Please explain the difference between those two actions.

My guess is that спорить is in some way more objective, sober and with the true wish to find a solution for a problem while the other is more an emotional quarrel.

  • This is actually one of many examples of different "semantic fields". For example - "кисть". Means "кисть руки" (a wrist? palm and fingers, basically) as well as "кисть для рисования" (paintbrush). However, I doubt that in English you can use a word "brush" to point any part of a hand. Jan 28, 2016 at 22:53

5 Answers 5


You're basically right.

Ссориться, however, might also mean "to fall out", to stop being friends. It does not necessarily mean being actively involved in a dispute or a quarrel.


Спорить = Argue

Спорить doesn't mean to have more sober discussion at all. It can be heated or it can be calm. It means to discuss or debate.

However, ссориться = quarrel, bicker or even brawl, which always has negative connotation.


Когда люди ссорятся - у них обязательно портятся отношения друг с другом. (Участники ссоры могут при этом спорить, а могут и не спорить).

Relationship between people who quarrel always becomes worse. (They may or may not argue while doing that)

Когда люди спорят - они имеют разные точки зрения относительно предмета спора.

When people argue - they discuss the subject while having different opinions on the subject. (They may or may not remain calm while doing that. When people quarrel they never remain calm.)


Ссориться also means to separate with your ex, to spoil relations. Мы с ней поссорились means We left each other.

Спорить has a merely debate meaning, not anything else. But спорить на вещь is to have a bet on something.


Спорить (people debate differing opinions)

"Спорю на 5 баксов, что выйдет по-моему." 5 bucks says it'll happen my way.

Они спорят о мелочах. They're splitting hairs.

О вкусах не спорят. One man's meat is another man's poison.

Ссориться (people fight, feelings get hurt)

"Вы что, поссорились?" Did you guys have a fight?

"Давай больше не будем ссориться?" Let's not fight anymore?

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