И мне ещё никогда не было так трудно вымыть квартиру, как сейчас.

И мне никогда не было так трудно вымыть квартиру, как сейчас.

I wonder if the version with "ещё" emphasises the fact that something had never happened until this very moment?

  • 1
    i'd argue that it rather emphasizes the difficulty as apposed to the time aspect, because in both sentences it's obvious that the difficulty didn't ensue until now Feb 25 '18 at 11:49
  • I wouldn't say the difference is too big, or that there are any easily-pinned-down nuances. It's similar to using or not using "whatsoever", you don't need it to make your point but people like using it anyway. Feb 25 '18 at 19:18
  • It's never before vs never.
    – Alex_ander
    Feb 26 '18 at 8:39


PS. Sorry for the short answer @alone-Zee, but since you've nailed it - yes, the answer is just "Yes" - you are correct. "Ещё" stands for still/more/yet and simply and plainly emphasizes "никогда не" here.

  • Hi. Do you think the effect is something like "it's NEVER been so difficult ..."? Feb 25 '18 at 21:11
  • Sure, why not. In an informal chat you can use capitalization. In a speech this can be expressed with an intonation. In a bit more formal translation, well, никогда не было так трудно is already "(it's) never been so difficult". So if you need to demonstrate this extra emphasis you would probably say "really", "never ever", "never in the history of mankind", "never indeed was it...", "up to this moment it was never..." etc.
    – DK.
    Feb 26 '18 at 8:14
  • Hi. Given that "ещё" means "more", is it OK to interpret the phrase as "(even) more than never" in a manner of speaking? Feb 26 '18 at 8:41
  • Since that went astray from the original question let's make it clear what we are talking about. Word-for-word translation of ещё + никогда не would be pretty clumsy in English. So it's up for the translator to pick a good wording that would feel the same to the readers of the original and translated texts. There is no single good choice - you may want to pick shorter option for a fast-paced speech, or sway towards time or effort emphasis when context suggest that. And you are right - "more than ever" or "more than ever before" is a good option.
    – DK.
    Feb 26 '18 at 9:16

If you had no "как сейчас", "еще не" would have been simply an equivalent of "not yet". Used together with "как сейчас", it simply provides additional emphasis, ~"never before now".

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