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  5. "Я пью чистый чёрный кофе."

"Я пью чистый чёрный кофе."

Translation:I drink pure black coffee.

December 14, 2015



Yes, that is a correct and literal translation, but I would sooner say "I drink black coffee straight"


Black coffee is pure and straight? A better translation would be simply: "I drink black coffee."


Well, adding "pure" or "straight" emphasises that the coffee is black. The question is, would this sentence still work in Russian without "чистый"? It depends if this is also simply an emphasis word, or if it is necessary to say "black coffee" in Russian.

EDIT: I just noticed that Kundoo already covered this in another comment. The word “straight”/“pure” IS necessary here.


How about 'I drink unadulterated black coffee'? (Really, I would say 'straight black coffee'.)


Isn't кофе neuter noun?


It's one of these words from foreign origin which doesn't decline. Originally it was masculine, no both masculine and neutral can be accepted it seems.



According to wiktionary: the word ко́фе is masculine, but is often informally treated as neuter: “горя́чее ко́фе”. Such usage is usually frowned upon by educated people.

So кафе is neuter, and кофе is masculine...


As I understand it is a masculine noun though it does look like and is often mistaken for neuter even by some native speakers.


Why "plain, black coffee" in not correct? I am not a native English speaker.


But omit the comma.


I agree. I wouldn't know what "pure black coffee" means. Is it being contrasted with adulterated, impure coffee? I am not a coffee drinker, but I AM a native speaker who has been around a lot of coffee drinkers. A better translation would be 'coffee black.'


maybe "straight black"


I would never say "pure black coffee", and I translated it as "black coffee" because adding pure sounds at best redundant (since black coffee already means no milk/sugar) and to my ear, very unnatural.


You can't just leave out words because you don't like them. In Russian "чёрный кофе" means exactly the same as "black coffee" and adding "чистый" is also kind of redundant. But since the author felt the need to stress it, it has to be translated or you are changing what they were trying to say.


Translate redundant Russian into redundant English!


Yes you can. Furthermore judging by other comments here it seems to be redundant in English but not in Russian.


I am a native Russian speaker. It is redundant in Russian.


Is this actually used in Russia to mean also without sugar?


As a native speaker I never either said or heard "чистый чёрный кофе". If someone asks if he should add sugar or milk to my cup of black coffee I would stress: "просто чёрный кофе" /"just black coffee".

  • 1803

To be honest, I can't say I've ever heard anyone say that, and I'm native. The phrase "Чёрный кофе" already means without milk or cream and (usually understood) without sugar. You can add "без сахара" to emphasize that part. The adjective чистый is usually used with alcoholic beverages though, and in those cases it would mean "neat".


I drink my coffee black, without sugar and that's what I would ask for in English; some people drink their coffee black but with sugar. In my experience, in both Britain and Russia if you ask for your coffee black, you will be asked if you want sugar.


I drink plain black coffee sounds a lot more natural than DLs answer

  • 1609

What is the role of 'чистый' here? Is it a normal part of 'I drink black coffee' in Russian (somewhat analogous to 'находиться' in its context), or is it a bit contrived to make use of the word?


чыстый means pure or clean. Here it means without cream or sugar

  • 1609

Thank you for the reply. It was more of a cultural question. Apart from what the words mean, I was wondering if it was the normal way to say it - in English one typically would not say 'pure black coffee', as 'black coffee' itself means 'without cream or sugar'. Perhaps in Russia 'black' denotes a kind of coffee not what is or is not added to it?

  • 1803

Not really, I haven't heard someone say this, just black coffee. But we have an expression пустой чай, that literally means 'empty tea' as in tea without anything, mainly sweets, cookies, jam, etc., that usually goes with tea, just tea. but you can't say that to refer to a cup of tea without milk or sugar, it's best to specify if you want something in your tea, otherwise it'll be just simple black (green, white, red, whatever) tea.


Blacker than the blackest black, times infinity.


Pure doesn't work as an English translation. In this sentence it would mean unadulterated coffee.

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