Russian edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

что (što) +‎ бы (by)

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): [ˈʂtobɨ] (phonetic respelling: што́бы)
  • (file)

Conjunction edit

что́бы (štóby) (+ past tense or the infinitive)

  1. that...should (indicates the subjunctive)
  2. so that, in order that; in order to
    Невозмо́жно, что́бы она́ э́то сде́лалаNevozmóžno, štóby oná éto sdélalaIt’s impossible that she should have done this; She could not possibly have done this.
    что́бы быть во́времяštóby bytʹ vóvremjain order to be on time.
  3. lest
    что́бы я не забы́лštóby ja ne zabýllest I forget; so that I won’t forget.

Usage notes edit

After чтобы, an infinitive is used if a subject is not specified. Он позвонил мне, чтобы сказать, что любит меня. (He phoned me in order to say that he loves me). The past tense is used when a subject is specified. Я хочу, чтобы ты позвонил мне. (I want you to phone me). Even though the verb is in the past tense, it still refers to the future. To put the construction in past tense, the first clause is changed to past tense. Я хотел, чтобы ты позвонил мне вчера. (I wanted you to phone me yesterday). Чтобы is normally used with perfective verbs, but imperfective verbs will be used if there is a request not to do something.

Related terms edit