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  5. "Она научилась плавать в школ…

"Она научилась плавать в школе."

Translation:She learned to swim at school.

December 25, 2015



Is there a subtle difference in meaning between научилась and училась? How is this sentence different than "Она училась плавать в школе"?

  • 2276

There is a difference, and it's not subtle: учиться is a non-perfective verb roughly corresponding to English "to be learning", while научиться is a perfective verb roughly corresponding to English "to have learnt". In the context of you question, "Она училась плавать в школе" means that she took swimming lessons at school, but does not imply that she actually can swim as a result. The original phrase unambiguously tells us that she can swim now.


very helpful, thank you


What about simply учила?


That would mean she taught someone else.


Why is there a 'сь' at the end of 'Научиталсь'? Does 'to learn' not follow normal conjugation?


"She learned swimming in school." is not correct?


Sounds much more natural


what's the difference between на школе and в школе? how do you distinguish two?

  • 2276

"В школе" is correct, and means either "at school" or "inside the school building", depending on the context.
"На школе" could only be correct if the intended meaning is "on top of the school building".
Somehow I doubt you would use the latter expression too frequently.


Does that school have a pool?


I typed she learned to swim to school cause I wasn't paying attention lol.


How do we know this is past tense rather than present tense?


Она научилась плавать: She learned (and still knows how) to swim. Она училась плавать (в детстве): She learned how to swim (as a child - implying she no longer knows how to really swim). Она учится плавать: She is learning how to swim. Она научится плавать: She will learn how to swim (focus on outcome/skill). Она будет учиться плавать этом летом: She will be learning how to swim this summer (i.e. taking lessons over the summer).

I believe this should be mostly correct. Please, native speakers, correct me if I messed something up or for further explanation.


It would be great if a native speaker could confirm that Cody’s comment is correct...

  • 2276

That is indeed largely correct. The only issue I would have would be with

Она училась плавать (в детстве): She learned how to swim (as a child - implying she no longer knows how to really swim).

I'd say that "Она училась плавать (в детстве)" would tell me that she was taking lessons as a child but that did not result in her fully acquiring the skill. (Cody883261, interpretation sounds to me like she had learnt it, but then somehow forgot how to do it.) Or else, it can be used if you are simply listing activities she was involved in during her childhood: it focuses on the process and not the result (being able to swim).

  • 887

In English, one could make a meaningful sentence (but with a different meaning) of She learned to swim in a school of fish. Is there a similar Russian way to express the concept of a large group of fish swimming together? In English there are dozens of different nouns used to describe groups of different types of animals, birds, etc. --is the situation the same in Russian?


We have a somewhat smaller amount of such words. For fish, it is стая or косяк. Wolves or birds also use стая. Косяк is for certain formations of birds (probably ,the same story for fish). Horses, cows, sheep or deer usually form стадо ("herd"). A group of deer or horses can also be табун.

  • 887

Thanks very much! And talk about instant response!


"She learned swimming at school" not a correct translation of the Russian sentence??


Does anyone else think плавать sounds like the sound a bad diver makes on entering the pool? Splat!


I guess we have to teach ourselves the reflexive. Haven't seen it yet.


She learned to swim at the school was marked wrong. Why?

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