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Радивилова М.

Слова-заменители в английском языке
А precise translation is one of the most important means of the
process of learning English. It is extremely important to translate the substitutes correctly. If one doesn't do it in a proper way it may cause confusion and
sometimes even lead to complete misunderstanding of the

For example, the widely accepted way of translating the sentence "They say there are ghosts in this castle" is "Они говорят, что в этом замке водятся привидения”. Who is mysterious “они”? It should be translated as "Говорят, в этом замке есть привидения". Or: "I will take this car. It is the best one". "Я беру эту машину. Это единственная.” But "one" in this case does not mean "один, единственный". It substitutes for the word "the саг" to avoid repetition.

What is the cause of such kind of mistakes? In some cases the above mentioned words are not used as nouns, pronouns or auxiliaries. They function as the words-substitutes.

The substitutes are the words which are used for other words in order to avoid repetition or in order to reduce or simplify the speech.

English learners often make rough mistakes while translating the substitutes into Russian. It results in confusion and sometimes complete misunderstanding of the message. So it is extremely important to learn the peculiarities of the substitutes’ translation into Russian as it will help to avoid mistakes and thus improve the process of language learning.

Different parts of speech can be substituted for but among the most commonly substituted words are nouns.


Practically all personal pronouns are substitutes. As а rule, they substitute

nouns. However, the most widely used ones are the pronouns YOU, THEY, IT.

These pronouns are used to identify an indefinite person. In this case it is

the synonym of the pronoun ONE, which can substitute YOU. YOU is omitted
while translating.

ех. She picked the machine with an ease and put it away, and you have to
be very strong to do that. —
Она с легкостью подняла машинку и поставила в
сторонку, а для этого нужно быть очень сильным.

You have to be а fool to believe that! — Нужно быть дураком, чтобы
этому поверить.

The meaning of the sentences won't change in case ONE is used instead of YOU.

ех. She picked the machine with an ease and рис it away, and one has to be very strong to do that.

One has to be а fool to believe that!

The pronoun THEY is used when а person who performed an action is

unknown or an indefinite group of people is referred to. While translating THEY
is omitted, too.

ех. They say there are ghosts in this castle. — Говорят, что в этом замке
водятся привидения.
They call New York the Big Apple. — Нью Йорк называют Большим


Pronoun IT

The pronoun IT usually denotes concrete objects, abstract notions and

animals. However, it is sometimes used to done а stranger:

ех. When I came closer to the pool, I realized that it was Pete. — Когда я

подошла поближе к бассейну, я поняла, что это Пит.

IT can substitute а group of words, а sentence, а predicative or even the


ех. (а group of words) Не tried to break the lock. It (breaking the lock) was

not easy. — Он попытался сломать замок. Это было нелегко.

I think you want to stay alive even if it (staying alive) does hurt. — Думаю, что жить хочется, даже если это причиняет боль.

(предикация) Не knew that his father was dying but he didn’t want to talk

to anybody about it (that his father was dying). — Он знал, что его отец умирает, но не хотел ни с кем об этом говорить.

(контекст) Не studied her, then shook his head. Не waited а moment and

then decided not to say what he might have been going to say. Не swallowed before going on, and when he did, he returned to the conventional questions. He

had watched him do it all without any interest.

IT can also be used as an object with а following noun or adjective which

can be defined by an infinitive phrase or predicative.

ех. I found it difficult to explain to him what had happened. — Мне

оказалось трудно объяснить ему, что случилось.

Не thought it по use to go over the subject again. — Он счел, что

обсуждать эту тему еще раз бесполезно.

IT can also be used in the so-called emphatic constructions and serves to

emphasize а word or а whole word combination.

ех. It was ту question that made him angry. — Именно мой вопрос его и


And finally IT is used in different idiomatic expressions where it has little,

if any, lexical meaning.

ех. Stop it! — Хватит!

Now that youre done, beat it home. — Теперь, когда ты все закончил,

иди домой.


Absolute possessive pronouns — MINE, OURS, HIS, HERS, THEIRS,

can also be used as substitutes. They substitute the previously used
nouns to avoid repetition of the nouns with possessive pronouns.

ех. "This is ту work. You can't make decisions what to do with it. " "No,
it is mine (
ту work) now, since you depend on те now!" — «Это моя работа. Ты не можешь решать, что с ней делать.» «Hem, теперь она моя, так как ты зависишь от меня!»

You can 't drive this car. Its not yours (your car). — Ты не имеешь права
водить эту машину. Она
не твоя.


Demonstrative pronouns THIS/THESE, THAT/THOSE are often used as

substitutes. They are mostly used to avoid repetition.

ех. Her smile became а glow. Incredibly а blush rose in her cheeks. That’s what it looks like, if you build a furnace inside the mouth of one of those idols in

the Н. Rider Haggard Stories. — Ее улыбка превратилась в сияние. Невероятно, румянец залил ее щеки. Если бы построили печь во рту одного из идолов из
историй Х. Райдера Хаггарда, то выглядело бы это именно так.

There are also demonstrative pronouns SUCH and SAME. But only

SAME can be used as а substitute when it functions as а noun in the sentence,
while SO is used only as an adjective in а sentence. Though SAME can be used as
а noun in English, it is translated into Russian as an adjective.

ех. “What kind of juice did you take?" "Orange." "I'll take the sате
(kind).”— «Какой сок вы взяли?» «Апельсиновый. » «Я возьму такой же. »

Word-substitutes THING, STUFF

The words THING and STUFF are widely-spread substitutes in the

English language. STUFF can substitute any inanimate object and is translated
into Russian as «вещи». STUFF is used only in the singular and cannot refer to
one object.

ех. "You can use ту backpack But let те take ту stuff (anything that тау
be in the backpack) out of it first. — «Ты можешь взять мой рюкзак. Только
позволь мне сначала достать оттуда свои вещи

The literary translation of the word THING «вещь», but it acquired а

much broader meaning. While STUFF can denote mainly objects, THING can
refer to objects, unknown things, notions, situations etc.

ех. "Не raised the stone and hit Geoffrey on his head, " she said with eyes full of tears. “ The thing (that he hit Geoffrey on his head) will never get out of my mind
.” — «Он поднял камень и ударил Джеффри по головесказала она со
слезами на глазах. «Я этого никогда не забуду. »

Whats this thing?" — «Что это?»

In scientific literature and business documents the substitutes help to convey the message clearly and exactly, as they are used to simplify and reduce complicated speech constructions.

We came to the conclusion that correct translation of substitutes into Russian will help tо avoid mistakes and misunderstanding in omprehending the English language and translating texts from Russian into English and from English into Russian.

The most widely used substitutes in the English language are pronouns in case they stand for nouns. While translating into Russian the substitutes are:

  • often omitted

  • translated into Russian differently than in English

  • used to substitute for one word or the whole construction

- used to serve to emphasize the meaning of the word

As we see, having knowledge about the substitutes help English

learners to realize that words are not always used in their direct meaning and thus to avoid language mistake


1. Евстафьев И.Е., Миркина Л.В., Петров Н.А. Английская грамматика:

Продвинутый курс. — М., «Новая жизнь», 1992.

2. Коссман Л. Практическая грамматика английского языка. — СПб, Силекс,


3. Кабакчи В.В. Практика английского языка. Сборник упражнений по

переводу. — СПб, «Союз», 2000.

4. Карневская Е.Б., Курочкина 3.Д., Мисуно Е.А. Английский язык. На пути к

успеху. — Мн., «Аверсэв», 2008.

5. Комиссаров В.Н. Слово о переводе. — М., 1973.

6. Рубцова Г.В. Слова-заменители в английском языке. — М,, 1989.

7. Рубцова Г.В. Перевод слов-заменителей с английского на русский язык.—

М., 1990.

8. Alexander L.G.Longman English Grammar Practice. — Longman Group UK

Limited, 1992.

9. Foley М., Hall D. Advanced Learners Grammar. — Longman, 2003.

10. Murphy R. Intermediate English Grammar in Use. — Cambridge University

Press, 1994.

11. Swan М., Walter С. The Cambridge English Course. — Cambridge University

Press, 1991.

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