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Add Emotion to Your Russian: Emphatic Particles (Part II) Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in language

Last time, we looked at three particles used for emphasis in Russian. These particles convey the speaker’s attitude and make your speech and writing much more lively. Let us look at a couple of other particles.


person playing video game

Image by Unsplash

Ведь is used to reinforce a viewpoint or to show that, although it contradicts previously presented information, it is the true or desirable state of affairs. It is pretty close to же, which we looked at last week.

― Вот ты всё время играешь, но ведь компьютер не только для этого, правда?
“You are playing all the time, but the computer is not just meant for that, is it?”
[Елена Павлова. Вместе мы эту пропасть одолеем! // «Даша», 2004]

Ведь here points out a contradiction — the person is only using their computer to play, presumably video games, however, it can be used to other things. Ведь сould be placed in multiple places, so the sentence could also read “…компьютер ведь не только для этого.”

Мы ведь, если задуматься, 99 процентов времени проводим в страхе.
If you think about it, we do spend 99 percent of the time in fear.
[Мария Варденга. Галина Тюнина. Фрагменты белого стиха (2002) // «Домовой», 2002.02.04]

Ведь here serves to say “contrary to what you may think or to common sense” we spend 99 percent of the time in fear.

Ирина любила постоянно орущую мать, постоянно дерущегося брата. Любят ведь не за что-то.
Irina loved her constantly yelling mother and constantly fighting brother. It’s not for something that we love people.
[Токарева Виктория. Своя правда // «Новый Мир», 2002]

Here, ведь contrasts the idea of loving people for their qualities with the reality of loving them with all their flaws and perhaps despite them.


rows of umbrellas at the beach

Image from Unsplash

This particle expresses contradiction. It seems to suggest something will happen despite everything.

Сенсационным, однако, является то, что победа “Амели” всё-таки не стала безоговорочной.
What’s sensational is that Amélie’s victory was not uncontested, after all.
[Иван Даммов. Французским киношникам раздали «Сезаров» (2002) // «Известия», 2002.03.03]

Всё-таки here shows that the movie Amélie was expected to win, and the fact that it had competition is unexpected.

Чтобы знать сплетни, надо всё-таки иметь к ним известный интерес.
To keep up with gossip, you do need to be somewhat interested in it.
[Людмила Улицкая. Казус Кукоцкого [Путешествие в седьмую сторону света] // «Новый Мир», 2000]

Всё-таки expresses a contradiction — you would not know all the rumors if you did not ultimately care about them.

Отпуск в этом году у меня всё-таки будет.
“I will have a vacation this year, after all.”
[Дума без героя // «Коммерсантъ-Власть», 2000]

The particle conveys the sense of “no matter what” in this sentence.

Hopefully, particles make a little more sense to you now. Can you spot some in the Russian texts you come across?

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About the Author:Maria

Maria is a trained Russian translator. Originally hailing from Russia, she now lives in Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. When she's not at her computer, she is dancing, out taking photographs or practicing German or Spanish at local language meetups. Maria's professional updates are available on her translation site and on Twitter at @intorussian.


  1. Jo Tuffs:

    I wish you’d been the teacher when I was learning Russian in the 80s.! My Russian might be better!

    • Maria:

      @Jo Tuffs Thank you, Jo!
      We have more useful tips in store for this blog, so hope you come back to read them.

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