Very recently in a russian newspaper I came across the words якобы and дабы. I surfed the internet for these words and found out that generally якобы is alike псевдо or как будто бы, and дабы is так как. How do I use these old-fashioned words correctly in a context? Thank you in advance!

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    For some reason, it reminds me (though unrelated): «Если бы, да кабы, да во рту росли грибы, тогда бы был не рот, а целый огород»—"If ifs and ands were pots and pans (there'd be no work for tinkers' hands)."
    – jfs
    Apr 18, 2016 at 19:15
  • @J.F.Sebastian For some reason, it reminds me (though unrelated) Well, бы-part is a sort of "would be" (arachaic past tense of "быть" actually), so "если бы"="if [it] would be", "дабы" = "да+бы" = "что+бы" = "so that [it] would be" etc.
    – Matt
    Apr 19, 2016 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


Якобы means "allegedly". It's perfectly normal in everyday speech.

Дабы (either the first or the second syllable can be put under the stress) is an old-fashioned conjunction meaning "so that". You must have a clear intention on using such outdated word. Normally Russian speakers say "чтобы" or "для того, чтобы", but not "дабы".

  • In Дабы only the first syllable can be stressed.
    – Anixx
    Apr 19, 2016 at 3:52
  • @Anixx МАС shows two stresses. Also "дабЫ" is iambus, so there are numerous poetic examples with stable stress on the second syllable starting from Lomonosov: "Дабы признали все народы и языки,//Коль мирные твои дела в войну велики.//Дабы украшенный твоей рукой Парнас//Любителей наук призвать возвысил глас".
    – Matt
    Apr 19, 2016 at 8:02
  • @Matt This poetry can be as well read with stress on the first syllable. Also, it is 18th century, far from modern Russian. Also, in poetry the stress is often wrong.
    – Anixx
    Apr 19, 2016 at 10:06
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    @Anixx I believe you can't. Also it's the same for Pushkin and many others - it's not just a single deviation. Also both Малый академический словарь (МАС) and Грамматический словарь Зализняка (and, I believe, other dictionaries too) explicitly state that both stresses are OK.
    – Matt
    Apr 19, 2016 at 11:15

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