He only has himself to thank (or to blame)

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by tristein, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. tristein Junior Member

    American English

    How would you say "he has only himself to thank" in Russian?

    I've translated it as "у него есть только он сам, чтобы поблагодарить". Is that correct?

    Would "he only has himself to blame" be "у него есть только он сам, чтобы виновать" or "он сам виноват"?

  2. willem81 Senior Member

    у него есть только он сам, чтобы поблагодарить - Yes, it is gramatically correct, but sounds rather awkward.
    I would state it thus: ему некого благодарить, кроме себя самого.

    He only has himself to blame = Ему некого винить, кроме себя самого.
    Он сам виноват is a good option as well.
  3. Colora

    Colora Junior Member

    USA, Denver, CO
    As from what I can see, these selected phrases can be translated into Russian as: "он благодарен только себе" и "он только сам виноват"
  4. FreedomOfFire Junior Member

    Russia (Moscow)
    I'm not so sure about "благодарить".
    tristein, can you provide more context?
    What do you mean by "thank" - "to hold responsible" as in "he has his creditors to thank for his bankruptcy"?
    i.e. does "he has only himself to thank" have the same meaning as "he only has himself to blame"?
    If this is the case, I think that translations of your both English expressions should be "
    Ему некого винить, кроме себя самого" or "Он сам виноват" because "благодарить" is not used as a synonym of "винить" unless it's a sarcasm.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  5. tristein Junior Member

    American English
    Thanks for your responses! FreedomOfFire, I do mean "hold responsible". In the case of "thank" or "поблагодарить", I was thinking of a situation such as someone who worked really hard to get good grades in school and then applied to university. I might say, "if he is accepted, he has only himself to thank." Is there a similar expression in Russian?
  6. learnerr Senior Member

    "Если его примут, он может только себя благодарить". This might work, but hardly, maybe because it breaks the tenses. If you specifically mean he does not owe that to anyone but himself, then either the general suggestion by willem81 (which is good, but too long for a subclause in this conditional sentence, and needs to be turned into the future tense in order to fit the grammar, in which tense it sounds worse), or "то только благодаря его собственным заслугам". Naturally, you can change this ending in many ways to achieve the most fitting sense possible, depending on what happened, and what you want to mean.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

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