Important: Existing users must reset their password due to changes to our system!
Важно: Система поменялась. Вам потребуется сбросить пароль, если вы уже зарегистрированы.

Welcome to Russian Q&A

A place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.

Which verbal aspect to use in the past tense?

+1 vote

I'm going through the Penguin Russian Course, and I'm on the chapter where they discuss whether to use perfective or imperfective in the past tense. They give an example sentence of the following:

"Они искали его десять минут и наконец нашли около гостиницы Интурист"

They say that искать must be used because the searching is an unfinished action in progress. However, one of there rules for usage is that "sequences of actions, except when they are repeated actions are perfective, since each action must be finished before the next one can take place." I'm having trouble reconciling this rule with the sentence they give? Shouldn't both verbs use the perfective form?
asked Jan 21, 2013 by m3k312 (330 points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

"Они искали его десять минут и наконец нашли около гостиницы Интурист"= They were looking for him ten minutes and finally found around the hotel "Inturist".

Они искали его (imperfective)= they were looking for him (you descirbe the time when they were looking for him)

Они поискали его(perfective) = they looked for him (you are talking about the time in the past when they have already finished looking for him).

answered Jan 21, 2013 by Princess (1,440 points)