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When I read, I often encounter the word “вообще". In most cases it’s something negative or not good, for example “я вообще не буду писать" and so on. However, recently, for the first time, I saw it used in a positive sense, namely “Ты у меня вообще молодец”. What does вообще mean in this phrase exactly? And how I can use it correctly? Thanks.

  • It means in general or entirely. In your examples it means entirely. – Anixx Jun 19 '19 at 7:32
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For those searching for examples on the internet. There is a quite common typo/mispronounciation/misconcept between

  • вообще == "at all", weasel word
  • в общем == "in general"
  • вобщем (incorrect spelling)
  • ваще (jargonism from вообще).
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"Вообще" is a very common word, with a range of meanings. It is often a parasite. Вообще

  1. generally, in general
  2. always, usually
  3. altogether, on the whole
  4. at all

Your first example “я вообще не буду писать” has a meaning "at all". Your second example “Ты у меня вообще молодец” has a meaning "always". There are other meanings as well, for example "Hу, вообще!" means "This is crazy!".

If you want to use this word, be careful with any other meaning than "generally/in general". As a clue, "Вообще" in this meaning can be safely interchanged with "Вообще-то". For comparison, if we modify your second example to "Ты у меня вообще-то молодец", that would significantly change the meaning, from "You are always great" to "Usually, you are great".

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The way it's used in your examples, it's just an intensifier that can be rendered with 'at all', 'absolutely':

'I'm not going to write anything at all.'

It's a colloquial usage that corresponds to meaning #4 in the Wiktionary article.

The second phrase "Ты у меня вообще молодец" can be read as "Generally/usually you are a good person" (meaning #1 or #2, with молодец emphasised) or "You are a really good person" (meaning #4, with вообще emphasised).

The phrase:

Ну, ты ваще!

can mean 'You're so cool!' or 'You are an idiot!' depending on context. Compare to 'You are crazy!' in English which can be good crazy or not so good crazy.

And ultimately, on its own,

Ваще!

can mean 'Wow!', 'Cool!', etc or 'What a mess!' again depending on context and the way it's said.

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  • 1
    "Meaning 'you're so cool!'" or "You are an idiot!", depending on the tone of voice. – AlexVB Aug 29 '17 at 1:54
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"вообще" - полностью соответствует английскому "at all"

Ты у меня вообще молодец = You are my very well-done boy.

Здесь слово "вообще" - это усилитель слова "молодец", переводится как "очень". Логика в этой фразе отсутствует напрочь. Есть несколько фраз со словом "вообще" как усилителем:

Ты что, вообще дурак? = Are you really dumb?
Кто это вообще сделал? = Who did it? Really.
Куда вообще это поставить? = Where do I put it? Huh?
Кто ты вообще такой? = What the hell you are.
Ну вообще... = Wow! Indeed?
Вообще не понимаю. = I don't understand even quite a bit.
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