For "ради Бога" dictionaries give "for goodness' sake" and "for heaven's sake" as well as "for God's sake." As expressions that support a request, the first two are significantly weaker: "God" carries a lot of weight in English. Can you provide examples to show how that distinction of forcefulness is made in Russian, if it is?

  • Hi and welcome to Russian.SE! As it stands now, your question doesn't satisfy our criteria. First, this site is about Russian language, translations to English are off-topic. Second, "too strong", or "too weak", or "too anything" for that matter, completely depend on the context, which this question lacks. If you could provide an English phrase (with a context it's used in), your attempt to convey its meaning in Russian, and voice your doubts about this attempt, that would be perfect. Thank you!
    – Quassnoi
    Apr 11 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


"Ради бога" is used in two contexts:

  1. As a strong "please" when requesting something (сын тонет, помогите ради бога!). In this case, you can freely use "for God's sake": Мам, ради бога, дай поспать! == Mom, for God's sake, let me sleep!

  2. As full permission in response to a request, carrying a connotation of ignorance (— Разрешите воспользоваться телефоном? — Да ради бога.) or surprise at the request (— Позвольте сказать всё как есть. — Да ради бога, все свои!). Here you want to use something neutral like "Sure, why not"

It should be noted, that "for God's sake" cannot be translated as "ради бога" when it is used as an emotional expression of anger. "Ё-моё", "ёлки-палки", and a wide variety of swear words of varying degrees of obscenity are better suited for this role :-)

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