Is тоже usually placed before or after the word to which it is referring?


Indeed word "тоже" generally can be placed before or after the word it refers to. However this might depend on meaning of the word.

The word has 2 meanings:

ТОЖЕ. I. наречие. Равным образом, в равной мере; также.
Он устал, я тоже (устал).
Одежда грязная, обувь тоже (грязная).
Я перестал спрашивать, все тоже приумолкли.

"Тоже" should be generally used after substantive and before the verb. Although you can move "тоже" before or after the verb just fine:

Он устал, я тоже устал or Он устал, я устал тоже.

However "тоже" before substantive would be not good, athough probably acceptable (it was told somewhat like this before):

Он устал, тоже я устал. (it is not generally used like that)
Одежда грязная, тоже обувь грязная. (the same)

ТОЖЕ. II. частица. (усилительное) Разговорное. Выражает неодобрение по адресу кого-либо, сомнение относительно чьего-либо права называться как-либо, быть кем-либо, делать что-либо.
Тоже, судьи нашлись!
Тоже мне, умник нашёлся!

The most used way would be before the word it refers to. Although you can find nearly any variant.

-Примерно, ежели бы у тебя был брат или, скажем, друг, который, значит, с самого сыздетства. [...] То за сколько бы ты его примерно продал?
-Приравнял тоже!..

-Говорю, луну он ни разу с неба не захотел?
-Ну вот... тоже скажешь — луну!
A.И. Куприн. "Белый пудель".

This is colloquial usage, however it can be met quite often.

In general, you can place it either before or after, however keep in mind that depending on the sentence it could start looking really weird and probably impossible to understand.


Like many thing Russian, either, but the 'norm' is (usually) before:

Эта тарелка тоже красива. ("...also beautiful.")

Эта тарелка красива тоже. ("...beautiful as well.")

The latter is perfectly OK (if slightly less usual), but here "тоже" relates to the whole sentence (pretty much like in English).

Things may get somewhat complicated:

Я тоже хочу спать.

Is it "me, too" or "want, too"? Well, the meaning is not that much different, but when the difference is important, it is usually handled by intonation in speech. Intonation can be hugely important in Russian.

  • 1
    The whole Russian language is a footnote.
    – casey
    Aug 1 '16 at 3:56
  • 2
    Я тоже хочу спать can't possibly mean anything other than "I, too, want to sleep". "Want, too" would be expressed with также or ещё. Aug 1 '16 at 4:04
  • @NikolayErshov, grammatically it can. Cf: Я тоже хочу, но терплю. Here it is more logical to stress "хочу", and "тоже" will relate to it. But the difference is subtle anyway.
    – Zeus
    Aug 1 '16 at 14:23
  • I would expect "тоже" as the last word of a sentence if it's stressed. For example, if someone argues he doesn't want to do something because he wants to sleep, then "я хочу спать тоже" would be a nice answer to show that he's not alone and this is not a valid argument. Aug 1 '16 at 16:26
  • @Zeus I am not sure I understand what you mean by "me, too" then. In your interpretation there is no difference between the two: both mean that some other person wants to sleep, and you are no different.
    – Shady_arc
    Aug 2 '16 at 17:33

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