ты дал мне книгу vs ты давал мне книгу

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Catullus91

Member
English - United States
I've read numerous explanations of the difference between the imperceptive and perfective, but feel that I need to compare specific examples to solidify my understanding.

What is the difference between "ты дал мне книгу" and "ты давал мне книгу"?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
  • Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Perfective phrase makes stress on the result: Ты дал мне книгу? Is the book with me now?
    Imperfective is more about the process: Ты давал мне книгу? Has it ever been with me?
     

    Catullus91

    Member
    English - United States
    I appreciate the help. Just to deepen my understanding, would this be right?:

    "я читал книгу, которую ты мне давал."
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Without the further context, it's hard to give a somewhat precise translation. Here are some examples:

    Год назад ты давал мне книгу
    (It is unknown if I have returned it)
    Об этом говорилось в книге, которую ты мне давал (I have returned it)
    Об этом говорилось в книге, которую ты мне дал (I haven't returned it)
    Об этом говорилось в книге, которую ты мне однажды дал (I have returned it)
    Об этом говорилось в книге, которую ты мне однажды давал :cross:
    Год назад ты дал мне книгу (I haven't returned it)
    Я уже давал тебе эту книгу (You have returned it)
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Давал" (when used to denote a non-continuous single action in the past) feels more remote in time.

    It goes well with "тогда" (that time, then, etc.), "когда-то" (some time in the past). You tend to separate yourself from that experience for some reason: "I did; it happened; I think I remember that".
    Мне кажется, я давал ключ помощнице, но точно не помню.
    Ты мне (когда-либо) давал эту книгу или нет? Что-то я вспомнить не могу...
    Ты мне дал эту книгу или нет? :confused:
    (Occasionally, this could be said to mean "So, can I take your book, or not?)

    When you try to recall something carefully, in detail, or when something happened not long ago and you naturally remember it well, you tend to "jump" into the past situation and will often say "дал".
    Я точно именно ей дал ключ.
    This is also the case when you tend not to separate yourself from the past situation (=mentally, you're still there), because you have been consciously keeping it in mind for some reason:
    Верни мне, пожалуйста, ключ, который я тебе дала.
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Давал" ... feels more remote in time.
    I don't think so:
    Мне кажется, я (от)дал ключ помощнице, но точно не помню.
    Давал ты мне вчера эту книгу или нет? Что-то я вспомнить не могу... (Пьяный был)
    Ты мне дал эту книгу или нет? -
    it's almost :cross:
    Я точно именно ей дал ключ = Я точно именно ей давал ключ (it's completely :tick:)
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What is the difference between "ты дал мне книгу" and "ты давал мне книгу”?
    Again, a wider context is always appreciated.
    Otherwise, one can build numerous counter examples around the same phrase.
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    GCRaistlin, these examples may explain better what I mean by "it feels more remote in time" and "mentally separated/unseparated from the past event":
    I talked to her today. (~говорил)
    I have talked to her today. (~поговорил).
    Normally, the first (English) sentence is not used early in the morning.
     
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    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Vovan
    Maybe. My English isn't really good. But Russian and English grammatics differ. It is actually unable to explain the difference between "дал" and "давал" in such a simple "Englsih" way. Besides that говорить is an intransitive verb while давать is a transitive one.

    Catullus91
    "Дал" may either indicate a completed action or assume bringing to some state without returning back (at present). "Давал" may either assume some incompletion of an action or indicate returning from the state the object has been put in.

    Ты мне давал книгу (но так и не отдал). It's an incompleted action.
    Ты мне давал книгу (но я тебе ее уже вернул). The state of the object was changed twice: it has been given away and then returned back.
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Also, давал may indicate the speaker's wish to change the state of the object back:
    Я вчера давал тебе книгу assumes that I expect that you will return it in a reasonable time.
     

    Catullus91

    Member
    English - United States
    GCRaistlin

    Your English is excellent.

    I have a question concerning an example:

    Мне кажется, я (от)дал ключ помощнице, но точно не помню.

    In this sentence, does the perfect imply that the key has not been given back?

    I'm trying to fit in these sentences with the idea (quoting from Colloquial Russian, 1944):

    "(...) when the moment of inception, or termination, of the action or state is not uppermost in our mind, the aspect to be used is the imperfective, which gives merely the general idea of the action or state. The perfective aspect is used when the question of the beginning, or completion, of an action or state comes into play. The perfective is also used when the action is performed on a single occasion, or is only of a momentary character."

    In that sentence, would the perfective imply the beginning of the action?
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Catullus91
    Thank you! :)

    Well, the Colloquial Russian seems to be right:
    Мне кажется, я отдал ключ помощнице, но точно не помню. - IMHO the speaker isn't sure if it was an assistant whom the key has been given away.
    Мне кажется, я отдавал ключ помощнице, но точно не помню. - IMHO the speaker isn't sure if he gave away the key at all.

    But it isn't actually strict here.

    In that sentence, would the perfective imply the beginning of the action?
    I don't think so. The delivery is a momentary action, it begins and terminates at the same moment of time.
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Also, давал may indicate the speaker's wish to change the state of the object back:
    Я вчера давал тебе книгу assumes that I expect that you will return it in a reasonable time.
    Contextually, «Я вчера дал тебе книгу» can indicate the same.

    «Очень понравился, в субботу я пойду посмотрю еще раз. Он еще не вернул мне словарь, о котором вчера на уроке говорил наш учитель. Верни мне книгу, которую я дал тебе вчера.»
     
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    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    GCRaistlin, these examples may explain better what I mean by "it feels more remote in time" and "mentally separated/unseparated from the past event":
    I talked to her today. (~говорил)
    I have talked to her today. (~поговорил).
    Normally, the first (English) sentence is not used early in the morning.
    Actually, both sentences mean the same, unless you’re a language purist trying to separate inseparable things.

    In Russian, the simple past tense (as if in «говорил») conveys not just a perfective aspect of the verb, but also a full sense of the Perfect, naturally inherited from the old Russian Perfect that relegated its function to the modern Past Tense (by losing the auxiliary verb «быть»,) which is, in fact, remains Past Participle, as if in English “have talked” -> “talked” (though it’s not a full analogy.)

    Hence,
    «Я говорил с ней сегодня» may naturally convey a sense of the fact that the result of the talk at that moment is actual at this moment (the Perfect, as shown above,) in spite of the fact that the verb itself is marked with the imperfective aspect which may allude to some indefinite value of talk with undefined outcome («Да, говорили, ну и что?».)

    «Я поговорил с ней сегодня» is already marked by the perfective aspect, but again, it may also convey naturally the sense of the fact that the result of the talk at that moment is still actual at this moment (the Perfect), in spite of the fact that the verb itself is marked with the perfective aspect which can be interpreted and referred only to the form of the conversation, supported by the context («Да, поговорили как-то так».) Out of context, it may suggest of a shorter or of a lighter talk, but still, no outcome could be defined ipso facto.
     
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    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Contextually, «Я вчера дал тебе книгу» can indicate the same.
    It doesn't contradict my thesis. That is, дал may or may not mean that I expect my thing back while давал does mean it. We can hardly use давал speaking of things that can't be returned:
    Я вчера давал тебе поесть :cross:
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It doesn't contradict my thesis. That is, дал may or may not mean that I expect my thing back while давал does mean it. We can hardly use давал speaking of things that can't be returned:
    Я вчера давал тебе поесть :cross:
    Not really close, neither semantically, nor grammatically, yours «давал/дал книгу» vs «давал/дал поесть».
    Still, «я вчера давал тебе поесть» is possible (I fed you just a bite, not a lot, but maybe few times, since «давал» is imperfective) however, it’s the Past Tense, not the Perfect (you ate a bit yesterday, now you are hungry.) as opposed to the “book” example which carries out the Perfect function grammatically (and you still have the book.)
     
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    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    «я вчера давал тебе поесть» is possible
    Actually it isn't just because it looks like an one-time action. But in case of the recurrence of an action:
    :tick:Я вчера дважды давал тебе поесть

    If the object is of a returnable kind then using of давал is possible for an one-time action as well.

    I fed you just a bite, not a lot
    Again, it's not the question of the quantity or of the time:
    :tick:За последние сутки я дважды давал тебе поесть до отвала
    :tick:В то время я, бывало, давал тебе немножко поесть
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Actually it isn't just because it looks like an one-time action. But in case of the recurrence of an action:
    :tick:Я вчера дважды давал тебе поесть

    If the object is of a returnable kind then using of давал is possible for an one-time action as well.


    Again, it's not the question of the quantity or of the time:
    :tick:За последние сутки я дважды давал тебе поесть до отвала
    :tick:В то время я, бывало, давал тебе немножко поесть
    If the object is returnable, both «дал/давал» are equally possible and both convey the same sense in the same context:

    «Я вчера дважды давал тебе книгу.»
    «Я вчера дважды дал тебе книгу.»

    But if you add quantifiers to your examples, the context would change, because, if taken without quantifiers, «по-» could mean a lesser volume/strength of the underlying action and is not comparable to «книга».
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    GCRaistlin, what would you say to these?
    Я ему давал пять рублей, но он мне их так и не вернул.
    Я ему дал пять рублей, но он мне их так и не вернул.
    Doesn't "давал" here feel more remote in time than "дал"?
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If the object is returnable, both «дал/давал» are equally possible
    No they aren't:
    :cross:Я вчера дважды дал тебе книгу
    But:
    :tick:Я вчера дважды дал тебе в морду

    «по-» could mean a lesser volume/strength of the underlying action
    I'm afraid I don't understand what you're talking about. Examples please.

    Doesn't "давал" here feel more remote in time than "дал"?
    It's just because he had to have time to return it :) That is, дал may refer to the last second while давал may rather not. But both of them may refer to, say, 10 years ago.
    BTW the 1st variant sounds strange to me (within the context).
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No they aren't:
    :cross:Я вчера дважды дал тебе книгу
    But:
    :tick:Я вчера дважды дал тебе в морду.
    «Дал» имеет в ваших примерах неодинаковые значения. К чему это?

    Не выходите за пределы заданной темы.

    Почему «Я вчера дважды дал тебе книгу» - неправильно?
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    «Дал» имеет в ваших примерах неодинаковые значения. К чему это?

    Не выходите за пределы заданной темы.

    Почему «Я вчера дважды дал тебе книгу» - неправильно?
    Мне кажется тут имеет место стилистическая неточность из-за того, что книга одна, давали её дважды, а форма "дал" предполагает однократное действие.
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Книга-то одна и та же. Чтобы дать ее во второй раз, нужно, чтобы ее вернули после первого. А дал этого не предполагает (в отличие от давал), хотя и не исключает. Поэтому вне более развернутого контекста фраза звучит странно.
    Не выходите за пределы заданной темы.
    Тема - нюансы употребления совершенного и несовершенного вида глагола.
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Книга-то одна и та же. Чтобы дать ее во второй раз, нужно, чтобы ее вернули после первого. А дал этого не предполагает (в отличие от давал), хотя и не исключает. Поэтому вне более развернутого контекста фраза звучит странно.

    Тема - нюансы употребления совершенного и несовершенного вида глагола.
    Вы с книги легко перескакиваете на иные конструкции (инфинитив, идиомы), которые меняют и управление, и смысл, и ещё требуете выдумать расширенный контекст, в котором различия безусловно проявятся.

    Вне этих допущений различие между «дал» и «давал» в том виде, как задано условиями ОП, неощутимо.
     

    GCRaistlin

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Вы с книги легко перескакиваете на иные конструкции (инфинитив, идиомы), которые меняют и управление, и смысл, и ещё требуете выдумать расширенный контекст, в котором различия безусловно проявятся.
    Тема - не книга, не управление и не смысл. Тема - вид глагола в прошедшем времени. Вне контекста ваша фраза звучит коряво. Проверил - не только для моего уха.

    Вне этих допущений различие между «дал» и «давал» в том виде, как задано условиями ОП, неощутимо.
    Вами - возможно.
     
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