In the following dialogue:

А: Поговоришь с ним?

Б: - Очень надо!

I don't know whether this means "I really need to" or if it's ironic and means something else altogether, like "no way!"

  • 3
    It is a sarcasm – Anixx Aug 13 '14 at 9:28
  • 1
    @Anixx: So if it's meant to be sarcastic, ¿is it like "Yeah, right!" – CocoPop Aug 17 '14 at 13:35
  • 1
    @CocoPop "Yeah, right!" is almost 100% identical in semantics and emotional tone. That would be the best translation. – Ivan Koshelev Oct 2 '14 at 16:04

The second option is correct, it's ironic and has an opposite meaning "no way!".
Also frequently used form: Больно надо!

  • 2
    So it's like: Are you going to talk to him? -The hell I will! – CocoPop Aug 13 '14 at 13:12
  • 2
    Correct. And Anixx is right, it's sarcasm. – Dmitry Aug 13 '14 at 13:23

in this context "очень надо" means "I don't care".

In sense "I really need it" it is used mostly in sentences like: eg "Please help me to find this contact/film/book. Очень надо" That is short form of "Мне очень нужно найти этот контакт/фильм/книгу".

This expression is used in spoken language and means mostly reluctance and disagreement. In your dialog it also shows the state of being offended. It means not only "I don't care to talk with him", but also "Talking with him kind of humiliates me", but it's not sarcastic or ironical.

p.s. this is my very first answer on stackexchange and I am sorry if I didn't comply with rules or tradition. hope it's useful!

  • Thank you, Daria, that was a fine answer :) I'm just curious: can it be sarcastic? – CocoPop Aug 15 '14 at 17:05
  • As I understand sarcasm is figure of speech, that from first moment seems to be friendly/polite, but it is not and has a goal to offend. Let's say it can be sarcastic. Очень надо can be not very sophisticated sarcasm. – daria mikhaylova Aug 15 '14 at 20:15
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    Possibly you dont know what sarcasm is. – Anixx Aug 17 '14 at 15:14

One more attitude can be added here. If by context it's obvious that it's an irony so it's simple needed to put in in inversion: instead of Очень надо!, "I need it so much (it's very/really needed)" should be read as Не очень надо!,"I don't need it" but, speaker at the same time have an apology because basically it would be desirable to commit an action, but due to circumstances speaker's disappointed and now doesn't like to act (is not in a good mood or even doesn't strategically see a benefit in the offered action).

But technically, having these two phrases without a context we don't know for sure whether it's a direct intention like "Yes, it's very needed" or it's an irony "I don't need it". Only context and background situation can make sense about what speaker thinks saying this.


It's ironic. Where it's not, it means to want something bad.

  • 1
    @Artemix: "bad" in this context means "a lot." – CocoPop Oct 3 '14 at 18:45

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