Russian adverbs of time

Когда? (When?), С каких пор? (Since when?), Как долго? (For how long?), Сколько времени? (How long?), Как часто? (How often?).

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The Russian language has a lot of ways to express time. One of them is constructions using the words когда and пока. These constructions are synonims if you can replace both of them with the construction в то время, как.

But in some cases they are used differently. Когда can be used in complex sentences with the following patterns: “result + result”, “beginning of an action + another action”.

Constructions with пока are only used in situations “process + process” or “process + end of an action”

Time in the Russian language is described with the help of the adverbs ещё and уже. The adverb ещё can mean that:

  • a process has not started yet;
  • the desired result has not been achieved so far;
  • an action which was to have finished at the moment of speech is still going on.

The adverb уже can mean that:

  • a process has finished;
  • the result has been achieved;
  • there is already another action under way at the moment of speech.

Adverbs of time designate time when action was performed or duration of action. They answer the questions Когда? (When?), С каких пор? (Since when?), Как долго? (For how long?), Сколько времени? (How long?), Как часто? (How often?).

When answering the question Когда? the words утром (in the morning), вечером (in the evening), днём (afternoon), ночью (at night) are often used for time of the day. These adverbs are formed from nouns designating certain time of the day or night.

If you want to indicate exact time, use the preposition B + a numeral + the noun час (hour) + the genitive of a noun for time of the day. Here are some examples:

   в 7 часов утра - at 7 a.m.
   в 3 часа дня - at 3 p.m.
   в 8 часов вечера - at 8 p.m.
   в 2 часа ночи - at 2 p.m.

Note that утра is used for the period of time from 4 a.m. to noon, дня - from noon to 6 p.m., вечера - from 6 p.m. to midnight, ночи - from midnight to 4 a.m. Adjective Time interval утром 4 a.m. to noon днём noon to 6 p.m. вечером 6 p.m. to midnight ночью midnight to 4 a.m.

You can also form indefinite adverbs of time with the help of the particles -то and -нибудь. These adverbs do not designate exact time, as in:

   Когда-то она жила в Москве.
   (She once lived in Moscow.)
   Когда-нибудь ваша мечта осуществится.
   (Some day your dream will come true.)


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