I know what you must be thinking: 10 meanings of the word “так”? It seems like too many! In fact, this is one of the most used Ukrainian words, as it has so many meanings. Let’s dive in!
1. Так = Yes
Of course! You knew this already, didn’t you? It is part of a Ukrainian starter pack: yes = так, no = ні.
- Ти хочеш вчити українську? – О, так! — Do you want to learn Ukrainian? – Oh, yes!
2. Так = So
It is an adverb that emphasizes the meaning of other words:
- Моя бабуся не знала, що користуватися ноутбуком так легко! — My grandma didn’t know that using a laptop is so easy!
- Хіба не так? — Isn’t it so?
3. Так = Like this
This is a one-word translation of like this, this way.
- Мовчи, так ти здаєшся розумним. — Be quiet; this way, you seem smart.
- Його тренер каже, що, щоб схуднути, треба бігати так. — His trainer says that to lose weight, you should run like this.
4. Так? = Right?
Use так as a replacement for question tags:
- Ти хочеш велосипед на День народження, так? — You want a bicycle for your birthday, right?
- Твій кіт порвав диван, так? — Your cat has torn the sofa, hasn’t it?
5. Так = Let it be, let us + verb
It is used between the same words to express agreement. It comes in handy when you don’t have the time to or don’t want to disagree, so you kind of let it be:
- Молоко закінчилося, є тільки вершки. Будеш? – Вершки так вершки. Мені все одно. — We ran out of milk; there is only cream left. Want some? – Let it be cream. I don’t care.
- “Чого стоїш? Там пожежа! Треба бігти!” – “Бігти так бігти.” — “Why are you standing? There’s a fire! We need to run!” – “Let’s run.”
Useful expressions to agree and disagree in Ukrainian (with audio)
6. Так = No reason
Так is commonly used with просто as an answer when there is no reason or need for something.
- Чого ти не робиш домашнє завдання? – Просто так. — Why aren’t you doing your homework? – No reason.
There is a beautiful song about a carefree girl who says Так просто to everything:
7. Так = For free
If you get something так, it means you don’t need to pay for it. If someone offers you to do a job за так, don’t agree – you won’t get any money.
- Скільки ти заплатила за вишні? – Антон мені їх так дав. — How much did you pay for the cherries? – Anton gave them to me for free.
- Це співбесіда, ти маєш запитати, скільки вони платитимуть! Ти ж не за так працюватимеш. — It’s a job interview, you have to ask how much they are going to pay! You are not going to work for free.
8. Так = So, okay
It is used at the beginning of a sentence that continues an interrupted conversation or changes the topic:
- Так, мамо, я вже поїду. — Okay, Mom, I am going to go now.
Quite often, we use it with от:
- Так от, я пропоную тобі нову роботу. — So, I offer you a new job.
9. Не так = Wrong
A negative form describes a situation when things are not the way they are supposed to be.
- Тут щось не так. — Something is wrong here.
- Вибачайте, якщо щось було не так. — I apologize for anything that might have gone wrong.
How to apologize in Ukrainian: 7 ways to say sorry (with audio)
10. Як… так і… = As well as
Together, these two short words are used to link parts of the sentence:
- Як окуляри, так і лінзи доволі недорогі. — Glasses, as well as contact lenses, are quite inexpensive.
- Свята подобаються як дітям, так і дорослим. — Children, as well as adults, enjoy the holidays.
That’s all that I wanted to share with you today. It wasn’t too difficult, так? I hope you have learned a new meaning or two. If так, let us know in the comments section!
Just like the word так, there are other tricky short Ukrainian words. You can easily mix them up or confuse them with words from another foreign language. Go ahead and save & learn our list of 20 short Ukrainian words!
Learning Ukrainian and looking for great resources? Check out our list of the 1000 most common words in Ukrainian with interactive flashcards. You can also learn Ukrainian step by step wherever you are with our free Ukrainian Lessons Podcast.