Take a sentence such as Надо действовать головой, а не силой, если возможно. Is возможно in adverb or adjective (short neutral) form?

My guess is the translation is "Need to use your head, not strength, if possible", so it appears to be an adjective.

However, I want to make sure there aren't any surprises here that make it an adverb. For example, maybe my translation reflects my thinking in English, not Russian.

Another example: Не обращай внимания, я просто не в настроении, with respect to просто. This one seems more obviously like an adverb to me. I imagine a hidden "am", so that я просто is equivalent to I (am) simply.

  • Yeah, one implies 'это' here: 'если [это] возможно'. – ach Dec 10 '15 at 18:41
  • Yeah, you can always restore the "missing" or implied words. Doing so shows the base of the sentence, where from you can usually deduce much relevant info. – noncom Dec 10 '15 at 22:33

You are right, возможно is an adjective in short form, it is possible to reconstruct the full phrase as если это будет возможно or even replace it with "если это будет возможным" (with adjective in full form)

As to просто (that used rather as "just" in this context), it is formally classified in Russian as a particle.

ПРОСТО III. частица. Разг. 1. Совершенно, прямо. П. невероятно! Стихи - п. прелесть! П. стыдно смотреть на тебя. Дом п. разваливается на глазах. 2. Всего лишь, всего-навсего; не иначе как. Вы п. смеётесь над нами. Всё это п. детское упрямство. Он п. не умён. Зашёл к вам п. так (без особых причин, целей, намерений). Зовите меня п. Ваней. Учусь в Технологическом институте или п. в Техноложке. IV. союз. (соединяет предл. или чл. предл.). Выражает противопоставление, сопоставление (часто с уступительным оттенком). Да не болен, просто устал. Ты не лентяй, просто избалован.

(Большой Толковый Словарь, источник: http://gramota.ru/slovari/dic/?word=%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE&all=x )

It is an adverb only if it is clearly opposed to сложно: "это просто сделать" as an opposition to "это сложно сделать", so просто as adverb can be translated also as easy.

In my opinion, however, it is rather conventional classification as in both cases просто describes or clarifies the predicate rather than the subject, (It become more clear if we reconstruct the phrase as "Я просто нахожусь не в настроениии"). So I don't think you are extremely wrong with просто as adverb.


If you complete the clause если возможно with если [это будет] возможно, it'll make возможно be an adverb, so it's an adverb.

  • 1
    it is not an adverb. It is adjective (in short form) and has the same meaning as in "если это будет возможным" where возможным is obviously an adjective. – user396672 Dec 11 '15 at 14:59

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