Cheat Sheet for Говорить

Неговори!: That’s for sure!

The other
day I tried to trot out an expression using the words
говорить (to speak), так (so) and не (not), and got completely
balled up, combining about three different expressions with all the words in
the wrong order. After an hour of double-checking and correcting, I sorted it
out. Now to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes, here’s my
говорить cheat sheet.

говорить: No question
about it. You use this expression when you want to emphasize that what you are
saying is the absolute truth and it’s not worth the time and trouble to argue
about it.
Да что там говорить о колхозных полях, если даже на личных огородах
полное и повсеместное запустение (Ofcoursethecollectivefarmsfieldsareamess. What do
you expect when even the farmers’ private gardens are all totally neglected?)

Какниговорите: No matter what anyone says. Use this when you
want to support a position that not everyone shares. You say it at the end of
an argument, often when you haven’t been able to refute it. For emphasis, stick
out your chin or wag your head:
Вконцеконцов, какниговорите, директорэтодиректор (In
the end no matter what you say, the director is the director.)

Нечегоиговорить: This phrase has three meanings, starting with
“it goes without saying”: Нечего говорить, воспитание играет огромную роль в
развитии характера (It goes without saying that the way children are raised
plays a huge role in their character development.) And then it can mean “there
isn’t anything to say”:
мне сказать, когда нечего говорить? (What can I say when I have nothing to
say?) And finally, it can mean “there is nothing to discuss”: В такую погоду о
рыбалке нечего и говорить, сиди в домике. (Don’t even think about fishing in
this weather — stay at home.)

Ни о чём не говорит: Itdoesntmatter.
You use this phrase when a decision
isn’t final or you don’t have all the information:
позвонил, ноэто
чёмнеговорит. Он
всётакиоченьзанят. (He hasn’t
called, but that doesn’t mean anything. He
sverybusy, afterall.)

Говорютебе (вам): I’m telling you. For when you are feeling
emphatic. Finger stabbing optional:
Делай, какхочешь, ноговорютебе, чтоэтотчеловекпроизводитна
меняотталкивающеевпечатление (Do what you want, but I’m telling you: I find
that person revolting.)

Нуятебе (вам) говорил!: What did I tell you? After you
have poked someone in the chest with
говорютебе and the
poked person has failed to listen, this is what you say:
институтенепустили! (I didn’t get into the institute — I told you

Неговори!: That’s for sure! Use this when
someone says something that you agree with:
Неговори! На
вид-то они простецкие, а на самом деле свой расчёт имеют (Thatsforsure! They look
like simple folks but actually they are very calculating.)

Что ты говоришь?: Nokidding! When
your significant other tells you to do what you’ve been saying for the last
five years, this is your snarky response. Use a fake surprised voice.
Краситькухню? Чтотыговоришь? (Paint the kitchen? What a great idea!)

Говорювамправду! (I’m telling you the truth!)

A. Berdy is a Moscow-based translator and interpreter, author of “The Russian
Word’s Worth,” a collection of her columns. Follow her on Twitter