What is the difference between the adjectives "разный" and "различный". Are they used in different situations?

3 Answers 3


These are synonyms, and are interchangeable in many situations. Разный is more like different, whereas различный is more like various. When you're contrasting two objects, разный is preferable. For example:

У нас с сестрой глаза разного цвета (My sister and I have different eye colors)

У нас с сестрой глаза различного цвета (My sister and I have various eye colors)

  • 1
    "У нас с сестрой глаза различного цвета" is a perfectly fine sentence, but it would literally mean that for both of you, one eye has a different color than the other eye (глаза различного цвета = гетерохромия)- an entirely different meaning than 'various'.
    – Peteris
    Jul 16, 2014 at 21:13
  • @Peteris: You're right, that meaning didn't occur to me. This is fun :) Jul 16, 2014 at 21:24

In mathematics the term различный is used more often, corresponding to "distinct" (not "various", as Armen writes) instead of "different", e.g., Пусть p и q различные простые числа (Let p and q be distinct primes).


The best way to find the difference is to try to replace them with each other in different contexts and see what happens ;-)

  • У нас разные мнения - our views are different but most likely they do not contradict
  • У нас различные мнения - our views very likely contradict each other
  • Занят разными/различными делами
  • два различных предмета - from an example here, you can see the opposition more clearly when 2 is used

So my conclusion is that these are synonyms but you should consider различный if you want to underline the opposition / contrast / contradiction / conflict of some qualities or features.

Think of различный as of a word in the same semantic field as the words: различаться, различие. In Enlish it is differ, different, difference while разный is more like various, not similar but can also mean different because разный has a wider semantic field and is a more frequent word.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.