In Mini Story 58, the first section contains the line “те обичат да пият една или две чаши вино” = they like to drink one or two glasses of wine", whereas in the second section, told in 1st person plural, it goes “обичахме да пием по една или две чаши вино” = we liked to drink [по] one or two glasses of wine.
Can anyone tell me what that ‘по’ is doing grammatically in the second version, that isn’t necessary in the first?
“We like to drink one or two glasses each.” The по insists upon/makes explicit the fact that each has one or two glasses. It’s not strictly necessary in either the first or second version, just another way of saying it.
Thanks. That sounds like like another of those features that will be easy for me to make sense of when I see it, but really hard to make part of my active vocabulary because it’s just different enough from how I would say things in English
As a native speaker I can assure you that the ПО meaning each one has the mentioned number of glasses is the better option and would be preferred in any situation. In the first version without it there is no clear distinction as it might very well mean than 1-2 glasses is the number total of glasses drunk. Always use ПО when distributing things.
Quite true. But note the English translation :”They enjoy having a glass or two of wine with their meal when they eat out.” In English it’s certainly not necessary in such a conversational context to distribute so explicitly. The translator assured me that it’s the same in Bulgarian, but she chose to give both, so that in one of the last stories we have a chance to see both. Anyway I’m quite partial to her interpretation. . . because I’m married to her
i run into these same issues with French, and yeah I find it difficult because I’m not native: there are several ways to say something, and the more strictly correct way is not always used.