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  • Writer's pictureOlga Jarrell

Мне скучно vs. Я скучаю

Updated: Jan 15

If you try to interpret the meaning of “to miss someone or something” in Russian, you might be surprised that the search leads you to the verb «скучать». What does this verb have in common with “getting bored” or being bored”? The matter is that the Russian verb «скучать» has two major meanings:

СКУЧАТЬ = to be/get bored

  • Я скуча́ю. I am bored.

  • Я обы́чно скуча́ю, е́сли нет интерне́та. I usually get bored when there is no Internet.

  • На каранти́не мы сиде́ли до́ма и скуча́ли. During the quarantine, we were staying home and being bored.

  • Чтобы не скуча́ть, найди́ себе́ хо́бби. In order not to be bored, find yourself a hobby.


СКУЧАТЬ = to miss someone or something


In that case, the verb is used with the dative case to indicate a person or thing someone misses.

Here are some examples:

  • По кому́ или по чему́ вы скуча́ете, когда е́дете в о́тпуск? What and whom do you miss when going on vacation?

  • Ты скуча́ешь по до́му, когда́ путеше́ствуешь? Do you miss home when traveling?

  • По чему́ ты бу́дешь скуча́ть, е́сли перее́дешь в друго́й го́род? What will you miss if you move to a different city?

  • Ты скуча́ешь по друзья́м, когда́ до́лго их не ви́дишь? Do you miss your friends when do not see them for a long time?

When it's clear from the context who or what you miss, the verb alone can be used:

  • Я скуча́ю. I miss (someone).

  • Бу́ду скуча́ть. I will miss you.

In Russian, there is another way to convey the meaning of being bored by using so-called dative subjectless construction: Мне ску́чно. I am bored.

Here are a few examples:

  • Студе́нтам ску́чно слу́шать ле́кцию. Students are bored by listening to the lecture.

  • Вам не ску́чно говори́ть о поли́тике? Isn’t it boring for you to talk about politics?

  • Де́тям не ску́чно бу́дет в э́том музе́е. Children will not be bored in this museum.

This video explains the rule in detail and provides practice.



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