Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by DerDrache, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. DerDrache Banned

    Montréal, QC
    Pretty self-explanatory from the title.

    What's the difference between теперь and сейчас? They apparently both mean now, but I'm guessing there's some difference in usage?

    Some English examples:
    "What are you doing now?" (at this moment)
    "I live in Canada now" (ie. I didn't live there before)
    "What do you want now?" (ie. expressing repetition/exasperation)

    Would the two words be interchangeable in these cases?
  2. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    The two words are pretty close in meaning. In most cases, can be used interchangeably.

    Сейчас can perhaps be a bit more immediate than теперь. In many cases, сейчас = at this very moment, whereas теперь can sometimes be used to mean these days.
    Он сейчас занимается спортом.
    At this moment he's doing sports. These days he does sports. Both are possible in the right context.

    Он теперь занимается спортом.
    These days he does sports. This is the more likely interpretation.

    "What are you doing now?" (at this moment)
    Both are possible but I prefer сейчас.

    "I live in Canada now" (ie. I didn't live there before)
    Both are possible, but I have a strong preference for теперь.

    "What do you want now?" (ie. expressing repetition/exasperation)
    Irrelevant, since an idiomatic expression wouldn't involve either.
  3. vox05 Senior Member

    Russia, Russian
    "теперь" in meaning 'now' has a connotation 'as opposed to what had place in past'
    ''теперь я живу в Канаде' - I lived somewhere else before, but in Canada now.
    ''сейчас я живу в Канаде' - neutral.
    ''теперь(сейчас) я снова живу в Канаде' - I lived somewhere else just before and had lived before that in Canada.

    In the third example 'теперь' have a 'repetition' connotation, as if it were some similar questions before it, or if some conditions changed just before - 'что ты думаешь об этой проблеме теперь?' . 'сейчас' have not.
  4. DerDrache Banned

    Montréal, QC
    Thanks everyone. One question though: "cновa" apparently indicates that you lived somewhere else just before, but had previously lived in Canada. What are some other uses of that word?
  5. Student1974 Senior Member

    Gaspé, Canada
    Снова actually means again.
    Я снова живу в Канаде - I lived in Canada before, then I moved to France (for example), and now I am in Canada again.
    Hope this helps
  6. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    Sorry, vox, but I disagree. In my opinion, the second sentence has exactly the same meaning as the first one....not mentioning some tiny nuances.
    There is no reason to say 'сейчас я живу в Канаде', unless I lived somewhere else before. Otherwise, сейчас might imply I am about to leave for some other place....
    Я родился в Болгарии, сейчас я живу в Канаде.
    Сейчас я живу в Канаде, но собираюсь переехать в Антарктиду.
  7. vox05 Senior Member

    Russia, Russian
    I agree with it - 'сейчас' may imply future changes.
  8. tkekte Senior Member

    But there's still a difference, because "что ты думаешь об этой проблеме теперь?" sounds normal, but it sounds weird if you replace the теперь with сейчас.

    I think сейчас is just like English "now", while "теперь" is more complicated. It can mean:
    - now
    - these days
    - this time (в этот раз)
    - now, after some event happened before
  9. palomnik Senior Member

    Perhaps a little off topic, but worth mentioning: сейчас by itself can mean "just a minute!"; you can't use теперь in that context.

    The side discussion about снова is interesting, and I think I'll start a new thread on it, if it hasn't been done already. I could use a review on the subject myself.
  10. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    If I may summarize from the discussion above, сейчас can be fairly accurately translated as "right now" or "just now" and work the same in most contexts, while теперь means a 'generic' or 'broader' "now":

    I live in Canada right now - Сейчас я живу в Канаде
    Both imply that you have lived or plan to live somewhere else

    When are you going to do it? - Right now/Сейчас
    Both mean "immediately" or "just a minute".
  11. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

  12. moonlight7 Senior Member

    А как в данном случае лучше перевести "теперь"?
    Он лишь потерял сознание. Теперь он не будет ощущать боль.
    He just has fainted. He won’t feel pain now.
    Но можно ли употреблять now в настоящем времени?
  13. Sobakus Senior Member

    He only fainted. He won't feel pain anymore.
    Это значит Он только что потерял сознание.
    1.now /naʊ/ adv.(at the present time) тепе́рь, сейча́с, ны́не; в настоя́щее вре́мя;
  14. moonlight7 Senior Member

    Спасибо, Sobakus! Видимо, можно сказать: He simply has fainted (это произошло только что). "Лишь" в данном случае означает "всего лишь"?
  15. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Мои пять копеек: my (BE) ha'penny ['heipni]/(AE) two cents worth:


    "I told myself over and over again, 'He has just* fainted, he has just fainted.' But he was dead." (source) (... лишь потерял сознание...) *(или "he has simply/only/merely fainted")
    "And then, quite suddenly, Ron is silent. She prays that he has just* fainted from the struggle, but she knows better. She lies quiet and listens to Ron Weasley die…" (source) (... лишь потерял сознание...)*(или "he has simply/only/merely fainted")
    "Carefully, she laid two of her fingers on his artery. After a while she nodded."He's alive," she said, relieved. "He has just* fainted." (source) (... лишь потерял сознание...) *(или "he has simply/only/merely fainted")

    Also: he has just fainted - Он только что потерял сознание. :thumbsup: ("Simply/only/merely" здесь невозможно.)

    (As always, context is important)
  16. moonlight7 Senior Member

    Благодарю, Enquiring Mind! Отличные "5 копеек"!!! :thumbsup:
  17. avalanchica Member

    Please help with this example:

    Я её уже читала, но теперь/сейчас читаю снова.
  18. moonlight7 Senior Member

    По-моему, "сейчас" здесь больше подходит.
  19. avalanchica Member

    Спасибо! :)
  20. learnerr Senior Member

    Либо: я её [книгу] уже читала, но теперь снова читаю.
    В общем, оба слова подходят.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  21. avalanchica Member

    :) Спасибо обоим!
  22. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    British Official English
    I was learning Russian with Russian Now!, there's a video where a tap is not working and the guy fixed it and he said теперь кран работает, why did he choose теперь over сейчас ? Would it still be ok if he used сейчас?
  23. Maroseika Moderator

    Теперь here implies the sense: now that I've fixed it.
    For example, if there were such a weird defect, that a tap worked at on moment and did not work at another, he might say: Сейчас кран работает (So I have no idea why it did not work before I came).
  24. Vovan Senior Member

    "Теперь" is often more idiomatic than "сейчас" when it is opposed to things like "used to be".

    "Сейчас" is associated either with the opposition to the past and/or future or with "right away".
  25. Rosett

    Rosett Senior Member

    Both теперь and сейчас are good for your example and they mean absolutely the same.
  26. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    I second that. "Теперь" fits better here.
  27. Rosett

    Rosett Senior Member

    With imperfective aspect, "сейчас" and "теперь" make no difference.
  28. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    There is some difference in the given context. I share the opinion of Maroseika here.
  29. Vovan Senior Member

    I also agree with that.
    In Maroseika's example, we have the opposition "иногда бывает versus сейчас", which is hardly possible with "теперь", and the opposition "не знаю, как когда versus сейчас", which is possible with "теперь" only if the speaker is sure that what supposedly used to be the case will never happen again.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  30. Rosett

    Rosett Senior Member

    Strictly within the context:

    Теперь кран работает (я его починил) = Сейчас кран работает (я его починил).

    Теперь кран работает (но неизвестно, надолго ли) = Сейчас кран работает (но неизвестно, надолго ли).

    Otherwise, there are tonnes of examples out of context.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  31. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    Of course. In many cases these two words are fully interchangeable.

    But when the guy says "Теперь кран работает!", he means 'from now on the tap works (as I fixed it)'. "Сейчас кран работает" would mean 'right now the tap is in working condition (I don't know what was wrong with it and I can't guarantee that it will keep working well)."
  32. Rosett

    Rosett Senior Member

    If the guy said it right after he had fixed the tap, there is no difference. "Теперь работает" and "сейчас работает" are indistinguishable under such circumstances.
    If you add "!" to his exclamation, as you did in your assumption, and imagine his happy face, then you can probably guess that he's proud of his job and has some hopes that the tap wouldn't break again immediately after he leaves. Actually, even in this case there is no warranty, implied or verbal.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  33. Q-cumber

    Q-cumber Senior Member

    I disagree.
  34. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    British Official English
    Ok, more context from the video:
    This guy named John Stevenson was checking into his hotel room, he went to a wrong room and there's a woman in there and she thought he is a repairman and she told him the tap is not working in the restroom, so he went into the restroom and fixed it and told her теперь кран работает юмор,)

    if this helps clarify the situational context further?
  35. Rosett

    Rosett Senior Member

    Mr. Stevenson could say it both ways: теперь or сейчас, since he could only prove that the tap was working at that very moment, even if he was jokingly impersonating a plumber.
  36. Vovan Senior Member

    Hyperpolyglot, the only option is "теперь", if you ask me.
    "Сейчас" is only possible if the repairman is not sure whether the tap will still work after he leaves.
    Sometimes we do say such things (see below), but most of us are not professional repairmen:
    Сейчас кран работает. Но вы там поосторожнее с ним: а то вдруг снова сломается?:D
  37. Maroseika Moderator

    The topic was fully explored. The thread is now closed.
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