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Насмерть or вусмерть, when do I use what?

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    That is really short for proper question. You should always supply some examples. – InitK Jan 15 '16 at 15:05
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Those words have quite different domains of usage. In fact, any time you are talking about death, death literally, it's "насмерть" - разбиться насмерть. Also, when you are talking about extreme level of something, than in most cases it is "насмерть" as well: они стояли насмерть за свою родину, слушай, дверь насмерть просто закрылась, никак не открыть.

"Вусмерть" in modern Russian is about extreme states of conscience, about being at the edge of functioning. Напиться вусмерть - is to drink way to much, bit that does not imply death. In fact, "вусмерть" is used mostly in drunk-related context.

There are, though, some cases when those two words are interchangeable. Я просто вусмерть с ними рассорился/я прям насмерть на него обиделся.

In short, to non-native speaker who is yet to gain some experience in de-facto word usage I'de recommend to use "вусмерть" about being drunk (or stoned) and "насмерть" in other cases. This is oversimplification but it's something worth to start with.

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  • "Вусмерть" is highly informal, and considerably rare. Are the verbs "рассориться" and "обидеться" interchangeable? – bipll Jun 18 '16 at 9:59
  • @bipll between sentences, no they are not. Sentences them selfs are kind equal, as use case, but describes different aspects of situation as process and such. Are вусмерть/насмерть interchangeable in these sentences - yes, that is good valid example. – MolbOrg Jun 27 '16 at 20:40
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Вусмурть - I hear this word first time. I'm russian btw. I may say that for sure this word is out of date and you won't find nowadays, only in old books maybe.

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    если вы не напивались вусмерть, это ещё не значит, что слово не существует) ваш ответ вводит в заблуждение – shabunc Jun 18 '16 at 0:52
  • @FlaminCat, maybe it just isn't used in some specific region? – user5462 Jun 20 '16 at 15:41
  • @Roux it's know widely enough at least, although it may sound like grandma word for someone. Probably FlaminCat is young enough not to know. – MolbOrg Jun 27 '16 at 20:47

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