“Hет” and “Не” = The Difference of it’s Functions and Usage.

If you want to express refusal, most of the time you will use the word “No”. In Russian language, there are “нет” and “не” (net and ne) which have kind of similar meaning “no”. Here we gonna show you the example  and usage of “нет” and “не” :

Q : В кино пойдешь?
‘V kino pojdesh’?’
(Going to the movies?)

A: Нет, не пойду.
‘Net, ne pojdu.’
(No, I will not go.)

Q : Хотите молока?
‘Hotite moloka?’
(Do you want some milk?)

A : Нет, не хочу
‘Net, ne hochu’
(No, I don’t.)

Based on the example above you can see how the word “не” is used to affirm “нет” while also being more polite. So, “не” is generally softer than “нет” in the term of politeness.

Она не хочет идти в библиотеку.
‘Ona ne hochet idti v biblioteku.’
(She doesn’t want to go to the library.)

Я не знаю, кто он.
‘Ja ne znaju, kto on’
(I don’t know who he is.)

Я не думаю, что хочу видеть его сегодня.
‘Ja Ne dumaju, chto hochu videt’ ego segodnja’
(I don’t think I want to see him today.)

Я не читал сегодня газету.
Ja ne chital segodnja gazetu.
(I have not read the newspaper today.)


The words “не” can give a meaning “not” if it is paired with verbs like the example above. The words “не” with adjectives and adverbs could also mean “not” if it’s located separately with the adjectives and adverbs.

не вкусно
‘ne vkusno’
not delicious

Это было не вкусно.
‘Jéto býlo ne vkusno’
(It didn’t taste good.)

не приятный
‘ne prijatnyj’
not pleasant

Это не самый приятный вариант.
‘Jeto ne samyj prijatnyj variant.’
(It’s not the most pleasant case)

But if it has become one with the adjectives and adverbs, the words “не” doesn’t show negation, it shows the inversion.

нехорошo
‘nehorosho
wrong

неинтересный
‘neinteresnyj’
uninteresting

несчастливый
‘neschastlivyj’
unhappy

Pronouns are words that could replace the usage of nouns and adjectives. The words “не” mostly used as a prefix for some pronouns. As a prefix “не” doesn’t exactly mean “not” but it is more used to negate.

1. Некогда (nekogda) = no time

  • Мне некогда стира́ть.
    ‘Mne nekogda stirát’’
    (I don’t have time to do the laundry.)

2. Нечего (nechego)= nothing

  • Сего́дня мне нечего де́лать.
    ‘Segódnja mne nechego délat’.’
    (I’ve nothing to do today.)

3. Некого (nekogo)= nobody

  • Спроси́ть бы́ло некого.
    ‘Sprosít’ býlo nekogo.’
    (There was nobody to ask.)

4. Негде (negde)= nowhere

  • Тебе негде пря́таться.
    ‘Tebe negde prjátat’sja.’
    (There’s nowhere for you to hide.)

The words “нет” usually use in senteces as “don’t exist”, or “haven’t”, “there isn’t”. If “не” paired with verbs, then  “нет” usually paired with nouns, take a look at examples below :

  • У меня нет зарпла́ты, потому что у меня нет рабо́ты.
    ‘U menja net zarpláty, potomu chto u menja net rabóty.’
    (I don’t have a salary because I don’t have a job.)
  • Ему нет денег
    ‘Emu net deneg’
    (He has no money)

If you want to answer a question that is formed with a negative clause, the correct translation should be according to the sense, not the literal meaning. Example :


Question : Ты не хочешь торт?
Ty ne hochesh‘ tort?’
(Don’t you want a cake?)

If you want answer ‘you want’ :
Нет, хочу
‘Net, hochu’
(No, I do)

If you want answer ‘you don’t want’ :
Да, не хочу
‘Da, ne hochu’
(Yes, I don’t)

There you are, a full explanation about the difference between “нет” and “не”. Mostly “не” is used to affirm and make the sentence more polite to use. Learning how to tell the difference between “нет” and “не”, will make you able to use the word correctly. You obviously understand the advantages of learning Russian language right? That is why you gotta learn Russian language effectively and efficiently. You can add more of your vocabulary and your grammar, way to go!

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