Держу пари, ты забудешь ...

My girlfriend often uses this phrase in IMs as well as in conversation. The indeclinable noun "пари" seems to be a borrowed word from French, and in French the phrase "je parie que ... {I bet that ...}" is commonly used in conversation.

She has lived near Paris (no pun intended) for ten years in her teens, so I have always wondered if this phrase might actually not be as commonly used among Russian speakers who don't speak French. Is this quite an informal expression?

  • 1
    this is very old style and so very non-typical for modern language, wonder why she uses it, modern equivalents are спорим and non-provicative готов поспорить Jul 27, 2018 at 12:55
  • @БаянКупи-ка I can't say my conversational active vocabulary in Russian is up to scratch yet, so we speak in French most of the time. Perhaps so that it would be easier for me to understand, then. Jul 27, 2018 at 13:03
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    @БаянКупи-ка I make it a rule not to ask her about the nuts and bolts of the Russian language not to interrupt the flow of conversation, so I've never asked about this. I guess, as they say, it's sometimes better to ask the way than go astray, after all. Jul 27, 2018 at 13:22
  • @БаянКупи-ка Do you often hear native speakers say "Бьюсь об заклад"? Dec 20, 2018 at 10:51
  • never )))) this is on par with держу пари, maybe even a bit more antiquated, if someone uses them it's likely to be different and defiant Dec 20, 2018 at 11:40

1 Answer 1


It is very common as a book expression which saw a large drop in usage from early XX century.

In speech you would expect it to be Спорим or Бьюсь об заклад when more ornate. But it's in everybody's passive dictionary for sure.

  • Oh, I see. I wonder if she then uses it, perhaps getting tired of using other more ordinary synonymous expressions. Jul 27, 2018 at 12:43
  • That very well might be.
    – alamar
    Jul 27, 2018 at 12:55
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    I've never heard "бьюсь об заклад" in an actual conversation. Vaguely remember hearing "держу пари" a couple of times, although that may be false memory syndrome, but I'd rather expect the latter from someone wanting to sound more bookish...
    – Headcrab
    Jul 28, 2018 at 2:11

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