Врать не буду, ...

Лгать не буду, ...

I wonder how these two synonyms are nuanced or if they are simply interchangeable in these two instances.

лгать мне прямо в глаза

врать мне прямо в глаза

  • there's a vulgar version of these two in case you're interested Commented May 4, 2018 at 14:20
  • @БаянКупи-ка By all means. :) Commented May 5, 2018 at 14:38
  • the verb пиздеть, a cognate of пизда - cunt, sometimes replaced with an euphemism звиздеть Commented May 5, 2018 at 15:08
  • well, if one is to look into slur, then he has to really dive into it. Because sometimes a change of a single sound radically changes the meaning. Even just moving a stress without changing sounds can drastically change meaning. In your case "пиздˋить" would mean a very different thing than "пˋиздить". So, my take is, do not introduce readers into such words lightly. They require their own separate dedicated lesson.
    – Arioch
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 9:29
  • 1
    An older discussion in Russian: rus.stackexchange.com/questions/20149/…
    – Alex_ander
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 13:50

6 Answers 6


Значение у слов врать и лгать одинаковое, но лгать - литературное слово, а врать - разговорное, более грубое. Смысловых различий у слов врать и лгать нет.

The words лгать and врать have the same meaning, but лгать is a literary word, while врать is a rougher colloquial synonym. There are no semantic differences between these words.


Врать is conversational, лгать is formal. "врать мне прямо в глаза" is an established colloquial expression and uses "врать". I googled "лгать мне прямо в глаза" and got two bad translations of romance pulps and a bad romantic pop song.

Note that the nouns, враньё and ложь, are less formal than the corresponding verbs. Ложь is neutral and can mean a calm "False." as well as an indignant "LIES!!!", враньё is a rough equivalent of "bullshit!"

  • 2
    in terms of usage bullshit is a bit stronger than враньё just because it's pejorative Commented May 4, 2018 at 14:16
  • My feeling is that "вра-ньё" is constructed as "action of lying", it is more of gerund than a noun. And since it is an action - it implies an actor. While "ложь" is indeed just a false claim itself. Compare with "попада-ние" and even "расте-ние"
    – Arioch
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 9:35

This might help you— врать used to mean "to speak". The word врач is related to this--meaning "he who speaks, casts spells". врать also has other rarer meanings—

врать несов. - врать, сов. - совра́ть; разг.

1) (говорить неправду) lie, tell lies

2) тк. несов. уст. (пустословить) talk nonsense

3) (быть неточным) be wrong часы́ врут — the clock [watch] is wrong

4) разг. (фальшивить) play a false note; (в пении) sing out of tune ••

врёшь! — ≈ it's a lie!, nonsense!


1) (сов. солга́ть) lie, tell lies

лгать кому́-л в глаза́ — lie to smb's face

2) (сов. налга́ть) (на вн.; клеветать) slander (d)

So Врать means to speak, sing, do something in a untrue way, whereas лгать means to do something with purpose, in order to mislead, trick etc. The origins of лгать are related to betrayal or treason.

  • What is the down vote for?--lol. This is exactly the difference in meaning.
    – VCH250
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 16:27
  • the meaning of быть неточным is a useful addition Commented May 17, 2018 at 10:45

На соседнем форуме тоже поднимал этот вопрос Если кратко. В современном языке только стилистическая лгать более возвышенное слово и ложь как правило серьёзнее, чем враньё. В остальном отличий почти нет.


Here are some interesting comments on nuances of враньё in particular. They're from English speakers; an article by a native speaker gives a couple examples from her life in this NYTimes article.

  • 2
    Please provide useful information in the answer itself. Links may break over time. As for the statement in NYT that "враньё" is a special form of lying. This statement is a lie itself. There is nothing special about it.
    – Vitaly
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 18:42
  • 1
    @Curt etymologically врать means chanting spells. Just like врач - doctor in modern language - was some shaman, which cures people while babbling unintelligible something. So that NYT article is totally off the mark when it describes that pretending by acting out without spelling a word. That would be притворство but never враньё. NYT being just a NYT again....
    – Arioch
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 10:17
  • Additionally, I don't know if the article author is indeed native speaker now. I don't know who that person exactly is, but just googling for the name I can sett for example one ELENA GOROKHOVA who left USSR for good in 1950-s or maybe 1960-s: elenagorokhova.com/elena-4 and one E.G. more left Russia in 1999 researchgate.net/profile/Elena_Gorokhova so... How long would it take to once native speaker to remain so after casting that language environment past oneself is anyone guess.
    – Arioch
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 10:25

В школе учили что слово ложь по происхождению означает то что лежит поверх, или скрывает, истину. Аналогично англ. lie. Враньё можно перевести straight lie.

"Врёте в глаза" - по-моему менее стилистически согласовано чем "лжёте в глаза".

  • could you please give reference to such etymology of ложь.... врать в глаза is a perfectly mundane collocation, лгать в глаза on the other hand isn't very common Commented May 8, 2018 at 14:15
  • В школе так объясняли происхождение. По-моему и так понятно. Поищите в словаре. Насчет "врать/лгать в глаза", - сегодня нет разницы. Commented May 8, 2018 at 14:33
  • i asked specifically because i did a lookup and such etymology isn't attested for in dictionaries i checked, the difference between врать в глаза and лгать в глаза seems to be in frequency Commented May 8, 2018 at 14:50
  • 1
    edited my answer so it doesn't imply academic precision Commented May 9, 2018 at 16:31

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