Russian word “Вообще”

There is the word ВООБЩЕ in the Russian language. There are also short slang versions of the word: вобще, ваще that are grammatically wrong but used in conversational language.

Here are the meanings this word can have:

ВООБЩЕ – At all; so, such a, very.

Let’s figure out which meaning in which context it has in the Russian language. Here are some examples for each type of context.

Я вообще не говорю по-английски – I don’t speak English at all.

Она не знала вообще ничего об этом – She didn’t know anything about it at all.

Я не понимаю ничего вообще – I don’t understand anything at all.

In these cases it means “at all”.

Я купила вообще такую красивую юбку! – I’ve bought such a beautiful skirt! One can also say “Я купила ваще такую красивую юбку!” using the slang version “ваще“.

У него вообще такая крутая машина! – He has such a cool car!/His car is so cool!

Русский язык вообще такой сложный! – Russian language is so difficult!/ Russian language is very difficult!
As you can see, In these context the meaning of the word is “such, so, very.” There is one more type of context where ВООБЩЕ is an introductory word meaning “So; hmm you know…”

Вообще, я плохо говорю по-английски – Hmm you know, I speak English bad

Ну вообще, я не умею играть на гитаре – Hmm you know, I don’t know how to play guitar(one can add the particle Ну for intonation in this case).

Also, Вообще-то can mean “sorry but…”:

Вообще-то, у меня сегодня встреча – Sorry, but I have a meeting today

Вообще-то я не тратил деньги – I’m sorry but I didn’t spend the money

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