A little granddaughter tells her grandma:

ты ещё нас всех переживёшь (you will survive all of us)

Grandma gets offended because she interprets it as a death wish. Is this reasonable?!

Маленькая внучка говорит бабушке:

ты ещё нас всех переживёшь

Бабушка обижается поскольку считает эту идиому пожеланием смерти. Разве нельзя эту фразу понять в положительном ключе?

  • 3
    просто обидчивая попалась бабушка, ничего негативного в этом пожелании нет )
    – shabunc
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 12:39
  • Bringing this up by someone may give offense. Using this in context is virtually always a positive wish.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 21:19
  • Like it or not, the meaning is negative. It isn't exactly wishing anything bad, but just a reminder that she is a burden for her relatives.
    – V.V.
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 11:45

3 Answers 3


The correct English translation of "ты ещё нас всех переживёшь" is "you're still going to outlive us all", which is obviously intended to mean "you still have much potential, much life force, so much that it will suffice for you to live longer than all of us". However, ещё is a polysemantic word, apart from its adverbial meanings "still, yet, already, additionally" one of its meanings is "so far" (пока что, meaning 4) and another (meaning 11) is to show reproach, irony, like in "Ты ещё скажи, что собаки летать умеют!" Also, it can express concern:

Надо позвонить, а то ещё решат, что мы погибли.
Let me call in, lest they think we're dead.

А то еще на вопросы отвечать придется…
Don't want to answer any questions…

The last three meanings and especially the last one can interfere with the correct understanding of ещё in your phrase, instead of wishing long life the phrase can be understood as the speaker's concern that grandma can outlive them. If the grandma is paranoid enough, she can understand the phrase as "so far, you can outlive us all[, but we'll take measures needed to prevent that]" or as "[don't you try to] outlive us all".

To resolve the ambiguity and make the phrase really inspiring and cheerful, the word ещё can be just omitted, or moved to another clause or sentence, for example:

Ты ещё много всего успеешь, да ты и нас всех переживёшь, у тебя ещё много хорошего впереди!


It has only positive connotation, HOWEVER the speech style of this very phrase is very informal, like pat on the back, which in the context of granddaughter speaking to grandmother might be considered rude, disrespectful. Ofcourse usually most grandmothers will let it slide, but theoretically there is a chance to be offended. So in would be fine for a slightly younger close friend to say it, but not for a much younger person.


To quote a well-known Russian book: "Я всех вас переживу. Вы не знаете Паниковского. Паниковский вас всех продаст, купит и снова продаст, но уже дороже." Here "Я всех вас переживу." (I will outlive all of you.) has the meaning of "I will dance on your grave" or "I will come to your funeral in a red dress."

The phrase implies a bitter conflict between the interlocutors and that they may rejoice at the death of the other. In the context of the question: the granddaughter essentially implies that the grandma has ill feelings towards the rest of the family and may rejoice when all of them are dead.

  • Upvoted for the Pankovsky quote. ;)
    – Dima
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 17:22

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.