Living in a tent - gerund

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

  1. WillieDee Member

    I've read there's no gerund/continuous form in Russian, which I find very difficult to comprehend, so I'm having trouble translating this sentence:
    'We had planned to go to Spain to travel around the country, living in a tent.'
    Here's my attempt:
    'Мы планировали поехать в Испании чтобы путешествовать по всей стране, живущий в палатке.'
    Is that a decent translation?
  2. Maroseika Moderator

    In this case you may use adverbial participle, sometimes even called "Russian gerund": живя. Stylistically the phrase is not good though, because literally it means that you travel inside the tent. Better to say ночуя в палатке.
    The participle that you tried to use is wrong, because participle signifies a feature of an object (человек, живущий в палатке). But here you need something signifying a feature of an action (we travel, living). This function in Russian is fulfilled by the adverbial participles.
  3. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    "living in a tent" in your example is not a gerund/continuous form but a participle. By the way, the gerund "living" and the participle "living" are homonyms of different origin: the -ing in the gerundial form is original (Old English nouns on "-ing"), while in the participle it has replaced the original -end (Old English participles on "-nde"), see here:
  4. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    ahvalj is right, it is a participle in this case. To translate, you would use the adverbial participle "живя́" (not "живу́щий"), since it is an adverb phrase. Thus:

    Мы планировали поехать в Испанию чтобы путешествовать по всей стране, живя в палатке.

    But the participle forms are often avoided, thus if I were the one saying this, I would have said:

    Мы планировали поехать в Испанию, путешествовать по всей стране и жить в палатке. (Note also the omission of "чтобы")
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  5. VicNicSor

    VicNicSor Senior Member

    I wonder why it is called "Russian gerund" (I once heard this from an English native speaker, too).
    To me, причастие "живущий" and деепричастие "живя" act in Russian in the same way as present participles act in Englsih.
  6. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I agree. Calling the adverbial participle the "Russian gerund" makes no sense. Gerunds are nouns, while adverbial participles are, unsurprisingly, adverbs.
  7. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    That happens because "gerund" is a term from the Latin grammar, where one of its functions (the "-ndo" form = English "by -ing") corresponds to the Russian adverbial participle.
  8. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    And, by the way, the Latin gerundial ndo-form is the only one preserved in Romance languages where it has exactly the same meaning as the Russian adverbial participle, cp. Spanish «yendo por la calle» = «идя по улице», «haciendo algo» = «делая что-либо», «pensando de ti» = «думая о тебе».

Share This Page