Perfective of помнить?

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by jamtland76, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. jamtland76 Member

    Does imperfective помнить have a perfective verb?
  2. Maroseika Moderator

    Вспомнить, упомнить, припомнить. Hard to say, as usually in such cases, to what extent these verbs constitute a pair perfective-imperfective.
  3. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    You can use вспомнить depending on the situation, but that is actually the perfective of вспоминать.
  4. Rosett

    Rosett Senior Member


    (пара с 'поминать').
  5. estreets Senior Member

    Or запомнить
    Я помню, потому что я запомнил.
    OK, all perfective verbs have some additional nuances of meaning.
  6. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    No, помнить doesn't have a perfective form. How could it? The verb denotes a state, not an action. Вспомнить is a pair to вспоминать and запомнить is a pair to запоминать. Rosett's reply is just plain off topic.
  7. Maroseika Moderator

    I agree. Perfectness presumes some limit of the action (though sometimes very formal) or possibility of its completion:
    забывал, забывал и забыл
    писал, писал и написал
    помнил, помнил и... что?
  8. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    И забыл!
  9. morzh

    morzh Banned

    Помнил, помнил, и.....Альцгеймер.
  10. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    The Slavic verbs have no perfective and imperfective forms.
    They are separate lexems (lexical entities), sometimes forming pairs perfective/imperfective, but most often no. The perfective/imperfective lexems form complicated arrays, in which the imperfective lexem usually has a rather general meaning, while the perfective have a more narrow one, for example:
    imperfective: писать
    perfective: прописать, написать, списать, расписать, and many more.
    The picture is even more complicated as there exist imperfective verbs formed from perfective ones (with the prefix), like запоминать.
  11. morzh

    morzh Banned

    I think it is called "aspects". There are two - perfective and imperfective. (Виды глаговло - совершенный/несовершенный).

    And, yes - they are separate verbs, though often related (sometimes not).

    However, for the sake of simplicity, it is easier to consider them to be forms of the same verbs, (though formally it's not so). I looked at some Russian courses' materials, where it is explained, and, considering the whole overwhelming Slavic language (let alone - Russian) concept for a non-Slavic native speaker, these explanation, quoting "there is no sure way to explain how to distinguish perfective from imperfective - here are some tell-tell signs" are just downright scary to me.

    After all, often (albeit not always) the "perfective" aspect is formed out of "imperfective" by adding prefixes, like "по, с, на" and such.

    Like in "любить/полюбить".

    Also, those two when in existence, are considered "coupled verbs" (парные глаголы), and so, again, it is easier to think of them as of the same verb with two forms.

    PS> 1. Some verbs have only one aspect. (очутиться - only perfective, принадлежать - only imperfective). 2) some have both aspects in one word (исповедовать, ранить).
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  12. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Perfective and imperfective verbs are two sides of the same aspect of perfectiveness (or lack of such). There are actually many more aspects in other languages.
  13. Orlin Banned

    Я тоже думаю, что по-английски это "aspects", хотя я не полностью уверен. По-русски, болгарски и сербски (боснийски, хорватски) вид.
    Говорят, что большинство глаголов образует видовые пары - каждая такая пара состоит из 2 глаголов, которые являются самостоятельными лексическими единицами, но имеют совсем одинаковое значение и различаются только по виду. Но у значительного числа несовершенных глаголов нет эквивалентов совершенного вида, а гораздо реже встечается случай глаголов совершенного вида без несовершенного соответствия. А есть и двухвидовые глаголы - они могут иметь значение и совершенного, и несовершенного вида в зависимости от контекста, не изменяя свою форму (например большинство глаголов на -ировать).
  14. yoysl Member

    English - US
    "Aspect" is right. Sovershennyj = perfective, nesovershennyj = imperfective.

    True-ish ... it is hard to change the aspect of a verb without changing its meaning. Perfective verbs mark the completion of an action, which by extension can imply many other things, such as the annulment of a state, etc. Imperfective verbs are unmarked for completion. Thus, even though verbs like смотреть / посмотреть roughly mean the same thing ('to watch'), they are really only as much synonyms as "rock" and "granite," since the perfective emphasizes something specific about the action that the imperfective does not.

    Further, some imperfectives have multiple perfectives, as in писать -> написать, пописать. The former perfective emphasizes that everything that was supposed to be written was written, while the latter emphasizes that the writer wrote for a designated amount of time, even if he did not finish what he was working on. Then, some perfectives have multiple imperfectives; пописывать is an imperfective of пописать. The point is, in reality the relationship between aspectual pairs are never as simple as you make it sound.

    It is hard to imagine the completion of some verbs, like помнить. There are plenty of perfectives formed from verbs like помнить, but they necessarily differ slightly in meaning from the imperfective помнить, because, for example, you cannot finish remembering something; you can, however, finish certain parts of the process of remembering, such as creating a memory (запомнить), etc.

    Verbal prefixes in Russian are tricky business; it is hard to tell whether they are perfectivizing or not (=whether they simply add the element of completion to the verb or add even more meaning). Помнить itself is an interesting case: a prefixed and un-infixed form of the verb мнить, which is actually imperfective!
  15. Explorer41 Senior Member

    I think, this explaination may be misleading, and at least is incomplete. For example, the phrase "Я мало жил, и жил в плену" (the same for the sentence "Я жил в горах") surely expresses a completed action, but still it uses the imperfective verb. When comparing the two simplistic sentences "Я порисовал и сходил в магазин" and "Я рисовал и ходил в магазин", we can't say that one is more completed than the other (though they are different in the other sense: the actions in the first sentence are most likely consecutive, and the order of the actions in the second sentence is unspecified; still both sentences mean that the two actions were completed, were successful, and impacted the present state (in other words, they both had a result)).

    The western perfect tenses (like the ones in French and English) have more to do with the completeness and even more with resultativeness, as far as I know. So, I should admit the reasons to use one or another tense/aspect are different there from those in Russian.

    As for the French language (passé composé vs. imparfait), mostly the choices are the same in French and in Russian, but there are notable exceptions. For example, "я жил в горах" is I'm sure ( ;-) ) "J'ai vécu dans la montagne" if one wants to underline his having lived there; another example: "la paix des maisons d'artistes où l'âme humaine a travaillé" is something like "мир и покой домов, где работала человеческая мысль" in Russian (it's from Maupassant). Probably "le passé composé" was used because the action was completed and had an effect on the present state.

    As for the English difference between the present perfect tense and the simple past tense, I have seen no correlation between their use and the use of the perfective/imperfective aspect in Russian ("я не увидел никакого соответствия..."). Though the English continous tense is often translated with an imperfective verb in Russian, it's true. From here to the end of the post I will give translations of English present perfect phrases (I hope I'll use the present perfect right ;-) ).

    So we should conclude that the reason for distinguishing aspects and for choosing verbs of a certain aspect in a certain sentence is neither the resultativeness, nor the completeness of an action. I have seen ("Я видел") the following explaination, which fits all the examples of the aspect use I have seen so far ("все виденные мною примеры употребления глагольных видов"): different aspects express different looks at the same situation, concerning the importance of the structure of the action. That is:

    1). With the perfective look, we are not interested how did the action develop. Instead, we are interested where it was placed in time, how did it impact the course of the changes etc. When we look at the action from this point of view, we may call it "an event". Events have many uses, especially when we discuss in what way the actions where stacked together.
    2). With the imperfective look, we are interested in the way the action developed, in the structure of the action. The action is continuous for us: we explore how did it happen. For example, that's why we use the imperfective aspect in clauses involving the word "пока": "пока я выходил из дому, он успел уже добежать до Садовой". He reached the Sadovaya street (no matter in what way) during the course of my going out of home; therefore we have to consider my going out of home as an action with an internal structure, and to treat it as such. When we look at the action from this point of view, we may call it "a process". The usefulness of processes for a language, I think, is evident. :) And well, the looking at the internals of an action does not prevent us from being aware about its results.

    The point was underlined in the book where I have read it ("в книге, где я прочитал об этом"), and I think I should underline it here: the difference is not whether the action is continuous or not. The action is always continuous, it always takes time. The difference is how do we look at the action: whether we are interested to look at it "from the outside", or we'd like to consider its "within". Also, sometimes the distinction is superflucious. In such cases we can get a crazy, non-predictable behaviour.

    I hope, all of the above was useful in general, because the usage of Russian aspects is hard for western learners, for which one reason is that there is a plenty of myths about the aspects, and myths confuse the people. Turning back to the specific question of the thread, "помнить" actually does not have a definite perfective counterpart (just like many other verbs, for example, "идти" or "рисовать" — compare "порисовать" and "нарисовать"). It could have one (meaning exactly "to keep in memory" — "He kept it in memory during the series of other events and processes"), but it would be pointless to have such a verb — just no use in general. I think, if we would be crazy people, not thinking about profits and like, we could have the perfective verb "попомнить" as a counterpart for "помнить": "Он пошёл гулять, попомнил слова Марии о тщетности бытия, остановился на секунду и пошёл дальше". But we are not that crazy, we are practical instead, and we use the word "попомнить" in the different meaning, more useful for us. Actually, the closest perfective verb for "помнить" is "припомнить" in Russian, and it should be used in the sentence above: its meaning is not exactly the same, but close.
    I agree with you completely. In fact, relations between different Russian perfective and imperfective verbs form a very complex "network", where an imperfective verb may have a lot of perfective derivatives, and perfective verbs may have a few imperfective derivatives, too.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  16. yoysl Member

    English - US
    You're confusing the terms "mark" and "express." When something is "marked" for a certain feature, it expresses this feature unambiguously. When something is "unmarked" for a certain feature, it does not entail this feature; it may imply it, but it does not entail it. (Google маркированность for more info.)

    If perfective verbs are marked for the completion of an action, this means they entail that the action of this verb is somehow bounded in time. Imperfective verbs, being unmarked with respect to completion, do not entail that the action is bounded in time. This does not mean the action is not bounded in time! The action certainly can be completed. It's just that the verb itself does not entail anything about the completion of this action. Using your example, "я жил в горах" implies that I don't still live there, but this is not necessarily the case: albeit a bit weird, it's not technically a contradiction to follow that sentence with "я и теперь там живу." There is nothing about the first statement that precludes the second from being true.

    Of course, with enough context (as in your Lermontov) the meaning of the imperfective with respect to time becomes pretty unambiguous. That's not the point; the point is that by itself the imperfective verb does not say anything about the completedness of the action. The perfective verb does.

    Totally agree.

    Edit: Also, the consecutiveness of porisoval and sxodil in your example is due to the fact that, as perfectives, the actions are explicitly completed. Risoval and xodil do not mark anything about their boundedness, so we don't know any details about how they occurred; they could have even been simultaneous! You're right, it is clear that they are both completed, but this is an issue of tense and that they are not stative verbs like zhit'.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  17. Explorer41 Senior Member

    Well :) , I did not say your statement is incorrect. I said, it may be misleading, and it is an incomplete explanation. Of course, we can't refer to an action as to an event, if it is still developing (and is not completed). (At least, we can't do so in Russian, I don't know what's in Bulgarian).

    Also, sometimes making sure the action is complete just doesn't add anything and is useless, because it may be already clear that the action completed even if it is expressed with imperfective (consider, for example, the sentences above with the picture and the store). Moreover, the added "completeness" may mean different things in different situations; due to all of it, basing conclusions on the point about completeness is very questionable — it may get to mistakes.

    And I had to base my words that a perfective (more or less) counterpart of "помнить" is pretty imaginable, though doesn't exist in the Russian language. :)

    Wishing the best ;)


    As for your example: I can pretty well say the phrase "Я пожил в горах, я и теперь там живу", and, taken alone, this sentence will mean mostly the same as "Я жил в горах, я и теперь там живу" (because when this phrase is alone, the kind of the look at the situation of previous living is not very important).


    I'd put it so: they are consecutive because they are points in time for us (events). The most logical way to organize points in time is to place them one after another, in the order of appearing. Though I can imagine contexts where the actions would be, say, reversed, but such contexts would be quite strange. As for the difference in completeness, I fail to see any difference between an explicit completeness and an implicit one. Completeness is a completeness; it is either present or not. :)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  18. yoysl Member

    English - US
    You're right, I've done a poor job explaining myself. You're also right that these linguistic definitions don't always help people learn a language better. And they don't change the fact that there's no "default" perfective of pomnit' in Russian (just some prefixed perfectives with different shades of meaning).
    Вам тоже!
  19. Explorer41 Senior Member

    No, there is no such verb. Because it's not very needed, not because it's logically impossible. The logic clearly permits its existence :)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  20. Syline Senior Member

    But the root of the verb помнить is помн.
  21. yoysl Member

    English - US
  22. Syline Senior Member


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