Как долго vs Как давно

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by mabimabi, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. mabimabi Senior Member

    italiano
    Can't get the difference while trying to solve some exercises.

    For instance, can you translate to me the next sentences in order to make me definitively understand?:


    • Как давно ты изучаешь русский? Я изучаю русский семь месяцев
    • Как долго вы строите эту школу? Мы строим эту школу год
    • Как долго он это строит? Он это строит неделю
     
  2. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    The difference is subtle: давно is more about the time of beginning, долго - more about duration. Usually they are interchangeable.
     
  3. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    Also, «как давно» is about past events, while «как долго» can be used for events taking place in the past, present or future. I would say, the first phrase means something like "how long ago", while the second one, "how long".
     
  4. amazingenough Junior Member

    Moscow
    Russian - Russia
    i would say:

    1) How long have you been learning Russian? I have been learning Russian for 7 months.
    2) How long have you been building this school? We have been building this school for 1 year.
    3) How long has he been building it? He has been building it for a week.

    The difference:

    if you ask "как давно?" it means that you are interested in getting to know WHEN somebody started to do something. The logical answer would be some point in the past "С апреля (since April)", "С понедельника (since Monday)","Начал после праздников (I started after holidays)". And then after getting the answer you can calculate the duration by yourself if you will.

    if you ask "как долго?" it means that you are directly interested in getting to know the DURATION, period of time in which somebody is (was/will be) doing something. The logical answer would be a period of time - "3 месяца (3 months)", "5 дней (5 days)","в праздники (during the holidays)".

    But as it was said above actually people will likely perceive the two questions equally because it is always easier to answer that you have been doing something for some rough period of time instead of trying to recall the exact date. I think so.
     
  5. mabimabi Senior Member

    italiano
    Thank you, it remains to me to understand why there's present simple. For instance, in the following sentence, "you build" and "we build" is present sentence. I thought it has to be translated as: "When will you finish to build this school? We'll finish this school in one year". Where am I wrong?


    • Как долго вы строите эту школу? Мы строим эту школу год
     
  6. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    Present Tense means that we are still in the process of building, since one year ago. If you want to say "When will you finish to build this school? We'll finish this school in one year", you need use Future Perfect:
    - Когда вы закончите постройку школы (построите школу)?
    - Закончим через год.

    You can also use Present Imperfect in the sense of Future:
    - Когда вы заканчиваете постройку школы?
    - Заканчиваем через год.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  7. amazingenough Junior Member

    Moscow
    Russian - Russia

    Actually it can be in the past or in the future as well - it depends on what you want to say:

    1. Как долго вы строите эту школу? Мы строим эту школу год - it means that they are in the middle of the construction now. They have been building this school for a year and they will continue building it in the future untill the job is done.
    2. Как долго вы будете строить эту школу? Мы будем строить эту школу год. - It means that they haven`t started to build the school yet. They will begin somewhen in the future and in the response they tell you their plan, their timetable.
    3. Как долго вы строили эту школу? Мы строили эту школу год. - It means that the school is completely ready and they just report that it took 1 year to build it.

    The trick here is that you wrote in Russian №1 (above) but with the meaning of №2.
     

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