How would the phrase "You may have..." be translated best in a sentence such as the following?

You may have seen the movie, but you probably didn't understand it.

I have done a quick search online, but found nothing.

Edit: The sentence means that the person did see the movie, but this was not enough to understand it. It's very specific, I know, but I can't see any other way to word it that sounds right.

  • Фильм вы хотя и смотрели, но наверняка не поняли. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 4:20
  • Наверняка (in this usage, бить наверняка is a whole other beast) refers to a somewhat high probability, but still only a probability. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 6:20
  • 3
    ''Наверняка (in this usage, бить наверняка is a whole other beast) refers to a somewhat high probability, but still only a probability.'' - не согласен. wiktionary переводит наверняка как certainly, for sure. Словарь Ожегова: "НАВЕРНЯКА(разг.). 1. нареч. Несомненно, обязательно. Приду н. 2. нареч. С верным расчетом, безошибочно. Действовать н. 3. вводн. сл. Конечно, несомненно, разумеется. Он, н; опять опоздает." Так что Ваш перевод неправилен.
    – user31264
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 7:28
  • @user31264 There is a chance I've been using it wrongly all my life, but (1) sounds obsolete to me, especially the example. I'd understand приду наверняка as "factors outside my control will likely resolve in a way that enables me to come". And what sets the word apart for me from its "certain" synonyms in (3) is that you only ever use it when making an educated guess, not affirming something you know (конечно, несомненно or разумеется could be either). For what it's worth, I felt that the kind of weak certainty of наверняка was a good match for probably as used in this sentence. Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 8:09
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    My variant is "Вы хоть и смотрели фильм, но, видимо, не поняли его". Here "хоть и" means something like "although" and expresses the idea mentioned in the last edit, and "видимо" stands for "probably" (other variants are, for example, "похоже", "кажется" or something else, but I wouldn't use mentioned above "наверняка" here).
    – Lara
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 20:51

4 Answers 4


Возможно/может, вы и смотрели этот фильм, но не поняли его.

Both "might"and "probably " carrying the same meaning of probability and doubt would be expressed by может/возможно.The inversion makes it emphatic with и added.

  • 1
    I don't think "may have" refers to actual probability/doubt here, rather than to be a way of saying "although you did see the movie..." Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 4:33
  • @NikolayErshov You are correct; it is meant to be a way of saying "even though." I think using "you may have" instead gives a different 'feel' to the sentence, as if the other person thought that simply seeing the movie was sufficient, but the speaker says that it was not.
    – user6816
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 13:33

Фильм вы если и смотрели, вряд ли поняли

This sentence, as much as I can tell without seeing the context, emphasizes the fact the person probably does not understand the movie (regardless of whether or not they have seen it).

The Russian phrase above assumes the reading of "you may or may not have seen the movie, the fact is you likely don't understand it".


may have переводится как моглиprobably not как вряд ли).

Вы могли видеть этот фильм, но вряд ли поняли его.


Должно быть, Вы посмотрели фильм, но, скорее всего, не поняли его This is my translation version

  • To improve your answer add some comments why you translated the sentence that way.
    – Artemix
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 9:54
  • I think this means something closer to "You probably saw this film [but probably didn't understand it"
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 7:33

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