How does "I will make it up to you" translate into Russian. I tried translating it online but no luck.

As per the comment, "I will make it up to you" in English is used when the speaker promises to do something for the listener and isn't able to fulfill that promise so out of regret, the speaker decides to correct his/her wrong by doing something for the listener to show that he/she is sorry for not fulfilling his/her promise. In short, "making up" for the wrong committed.

  • Please, add some clarification what does this phrase exactly means in English - that way it will be on-topic and subsequently reopened.
    – shabunc
    Jun 23 '17 at 19:26
  • @shabunc it means to compensate for some harm or loss. Or for some advantage the speaker had before from the addressee
    – Arioch
    Jun 26 '17 at 8:54
  • @Arioch it's not about me or my understanding - questions are supposed to be self-sufficient
    – shabunc
    Jun 26 '17 at 8:59

Depending on the context, it could be загладить вину, исправиться, вернуть любезность etc.

Per your example, it's more of загладить вину:

  • А другое письмо, очень длинное, было подписано инициалами. Там бесконечно смаковалась тема твоей ноги и желание загладить вину // And there was another one, from a person who signed with their initials: a long letter, they went on and on about your leg and how they wanted to make it up to you.

  • От Дугласа я тоже заработал хорошую взбучку и осознал, что должен загладить вину. // Douglas also gave me quite the tongue lashing and I have come to realize that I must make it up to you.

  • 1
    я скорее за "вернуть доверие", вернуть любезность слишком уж как-то ассоциируется с "ответной любезностью", а это всё-таки немного про другое.
    – shabunc
    Jun 23 '17 at 21:01
  • @shabunc: "making it up to someone" has a slightly less used (but still used) meaning of "returning a favor", "repaying a kindness". "Thanks for throwing such a nice party for me! I'll make it up to you by taking you out to dinner one day".
    – Quassnoi
    Jun 23 '17 at 21:17
  • 1
    The above examples don't work well for "I'll make it up for you" which is a promise to do something that would make the listener feel better. You don't normally say: "Я заглажу вину перед тобой", "Я верну тебе любезность". You can say "Я исправлюсь" but that would mean something different: a promise not to do the same mistake again. See my answer for some suggestions. Jun 24 '17 at 11:13

The answer provided so far is correct but I'd like to mention another specific Russian expression which is used exactly for the cases like this - реабилитироваться в чьих-то глазах - literally "to rehabilitate in someone's eyes", for instance:

Знаешь, я всё пиво выпила, но чтобы как-то реабилитироваться в твоих глазах, вот, я сидр купила.

While the verb "реабилитироваться" is used relatively rare, this phrase is surprisingly pretty widely used.


In English,

"I'll make it up for you."

In Russian, you'd rather say what it is that your going to do to make the person feel better:

Извини́, что опозда́л. Я сего́дня угоща́ю!

Sorry I was late. The dinner's on me!

To make it a bit more generic you can promise to do 'something nice' for them:

Я сде́лаю тебе́ что-нибу́дь прия́тное [, что́бы загла́дить вину́].

I'll do something nice to make it up for you.

On a related note, you could also ask:

Что мне сде́лать, что́бы ты меня́ прости́л(а)?

What shall I do to make it up for you?


In this context, there is a useful phrase:

Свои люди - сочтёмся!

which is, incidentally, the name of a fantastically well written 1849 play by A.N.Ostrovsky.

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