Здесь, тут

by Don  

Russian has two words for “here” in the sense of location “at here”: тут and здесь. They mean exactly the same thing; the only difference is that тут has a more conversational tone, so if you are writing a formal essay, stick to здесь. Sample sentences:

Ты тут живёшь?
Ты здесь живёшь?
Do you live here?
Где тут аптека?
Где здесь аптека?
Where is there a pharmacy around here?
Вот тут я первый раз поцеловала Бориса, и хотя с тех пор прошло уже двадцать лет, ощущение его губ на моих никогда не покинуло меня. Here is where I kissed Boris for the first time, and although twenty ears have passed since then, the memory of his lips on mine has never left me.
Видишь вот этот ресторан? Я здесь первый раз ел щи. Do you see this restaurant? I ate cabbage soup for the first time here.

One mistake English speakers make in Russian is to use these words when trying to say “Come here,” and they produce something like «Приходи здесь». The sentence is completely awful in Russian. The first problem is that здесь/тут can only be used to mean location “at” a place, not motion “to” a place. The second problem is that if you are talking to someone in person, then they have already arrived, so приходить/прийти “to arrive/come” just doesn't make sense. The right way to say it is «Иди сюда». We'll discuss сюда in the next few days.

1 comment

Comment from: Karyn Dubravetz [Visitor]

Ah, great post! It’s never really been clear to me what the difference is. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “тут". :)

02/26/10 @ 09:00

Form is loading...