by Tatiana  

Photo of cat with spooky eyesSome words in Russian have an interesting quality to them: they can express both positive and negative feelings. «Ужасно» ‘terribly’ is one of these words. It is important to note, though, that in either case the feeling is very strong. Therefore, it will most likely be followed by an exclamation mark.

Ужасно comes from the noun «ужас», which means “horror.” The root produces other words like «ужастик» “horror movie,” so called, of course, because it horrifies you. 88| For example:

— Какое у тебя любимое кино?
— Ну, не знаю, главное, чтобы это был ужастик: люблю, когда страшно!
“What is your favorite movie?”
“Well, I'm not sure, but it's got to be a horror movie. I love being scared!”

Also, «ужас» can express one’s reaction to a misfortune of some sort.

— Меня уволили с работы!
— Какой ужас! Что же ты теперь будешь делать?
“I was fired from work!”
“That's terrible! What are you going to do now?”
Ужас! Я провалил экзамен по математике! Oh, no! I flunked my math test!

In English the adverb ‘awfully’ can be used to mean ‘very’ in both positive and negative contexts. For instance, you can say “She's awfully pretty” in the sense of “She is very pretty,” or you can say “He's awfully stupid” in the sense of “He is very stupid.” Similarly in Russian the adverb «ужасно» ‘horribly’ can mean “very much” or ‘absolutely’ or ‘really’ in both positive and negative contexts:

Мне ужасно понравилась эта книжка! I absolutely loved this book!
Я ужасно устал! I’m awfully tired!
Я ужасно хочу поехать в Европу! I really want to go to Europe!
Я ужасно люблю мороженое! I’m awfully fond of ice cream!

Even though the meanings are quite different, it is usually easy to understand which one is being used according to the situation. However, I hope you all will only need to use this word's positive meaning! :D


Comment from: daljit [Visitor]  

Addicted to Russian language and you are the best of the best in explaining the meaning of the Russian words.


05/14/13 @ 07:58
Comment from: daljit [Visitor]  

Been studying Russian language since the past several months and currently living in the Yalta region. So far, I have not found anyone else with more deeper, clearer understanding of Russian language than YOU. Hats off to your Mastery of this language and lucid explanation of the words.

Kind Regards,

Daljit or Dima!!!!!!!

05/14/13 @ 07:56
Comment from: michael denner [Visitor]

Прошедшая история жизни Ивана Ильича была самая простая и обыкновенная и самая ужасная

01/29/10 @ 17:42

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