Sometimes I feel the need to fill a gap, while conversing, with something that in English would be filled with "you know" in the sense described by thefreedictionary.com:

Used parenthetically in conversation, as to fill pauses or educe the listener's agreement or sympathy: Please try to be, you know, a little quieter

In case people are used to say something analogue in Russian, which expression can be used?

5 Answers 5


Those expressions are called "fillers".

Russian, as most languages, has many of them: как бы, типа, знаешь, так сказать etc:

They usually don't need to be translated verbatim:

  • Постарайся вести себя, ну, знаешь, потише
  • Постарайся вести себя как бы потише
  • Постарайся вести себя, типа, потише
  • Постарайся вести себя, так сказать, потише

are all valid.

In Russian linguistics, those are called "parasitic words" (слова-паразиты)

  • 4
    у меня иногда подозрение, что не в русской лингвистике они так называются, а в среде учительниц русского языка)))
    – shabunc
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:08
  • 4
    И правильно называются =) Очень точное определение, пусть и неофициальное. Привычка "типкать" и "экать" в паузах между словами прилепляется очень прочно =)
    – petajamaja
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:12
  • 3
    @petajamaja, ну я б всё-таки слова вроде "знаешь, послушай" не стал бы в одну кучу с эканьем. Они иногда привносят определённый оттенок теплоты в беседу))
    – shabunc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 6:55
  • 3
    @petajamaja They are not just "parasitic words", they are also called "discursive words".
    – Artemix
    May 22, 2013 at 6:44
  • @Artemix - Wow, such a nice article! thanks =)
    – petajamaja
    May 22, 2013 at 13:05

Here are some more possibilities:

  • Слышишь, веди себя потише.
  • Видишь ли, надо себя вести потише.
  • Веди себя, понимаешь, потише.
  • 3
    +1 for понимаешь )))
    – shabunc
    Apr 24, 2013 at 6:44

"знаешь ли"

Знаешь ли, дорогой, веди себя потише.

  • so, if I speak with some woman, "дорогая". Wouldn't I need to be very close to the person to say that?
    – c.p.
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:03
  • @c.p. no. i would say, it is a kind of sarcasm, like addressing somebody "уважаемый".
    – Anixx
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:27
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    @c.p. the "знаешь ли", especially the "ли" makes it less polite, if you want to be more polite you better not to use it. If you are addressing a close person, you can say "знаешь" or "знаешь что".
    – Anixx
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:31
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    "знаешь ли" would implyes continuation like "знаешь ли, дорогой, веди себя потише, а то ведь я могу и по морде надавать".
    – Anixx
    Apr 22, 2013 at 18:34
  • @Anixx, 100% agree, but such a funny example =)
    – petajamaja
    Apr 22, 2013 at 20:49

Russian language has many lexical constructions which can be considered as "fillers".

Some of them:

Вводные слова (introductory words)

видишь ли, здесь все не так просто - you see, everything is not so simple here

Частицы (co-words making sentence more expressive)

вы бы залатили за аренду квартиры - would you pay for renting an apartment


try please: можете, пожалуйста, вести себя потише?

  • 3
    Welcome to Russian Language and Usage Beta! It's a very succinct answer, we usually prefere more elaborated ones. As it stands, it's at risk to be downvoted and eventually removed. Also, your translation seem to fit for the sentence, but I'm not sure whether пожалуйста can be translated as "you know" as a general rule. Could you elaborate?
    – c.p.
    May 21, 2013 at 18:13

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