068 – Perfective and imperfective verbs (aspects of the verb)

Today we start one of the most hard for foreign students parts of Russian grammar – Aspects of the verb.

In Russian there are only three verb tenses: present, past and future. But in addition to them, there are also two aspects of the verbs: perfective and imperfective.

In general, the Imperfective aspect describes the actions that haven’t finished yet or repeat.
The Perfective aspect is used to talk about actions that happened once or have finished with success, and it is never used in the Present Tense.

Let’s look at this in more details:

де́лать (to do) – the imperfective verb
сде́лать (to do) – the perfective verb

Я де́лаю э́то сейча́с. – I’m doing it now.

Я де́лаю э́то ка́ждый день. – I do it every day.

Вчера́ я э́того не де́лала. – I did not do it yesterday. (and it was not necessary to do it)

Я де́лала э́то в тече́ние двух часо́в. – I did it two hours.

Ты сде́лала э́то? – Have you done it?

Я э́того не сде́лала. – I haven’t done it. (I was supposed to do it, but I didn’t)

Я не успе́ла э́то сде́лать. – I had no time to do it. (I was supposed to do it)

Note: Despite the fact that two verbs are very alike, you can’t create one from another. They are two different verbs.

That is not so easy to understand at once when and what aspect you should use. Usually it comes with practice.

More lessons on this topic: Aspects of Russian verbs

The audio of this lesson contains all today’s exampes.

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