Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm like you! Aka Russian ways to be similar

How to say that A is like B in Russian? There are two main ways to do so.

1. The first way is by using the word похожий (similar, resembling) or its shorter forms:
похож — masc.
похожа — femin.
похоже — neutr.
похожи — plural.

Они похожи. - They are similar. / They look similar.

This word can be used for similarity in appearance or anything else.

You use preposition на after похожий, like this:

А похоже на Б.

Луна похожа на сыр. - Moon looks like cheese.
Он похож на своего отца. - He is like his father.
Это похоже на работу Сальвадора Дали. - This looks like Salvador Dalí's work.
Близнецы часто похожи друг на друга. - Twins often look similar to each other.
На кого ты больше похожа, на маму или на папу? - Do you look more like your mother or father?

2. Another way to say A is like B is to use как (like, as). You often put comma before it but not always (you can read detailed rules for commas before как here, in Russian).

А, как Б

высокий, как сосна - tall like a pine tree
мягкий, как пух - soft like down
холодные, как лёд, руки - hands as cold as ice
Вода блестит как зеркало. - Water shines like a mirror.
На улице тепло, как весной. - It's warm outside like in spring.
Как и вчера, она пришла рано. - Like yesterday, she came early today.

And a few examples from Russian literature if you are brave (I know you are):

В лощинах туман, как молоко, белеется. (Л. Толстой) — Fog in valleys is white like milk. (Leo Tolstoy)
Да, всё он делал не как люди. (М. Горький) – Yes, he did everything not like [normal] people. (M. Gorky)
Его лицо было бледно, глаза как стеклянные. (А. Толстой) – His face was pale, eyes like glass. (A. Tolstoy)

Now you've read Tolstoy in the original language, congratulations! Should I post an excerpt from 'War and Peace' next time? ;-)


  1. Now I understood the use of похожий much better than before. And to be more conscious of the use of kak,I'll read again and again your explanation. Now I shrank back from the words of those great authors. Oh,I am getting a little confused! Give up))) Thank you,Ekaterina!


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