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, 2014 at 9:28
  • 1
    @Anixx: So if it's meant to be sarcastic, ¿is it like "Yeah, right!"
    – CocoPop
    Aug 17, 2014 at 13:35
  • 1
    @CocoPop "Yeah, right!" is almost 100% identical in semantics and emotional tone. That would be the best translation. Oct 2, 2014 at 16:04

4 Answers 4


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, 2014 at 13:12
  • 2
    Correct. And Anixx is right, it's sarcasm.
    – Dmitry
    Aug 13, 2014 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, 2014 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. Aug 15, 2014 at 20:15
  • 2
    Possibly you dont know what sarcasm is.
    – Anixx
    Aug 17, 2014 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, 2014 at 18:45

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