25 Ekim 2009 Pazar

Past Tense

The Russian past tense is used to talk about actions and situations which took place at any point in the past. There is only one past tense form in Russian compared to numerous forms in English.

She ate
She did eat
She had eaten
She was eating
She has eaten

Она ела/съела

Combining the stem of the infinitive with the suffix л forms the past tense verbs. For example,

морозить + л --> морозил
зеленеть + л --> зеленел

Note: Use the same vowel in the past tense verb form as in the infinitive form before -ть. For example, 

зависеть - зависел 
бросить - бросил 
спрятать - спрятал

There is an exception in forming the past tense form for some verbs which have the infinitive ending in -чь, -ти, -нуть. The suffix л is not used to form the past tense form of such verbs if they are used with singular masculine subjects (i.e. nouns and pronouns), like in

беречь --> мальчик берёг,
--> он сох

However, the suffix л is used for the same verbs if they are used with singular feminine and neutral, as well as all plural subjects. For example,
беречь --> она берегла, оно берегло, они берегли
--> она сох
ла, оно сохло, они сохли

The past tense verbs change by number. The ending  is an indicator of plural number (писал --> писали). It is the same for all genders.

Only singular forms of the past tense verbs change by gender. Singular masculine forms have no ending after the suffix л(туман упал). An indicator of singular feminine forms is theending а (роса упала). An ending o is used with singular neutral forms (дерево упало). Here is the table that shows endings for each of the forms.

Past tense form
Past tense ending
(after the suffix л)

Singular masculine
Singular feminine
Singular neutral
Plural (all genders)

Test yourself:
Fill in the blanks using appropriate past tense form for verbs in brackets.

1. Папа ________ вазу яблоками (наполнить).
2. Солнце ________ площадь (осветить).
3. Девочка ________ домой (спешить).
4. Садовник ________ за клумбой (ухаживать).

Construct interrogative sentences using words below. Answer them.

5. Выучить, уроки, Аня.
6. Том, опоздать, поезд.
7. Быть, охотник, Сэм.
8. Собака, любить, хозяин.

1. Папа наполнил вазу яблоками.
2. Солнце осветило площадь.
3. Девочка спешила домой.
4. Садовник ухаживал за клумбой.

5. Аня выучила уроки? Да, выучила. / Нет, не выучила.
6. Том опоздал на поезд? Да, опоздал. / Нет, не опоздал.
7. Сэм был охотником? Да, был. / Нет, не был.
8. Собака любила хозяина? Да, любила. / Нет, не любила.

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