This sentence apparently means "I would like to sleep till April":

Заснуть бы до апреля бы.

But I can't understand the use of "бы" here. Could someone give examples of other sentences using this double-бы construction? For instance, if I say:

[Infinitive verb] бы [object] бы.

Does that always mean "I would like to verb the object"?

  • 1
    You could think of it like of English like, which you could put like almost everywhere :)
    – UVV
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 12:33

2 Answers 2


That's a kind of "colloquial tautology". In Russian the placement of "бы" is not fixed. That is both "Заснуть бы до апреля" and "Заснуть до апреля бы" mean the same. But sometimes the speaker may use a small emphasis to mean either: I'd like to sleep till April or I'd like to sleep, say, until April.

Colloquially, people sometimes use tautology to express both at once: Заснуть бы до апреля бы --> I'd like to sleep; be my sleep until April.

  • To be clear: does [infinitive verb] + бы always mean "I would like to [verb]"?
    – Jack M
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:23
  • @JackM yes, always.
    – shau-kote
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:34
  • 1
    @JackM Almost. As it's infinitive it's not confined to 1st person singular. Could also mean something close to: "We would like to [verb], would we?"
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:54
  • @JackM BTW. You may even omit the verb, if the context allows this: "Эх, сейчас бы супчику горяченького да с потрошками, а?!"
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 13:58
  • @user4419802 So can you think of "[infinitive] бы" as a contraction of "Хотел [infinitive] бы"?
    – Jack M
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 17:46

I could only think that this adds additional emphasis on the wish the particle бы expresses. In normal speech one would simply say:

Заснуть бы до апреля.


Заснуть до апреля бы.

They are similar, maybe with slight possible differences (emphasis on заснуть or до апреля).

I would expect double бы to be used in poetry, songs and the like, for additional emphasis, rhythm etc.

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