"Я думал о жизни."

Translation:I was thinking about life.

December 13, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Life? Don't talk to me about life!


I have a t-shirt with the robot saying that!


"What's the meaning of life?"


Я думаю что это нелогичный вопрос, если вы не можете определить цель жизни


What's the meaning of Stonehenge?


That is an age-old question I don't think anyone will know for quite a long time to come. Still.


Can you also say "Я о жизни думал"?

I noticed in a previous question "об этом" went straight after "я", just checking if it can work for most cases.


I think you can, but it sounds quite unnatural


Surely she should say Я думала!


This is one for the armchair philosophers.


can я думала work if you're a girl?


I pretty much guess so, if I remember correctly. Rhere's only three cases for a past verb in russian: -л for masculine singular, -ла for feminine singular and -ли for plural of all genders.


What's wrong about "I thought about life"?


When do you use (о or об) i know it means about, but how do you know when to use either or?


It's generally о before consonants and об before vowels, like a/an in English. However there are a few consonant clusters that require обо.


can 'wondered' work instead of 'thought/was thinking' here?


Not a native, but I think "wonder" has a slightly different, more specific connotation of a subjunctive sort of thought (i.e., "could be" or "what if" rather than "how it is"), and думать is a more neutral sort of "thinking."

Of course, there's always the option to suggest it as an alternative and see if the crew accepts it.


So жизни is pronounced like if it were жизньи?


in the second one you slur the "зн" part more, i think


Does "o" also translate to "of"? Can you say "I was thinking of life" or does it only translate to "about" in this sentence?


I guess not. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/71003/difference-between-think-of-and-think-about

It's much more common to think of someone else's life or think of an event in the past, unless you've been totally negligent about your own life and you suddenly realize: omg I'm so screwed up, then you would use "I think of my life"


Yes, you can use "o" as "of".


а не знаю что мне надо делать

Can надо be used in this sense, as if the speaker is confused about life and don't know what to do/what he should do?


It is more common to say it without надо. Я не знаю что делать. Or something like "and what should I do now?" И что я теперь должен делать?


Another question: In the audio, the "o" is pronounced un-stressed, i.e. like an "ah". Why is this? Shouldn't it be stressed and be pronounced like a proper "o", since it's the only syllable in the word "o"...? Just wondering...


In speech prepositions are usually pronounced as if they were a part of the next word. "О жизни" is pronounced as "ожизни" and "о" becomes unstressed.


When is it "о" or "об" ?


The fast rule is: you normally use 'о' ('о жизни'), and when the next word starts by a vowel, you use 'об' ('об этом'). The long, more complete rule has details I don't remember right now.


Cool, thanks for your answer


If the correct translation is "was thinking" and "thought" is marked as wrong, how would I express "I thought" in Russian?


Shouldn't the correct translation be "I thought about life"? And not "i am thinking about life"


I believe that думал is the masculine singular past of the imperfective verb ду́мать. It is equivalent to past continuous in English, "I was thinking". I thought is a completed action.


Yes and no. The past imperfect tense in English will usually map into the imperfective aspect in Russian, but the past perfect tense can correspond to either imperfective or perfective. E.g. "In those days I thought a lot about life" would use imperfective думал, because it refers to habitual activity, whereas "I thought about your suggestion and I've decided to follow it" would use perfective подумал, indicating that your thinking came to a definite conclusion.


I agree, particularly with the yes and no part of your response. Reverso conjugate shows 17 English verb forms for "think" yet only 8 in Russian for думать and 6 more for подумать. I guess that is just more evidence that one cannot simply map grammar from two languages word for word.

But at this level of language study it is likely best just to understand the concept of ongoing (habitual) vs. completed actions. In the Russian to English version of this question, the use of Думал suggests that is all that is being taught.

Interestingly, I was going to write this comment using the words "English past imperfect" but I noticed "imperfect" is not used at all by Reverso, which prefers just "past continuous" for what I would have called "past imperfect". Yet they do define the past perfect continuous aspect, which I think would work here as well (but I need the assistance of a expert for that).

I expect "Я думал о жизни." would translate to either:

Past Continuous: I was thinking about life.

Past Perfect Continuous: I had been thinking about life.

So while it is not 100%, it seems you and I share the opinion to use perfective подумал, to indicate when one's thinking had come to a definite conclusion.


Would the pronunciation be different if the verb was in the female form: я думал о жизни / я думала о жизни? Is the -а in думала slurred with the next о so that there is no difference in pronunciation? Or is there some kind of pause between -а and о? In this case one can conclude that the form is the male думал, as the voice is male. What about in our transgender time, how do those people say who tell they are neither men nor women: would they say я думало (as far as I know, this would sound the same as я думала).


Because a female voice spoke this, I thought I heard 'Я думала жизни.'


а это жизнь это карма

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