13

I just encountered аж, which apparently means even. Any difference between this word and даже, or can I substitute one for the other?

19

Аж is indeed etymologically connected to даже, however has nuances in usage.

When used with measurable quantities it means "no less than", "as many as", "whole" etc., mostly ironically:

Бильярдов теперь на этом вокзале аж три. // Now, there are no less than three pool tables on this station.

Живут же раки, говорят, аж до двадцати лет // Crayfish, they say, sometimes make it to as many as twenty years.

When used in dependent clauses, it means "(so that) even":

Лучше не бывает. Людка увидела и аж села. // It couldn't get any better. Lyudka saw it and (was so astonished that) even had to sit down.

А ты приехал, Илья Муромец… Испугались они тебя, аж трясутся // And here you come, Ilya Muromets! Oh yeah, they are so afraid of you they even get tremors

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  • Further to ycele's question, and to round off this discussion, I recently learned that "even" can also be translated by и то in some cases. Is that correct? – CocoPop Apr 2 '16 at 12:12
  • @cocopop: не знаю, что и думать can be translated as "I don't know what even to think", yes. – Quassnoi Apr 2 '16 at 21:20
  • @cocopop: sorry, seems I misread your question. И то in the meaning you're probably talking about is better translated as "yet, nevertheless": конь о четырёх ногах, и то спотыкается means "a horse has four legs, and yet it stumbles". – Quassnoi Apr 2 '16 at 22:56
  • I was thinking of sentences of this nature: В тюрьме и то лучше кормили. Even in jail they fed us better. Also, as a native, I would translate your horse sentences as: A horse has four legs and even then it stumbles. – CocoPop Apr 4 '16 at 13:17
  • "Он сегодня весь день не желает вылезать из комнаты. Играет что-то грустное на гитарке и поет. От его песни аж кошки на душе скребут." Hi. In this sentence too, is the meaning of "(so that) even" perceived? "His song sounds so sad that even ..."? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 24 '18 at 4:10
5

Generally yes, but in some cases not. You cannot substitute аж with даже in sentences like Он пробежал аж три километра (He ran /as much as/a whole three kilometers).

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2

You can almost always subsitute "аж", "ажно" for "даже", but not the other way around. "Аж" is a colloquial or expressive word.

"Шёл семнадцатый день лета. Мы от радости аж печку затопили".

"Даже" is good both for formal and informal use.

"Растение без своих грибных симбионтов развивается плохо, медленно, легко подвергается заболеваниям и даже может погибнуть."

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-3

I would say "аж" more emotionaly bus is sort of "villeage- talk", colloquial or impolitely

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