The first part of the question is straightforward.

  • Is there any difference between "тоже" and "также"? If so, what?

The second one is likely to have a "yes"-answer, but anyway:

  • When considering all the places one could put "тоже" in a sentence, does placement of this word alter the meaning of the sentence?

I can better explain this second part with an example. To be specific, do the following sentences mean the same thing? (I am guessing they do not.)

  • ты тоже танцуешь сальсу?
  • Тоже ты танцуешь сальсу?
  • Ты танцуешь тоже сальсу?

Maybe the second and third options have a clear meaning ("do you (like somebody else) dance Salsa?" and "do you dance salsa (as well as Tango)", respectively) but, in a context-free environment, so does the first one?

Optional question. Here is how the second question was originated. Once I was trying to socialize with three fellows: a guy, which we all knew was Russian, and two Russian-speaking girls. In order to know the nationality of the girls, I asked "вы тоже русские?" But what they understood was that I was introducing myself as Russian, while by saying "тоже" I actually meant "are you Russians too? (as the other guy is)."

  • What should I have asked?

4 Answers 4


Тоже and также very roughly correspond to English "too" and "as well".

Тоже is a thematic (topical) adverb, также is rhematic (commentary).

Тоже means that the comment on the topic of the previous sentence also applies to the topic of the new one (topic switch).

Также means that another comment also applies to the topic of the previous sentence (comment addition).

It's not always possible to say exactly which is which in a statement, so sometimes the two could be used intechangeably.

In your examples, if the statement was:

Он танцует сальсу (He dances Salsa)

, with "him" as a topic and "dancing Salsa" as a comment, the following questions are possible:

Ты тоже танцуешь сальсу? ("as for dancing Salsa, do you, the new topic of the sentence, do this too?")

Он также танцует танго? ("expanding the topic of his dancing abilities, does he do Tango as well?")

  • Ты тоже танцуешь сальсу?

  • Тоже ты танцуешь сальсу?

  • Ты танцуешь тоже сальсу?

The first sentence means "(while someone else is dancing Salsa) are you dancing Salsa too?"

As тоже should follow the topic, it cannot be the first word in a sentence (except for the idioms like тоже мне).

The third sentence implies that the topic is "dancing", so theoretically the following conversation could occur:

— Он танцует сальсу, но я не пойму, что танцуешь ты. Ты танцуешь тоже сальсу? ("He dances Salsa, but I can't understand what is what you are dancing. Is it Salsa too, the thing you're dancing?")

What should I have asked?

You should have defined the topic first before switching it.

Asked outside context:

Вы тоже русские?

means "Are you Russians too?" with an implication of switching the topic. As the only possible previous topic was yourself, the asker, this would imply you were a Russian too.

This would work better:

А вы все русские? ("Are you all Russians?")


Let me give you a more detailed answer to your second question.

Note: I used another sentence in my examples below because I need more verbs and I can't think of other things you can do with salsa.

The sentence is «Ты тоже чинишь телефоны?» (“Do you repair phones too?”). Right now it means “like somebody else”.

You can use «и» instead of «тоже» to get some freedom with its placing.

  • «И ты чинишь телефоны?» works for your “like somebody else” case.
  • «Ты чинишь и телефоны?» — “as well as TVs”.
  • You know that someone sells phones but now you are surprised to learn that he can also repair them: «Ты и чинишь телефоны?».
  • 1
    Oh, one more important thing. The first case is where intonation really matters. In my example I meant «И ты чинишь телефоны?», but if you don't stress it you'll get something like “And so, you repair phones?”.
    – kirelagin
    May 28, 2013 at 21:13

Тоже means "also," также means "similarly," "the same way.

Ты тоже танцуешь сальсу? = Do you (in addition to someone else) also dance salsa?

Ты также танцуешь сальсу? = Do you dance salsa the same way as I do?

Ты тоже танцуешь сальсу? = Do you (in addition to someone else) also dance salsa?

Тоже ты танцуешь сальсу? - Is it also you who dances salsa? (This word order is slightly incorrect; better word order would be "Сальсу тоже ты танцуешь?")

Ты танцуешь тоже сальсу? = Is it salsa that you dance as I do, or some other dance?

  • 2
    You have a typo in your second example. It should be 'Ты так же танцуешь сальсу?' (not также) to have the meaning you specified. Otherwise, it's just the same as the first one. So, it's not a correct example.
    – VaNdal
    Aug 4, 2019 at 20:25

1) The difference is, that "тоже" is 'also' (вы тоже танцуете сальсу?) and "так же" is more like "did the same" (он танцует сальсу, и я поступаю так же" while, "также" means "and" (for example мы танцуем сальсу, а также бочатту)

2) only the first sentence is correct.

3) it was a correct question, the only thing you could do to make it more clear for the girls is to say "вы тоже русские, как и ... (the guy's name)?"

  • «так же» is a completely different thing.
    – kirelagin
    May 28, 2013 at 12:31

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