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ненавидеть что-нибудь во сто крат сильнее

{vs}: ненавидеть что-нибудь во сто раз сильнее

I wanted to use "во сто крат" to hyperbolically express the idea of "гораздо + comparative", but I wonder if it is considered to be an outdated expression. Is it more common nowadays to use the genitive plural "раз"?

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  • also it can be pronounced with the stress shifted back onto the preposition - вОстакрат, which imparts it a sophisticated feel May 5, 2018 at 19:31
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    в сто раз can be phrased as в сотню раз as well May 6, 2018 at 9:48
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    "Во сто крат" is not used colloquially anymore, but it's perfectly fine to use it to produce a theatrical effect.
    – Alexander
    May 7, 2018 at 17:46

4 Answers 4

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Yes, во сто крат is bookish while в сто раз is universal (note: в, not во). If you want to go really hyperbolic, you may as well use в тысячу / миллион раз. Or сто миллионов... you get the idea. :)

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  • I'm curious: Why say "во сто крат" and "в сто раз", even though they are both followed by "ст"? May 6, 2018 at 5:23
  • I think that's because of the desired emphasis on the first element во in the set expression, which is more about emotion than simple count. Therefore, it's a full syllable.
    – Alex_ander
    May 6, 2018 at 6:48
  • The confirmation: it's the stress on во indeed. phraseology.academic.ru/5763/… Фразеологический словарь русского литературного языка. — М.: Астрель, АСТ. А. И. Фёдоров. 2008.
    – Alex_ander
    May 6, 2018 at 8:46
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    @Alone-zee - "Bo" in "во сто крат" is used because it's archaic/bookish, "в" in "в сто раз" is used because it's modern Russian.
    – Yellow Sky
    May 6, 2018 at 12:38
  • @Yellow Sky Can you refer to a dictionary where the phrase во сто крат is marked as 'archaic'? I've only seen it marked as 'colloquial' or 'bookish', depending on particular source.
    – Alex_ander
    May 6, 2018 at 21:20
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There are cases where they're not interchangeable.

You can say стократно but you can't say сторазно. Also you can say многократно, but you can't say многоразно. There's a word многоразовый, which is not quite the same.

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Вó сто крат is not considered outdated. Some dictionaries mark it as colloquial and some other - as bookish. It's an idiomatic set phase (meaning immeasurably), as opposed to в сто раз which is most often used as a literal expression and is also colloquially used for an exaggeration (usually, about countable things: зарабатывать я там буду в сто раз больше).

Speaking of outdated things, literal usage of во сто крат (where крат directly replaces раз and refers to numbers) can only be found in very old literature like Russian versions of Gospel:

... иное [семя] упало на добрую землю и принесло плод: одно во сто крат, а другое в шестьдесят, иное же в тридцать.

As for your examples, the first one may sound too sophisticated for everyday speech while is OK in a letter, an article, etc. The second one ( with в сто раз) is a bit informal/colloquial/spontaneous and not suitable for something written, when applied to something that can't be expressed in numbers; гораздо or намного would sound better, applied to smth. like comparative 'amount of hatred'.

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In daily life we usually use “в сотню раз”, “в сто раз” and “во сто раз”.

I’ve never heard anyone use “в/во сто крат”, but I saw it in books.

I don’t know what Sergey meant by “not во”, but I often hear people say the three versions I’ve suggested.

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