Good: Хороший vs добрый

From my understanding they both mean good, but how do you know which one to use in a given situation?

Here is an example I came across:

"She is a good person." Duolingo's Translation: "Она хороший человек."

"она добрый человек" was marked incorrect. Can you only use "хороший" in this situation?

December 15, 2015


Добрый used to mean "good". However, it means "kind" nowadays, and you only use it as "good" in set expressions, such as greetings:

  • Доброе утро. = Good morning
  • Добрый день. = Good day / Good afternoon
  • Добрый вечер. = Good evening.

For Good night, «Спокойной ночи» is more popular. A bit old-fashioned Доброй ночи is still used, though (if only for variety).

December 15, 2015

Good to know, спасибо!

December 17, 2015

Спасибо, shady. Very helpful.

December 17, 2015

Is it somewhat equivalent to the English word "righteous", or is that completely different? I have heard (partly in this discussion) that the word Добрый the exact opposite to the Russian word for "evil.

When I think of the opposite of "evil", I think "righteous". Does Добрый have that connotation, or am I way off?

December 26, 2016

Not exactly, "добрый" is "kind", "gentle", "soft-hearted". However "добродетельный" comes from the same root and it pretty much means "righteous". You can also say "праведный", but that has more religious overtones.

To make it more complicated, "добро" as a noun is a bit different from the adjective "добрый", and is closer to it's original meaning of "good", while "kindness" is "доброта".

Good vs. Evil would be "Добро против Зла".

December 26, 2016

Спасибо Большое! You help a lot! I love it when people go above and beyond to give a full answer.

Вот лигот!

December 26, 2016

*"Добрый" = kind/good-hearted

*"Хороший" = good

"Добрый" is opposite to "злой" (evil/mean). The root of "добрый" is "добро" (goodness/kindness).

December 15, 2015

она добрый человек = she is a kind person

December 15, 2015

Good - добрый

December 16, 2015
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