I could have sworn!

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Melikhovo, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Melikhovo Senior Member

    American English
    Vsem privet!

    I was wondering if someone could help me out with this fairly common English expression. You would typically say "I could have sworn" something happened when expressing disbelief while trying to convince someone. For example: "I could have sworn I packed my underwear"! (but it isn't in the suitcase). Or how about, "I could have sworn I saw him walk that way"…

    My assumption would be that if it can be expressed, it would be similar to how the phrase: "didn't I see you yesterday" translates.
    (Не видел я тебя вчера?)

    Zaranee spasibo.
  2. willem81 Senior Member

    There is a corresponding expression in Russian as well: "Я мог бы поклясться, что..." = "I could have sworn that ...". But perhaps it is not used in colloquial speech as often as it is in English I think.
  3. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    Indeed, in your examples a Russian would probably use the particles «же» or «ведь»:
    «я же/ведь уложил бельё»
    «я же/ведь видел, он пошёл туда».
  4. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Another option is "готов поклясться, что ..."

    "Готов поклясться, что укладывал бельё"
    "Готов поклясться, что видел, как он пошёл туда"
  5. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    The only problem is that this construction exists only in the fiction: I have never heard anybody saying so in the real life.
  6. blind pew Member

    Yes. "готов поклясться" is a literary style.
    In spoken language we use
    "я же уложил.."
    "я ведь уложил..."
    "я же ведь уложил..."

    "я уверен, что.."
    "я был уверен, что..."
  7. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Well, yes. But so is "I could have sworn", according to my source. ))
    Here's a snapshot of the Corpus search request. Unfortunately, this saved image may be deleted before long...

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