Здесь была металлическая пирамидка, размером с ладонь, некое устройство, состоящее из двух пересеченных колец, ...

I'm wondering how those four synonyms are nuanced and if in this context it is possible to replace "некое устройство" with "какое-то устройство" or "кое-какое устройство".

I'm assuming the first three "некий", "какой-то" and "кое-какой" are used to describe a certain (kind of) something of an unspecified, unknown nature, whereas "некоторый" is somewhat different and refers more to a certain, unspecified degree/amount of something.

1 Answer 1


Некий is indeed much like the English certain (when used figuratively to mean uncertain). Like the English word, it’s somewhat bookish.

Какой-то means you don’t know and emphasize that it’s unimportant.

Кое-какой means you know but are choosing not to elaborate, different reasons for that lead to different connotations.

Некоторый is more like one unspecified member of a discrete set.

  • 1
    Hi. "у меня набрались кое-какие сбережения" -- So does this have the connotation of: "I'm not going to tell you how much, though"? Sep 22, 2018 at 2:04
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    @Con-gras-tue-les-chiens As I said, reasons can be different, from flaunting to being secretive to just feeling the exact amount contributes nothing to the discussion. One would have to watch the context, nonverbal cues etc. to decide. In general, there’s much overlap between the words you listed, I’m myself interested what the other users will have to say. Sep 22, 2018 at 2:18
  • "Какие-то сбережения" usually means "Some minimal savings", while "кое-какие сбережения", means "some savings sufficiently big for the purpose I'm going to talk about".
    – Alexander
    Sep 24, 2018 at 19:04

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