"Учитель сказал нам прочитать этот рассказ."

Translation:The teacher told us to read this story.

December 12, 2015

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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 .


Читать can also be translated as "wants us to be reading", to convey the Russian meaning in English.


chitat is to read, and prochitat is to read through, finish reading, finish a book... end reading generally


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.


Well I don't think it's exactly right. To finish means to read to the end even if you are in the middle of the book ( and also means to finish writing the book). But "прочитать" means to read from the beginning to the end.


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?)


Name + Patronymic, usually I think.


Yes, even little pre-school children (3 ~ 6 y.o.) learn to call their teachers by their name + patronymic.


Shouldn't "чтобы прочитали" be used here?


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.


"чтобы мы прочитали" is accepted.


What is fhe difference between рассказ and история?


история means "history".


История has several meanings. One of them is "history", e.g. "world history" (история мира).

It can also mean "story" as a literary form, like a "short story". Рассказ is a formal name for a "short story", but informally история can be used as a synonym.

История is also used as "an incident", "an event", e.g. "to tell a funny story" (рассказать смешную историю); "a funny thing happened to me yesterday" (со мной вчера случилась смешная история).


Thank you for further elaboration! Clearly I was too narrow-minded!


Not at all. We don't explicitly teach these other meanings of "история" in this course and it won't be possible to "guess" them.


What is the difference between «рассказ» and «сказка»?


"Рассказ" is a story (or "a short story" as a literary format), "сказка" is a fairy tale.

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