I found some words in Cambridge dictionary but it is not clear to me when to use each one of them and how:

снаружи, вне, за пределами, под

Now I have some examples:

  • There is no students outside the class (car, bus, metro).
  • It is in the box or outside the box.
  • Wait me please outside the room, I will call you when your turn comes.
  • No straightforward translation. While "Снаружи", "За пределами", "Вне" are satisfactory translations, in real contexts different, more specific words will usually be used.
    – Alexander
    Apr 2, 2018 at 17:39

3 Answers 3


There are no students outside the class - Вне класса / Снаружи студентов нет

It is in the box or outside the box - Это в коробке или вне коробки

Please wait outside the room - Подожди, пожалуйста, за пределами/вне комнаты / снаружи

За пределами is mainly used with objects denoting large spaces and which have formal boundaries. It's a more technical preposition.

Снаружи normally doesn't require an object, i.e. used by itself, the object is implied being derived from the context.

Out of the three cнаружи and вне are the most usable in mundane speech.

Под is synonymous with the other three in the context of relative disposition of cities and suburbs when cities proper names are mentioned.

Мы живём под Москвой - We live outside Moscow


We live outside the city - Мы живём за городом

Под also can be translated as outside in the sense of in front of / near a building, e.g.

Встречаемся под университетом colloquial, poss. regional- Let's meet up outside of the university

Otherwise it literally means under(neath).

  • 2
    The usage of под ("under") in relation to being outside (not literally under) a city is similar to the English word suburb, whose Latin etymology (sub + urbs) looks like "under city", although in that usage sub means "near".
    – KCd
    Apr 2, 2018 at 14:48
  • 2
    "Встречаемся под университетом" - that sounds really odd, like they are going to university's basement.
    – Alexander
    Apr 2, 2018 at 17:36
  • @Alexander how about встречаемся под магазином or я час прождал его под домом, оr я стоял под дверью, но она всё равно не открывала, or the classic три девицы под окном пряли поздно вечерком, or у меня под окном растёт вишня? anyway this is one of the way preposition под is used in my area, but useful to know that this may not be typical to other places Apr 2, 2018 at 18:04
  • 2
    @Баян Купи-ка - "под дверью" and "под окном" are well established. However, "под магазином" I have never heard in my life (if referring to a specific, rather than deliberately vague location near a landmark). "У магазина" is traditionally used instead.
    – Alexander
    Apr 2, 2018 at 18:17
  • 2
    @Баян Купи-ка my point is that choosing a meeting place "под зданием" is virtually unheard of in Russian language. If someone proposes it to me, I would assume that the building has an underground level, and ask for clarification. At the same time, places "под фонарем", "под памятником" and "под часами" are usable.
    – Alexander
    Apr 2, 2018 at 20:28

The literal word for outside is снаружи, however its usage is mainly limited to something like boxes or containers. It doesn't combine well with rooms and buildings, so proper translation in those two cases depends much on context:

outside (the room) - в коридоре, за дверью (the latter is not polite in a request to wait there);

outside (the building) - на улице, у входа (в здание), у подъезда

It's raining outside. - На улице дождь.


As already mentioned they are mostly the same (though под also means "under"), the exact usage depends on the finesse. Here, I am trying to capture it in translation.

  • Снаружи is outside in the sense of "there is also inside and it's not it". Like, outside the box.
  • Вне is outside in the sense of "no bounds". It's also a bit oldish and bookish. (For example, there was a classic short Sci-Fi story from the Golded Era called "Извне", which basically means "from ouside", the antonym of "within", but conveys the meaning of "from outer space".)

    Вне is also more abstract. "Outside the building" is снаружи, "any categories do not apply here" is вне категорий.

  • За пределами is verbatim "out of bounds". There should be some boundary for it, like "outside the city".
  • I at first translated под as "under". Indeed, there is also a somewhat colloquial meaning "closeby", as in под окном: "I'll be waiting outside in front of your window." Other answers elaborate a bit on this, somehow in the usage it's always outside the building/object that is referenced.

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