Translation:The teacher told us to read this story.
I know they had an explanation before the lesson, but I don't understand the difference between "читать" and "прочитать".
I think it is suppose to convey two different meanings of "to read". What are we trying to convey when we use one or the other?
Could I substitute "читать" for "прочитать" and would the sentence keep its same meaning? Would it be grammatically correct?
Appreciate the assist.
Way too late, but I (non native) will have a shot at answering.
The sentence would be grammatically correct but the meaning would slightly change.
Perfective прочитать means the teacher wants us to read the whole story and finish it. Emphasis is on the completion of the task, the result. It's ultimately about that one point in time when we finish the story, and he wants us to reach that point.
Imperfective читать would focus on the process. For example if the teacher wanted us to read the story to experience or feel or notice something particular while reading. In that case it would not matter if we finish the story or not, just that we engage in the process of reading it for an amount of time .
Many English speaking childre (perhaps most) simply call their teachers "teacher" (just as university students call their professors "professor") . However, when I translated this "Teacher told us..." I was marked wrong and told I had to say "a teacher" or "the teacher".
I think this is because, in American English at least, "teacher" is used as a form of address, as a substitute for the name of the teacher. But that isn't what's happening here and won't ever be because in Russia they don't address their teachers in that way. So "учитель" is equivalent to "a/the teacher", but not to "teacher" on its own.
(Slightly irrelevant: How do they address teachers in Russia? Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. Surname?)
Since "я прочитал эту книгу" can be translated as "I finished this book" wouldn't "the teacher told us to finish this story" be acceptable here? I reported it.
This response is very late, but I believe that because "нам" is dative here, the infinitive is used, at least based on the notes in the subjunctive lesson. A native speaker's input would be appreciated.