I'm familiar with the meaning of ну да, but I recently came across да ну and don't quite know what to make of it. I first heard it in a movie, where a man tries to help a girl carry some boxes, and she says (something that sounds like):

Да ну что вы. Не нужно!

She was nice about it, but I couldn't tell if she wanted him to leave her alone or was just being coy.

At any rate, I would love to know how да ну is used. Also is it pronounced да́ ну or да ну́ ?

6 Answers 6


In those two phrases: да ну and ну да, the key point for understanding their meaning is that ну means uncertainty applied on the following thing.

Moreover да in the beginning of a phrase (e.g. да ну) means not agreement but rather emotional emphasis: да что же это! = what the hell is going on!?, да отстань ты = get off me!.

So да ну .. = I have a very strong emotional concerns\uncertainty about ... (may be strongly negative concerns):

  • _да_ *ну* тебя = I have _huge negative_ *concerns* about you = get off
  • _да_ *ну* что вы = I'm _very_ *uncertain* about if you should or should not help me = very polite form of saying thank you (typical of 'upper class', even little bit obsolete)
  • or just -Пошли в кино! \ -Да ну! meaning -Let's go to cinema! \ -No I really don't want to! I think that's not goin' worth it!

But in ну да, да means just yes, so ну is applied on yes: ну да = yes, but I'm not 100% sure about it (in some cases even meaning that person says yes meaning no).

But for some strange reason ну might also be an emphasis word :) (usually coupled with уж emphasis) meaning more like 100% this time!, while да-emphasis means more like just I am very emotional. For example,

  • ну уж нет! = No! (with a very slight not now meaning)
  • ну уж теперь ты попался = уж теперь ты попался = ну теперь ты попался = now you're caught!

In fact there are plenty of emphasis-words and they also might combine giving totally opposite meaning, so use them wisely :)

The most complicated probably is да нет наверное that is translated word-by-word as yes no maybe, but actually means I'm very uncertain, but I guess the answer is no.

  • "Ну да" can also mean absolute certainty: "- Ты хочешь сказать что он знал об этом с самого начала? - Ну да!". Which means: "- You mean that he know about that from the very beginning? - Absolutely!"
    – Artemix
    Apr 8, 2015 at 11:33
  • @Artemix , agree. That means that ну in the beginning is also just an emphasis of something. ну да = very much yes\no, да ну = very much not sure
    – Ben Usman
    Apr 8, 2015 at 13:18

да ну́, or both unstressed if something like что вы follows.

She was possibly being coy, or at any rate wasn't particularly insistent on being left alone. Да ну is a kind of laid-back expression of the needlessness of some action, either by the speaker or by the listener.

A more emphatic да ну! is used to express incredulity.

It can also be used with pronouns in the accusative — да ну тебя, да ну его, да ну её, as an all-purpose expression of dismissal, ranging anywhere from benignly apathetic to annoyed. It can, again, mean incredulity, or "enough of you and your being difficult", or "who cares about him/her anyway". Note that it has to be a personal pronoun. If you have to name the object, you say something like да ну его, этого Иванова.

  • Thank you so much. I understand what you're saying, but I don't know how to apply it to the situation. What is she saying? Something like "what are you doing? or No no, I can manage? I have no idea what she said to the man with this expression.
    – CocoPop
    Apr 4, 2015 at 2:36
  • @CocoPop "No no, I can manage" is closer. "What are you doing?", in the same nounless and verbless mode of speech, would be something like что это вы? Apr 4, 2015 at 2:59
  • Thanks again. Are you examples with да ну его, etc. something like English "to hell with him!" ?
    – CocoPop
    Apr 4, 2015 at 12:08
  • @CocoPop Milder than that, though you can say да ну его к чёрту or something stronger. Apr 4, 2015 at 12:15

The right one would be - Come on

Oh, come on, you are not serious! Да ну, ты не серьезно!


ну да = yes

да ну = doubt, soft no.

  • 1
    На ум приходит множество интонаций, с использованием которых ну да выражает сомнение. Например, с вопросительной интонацией.
    – Dmitry
    Apr 4, 2015 at 0:08

You have to carefully note an intonation of people spelling "да ну".
As previous people had mentioned, meaning depends on intonation and could mean "yes", and could mean "I am not sure" and could mean "no".
Quite often "да ну" is used as a sound to express feeling with the intonation rather than raw meaning of a words spelled.
Imagining the actual scene that conversation happenned, I think it was used by the girl more like just some sound to express her intention to a man.

  • Well, I can't imagine how to pronounce "да ну" to make "yes". I think "да ну" can mean just anything except "yes".
    – Matt
    Apr 12, 2015 at 3:05

Depending on context might mean "Oh really!", "No, I don't want it". In phrase "да ну их на фиг" it means "oh, leave them alone"(when you want to say that you don't want to see/hear someone or something).

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