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When to use ещё and when to use пока?

С утра пока темно.

С утра ещё темно.

Is there any difference in the meaning in these examples?

EDIT:

As @Alex.S said, there is also one other variant:

С утра пока ещё темно. So, what are the differences in the meaning if they exist?

  • 3
    The first sounds weird. To confuse you a bit more: "С утра пока ещё темно" is totally okay. – Abakan Aug 12 '16 at 13:33
  • С утра пока темно It sounds more like "In the morning, while it was still dark, [someone started to do smth.]". I guess native speakers could say this from time to time, but in fact it's a speech mistake. – Matt Aug 12 '16 at 13:43
4

The first sounds like an unfinished sentence, like a clause because пока in your sentence means while.In the morning while it's dark or while it's still dark...(С утра пока темно...or С утра, пока еще темно,я готовлю завтрак).

The second is OK.In the morning it's still dark. It sounds like a background for a story. Пока and еще have got several meanings. The main are: 1.at the moment, now, waiting for some time.

Я пока подожду. Пока мне ста рублей достаточно.

2 пока еще or пока--still, yet

Пока еще ждем.(we are still waiting).Пока еще не уехали.(we haven't left yet.)

3.пока--while

Куй железо, пока горячо.(Make hay while the sun shines)

4пока--until

Сиди здесь, пока не приду.(Stay here till I come).

ЕЩЁ, 1. (ещё). --again

Ещё раз.

  1. (ещё) --in addition с предшествующими союзами, и, да.

    Дайте мне масла, муки и ещё сахару. Он способный, образованный, да ещё добрый. | Он мало способен, да еще ленив.

  2. (еще). already

    Дом сгорел еще в прошлом году.

4.еще--still

. Молод ты еще, чтоб курить.

5еще--having enough time

. Я еще успею на поезд.

  1. (ещё) --more при прил. и нареч. сравн.

    Она стала ещё красивее.

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2

С утра пока темно. = Not a phrase. As has been mentioned, it looks like "In the morning, while it is still dark...", requiring a continuation. And a comma before пока.

С утра ещё темно. = In the morning it is still dark. Means, well, it is still too dark in the morning for the proposed activity.

С утра пока ещё темно. = It is still dark in the morning in this part of the year/season. Means you need to wait some months for it being not that dark in the morning.

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1

Roughly, "пока" is closer to "yet", whereas "ещё" is closer to "still". "Пока" implies continuation: С утра пока темно[, но скоро будет светлее]. You can even combine these words, to make the opposition even stronger: ...пока ещё темно, [но совсем скоро уже будет светло].

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