(1) Я ему расскажу о тебе.

(2) Я ему расскажу про тебя.

I know that each of these sentences roughly translates as I will tell him about you, but what is the difference? Do the connotations or undertones fully coincide?

I tried doing research in Google, but did not find anything about the difference between the specific phrases расскажу о тебе and расскажу про тебя and got confused by conflicting opinions of native speakers about the difference between o and про in general. Some people say that there is no difference in the meaning between these prepositions, whilst others say there is some subtle difference. Here is an example of a discussion about these prepositions.

A language exchange partner from Russia was unable to give me an immediate clear answer. He only shared his observation that Sentence (2) can be used to express an intention to complain, whilst Sentence (1) rather cannot.

I am confused and humbly hope to get help.

UPDATE: There is a similar question and an interesting answer to it, and I am thankful for pointing them out. That question is about the difference between o and про in general, whilst my question is specifically about the difference between расскажу о тебе and расскажу про тебя. The aforementioned answer, however, mentions those particular expressions. In that answer, Anixx states his opinion that расскажу про тебя implies an intent to introduce you or tell a certain thing about you or something new about you. This seems to answer my question, but a comment by a native speaker below that answer says, " ... I do not sense any difference between o and про at all, so I, personally, am not convinced. Of course, I'm no philologist, but I am native speaker, and I've grown to trust my gut feeling when it comes to language. My gut tells me there's no semantical difference between the two prepositions." Nevertheless, Anixx' answer got a score of +12. I'm not sure whether my question should be deemed a duplicate, and I do not insist on keeping it open. Anixx' answer provides an answer to my question. Yet, in view of conflicting opinions of native speakers about those prepositions, I would be thankful for a reference to a dictionary or any official or half-official source clarifying the difference between расскажу о тебе and расскажу про тебя or at least between o and про in general.


2 Answers 2


Справочник по правописанию и стилистике Д.Э.Розенталя 199.Выбор предлога

Синонимический ряд образуют предлоги с изъяснительным значением, например:

разговоры о поездке- про поездку- насчет поездки- относительно поездки- касательно поездки

В этих сочетаниях можно отметить УБЫВАЮЩУЮ КОНКРЕТИЗАЦИЮ предмета речи и СТИЛИСТИЧЕСКОЕ различие:РАЗГОВОРНЫЙ характер предлогов ПРО и насчет, книжный. присущий деловой речи - предлогов касательно и относительно и НЕЙТРАЛЬНЫЙ характер ПРЕДЛОГА О при глаголах речи или мысли и соответствующих существительных.


Расскажи про себя = tell about your adventures, deeds and achievements (we already know your name)

Расскажи о себе = tell about who you are, your name, your background and origin

In general:

Это фильм про любовь = the film is about a love story

Это фильм о любви = the film is about love as a phenomenon or philosophical category

Это книга про железную дорогу = the book is about railway life and a story centered about railway

Это книга о железной дороге = the book is about the history of railway development or railway technology

Это фильм про войну = this is a feature film set during a war

Это фильм о войне = this is a documentary about a particular war or war history

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.