When I was giving a lecture, I was saying бывает, что whenever I wanted to say "It turns out that..." (thinking of it as "It happens that..."), and afterwards someone told me that I should have said oказывается instead of бывает. So starting in the next lecture I used оказывается, что. Recently I noticed that people often seem to write or say оказывается, not just оказывается, что. Is it standard to omit что?

Here are two concrete examples.

1) If I want to say "It turns out that this calculation works in general", which of the following two variants would be correct:

Оказывается, что это вычисление работает вообще
Оказывается, это вычисление работает вообще

[Edit: From answers below I see that I should write at the end of the sentence в общем случае instead of вообще, as I meant "works all the time", not "unexpectedly, it always works".]

2) And if I want to say "It turns out that this is the unique solution", which of the following two would it be:

Оказывается, что это единственное решение.
Оказывается, это единственное решение.

  • 1
    Your question seems to comprise several subquestions. You have clearly stated only one, namely "Is it standard to omit что", and I put this question into the title. If you also want to learn about the meaning of "оказывается, что" or "бывает, что", or both, I'd suggest that you make a separate question.
    – Olga
    Jul 24, 2012 at 17:38
  • 1
    All I wanted right now is to know what the purpose would be to omit что.
    – KCd
    Jul 24, 2012 at 20:22
  • 1
    An old thread, I know, but in fact the use of "вообще" as "in general", I'd say, is not technically wrong as the word "вообще" does have "in general" as one of its meanings. It just sounds like from a fairly old maths text book. I like it.
    – dbanet
    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:44

7 Answers 7


Both sentences

 “Оказывается, что это вычисление работает вообще” and
 “Оказывается, это вычисление работает вообще”

have exactly the same meaning. However, I think they are grammatically different. In the first sentence, “оказывается” is the main clause and “что это вычисление работает вообще” is a subordinate clause (придаточное предложение); whereas, in the second sentence, “оказывается” is a stance marker/“вводное слово”. Because of that you can say, for example,

 “Это вычисление, оказывается, работает вообще.”

But you cannot say

 “Это вычисление, оказывается что, работает вообще.”

There are several similar examples in Russian:

 “Я думаю, что этот ряд расходится” or
 “Я думаю, этот ряд расходится” or
 “Этот ряд, я думаю, расходится” 
 (but not “Этот ряд, я думаю что, расходится”).

 “Я полагаю, что нам следует перейти к следующему вопросу” or
 “Я полагаю, нам следует перейти к следующему вопросу” or
 “Нам следует, я полагаю, перейти к следующему вопросу”
 (but not “Нам следует, я полагаю что, перейти к следующему вопросу”).

BTW, words “вообще” and “работает” don't sound right in your sentence. In my opinion, it's better to say

 “Это вычисление, оказывается, проходит в общем случае.”

If you present a computation for a special case and then want to say that it works in general, it's better to say

 “Это вычисление, оказывается, проходит и в общем случае.”
  • The usage of оказывается in the middle of your final example makes sense (matching the way one could speak in English). I agree with all of your examples of the bad usage of что. That Я думаю, этот ряд расходится is a grammatically correct possibility surprises me!
    – KCd
    Jul 25, 2012 at 13:53
  • You can use “я думаю” without “что” (even in the beginning of a sentence). Here are several examples: 1. “Я думаю, он в состоянии был исполнить в самом деле то, о чем говорил шутя.” Лермонтов, «Герой нашего времени» 2. “Но об этом сейчас, я думаю, у тебя нет времени говорить.” Булгаков, «Мастер и Маргарита» 3. “Впрочем, я думаю, дон Румата может облегчить свою участь, — сказал брат Аба. — Вы меня понимаете, дон Рэба?” Стругацкие, «Трудно быть Богом»
    – Yury
    Jul 25, 2012 at 14:46
  • Crap. I have to read more stuff in Russian. I read your example as "Я думаю, что этот урод"... Huh.
    – user259
    Aug 3, 2012 at 19:42
  • @Yury: what do you consider to be the difference in meaning between я думаю, что этот ряд расходится and я думаю, этот ряд расходится? Does the first one have a meaning similar to По-моему, этот ряд расходится?
    – KCd
    Aug 31, 2013 at 20:21
  • There is no difference in meaning between “я думаю, что этот ...” and “я думаю, этот ...”. But the former is a bit more formal than the latter. Perhaps it's better to use “я думаю, что” in formal academic writing. (The meaning of “По-моему, этот ряд расходится” is very close to that of “я думаю, этот ряд расходится” and they are almost interchangeable; but in other cases, they have slightly different meaning.)
    – Yury
    Sep 1, 2013 at 16:58

«Оказывается» is used to convey “it turns out (that)”, it can also mean “it appears (that)”. «Бывает», or «случается» means “it happens”, or even “it may happen”.

I would translate “It turns out that this calculation works in general” as «Оказывается, что данный расчет применим в общем случае».

You're right the second example “It turns out that this is the unique solution” translates «Оказывается, что это — единственное решение».

In both cases you can omit the conjunction «что». In English “that” is omitted more often than in Russian. With the omitted «что», the importance of «оказывается» decreases, it could be considered parenthetical word with the same meaning.

  • I don't think you can translate "оказывается" as "it appears that". That would be "кажется".
    – Dima
    Jul 24, 2012 at 12:40
  • @Dima And yet it's possible, look at оказываться 3). It depends on the context. Jul 24, 2012 at 14:29
  • Strange... Oказываться is typically used to mean that something is definitely the case, i. e. "it turns out that (in reality)". "It appears that" almost has the opposite meaning: something appears to be the case, but that may not be the reality. Can you think of an example where оказывается means "it appears"? The link you posted is not much help.
    – Dima
    Jul 24, 2012 at 15:26
  • It seemed strange to me that что could be omitted, because it is required so much more often when it can be dropped in the analogous English sentence. In fact I think this is the first time I have found a situation where что has an optional usage. Are there some other simple examples where что is used and at the same time it can also be omitted (perhaps with a slight change in meaning, but still be considered grammatically acceptable)?
    – KCd
    Jul 24, 2012 at 20:29
  • @KCd Actually что can be omitted almost in every case where it's a conjunction, however it's usually kept because it makes the sentence clearer, or the relation of the sentences. I mean when что is present, it is clear where the main clause is and where the subordinate clause is. Without the conjunction, the meaning of the sentences may change slightly, or even require different punctuation depending on the meaning. There's a notion in Russian grammar: бессоюзные предложения – conjunctionless sentences. Aug 20, 2012 at 6:48

1+2. In given context both variants have the same meaning. The second one is a bit more official, though, and is (don't know why) a bit more popular in science texts.

If the use case is math(or other mathematizide science, such as theoretical physics) lecture, then Оказывается is not the good word at all, as it weakly suggests, that result is unexpected. It is standard to use Следовательно, Можно доказать, что..., Из этого следует, что expressions in such setting.

  1. in general (case) hear translates as в общем случае, всегдаю

In this particular case, which I assume has to do with mathematics, the most likely translation would be:

Отсюда следует, что данный расчет применим в общем случае.

The thing to consider is that the whole phrase may be interpreted differently then a piece of it.

  • You're correct about the background giving rise to the question (a math lecture). But what you wrote doesn't mean the same thing as what I meant: "It follows that" isn't the same as "It turns out that". If you work out an example in a special case, and then want to say that the ideas work in the general case, it's not right to say "It follows that" the calculation works in general, since there isn't a logical implication from a special case to the general case. I will add some other examples to my question.
    – KCd
    Jul 24, 2012 at 4:18
  • @KCd I understand your distinction though I am not sure that in mathematics/physics/chemistry there is stuff that just "happens" to be true unless it's an axiom or an assumption.
    – Karlson
    Jul 24, 2012 at 16:12
  • If I were to say "it happens to be the case that such-and-such works more generally", I intend that as a synonym for "it turns out that such-and-such works more generally". That is, "happens" is a contrast to "does not happen", i.e., "happens" = "is true" and "does not happen" = "is false". This type of usage in English sounds quite natural to me, in suitable contexts.
    – KCd
    Jul 24, 2012 at 20:24
  • @KCd I would agree about English and Russian but not Math.
    – Karlson
    Jul 25, 2012 at 1:34

Оказывается, это вычисление работает would be a better translation, omitting the в общем altogether. The reason is - I'm actually not sure what "general" stands for in your case. Is it a "works for a general case"? or a "generally works" (as an expression of a surprise that this even works at all)?

Those two would produce different variations, namely:

... работает в общем случае (as opposite to ... в частном случае, когда followed by specific constraints of that case)

and the seconds one would produce the

... работает вообще

You see, your translation with the use of вообще means a surprise, not a generalization.

Now, for the use of что after оказывается, - these two forms are almost identical with an extremely subtle difference in your attitude towards such a discovery.

Оказывается, что - this one would denote a continuation of a previous line of thought. It's somewhat similar to the use of English the after the subject has been named or mentioned.

Оказывается, - this one is more generic and would often indicate an out-of-conversation "open line" to change a current subject, though not necessarily as one could use this form while telling a story and coming to a "discovery" part of it.

The second form is a bit less formal (and is thus prevailing in a spoken language) while the more extended form is more formal and has a hint of authoritativeness to it as if the speaker is re-affirming the discovery.

Disclaimer: I'm not a philologist, just a native speaker :-)

  • I meant "works in the general case". For example, you could derive the quadratic formula (формула решения квадратного уравнения) for a specific example and then say "this method works in general", i.e., for any quadratic polynomial. That is the type of meaning I had in mind. I see from your answer that в общем случае is more suitable.
    – KCd
    Oct 21, 2012 at 18:11

Оказывается, что это вычисление работает вообще

Оказывается, это вычисление работает вообще

The first is simply ungrammatical unless you want to say that sometimes (repeatedly) it happens that the calculation works.

Иногда оказывается, что это вычисление работает

But you do not add "вообще" in this case.

Оказывается, что это единственное решение.

Оказывается, это единственное решение.

Similarly the first is wrong. You can say

Иногда оказывается, что это единственное решение.

But it has different meaning.

  • I had in mind not "sometimes" but "always".
    – KCd
    Oct 21, 2012 at 18:06
  • @KCd in that case you SHOULD NOT use "что". In general you use "что" with verbs and no "что" with adverbs.
    – Anixx
    Oct 27, 2012 at 2:11

Yes, you can omit the word «что» (that), exactly as you can do it in English in the following example:

— I think, (that) you have to talk to her.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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