Делать что-то – дело хорошее, но бывает, что ...

To express the idea of "it's all very well doing A, but sometimes it's best to do B", I wonder if the phrasing above sounds idiomatic enough.

In English, we commonly say something like:

It's all very well doing A, but shouldn't we do B first?

{or}: It's all well and good/dandy to do ..., but ...

How do Russian speakers commonly express this idea?


1 Answer 1


Your rendering is OK.

I'd only take issue with closely placed cognates делать ... дело хорошее. In Russian stacking up cognates is considered poor style.

Maybe a more idiomatic example could look like

Смотреть фильмы - это/оно конечно хорошо/чудесно/замечательно, но может (быть) сначала нужно/стоит сделать уроки?

The phrase дело хорошее to my taste sounds better next to a lone noun (noun phrase) or an infinitive

Футбол - дело хорошее, но...
Жениться - дело хорошее, но...

  • By "OK", do you mean that my phrasing is understandable but not how native speakers usually phrase the idea? Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 6:22
  • yes pretty much, or depending on the circumstances Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 6:24
  • Then, what about if you have just one word, a verb infinitive, in front of the phrase "– дело хорошее": "{infinitive (1 word)} – дело хорошее, но ..."? Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 6:27
  • yes, that would be better in my opinion, i've updated the answer Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 6:53
  • Interesting. So does the construction "Жениться - дело хорошее, но..." sound idiomatic enough? Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 6:58

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