I found these two recently in different sources:

Она уже не маленькая, если что.

(talking about their daughter, who wanted to move to America)

Я пойду и побью его. - Он 5 лет занимался боксом, если что.

The only reference I found for если что was with случится, i.e. if anything happens. What is the speaker trying to say in these examples?

3 Answers 3


The first can be translated as:

She's not a kid (anymore), just in case you forgot.

or depending on the context:

She's not a kid, (she'll be able to solve her problems) if anything happens.

The second is:

He has five years of boxing experience, just in case you didn't know.

Or maybe "if you know what I mean" would better translate "если что" here.

The usage is slightly non-standard, but understandable.

  • Thank you! When you say non-standard, you mean most people wouldn't use it?
    – CocoPop
    Oct 14, 2014 at 15:34
  • 1
    I think the standard way is using "между прочим" instead. Some people may use even "на минуточку", which is also non-standard, but widely used in colloquial speech: gramota.ru/slovari/argo/53_7741.
    – Artemix
    Oct 14, 2014 at 15:44
  • 3
    Got it! (1) "She's not a child, you know"; and (2) "He's been boxing for five years, mind you." Thanks again for your wonderful explanations :)
    – CocoPop
    Oct 14, 2014 at 22:20

It's a turn of speech combining the meanings of "if something (unclear, misunderstood, happens, goes wrong, etc)". Russians love to use vague phrases like this with different meanings. See also: Ну ты заходи, если что

  • On the other hand, it seems to be not done to just say "Это зовисит." Dec 6, 2014 at 11:59
  • @Raskolnikov, please, check the spelling of words, before you write it on educational site like this one. I'm talking about the work "зовисит", which is normally written as "зависит". Dec 8, 2014 at 14:23

In my opinion, если что has strong negative connotations or implications, such as if worse comes to worst, in case of emergency/emergencies.

Она уже не маленькая, если что can be rendered as Она уже взрослая и самостоятельная, сдюжит, пройдёт все испытания и риски.

Я пойду и побью его. - Он 5 лет занимался боксом, если что can be rendered as [...] Только ты учти: он 5 лет занимался боксом. Так что непростая у тебя будет задачка/ But take note... The speaker is implying that chances are that it's his friend, not his rival, who will be beaten.

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.