069 – Perfective and imperfective verbs – Practice

In the previous lessons we’ve learned about the verb aspects in Russian and got to know what are perfective and imperfective Russian verbs. Since the topic is a bit complicated, today we’ll spend some time practicing.

Чита́ть (imperfective) / прочита́ть (perfective) – to read

Ты чита́ла э́ту кни́гу?
Did you read this book? (have you ever read it? – action with no indication of the start and the end)

Ты прочита́ла э́ту кни́гу?
Have you read this book? (you were supposed to, i.e. it implies an action that was supposed to happen at least once)

Я чита́ла, когда́ зазвони́л телефо́н.
I was reading when the telephone rang. (I was reading – unfinished action)

Я чита́ла э́ту кни́гу два ме́сяца.
I was reading this book for two months. (a lenght of time – action with no indication of the start and the end)

Покупа́ть (imperfective) / купи́ть (perfective) – to buy

Мне на́до купи́ть аспири́н.
I need to buy aspirin. (I need to buy it once)

Он ка́ждый день покупа́ет све́жие газе́ты.
He buys latest newspapers every day. (repetition)

Ты когда́-нибу́дь покупа́л э́тот йо́гурт?
Have you ever bought this yogurt? (implies repetitive action or action that never happened)

Ты купи́л йо́гурт?
Have you bought the yogurt? (action was expected to happen)

Понима́ть (imperfective) / поня́ть (perfective) – to understand

Никогда́ ничего́ не понима́ла в маши́нах.
I never understand anything about cars. (action with no indication of the start and the end)

Я тебя́ не по́нял.
I didn’t understand you. (action was supposed to happen this time but didn’t)

Ты меня́ понима́ешь?
Do you understand me? (ongoing action)

Practice today’s examples with the audio track.

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