completed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/F4yY9kZj

Good question. Suppose I knew that on exactly one occasion yesterday my phone rang (I didn't answer). Perhaps even so I should not ask кто мне позвонил?, because the attempted call did not succeed. But if I received exactly one successful call yesterday I could ask, perhaps rhetorically, кто мне позвонил?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s.c.reardon

That makes sense, thanks.


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

Presumably, one answer could be "nobody".

In American English, if there's a strong likelihood that at least one person called, we'd usually ask "Who called me yesterday?" The question presumes that calls were received, so that "nobody" would be a surprise answer.

If we were unsure about calls, we'd more likely ask, "Did anyone call yesterday", although there's certainly some overlap.


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

Am I correct in thinking that this is meant specifically to say "Who called me (on the phone) yesterday?"


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

With the caveat (see Shady-Arc's comment above) that "who" could be one or more people at one or more unknown times during the day, which is why imperfective aspect is used for the verb.


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

shouldn't this be позвонил? it should be "Who was calling me yesterday" as opposed to "who called me yesterday" if the word they want is звонил


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

Could this also be translated as "Кто мне вчера звонила?" I am trying to figure out why "кто" is being referred to with the masculine form of the verb instead of, say, the neuter?


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

It could not. Кто behaves as 3rd person singular masculine even if you know for a fact there were multiple persons and they were all women.


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

Интересно. Спасибо!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanRT1

Why is the order like this?


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

who did call me yesterday? is it incorrect?


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

It's not the standard way of writing it. Because of the question word "who" there is no need for subject/verb inversion and hence no need for "do". Adding "do" makes the question emphatic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spedi880

Who did call me? Why isn't accepted?


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

It would need to be "Who called me?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4Xwr5

Кто мне звонил вчера?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanielT210380

this word order though


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fred525214

Why in English not : who did call me ?


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

who - вопросительно и именительно. Следовательно, нет инверсии.

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.