When to use являться and when быть?

Why do we use this case here? And this verb? What rule should I use here?
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calzzetin
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When to use являться and when быть?

Postby calzzetin » Mar 12th, 15, 11:43

Hello,

I have a question about the way to say "to be" in Russian. I have this example:

Он является врачом = He's a doctor.
Он – брач = He's a doctor.

Is there any difference of meaning in this two phrases or do they mean more or less the same? Is there a rule to know when to use быть or when to use являться or can you use any option without changing the meaning?

Спасибо!
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Annasjena
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Re: When to use являться and when быть?

Postby Annasjena » Mar 12th, 15, 16:32

Hello!
the phrases mean completely the same, but the second is more common ("Он врач"). The verb "являться" is necessary in the case if you want to tell something that is not obvious or complicated to understand, or if you want to express your opinion. For example: "Этот фильм является "жемчужиной" советского кинематографа" (your opinion, or the opinion which you support); "Ваше заявление является совершенно неверным" (something that is not obvious for anybody but is clear for you); "История любого государства является той основой, на которой основаны принципы его современного функционирования" (a new infornation to comprehend).
Also, the verb "являться" could be used in this context: "И явился Господь во всём своём величии" (appeared, showed up); or, a slang phrase "Явился, не запылился!" (to someone who had being waited for a long time)
Also, there's a verb "являть" : "Ваши слова являют Вашу полную некомпетентность по этому вопросу" (quite old-fashined, maybe, appropriate sor the scientists' circl)
As for the virb "быть", there's no need in present tenses at all, I think...and it's great!!! it's so difficult to teach Russian children to use it...)))))))))

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Re: When to use являться and when быть?

Postby calzzetin » Mar 14th, 15, 13:08

Thanks! I think I got the idea, but it seems that I need to feel the language more to get to the point of know when to use each option. But yes, I understood the main point, now I just need to practice more. Thank you very much!
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Re: When to use являться and when быть?

Postby Taras » Mar 14th, 15, 20:02

To my way of thinking, a phrase with 'является' in the present tense is more formal than the corresponding phrase without the 'является', and that's the only difference between these two phrases. So

Он является лучшим футболистом в мире (He's the best footballer in the world)
is more formal than
Он - лучший футболист в мире.

However, if somebody tells their name, they should not use 'является':

Я Тарас (I'm Taras).
'Я являюсь Тарасом' is incorrect.

Speaking about a dash meaning 'to be', it's often left out if the subject is a personal pronoun. Examples:

Он лучший футболист в мире.
Я Тарас.

In case of showing contrast such dashes are usually put:

Я - хороший человек, а он - плохой (I am a good person, and he is a bad one).

If the subject is not a personal pronoun, the dash is put:

Этот дом - всё, что у них есть (This house is everything they have).
Аня - весёлая девушка (Anya is a jolly girl).

'Есть' meaning 'to be' is used very rarely and usually in high-sounding speeches or pieces of writing. Examples:

Война есть безумие! (War is madness!)
Учёба есть труд (Studies are labor).

So I guess one can express 'to be' in Russian in the present tense only with
[*] a dash or nothing
[*] 'является' (more formal)
[*] 'есть' (very rare and high-sounding).

In the past tense and in the future tense 'to be' can be expressed with 'быть' and 'являться'. In this case 'являться' is also more formal than 'быть', but still means the same. Examples:

Я был/являлся директором этой компании (I (was/have been/used to be) the CEO of this company).
Я буду директором этой компании (I'll be the CEO of this company).
Я буду являться директором этой компании.

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Re: When to use являться and when быть?

Postby Annasjena » Mar 15th, 15, 12:46

calzzetin wrote:Thanks! I think I got the idea, but it seems that I need to feel the language more to get to the point of know when to use each option. But yes, I understood the main point, now I just need to practice more. Thank you very much!

You're welcome, calzzetin, mi placer :D

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Re: When to use являться and when быть?

Postby calzzetin » Mar 16th, 15, 22:22

Thanks a lot Taras. That was a very thorough explanation. This is really a great place to learn Russian!
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