Curious as to what the Russians think about Japanese cars, I did some research and saw an article with the following title:

Не престижа ради, а токмо драйва для

I knew that ради is an exceptional preposition that can jump to after the object (e.g., "подайте Христа ради"), but was shocked to see для being used likewise. My world is shattered.

It turns out that Russians indeed used to talk like that, at least in the good old times of Peter the Great:

Того для велите нынѣ вылить 300 пушек ... (from Дѣяния Петра Великаго, Мудраго Преобразителя России)

Указ Синоду: «По делам следующимся в канцелярии Вышняго суда игумен Варлаам Овсянников и дьякон Чюркин явились в немалых преступлениях, по некоторым приличились они к розыску, того для велите с них священство и монашество снять» (Source)

А.Д.Меншикову письмо, пошедшему вперед: «Понеже здесь снег выпал немалой и не безопасно, чтоб не захватили морозы, того для велите примечать, ежели сверху по реке пойдет лед или сало, то с того ведомость пришли к нам на встречю немедленно» (Source)

Того для велите ему оную мызу отдать вмѣсто недоданнаго его жалованья до указу нашего безъ аренды. Екатерина. Изъ С.-Петербурга, въ 6 день марта 1726 года. (Source)

My question: How do people see moving prepositions like для to after the object in modern Russian? Is it considered grammatically wrong, just old-fashioned, or perfectly normal?

4 Answers 4


Yes, placing для after the noun does sound archaic.

Не престижа ради, а токмо драйва для

The author of this piece obviously went for a comic effect by intertwining recent loanwords (престиж, драйв) with archaic vocabulary (токмо, ... для).

This phrase seems to be modelled after a quote from Ilf & Petrov's The Twelve Chairs (1928):

-- Не корысти ради, -- затянул отец Федор, поднявшись и отойдя на три шага от драцены. -- А токмо во исполнение воли больной жены.

There are other prepositions which can be used as postpositions without sounding archaic: час спустя, заре навстречу, etc. See the Wikipedia article Послелог.


In modern Russian moving для to after the object is a sign of that speaking person wants to make her speech more archaic intentionally. It is not normal.

  • well, it's normal in that sense that it is intentionally used to sound archaic ;) welcome to the Russian SE !
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 12:45

As pointed in other answers, using для after the subject makes the speaker sound archaic (intentionally or otherwise). Yet it's worth noting that in your first example word для can be replace with ради, which you already accepts as being the exception (compare with Не престижа ради, а токмо драйва ради).

You wouldn't put для after the subject in a sentence like мне это нужно для работы (мне это нужно работы для is completely wrong).

So, from a grammatical point of view, you can place для after the subject in cases where для can be replaced with ради without changing the meaning of the sentence.


An addition to the previous answers.

The formula itself is originated from an ancient "meme" whose authorship is uncertain (but widely attributed to Peter the Great):

Не пьянства окаянного ради, а токмо пользы для.

As far as I can remember, Peter's aphorisms gained specific popularity and became "memes" in the mid-1980s, giving birth to an extremely huge number of titles like the one you cite.

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.