Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Давайте перейдём на "ты" or "let's keep names above titles" (ТЫ and ВЫ in Russian)

There are a lot of special features of Russian language which distinguish it from other world languages. For example, English pronoun "you"  has 2 equivalents in Russian for different linguistic situations - "вы" and "ты".

In the past there was also 2 pronouns in English - "you" (plural) and "thou" (singular). The pronoun "you" was used for the group of people while "thou" for one person. But in process of time pronoun "you" displaced "thou" and became common as for the several people as for the one.
But in Russian there always were 2 pronouns:

ВЫ = YOU (plural)

ТЫ = THOU (singular)


Мальчики, что вы здесь делаете?
Boys, what are you doing here?

Ира, какую книгу ты читаешь?
Ira, which book do you read?

So we can see that in both cases in English it is used pronoun "you", but in Russian in plural "вы" and in singular "ты". But "вы" can be used not only for the group of people, but also for one persone who is higher in rank, or much older then you, or for unknown people. So you can turn to your frinds, mother, father, sisters and brothers "ты", but to your boss, teacher, doctor or unknown people "вы".

There is the locution in Russian: "Перейти на ты" (Давай перейдем на ты) Which means that person offer you to say "ты", not "вы" to him/her:

- Катя, вы можете мне помочь?
- Давайте перейдем на ты.
- Хорошо, ты можешь мне помочь?
- Конечно, я помогу.

In English the locution "Перейти на ты" is almost the same as "interact on a first-name basis":

- Mr. Jonson, can you please help me?
- Call me just Peter.
- Ok, Peter, can you help me?
- Of course, I can.

Cases of pronouns "ты" and "вы" in Russian:

Именительный             кто?              вы                                 ты
Родительный                кого?             вас                                 тебя
Дательный                    кому?            вам                                тебе
Винительный               кого?             вас                                 тебя
Творительный              кем?              вами                              тобой
Предложный                о ком?           о вас                              о тебе

Дочка, мне нужно поговорить с тобой.                       Ребята, прошу вас, сидите тихо.
Daughter, I need to speak with you.                                   Guys, I beg you to sit calm.

Шеф, мне нужно поговорить с вами.                           Брат, я видел тебя в парке.
Boss, I need to speak with you.                                          Brouther, I saw you in the park.

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