вмешиваться / вмешаться / мешаться

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Senior Member
English (BrE)
Hi. What is the difference in meaning between these three similar words?

"Не вмешивайся в то, чего не знаешь."

"Не вмешайся в то, чего не знаешь."

"Не мешайся в то, чего не знаешь."
  • Have a nice day

    All except for the first one sound odd and weirdly phrased.

    Вмешиваться means to interfere; не вмешивайся -- don't interfere, all good :tick:
    Вмешаться is more like intervene, not interfere. It has a positive connotation. In this sentence it just doesn't work, because we talk about interfering. Therefore, this phrasing is not natural, and I've honestly never seen this verb used in negative form.
    Мешаться is mostly used when we talk about physical obstruction. For example, if you're writing an essay, and your kid starts to mess up your papers, you would tell him: 'Не мешай(ся)!' Same goes if someone is blocking the way. I can't imagine this verb being used in the context you've presented.

    It's just my take on this, it may be wrong, so proceed with caution.


    Just to add: perfective form не вмешайся is used as a friendly advice rather than a warning:
    Смотри, не вмешайся там случайно не в свое дело.

    Мешаться во что-либо is archaic construction and sounds unnatural in the modern language.

    So не вмешивайся is the most natural way to warn against interfering in smth.


    Senior Member
    Мешаться во что-либо is archaic construction and sounds unnatural in the modern language.
    It doesn’t sound unnatural; I speak like that and hear it often, but mostly in substandard (just because it’s straight imperfective and is shorter than вмешивайся) not archaic language. However, it’s also common in literature and proverbs:

    «Пей и не мешайся в наши дела. Для наших дел надобно иметь свежую голову».

    «Не мешайся в совет, пока кто не позовёт».
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