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  5. "Ivan is tired."

"Ivan is tired."

Translation:Иван устал.

December 14, 2015



The english sentence is in present however the equivalence in russian is in the past, is it wrong?

  • 1667

No, that's correct. If you think about it, you'll see that "tired", while acting as an adjective, is in fact a past participle form of the verb "to tire". Hence, in both languages, the current state is a result of something that happened in the past.


oh i didn't notice that. Thanks


I too am suspicious of this use (not that there is anything to do about it). Convenient that short-form adjectives are so often the same as adverbs or verb tenses and you can't trust what is going on or that it's grammatical. Past Participles are used as adjectives all the time in English, but when else does Russian ever used past tense as an adjective? And how then would you say "he tired" as in, "he tired of all the complaints and questions"?

  • 1667

Russian has a way of turning verbs to (effectively) adjectives which is quite similar to English Past Participles. It's called "причастие", and "уставший" - "tired" would be an example of that. "Устал", however, is not that. It's just a past tense of a verb устать - to get tired. Еnglish does not have an equivalent verb, that's all.


Thanks. I would definitely recognize усталый and уставший as adjectives. I guess the problem I would see from the use in this exercise is how could you differentiate between: "he is tired of the questions" and "he tired of the questions"? I'd guess:

He is tired: он устал

He was tired: он был устал

He tired (became tired): он стал устал???

This is just the first time I've seen the simple past tense used as an adjective before and it seems like it would present the problem of whether the subject is still currently in that state, or they simply became in that state but we don't know if they still are.


Is this form of the past tense technically just a participle with an implied form of 'to be', as Russian doesn't have one? Like how in the present you can say, for example, 'я - студент', meaning literally 'I - a student'; in the past it's just 'я думил', as in 'I - having thought'?

I've probably expressed that terribly. Sorry.

  • 1667

The past form of "to be" in Russian is "был/было/была/были" (m/n/f/pl), and unlike its present tense, it is never omitted.
Я - студент -- I am a student
Я был студентом (instrumental!) -- I was a student.

"Устал" on the other hand, is a past form of "устать" - "to get tired":
Я устаю -- I am getting tired
Я устал -- I got tired/I am tired.


Actually, устаю is the 1st person singular of the imperfective verb уставать, not of the perfective verb устать, isn't it? So, does the following summation make sense:

(focus on the process of getting tired) Я устаю -- I am getting tired Я буду уставать -- I will be getting tired Я уставал -- I was getting tired vs. (focus on final result of getting tired) Я устану -- I will get tired/I will be tired Я устал -- I got tired/I am tired

Are there specific situations where one would use the adjectives усталый -ая -ое -ые / уставший -ая -ое -ие instead of the perfective past tense forms устал -а -о -и? If so, can someone provide some examples? Аnd can someone give examples of the usage of усталый vs уставший? I think I remember reading somewhere that one would say something like Усталый вид, but Уставший человек. Also that that уставшый denotes a general/ongoing condition whereas устал ... denotes a change in state as a result of some action. Is that correct? Is there a general rule for the distinctions?

Would the following distinction correct? Вчера я выл уставшим -- Yesterday I was tired (for the whole day). Вчера я устал -- Yesterday I was tired (I did something and became tired as a result)

  • 1667

You are absolutely correct about the imperfective verb "уставать" and its uses.

As for the adjectives усталый & уставший, they are nearly identical in their meaning (at least right now I can't think on an example where I would not be able swap them).
That said, they are typically used when the sentence describes another action, and you just need an adjective to describe your state:
I will come home tired = Я приду/вернусь домой уставшим/усталым.


the people discussing stuff on this thread are soooooo clever. You have my undying admiration. Thank you zirkul for such great replies and thank you peachtree2 for amazing thoughts. You guys (and many others on different threads) make it a pleasure to read through the discussions. You leave me in your dust and even your dust helps answer some of my questions.

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