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День России: Celebrating Russia Day the Russian Way

Did you know that the National Day of Russia is also the country’s newest holiday? Russia Day didn’t become an official holiday until 1994, four years after Russia became an independent Штат (shtat), or “state.”

In this article, you’ll learn how Russians celebrate this holiday, why it’s such a significant (and sometimes controversial) day, and some useful vocabulary.

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1. What is Russia Day?

The Russian Flag Waving in the Breeze Russia Day is the national day of Russia, marking the date in 1990 when Russia adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, making Russia an independent state. In 1994, Russia began celebrating this as a national holiday, and in 2002, it received its official name: День России (Den’ Rasii), or “Russia Day.”

At one point, it was common for people to refer to the Russian national day as Russia Independence Day, though this later changed as there was some dispute over who Russia gained independence from.

The Russia Day holiday is a point of conflict for some Russians. Generally, the older population has negative or bitter feelings about the origins of this holiday, as it marked the Распад СССР (raspat SSSR), or “collapse of the USSR.” The younger generation tends to think of it as the country’s birthday and thus celebrate it more fervently.



2. When is Russia Day Each Year?

Russia Day is on June 12 Each year, Russia Day takes place on June 12, or 12 июня (12 iyunya).

3. Russia Day Celebrations & Traditions

Красная Площадь (Krasnaya ploshad`), or “Red Square,” may be the most popular place to visit during Russia Day. Each year, there’s a special Концерт (kantsert), or “concert,” here, in addition to a variety of other celebratory events. People enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones, visiting their country houses, and attending the many events that take place on this day.

Some cities may put on a Russian national day parade, and certain cities—called Master Cities—host events where people can gather to watch masters of ancient arts perform and demonstrate their prowess.

Another famous event on Russia’s national day is the giving of National Awards at the Grand Kremlin Palace. The Russian president offers awards to Russians of high repute, such as renowned scientists or writers. There’s also a large reception held at the Kremlin.



4. The 2017 Russia Day Awards



Quite a few people received a Russia Day award in 2017. Do you know who they were?

In 2017, recipients of the Russia Day awards included Eduard Artemyev (composer), Yuri Grigorovich (choreographer), Mikhail Piotrovsky (Heritage Museum director), and Daniil Granin (writer).

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Russia Day



The Red Square in Moscow Ready to review some of the vocabulary words and phrases from this article? Here’s a quick list!

  • Концерт (kantsert) — “concert” [n. masc]
  • День России (Den’ Rasii) — “Russia Day” [masc]
  • Красная Площадь (Krasnaya ploshad`) — “Red Square” [fem]
  • Салют (salyut) — “firework” [n. masc]
  • Массовое гуляние (massavaye gulyaniye) — “public celebration” [neut]
  • Штат (shtat) — “state” [n. masc]
  • Суверенитет (suverenitet) — “sovereignty” [n. masc]
  • 12 июня (12 iyunya) — “June 12”
  • День независимости (Den’ nezavisimasti) — “Independence Day”
  • Образование Российской Федерации (abrazavaniye Rassiyskay Federatsyi) — “formation of Russian Federation”
  • Толпа (talpa) — “crowd” [n. fem]
  • Распад СССР (raspat SSSR) — “collapse of the USSR”


To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, be sure to visit our Russia Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Russia Day with us, and that you took away some valuable cultural information.

What’s the national day of your country, and how do you celebrate? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Russian culture and the language, RussianPod101.com has many free resources for you, straight from our blog:



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It’s our goal to make your Russian learning as fun and effective as possible, so we hope to see you around!

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Russian Compliments: Guide to Giving Compliments in Russian

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Sincere compliments are wonderful! Every person loves to hear about his or her merits. Compliments make people happy, increase self-esteem, and smooth out sharp edges in relationships. Of course, they’re not obligatory, but they are helpful in many situations.

That’s why you should know some Russian compliments if you study this language or simply want to fly to Russia in the future. This article will help you learn about giving compliments in the Russian language.

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Table of Contents

  1. General Information
  2. Compliments on Someone’s Look
  3. Compliments on Someone’s Skills or Abilities
  4. Compliments on Someone’s Personal Traits
  5. Compliments on Someone’s Work
  6. How to Make Sincere Compliments
  7. How to Respond to Compliments
  8. Conclusion

1. General Information

Compliments

First of all, you need to know that Russian people aren’t really enthusiastic about giving compliments. They praise each other from time to time, but not as much as Americans do, for example. Moreover, Russians almost never give compliments to strangers or people they’ve just met.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give Russian compliments to people you’re not very close with. Just be relaxed and sincere. Russian people will appreciate your openness.

2. Compliments on Someone’s Look

Do Russian women like compliments? Of course! If you want to compliment a Russian woman, start with her appearance.

Below, we’ll give you the best Russian compliment phrases regarding appearance. Some are suitable only for women, while others are good for men and women.

  • Ты прекрасно выглядишь! (Ty prekrasno vyglyadish!) — “You look nice!”

This is one of the most appropriate Russian compliments for your girlfriend when her makeup is particularly well done or she’s wearing a tastefully chosen outfit. You may also use this phrase to compliment the appearance of your friend or close relative.

A Man complimenting a Woman on a Date

Always be mentally prepared for your dates!

  • Ты так привлекательна! (Ty tak privlekatel’na!) — “You’re so attractive!”

If you aren’t sure how to compliment a Russian woman, use this phrase. Make sure that you say it to a girl you know well enough or who is younger than you. Don’t forget that it’s a flirty compliment in Russian, so try to use it only in informal situations.

  • Эта рубашка тебе идёт. (Eta rubashka tebe idyot.) — “This shirt suits you.”

This remark is universal. You may use it to express your thoughts about your friend’s new shirt or about an old shirt that you see on him or her for the first time.

  • У тебя хороший вкус. (U tebya khoroshiy vkus.) — “You have good taste.”

This is one of the most widespread Russian compliments. If somebody you know looks particularly good in the clothes they’re wearing, feel free to use this phrase.

  • Какие у тебя красивые глаза! (Kakiye u tebya krasivyye glaza!) — “Your eyes are so beautiful!”

While this is one of the best Russian beauty compliments for women, you can also say this to a man. Use this phrase if your male or female friend has charming eyes; for example, if they’re clearly blue or almond-shaped.

  • Вы молодо выглядите. (Vy molodo vyglyadite.) — “You look young.”

This useful expression is one of the most common Russian compliments for women who are older than forty. You may use it in both formal and informal situations.

An Older Woman Holding a Basket of Fruit

There are many Russian women who look younger than they really are.

  • Твоя красота сводит меня с ума. (Tvoya krasota svodit menya s uma.) — “Your beauty drives me crazy.”

You may find this and other beautiful Russian compliments in literature. If you want to compliment a girl in Russian in a unique way, especially if you’re dating, use this phrase.

3. Compliments on Someone’s Skills or Abilities

Knowing Russian beauty compliments isn’t enough. You should also be able to praise a person for his or her abilities. In this section, you’re going to learn about giving compliments in Russian regarding somebody’s skills.

  • Вы здорово танцуете! (Vy zdorovo tantsuyete!) — “You’re a good dancer!”

If you’re going to a party, make sure you remember this expression. You may use it to start a new conversation with someone you don’t know while dancing.

  • Мне нравится, как ты готовишь. (Mne nravitsya, kak ty gotovish’.) — “I like your cooking.”

If you want to compliment a Russian woman for something other than her appearance, try to remember this phrase. Among all compliments for a Russian woman, this one is the most pleasing. If you like the meals your girlfriend cooks, let her know!

  • Ты смешно шутишь. (Ty smeshno shutish’.) — “You’re funny.”

How to compliment a Russian man? This phrase will help you! Russian men adore when women find them funny. This compliment doesn’t sound flirty, so you may use it in conversations with your male or female friends if you really like their jokes.

  • Ты умеешь удивить. (Ty umeyesh’ udivit’.) — “You know how to surprise.”

This is the best compliment you can give to Russian people who are creative. If you’re amazed by your girlfriend’s, boyfriend’s, friend’s, or close relative’s success, express your feelings by using this compliment in Russian.

  • Ты прекрасно водишь машину. (Ty prekrasno vodish’ mashinu.) — “You’re a good driver.”

Use this phrase to praise somebody’s driving skills. If your friend has just started to drive, cheer him or her on with this positive compliment.

Someone Driving a Car

You don’t have to be a professional driver to have good driving skills!

4. Compliments on Someone’s Personal Traits

Some of the best Russian compliments are those that focus not only on appearance and skills, but also personal traits. The phrases below will help you.

  • Вы так добры. (Vy tak dobry.) — “You’re so kind.”

This phrase sounds good in conversations with people whom you don’t know very well, when you feel that they’re nice. For example, you can give such a compliment to a stranger who helped you collect your scattered papers.

  • Ты такой общительный человек. (Ty takoy obshchitel’nyy chelovek.) — “You’re such a sociable person.”

If your friend or close relative is always surrounded by people and easily gets along with them, praise him for it!

A Group of Friends Cooking and Eating Together

Sociable people like when somebody mentions their openness!

  • Ты умён/умна не по годам. (Ty umyon/umna ne po godam.) — “You’re clever beyond your age.”

You may have a friend or a sibling who is young, but has much success in studying and seems wise. Mention his or her mental abilities by using this Russian compliment.

  • Ты силён/сильна духом. (Ty silyon/sil’na dukhom.) — “Your spirit is strong.”

You may use this phrase while having a conversation with someone who does well in sports, for example.

5. Compliments on Someone’s Work

Positive Feelings

If you want to learn about giving compliments in Russian, you can’t do without phrases connected to work. You should definitely master Russian compliments for people with whom you work or study.

  • Вы отлично справились! (Vy otlichno spravilis’!) — “You did a good job!”

This is the highest Russian compliment for your co-worker or employee who has done very well in something.

  • Не знаю, что бы я без вас делал. (Ne znayu, chto by ya bez vas delal.) — “I don’t know what I would do without you.”

If you really appreciate your colleague or any other person for his or her help, show it by giving compliments like this.

  • Я ценю ваш подход к работе. (Ya tsenyu vash podkhod k rabote.) — “I appreciate your approach to work.”

If you like the way a person treats his or her work, say it.

  • Фантастическая работа! (Fantasticheskaya rabota!) — “Fantastic work!”

When the work is finished successfully, don’t forget to praise the person who accomplished it using this Russian compliment.

6. How to Make Sincere Compliments

Are you wondering how to say compliments in Russian and sound sincere? It’s easy! Use the following tips:

1. Don’t lie. If someone wears braces, don’t say that he or she has a beautiful smile. It would sound far-fetched. Never compliment the things that you don’t really like in another person.

A Smiling Woman Giving a Thumbs-up

Honesty is the best policy!

2. Maintain eye contact. If you hide your eyes, the person you’re trying to praise will probably think that you’re not being fully honest with him.

3. Don’t use too many beautiful Russian compliments found in literature. Of course, there are many nice expressions from books, but most of them sound weird in everyday conversations. Let those beautiful Russian compliments stay in literature.

7. How to Respond to Compliments

Now you know how to give compliments in Russian. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough information to communicate with native speakers. Don’t forget to learn how to respond to Russian compliments. There are some easy ways to do it:

  • Спасибо. (Spasibo.) — “Thanks.”
  • Благодарю. (Blagodaryu.) — “Thank you.”
  • Спасибо, вы тоже/ты тоже. (Spasibo, vy tozhe/ty tozhe.) — “Thank you, you too.”
  • Я польщён/польщена. (Ya pol’shchyon/pol’shchena.) — “I’m flattered.”

8. Conclusion

We hope this guide will help you make other people happy. If you want to learn more about compliments in Russian culture, check out RussianPod101.com. Here you’ll find not only many useful compliments, but also other phrases for your everyday communication.

You may also want to sign up for our premium service MyTeacher to enjoy one-on-one coaching, personalized exercises and assignments, and much more. We’re sure that it will help you master the Russian language and make you more confident while speaking!

What’s your favorite Russian compliment? What are some common compliments in your language? Let us know in the comments!

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Express Your Anger without Russian Curse Words

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Everyone experiences anger, regardless of temperament, strength of character, endurance, or other similar factors.

Anger is a biologically programmed feeling. It was one of the first emotional experiences available to primitive man, and contrary to popular opinion, anger is a useful emotion. It was given to humans in order to survive. We get angry when something violates our inner peace, threatens our lives, or damages our self-esteem. Scholars say that those who don’t let their anger out suffer both psychologically and physically.

Thus, if you study Russian, it’ll be useful for you to learn how to talk about your rage in this language. You need to know angry phrases in Russian by heart so you can put your feelings into words in any situation. Don’t think that it’s too difficult! Memorizing five to ten words and phrases will be more than adequate for letting people know you’re angry in Russian.

We don’t want you to suffer in unspoken anger! That’s why we’ve collected the most popular angry Russian words and phrases that you can use anytime, without fear of being misunderstood by native speakers.

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Table of Contents

  1. Angry Imperatives
  2. Angry Warnings
  3. Angry Blames
  4. Describing How You Feel
  5. Bonus: How to Calm Yourself Down When You’re Angry
  6. Conclusion

1. Angry Imperatives

Complaints

Here are the most common angry Russian phrases you can use to tell people what to do (or not to do!).

Заткнись (Zatknis’)

The literal translation of this word is “Shut up,” and it’s one of the most popular Russian curses in the dictionary. When you use this phrase, you’re asking another person to stop talking. Заткнись (Zatknis’) has a very negative connotation, which is why your Russian teacher probably won’t introduce this word to you.

If you’re having an informal conversation with a person the same age as you and they’re rude to you, you can tell him Заткнись (Zatknis’). If you want to be more polite in your conversation with a native speaker, use the word Замолчи (Zamolchi) instead.

Прекрати (Prekrati)

The literal translation of one of the most common angry Russian words—Прекрати (Prekrati)—is “Stop it” or “Cut it out.” If you say this, it means that you don’t want to listen to another person or see what he’s doing.

For instance, a mother can use this word when her child is naughty. You may also try the construction Прекрати это немедленно (Prekrati eto nemedlenno), meaning “Stop it right now,” in your conversations.

Оставь меня в покое (Ostav’ menya v pokoye)

Woman Telling a Man to Leave Her Alone

Оставь меня в покое (Ostav’ menya v pokoye) is an angry Russian phrase that every Russian has used at least once in their life. It literally means “Leave me alone.”

Imagine that somebody is distracting you by giving advice you didn’t ask for or asking too many questions. If you say this phrase to them, you can be almost sure that they won’t take any more of your time.

Проваливай (Provalivay)

This is the literal translation of the English construction “Get lost.” A girl may say Проваливай (Provalivay) to her boyfriend after finding out he’s cheated on her, for example.

There are some other angry phrases in Russian which are synonymous with Проваливай (Provalivai):

  • Исчезни (Ischezni) — “Get lost”
  • Отвали (Otvali) — “Get off”
  • Убирайся с глаз моих долой (Ubiraysya s glaz moikh doloy) — “Get out of my sight”
  • Уходи отсюда (Ukhodi otsyuda) — “Get out of here”

2. Angry Warnings

Я больше не хочу тебя видеть (Ya bol’she ne khochu tebya videt’)

Я больше не хочу тебя видеть (Ya bol’she ne khochu tebya videt’) sounds very offensive in Russian, so you’d better not use it in every conflict you have. It’s similar to “I don’t want to see you again,” in English.

This construction is perfect to use when you’re finishing your relationship with someone. For example, a man may tell his girlfriend Я больше не хочу тебя видеть (Ya bol’she ne khochu tebya videt’) while breaking up with her.

Не лезь ко мне (Ne lezʹ ko mne)

Не лезь ко мне (Ne lezʹ ko mne) is the Russian variation of “Don’t mess with me.” You may use it whenever you don’t want to communicate with another person.

Ты нарываешься (Ty naryvayesh’sya)

The literal translation of Ты нарываешься (Ty naryvayesh’sya) is “You’re asking for trouble.” Feel free to use this phrase when somebody behaves too roughly with you.

These angry Russian sayings may also be helpful in critical situations:

  • Ты напрашиваешься на неприятности (Ty naprashivayeshʹsya na nepriyatnosti) — “You’re asking for trouble.”
  • Ты испытываешь моё терпение (Ty ispytyvayeshʹ moyo terpeniye) — “You’re trying my patience.”

Не заставляй меня повторять это снова (Ne zastavlyay menya povtoryatʹ eto snova)

Strict Teacher

Не заставляй меня повторять это снова (Ne zastavlyay menya povtoryatʹ eto snova) is one of the best angry phrases to make another person meet your requirement or accept your point of view. The literal English translation of this phrase is “Don’t make me say it again.”

You can use this phrase in the middle—or at the end—of your conversation with a Russian person. Angry Russian parents usually say Не заставляй меня повторять это снова (Ne zastavlyay menya povtoryatʹ eto snova) to their children when they’re not behaving even after many warnings.

Это моё последнее предупреждение (Eto moyo posledneye preduprezhdeniye)

If you’re wondering how to curse in Russian, then you should definitely learn the phrase Это моё последнее предупреждение (Eto moyo posledneye preduprezhdenye). The literal meaning is “This is my last warning.”

For example, when a student doesn’t want to keep quiet, a teacher may say Это моё последнее предупреждение (Eto moyo posledneye preduprezhdeniye). It means that if he doesn’t stop being noisy right now, he’ll be given a bad mark or another punishment.

Among many other Russian angry phrases, I want to mark the phrase Это последняя капля (Eto poslednyaya kaplya), meaning “This is the last straw.” It means almost the same thing as Это моё последнее предупреждение (Eto moyo posledneye preduprezhdeniye).

Я этого не потерплю (Ya etogo ne poterplyu)

Я этого не потерплю (Ya etogo ne poterplyu) is translated into English as “I won’t tolerate that.” It’s one of the best Russian phrases for a conversation with a person who’s not treating you right. You may use this phrase toward someone who has lied to you, betrayed you, etc.

3. Angry Blames

О чём ты думал(а)? (O chyom ty dumal[a])

The literal meaning of this phrase is “What were you thinking?” Angry Russian people love to say this when they know that somebody has done something extremely stupid.

Here are other angry phrases in Russian with almost the same meaning:

  • Ты с ума сошёл/сошла? (Ty s uma soshyol/soshla?) — “Are you out of your mind?”
  • Что с тобой не так? (Chto s toboy ne tak?) — “What’s wrong with you?”
  • Кем ты себя возомнил(а)? (Kem ty sebia vozomnil[a]?) — “Who do you think you are?”

Ты сам во всём виноват (Ty sam vo vsyom vinovat)

The closest English translation of Ты сам во всем виноват (Ty sam vo vsyom vinovat) is “It’s all your fault.” For instance, an offended wife may use this phrase toward her husband while they’re going through a divorce.

Have a look at some similar phrases:

  • Ты не прав(а) (Ty ne prav[a]) — “You’re mistaken.”
  • Ты всё напутал(а) (Ty vsyo naputal[a]) — “You messed it up.”

Ты меня не слушал(а) (Ty menya ne slushal[a])

Couple Having An Argument

Ты меня не слушал(а) (Ty menya ne slushal[a]) is the closest Russian equivalent to “You weren’t listening to me.” You may use it in two situations:

  • When a person was inattentive to what you were telling him or he just wasn’t interested in it
  • When a person didn’t follow your instructions or advice

You may replace Ты меня не слушал(а) (Ty menya ne slushal[a]) with the following phrases:

  • Я же говорил(а) (Ia zhe govoril[a]) — “I told you.”
  • Ты пропустил(а) всё мимо ушей (Ty propustil[a] vsyo mimo ushey) — “You ignored everything.”

Ты дурак/дура (Ty durak/dura)

Ты дурак/дура (Ty durak/dura) means “You’re a fool” in English. You can use this one while talking to somebody who has disappointed or annoyed you.

Here are some Russian angry phrases with similar meanings:

  • Ты невыносим(а) (Ty nevynosim[a]) — “You’re impossible.”
  • Ты глуп(а) (Ty glup[a]) — “You’re silly.”
  • Ты туп(а) (Ty tup[a]) — “You’re stupid.”
  • Ты ужасный человек (Ty uzhasnyy chelovek) — “You are an awful person.”

Это не твоё дело (Eto ne tvoyo delo)

Это не твоё дело (Eto ne tvoyo delo) translates into English as “It’s none of your business.” This phrase can be helpful in situations when somebody asks you personal questions or gives unsolicited advice. Make sure you remember this one!

4. Describing How You Feel

Negative Verbs

In addition to knowing angry phrases in Russian, you need to be able to express your emotions. For example, being able to say “I’m angry” in Russian or to clue someone in on your negative emotions will be immensely helpful. Whether you’re sad, frustrated, or just stressed out, the following phrases are really useful for talking about your negative emotions in Russian:

  • Я очень расстроен(а) (Ya ochenʹ rasstroyen[a]) — “I’m very upset.”
  • Меня это достало (Menya eto dostalo) — “I’m fed up with it.”
  • Меня это бесит (Menya eto besit) — “I hate it.”
  • Я не в порядке (Ya ne v poryadke) — “I’m not okay.”
  • Я в депрессии (Ya v depressii) — “I’m depressed.”
  • Я так устал(а) (Ya tak ustal[a]) — “I’m so tired.”
  • Мне плохо (Mne plokho) — “I feel bad.”

5. Bonus: How to Calm Yourself Down When You’re Angry

If you’re angry, you may not need to use any of these angry phrases. There are some easy ways to calm yourself down in a matter of seconds or minutes. Just try to:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Take a walk or run
  • Go to the gym
  • Listen to some good music
  • Read your favorite book
  • Write about your rage or pain
  • Reframe your thinking and change your point of view
  • Think of something good from your past
  • Talk to your friend or relative

Woman Reading a Book

6. Conclusion

You’ve just read more than twenty of the best and most versatile Russian angry phrases to help you express your anger. However, don’t forget that this language is a rich one, so this short article can’t give you an entire Russian swear words list. Trust us, there’s a lot more to learn!

If you want to take the first steps toward improving your knowledge of the Russian language, we recommend that you check out RussianPod101.com and study with a variety of lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students. You can also study with a private teacher and get personalized feedback to really expedite your learning journey!

Before you go, let us know in the comments what your favorite Russian angry phrase is! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Learn the Most Common Russian Prepositions

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Russian prepositions are the glue of a sentence, connecting pronouns, nouns, and other words in order to convey the most accurate meaning and describe how things relate to each other. If you don’t know the main prepositions of the Russian language and have no idea how to use prepositions in Russian grammar, then you can’t write or speak the language correctly.

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to master Russian prepositions and Russian prepositional cases. If you study properly, your Russian speech will become much richer and clearer.

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Preposition?
  2. Prepositions of Time
  3. Prepositions of Location
  4. Prepositions of Relation
  5. Quiz
  6. Conclusion

1. What is a Preposition?

Group of college students chatting on a university lawn

Learn Russian prepositions & grammatical cases and communicate easily!

Russian prepositions are small words that precede a phrase and connect that phrase to the rest of the sentence. Russian language prepositions work the same way as they do in English, but with one significant difference: they put the phrase that follows into one of the six grammatical cases.

In turn, this influences the endings; for example, there are special Russian prepositional case endings. If you don’t use these endings correctly, you make serious mistakes. Of course, you’ll still be understood by native speakers, but it’s better for you to avoid mistakes when possible.

In our Russian prepositions list, we won’t focus too much on these grammatical cases. Instead, we’ll simply outline the most common Russian prepositions for time, location, and relations, and provide a little information on what case to use for each word. And at the end, we’ll quiz you!

Woman who's not impressed

It’s not cool to make mistakes with Russian endings.

2. Prepositions of Time

The most common preposition of time in the Russian language is В (“At”). We use it when we want to express that something happened at an exact time. In most cases, this Russian preposition is used with a numeral and the genitive case afterwards. For example:

  • Я прихожу на работу в 11 утра
    Ya prikhozhu na rabotu v 11 utra.
    “I start my work at 11 a.m.”

Another time-related preposition is C (“Since”). It allows us to say that something started, or starts, at a definite time. This preposition is also combined with a numeral, and is another one of the Russian genitive case prepositions. For example:

  • Я работаю с 11 утра
    Ya rabotayu s 11 utra.
    “I’ve been working since 11 a.m.”

The next important Russian preposition of time is До (“Until”). We use it to declare that something finishes (or finished) at a certain time. Like in the examples above, it’s used together with a numeral and the genitive case:

  • Я работаю до 7 вечера
    Ya rabotayu do 7 vechera.
    “I work until 7 p.m.”

Russians often combine the prepositions С (“Since”) and До (“Until”) as follows:

  • Я работаю с 11 утра до 7 вечера
    Ya rabotayu s 11 utra do 7 vechera.
    “I work since 11 a.m. till 7 p.m.” (Or: “I work from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.”)

There’s another Russian preposition of time you should know, though it’s not very popular. It’s called Назад (“Ago”). This preposition means that something happened, or was happening, in the past. It’s usually preceded by the genitive case and a numeral. For example:

  • Я работал в офисе 3 месяца назад
    Ya rabotal v ofise 3 mesyatsa nazad.
    “I was working in the office 3 months ago.”

Also keep in mind the preposition К (“By”). It helps us express that something will happen by some time in the future. Be attentive: This one is followed by a numeral and the dative case. For instance:

  • Я приду в офис к 11 утра
    Ya pridu v ofis k 11 utra.
    “I’ll be in the office by 11 a.m.”

Finally, try to remember the preposition В течение (“During”), which is used together with the genitive case. This preposition will help you say that you’ve been doing something for some period of time. For example:

  • Я работаю в этой компании в течение полугода
    Ya rabotayu v etoy kompanii v techeniye polugoda.
    “I’ve been working in this company during [for] six months.”

Woman holding an alarm clock in her hand and pointing to it

If you know Russian prepositions of time, then you can talk about work without any problems.

3. Prepositions of Location

The main Russian preposition of location is В (“In”). You should use it if you want to say that you’re inside (a building, for example). This preposition is used with the Russian prepositional case. Look at these Russian prepositional case examples:

  • Я в офисе
    Ya v ofise.
    “I’m in the office.”
  • Она в магазине
    Ona v magazine.
    “She’s in the shop.”
  • Он в парикмахерской
    On v parikmakherskoy.
    “He’s in the barbershop.”

There’s also a popular preposition named На (“At”). It means the same as “In” and we use it in the same cases (and also with the Russian prepositional case). However, we use it with different words. Have a look at these Russian prepositional case examples:

  • Я на работе
    Ya na rabote.
    “I’m at work.”
  • Она на вечеринке
    Ona na vecherinke.
    “She’s at the party.”
  • Он на пляже
    On na plyazhe.
    “He’s on the beach.”

In Russian, we don’t have specific rules on when to use В and when to use На. We recommend that you use В anytime you’re not sure, because it’s much more popular.

Another Russian preposition of location for you is Из (“From”). Use this one to say that you come from somewhere or have traveled from one place to another. The noun used after Из must be in the genitive case. Here are two good examples of this combination for you:

  • Я из Москвы
    Ya iz Moskvy.
    “I’m from Moscow.”
  • Я приехал сюда из Москвы
    Ya priyekhal syuda iz Moskvy.
    “I came here from Moscow.”

У, Возле, and Около (“Near” / “By”) are very commonly used Russian prepositions of location. You need them if you want to show that something isn’t far away from you, another person, or another object. These prepositions are followed by the genitive case only:

  • Я сейчас у / возле / около реки
    Ya seychas u / vozle / okolo reki.
    “I’m near / by the river now.”

If you’re going to talk about the location of something in space, use the Russian prepositions Позади (“Behind”) and Впереди (“In front”) together with the genitive case, like in the examples below:

  • Позади стола стояли два стула
    Pozadi stola stoyali dva stula.
    “There were two chairs behind the table.”
  • Он ехал впереди всех
    On yekhal vperedi vseh.
    “He was riding in front of everyone.”

Other important prepositions of location you should know are Под (“Under”) and Над (“Above”). Of course, there are many more Russian language prepositions of this type, but they’re used less frequently. Check out these examples:

  • Кот под столом
    Kot pod stolom.
    “The cat is under the table.”
  • Над нами солнце
    Nad nami solntse.
    “The sun is above us.”

Man and woman looking at a map together

Prepositions of location will help you express your simple observations.

4. Prepositions of Relation

The most widely used Russian preposition of relation that you should definitely know is О / Об (“About”). It’s always followed by the Russian prepositional case endings. In addition to using prepositional case Russian endings, remember another important thing: We use О when the first letter of the word next to it is a consonant, and Об when it’s a vowel. Russian prepositional case examples are:

  • Я хочу рассказать тебе о Джейн
    Ya khochu rasskazat’ tebe o Dzheyn.
    “I want to tell you about Jane.”
  • Я хочу рассказать тебе об Эмме
    Ya khochu rasskazat’ tebe ob Emme.
    “I want to tell you about Emma.”

The next preposition of relation for you is От (“From”). It’s connected with the genitive case. This one is used to express that you’ve heard about something from somebody, like in the following example:

  • Я узнала об этом от Джейн
    Ya uznala ob etom ot Dzheyn.
    “I knew about it from Jane.”

Another Russian preposition of relation is Из-за (“Because of”). We use it to mention a reason for something, and connect it with the genitive case. For instance:

  • Это случилось из-за меня
    Eto sluchilos’ iz-za menya.
    “It happened because of me.”

If you want your Russian speech to be really rich, remember the preposition Согласно (“According to”). It helps us refer to something or somebody, and is another one of the Russian dative case prepositions. Look at this example:

  • Согласно отчёту, он уволен
    Soglasno otchyotu, on uvolen.
    “According to the report, he’s fired.”

The preposition Кроме (“Apart from”) is not very common, but you’d better remember it if you want to make slightly more complex sentences. You should combine it with the genitive case like this:

  • Кроме меня там никого не было
    Krome menya tam nikogo ne bylo.
    “There was nobody there apart from me.”

Group of team members high-fiving each other

Prepositions of relation are not easy, but they’re definitely worth knowing!

5. Quiz

We’ve prepared a quick quiz on Russian prepositions to help you check your knowledge. Fill in the blanks with the right prepositions:

1. Она ___ баре (Ona ___ bare).

a) в
b) на
c) около
d) c

2. Марк ___ работе (Mark ___ rabote).

а) в
b) на
с) около
d) с

3. Завтра я буду гулять с 10 ___ 12 утра (Zavtra ya budu gulyat s 10 ___ 12 utra).

a) в
b) до
c) около
d) кроме

4. Рейс отменили ____ погоды (Reys otmenili ____ pogody).

a) от
b) с
c) об
d) из-за

5. ____ книге, это случилось в 2009 году. (____ knige, eto sluchilos v 2009 godu).

a) под
b) возле
c) согласно
d) на

The right answers are a, b, b, d, c. If you’ve done everything correctly, receive our congratulations. If you’ve made one or more mistakes, don’t worry. Just look at our explanations:

  1. This sentence is translated as “She’s at the bar,” so we put the preposition of location В before the noun.
  2. The translation of this sentence is “He is at work.” As we mentioned above, the Russian word Работа (“Work”) is combined with На, not with В.
  3. In this sentence, we show the duration of something by combining two Russian prepositions: C and До. If you need the translation, here it is: “Tomorrow, I’ll be out since [from] 10 a.m. until 12 a.m.”
  4. This sentence translates to “The flight was canceled because of the weather.” The Russian equivalent of the English “Because of” is Из-за, so it’s easy.
  5. The fifth sentence is translated into Russian as: “According to the book, it happened in 2009.” The only Russian translation of the English preposition “According to” is Согласно.

6. Conclusion

We’ve given you all the basic information about Russian prepositions, and Russian prepositional case examples. We’re sure that this will greatly improve your further studies of the Russian language.

On the other hand, there’s still a lot of information about Russian prepositions and Russian prepositional case endings that you don’t know. We’re ready to help you fix that!

You can check out some of the free lessons on RussianPod101, or get our Premium PLUS service and use our MyTeacher program. If you choose the second option, then you’ll be taught individually by a native Russian speaker. It’s the most effective way to learn Russian prepositions and so much more. You can try it right now!

In the meantime, let us know in the comments how you feel about prepositions in Russian so far. Did we answer your questions, or are you still unsure about something? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Life Event Messages: Happy Birthday in Russian & More

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Did you know that there’s a Russian holiday called Крещение (Kreshcheniye), or “Baptism,” when everyone jumps into прорубь (prorub’), or an “ice hole” in just their underwear? This holiday is in January, so it might be -10°C or -20°C, or even -50°C outside. Russian people believe that it washes off their sins and improves health. This holiday salutes the end of Russian winter holidays, each of which contains even more peculiar traditions. (You thought you were just going to learn Happy Birthday in Russian, didn’t you?)

To feel confident in living in Russia and communicating with Russian people, it’s important to know these traditions, especially how people congratulate each other. So, let’s dig into the festive side of life and learn how to become a part of it while in Russia.

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Table of Contents

  1. Happy Holidays in Russian
  2. How to Say Happy Birthday in Russian
  3. How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian & A Happy New Year in Russian
  4. Russian Congratulations: Baby News & Pregnancy
  5. Happy Graduation in Russian
  6. Congratulations for a New Job or Promotion
  7. Russian Congratulations for Retirement
  8. Russian Congratulations: Weddings & Anniversaries
  9. Death and Funerals: Russian Condolence Messages
  10. Bad News
  11. Injured or Sick
  12. Other Holidays and Life Events
  13. Conclusion

1. Happy Holidays in Russian

Basic Questions

No matter what holiday or life event you’re observing, you can always say “I congratulate you,” and most of the time, this is enough. In Russian, it can be said with just one word: Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!). If you’re representing a group of people—or just somebody other than yourself—change the word into Поздравляем! (Pozdravlyayem!).

Make sure to use it instead of the full congratulation when it’s obvious what you’re congratulating someone on. For example, in social networks, when a lot of people are posting congratulations for a birthday or New Year, posting Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!) will be enough; it’s obvious what you’re celebrating.

If it’s not obvious enough, be ready for the person to ask you: С чем? (S chem?), meaning “With what?”

You might also be wondering about greetings and best wishes in Russian. As for greetings, there’s a big article prepared by RussianPod101 for you. As for best wishes, there’s a nice way to say that: Всего наилучшего! (Vsyego nailuchshego!), which simply means “Best wishes!”

2. How to Say Happy Birthday in Russian

Happy Birthday

Birthdays in Russia are very important. Many people take the day off from work and go on vacation; most people wait until the nearest weekend to gather all their friends and close relatives for a party. Birthday gifts to friends are usually more expensive compared to gifts for the New Year. If you’re wondering what kind of gifts would be most appropriate, here are a few examples for you:

  • Chocolate and a cute souvenir to a coworker
  • A book, a box of nice candies, and a flower to a girlfriend
  • A bottle of expensive alcohol to your boss (just make sure that he actually drinks alcohol beforehand)
  • Two tickets to a theatre/reality quest/concert for your friend (ask in advance if that evening or day is free)

The closer your relationship is, the more expensive the present becomes. For example, a wife or girlfriend can congratulate her husband or boyfriend with an expensive watch.

Now, how do you wish someone a happy birthday in Russian?

1- С днём рождения!

  • Romanization: S dnyom rozhdeniya!
  • English Translation: “Happy Birthday!”

This is a basic congratulation that will sound great both for formal and informal situations, in speaking and in writing. To make it sound more solemn, you can say Поздравляю с днём рождения! (Pozdravlyayu s dnyom rozhdeniya!), which means “I congratulate you on your birthday!”

Besides the main congratulatory phrase, you can also add some wishes. For example, Всего самого наилучшего! (Vsyego samogo nailuchshego!), which means “All the best” in Russian.

2- С прошедшим!

  • Romanization: S proshedshim!
  • English Translation: “Belated Happy Birthday!”

If you just found out that someone had a birthday during the last week, it would be great to congratulate him even though you’re a little late. The Russian phrase for congratulations С прошедшим! (S proshedshim!), meaning “Belated Happy Birthday!” in Russian, sounds great in informal situations. For formal situations, make it longer: С прошедшим днём рождения! (S proshedshim dnyom rozhdeniya!), or “Belated Happy Birthday!”

3- Ещё раз с днём рождения!

  • Romanization: Yeshchyo raz s dnyom rozhdeniya!
  • English Translation: “Once again Happy Birthday!”

Usually, Russian people enjoy making congratulations more personal by wishing a lot of different blessings. At the end of such a congratulation, they sum it up by saying Ещё раз с днём рождения! (Yeschyo raz s dnyom rozhdeniya!), which means “Once again Happy Birthday!” in Russian.

These are the most basic birthday congratulations in Russian. If you’re texting it to your friends, you might need text slang modifications to sound more natural. For that, check out our article on Russian Internet slang. Also, we’ve prepared special podcasts on how to ask “When is your birthday?” in Russian and how to make a post on social network about your own birthday.

3. How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian & A Happy New Year in Russian

New Year.

The New Year in Russia is the biggest and longest holiday. Official holidays last from seven to ten days. People spend time with their families and friends, travel, and enjoy winter sports.

Christmas in Russia is celebrated after the New Year, on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar. It’s a smaller holiday compared to New Year, and is mostly celebrated by religious people.

Let’s see how to say Merry Christmas in Russian and look at some Russian New Year congratulations!

1- С наступающим!

  • Romanization: S nastupayushchim!
  • English Translation: “With the upcoming New Year!”

So, how do you say “Happy New Year” in Russian? First of all, there’s a very common phrase to congratulate people with before New Year, such as colleagues or friends that you won’t be able to see during the holidays. It’s С наступающим! (S nastupayushchim!), which means “With the upcoming New Year!” This is one of the most popular New Year wishes in Russian for before the New Year holidays.

    An interesting fact. One of the meanings of the word наступать (nastupat’) is “to step on (someone’s foot).” That’s why there’s a pretty cheesy Russian joke when a person intentionally steps on your foot and says С наступающим! (S nastupayushchim!), or “With the upcoming New Year!”

2- C новым годом!

  • Romanization: S novym godom!
  • English Translation: “Happy New Year!”

After the Kremlin clock has tolled twelve times and a new year has begun, you can change your congratulatory words from С наступающим! (S nastupayushchim!), or “With the upcoming New Year!”, to C новым годом! (S novym godom!). That is how to say “Happy New Year!” in Russian. Though literally, it means “With New Year!” You can also say, more solemnly, Поздравляю с новым годом! (Pozdravlyayu s novym godom!), which means “I congratulate you with a happy New Year!” in Russian.

Some older people love to say C новым годом, с новым счастьем! (S novym godom, s novym schast’yem!), which means “With New Year, with new happiness!” That’s one of the old New Year wishes in Russian and may sound a bit cliche.

After saying this phrase, you can add some New Year wishes in Russian. For example: Я желаю тебе здоровья, счастья и удачи в новом году (Ya zhelayu tebe zdorov’ya, schast’ya i udachi v novom godu), meaning “I wish you health, happiness, and good luck in the new year.”

You can also add Всего самого наилучшего! (Vsyego samogo nailuchshego!), which means “All the best” in Russian.

3- C Рождеством!

  • Romanization: S Rozhdestvom!
  • English Translation: “Merry Christmas!”

In Russian, “Christmas” is Рождество (Rozhdestvo). So, here’s how to say Merry Christmas in Russian: C Рождеством! (S Rozhdestvom!). Don’t worry whether they’re religious or not; it’s still one of the traditional holidays.

To improve your listening skills on this topic, listen to our podcast “How Will You Spend New Year’s in Russia?”.

4. Russian Congratulations: Baby News & Pregnancy

Talking About Age

In Russia, baby showers aren’t really common. Usually, people celebrate and give presents to happy parents when the child is already born. So, there are no actual Russian baby shower traditions. If Russians put on a baby shower, they copy traditions from English-speaking countries.

1- Поздравляю с беременностью!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s beremennost’yu!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on the pregnancy!”

This is a basic phrase that you can tell a woman when you see that she is pregnant. It’s more common to omit the word беременность (beremennost’), or “pregnancy,” and just say Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!), meaning “Congratulations!”

2- Поздравляю с рождением ребёнка!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlayu s rozhdeniyem rebyonka!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on the baby’s birth!”

This a formal congratulation suitable for writing (e.g. in a card or a message), or for a toast.

3- Поздравляю с рождением мальчика/девочки!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlayu s rozhdeniyem mal’chika/devochki!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on the birth of the boy/girl!”

If you want to specify the gender and congratulate upon a gender, then this phrase will suit your needs the best. It’s great both for speaking and writing in formal and informal situations.

To learn the most common phrases to talk about a baby, watch our free educational video lesson.

5. Happy Graduation in Russian

Graduation.

Like everywhere in the world, graduation in Russia is an important occasion, especially if it’s graduation from a school or university. Learn how to give graduation congratulations in Russian to your friends or friends’ kids.

1- Поздравляю с окончанием школы!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s okonchaniyem shkoly!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) school graduation!”

This may sound a bit too official, though. If you want to sound more casual, omit the word Поздравляю (Pozdravlyayu), or “Congratulations.”

2- Поздравляю с окончанием университета!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s okonchaniyem universiteta!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) university graduation!”

Like with the previous congratulation, omitting Поздравляю (Pozdravlyayu), or “Congratulations,” will make the phrase sound more casual.

3- Добро пожаловать во взрослую жизнь!

  • Romanization: Dobro pozhalovat’ vo vzrosluyu zhizn’!
  • English Translation: “Welcome to an adult life!”

This phrase should come from someone older than the graduate himself. Usually, this congratulatory phrase comes from older relatives.

6. Congratulations for a New Job or Promotion

Promotion.

Promotions aren’t a very common cause for celebration or giving congratulations, but it will be considered very attentive and kind of you if you do congratulate your colleagues or friends on a promotion. Usually, promotions are celebrated by having a family dinner, so if you have a Russian spouse or parents-in-law, the following congratulations in Russian will be a great choice.

1- Поздравляю с новой работой!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s novoy rabotoy!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on a new job!”

This is a general phrase that will sound good whether you’re saying it to your colleague—or wait, ex-colleague—or a friend. Don’t hesitate to use it.

2- Поздравляю с повышением!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s povysheniyem!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) promotion!”

This is another general phrase that can be used in any situation.

3- Успехов на новой работе!

  • Romanization: Uspekhov na novoy rabote!
  • English Translation: “Have success in your new job!”

This is an addition to the main congratulation. It sounds a bit formal, so it’s better to use it only for toasts or cards.

7. Russian Congratulations for Retirement

Usually, colleagues organize a big celebration when somebody retires. You can write the following congratulations in Russian on a card or just say them personally.

1- С выходом на пенсию!

  • Romanization: S vykhodom na pensiyu!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) retirement!”

This is a general congratulation that will sound great in both formal and informal situations.

2- Здоровья и долголетия!

  • Romanization: Zdorov’ya i dolgoletiya!
  • English Translation: “Have great health and a long life!”

This is a good addition to the previous congratulation. You can also use it for birthday congratulations in Russian if the person who’s birthday is being observed is up there in years.

3- Пусть ваша жизнь будет долгой, счастливой и наполненной самыми добрыми событиями!

  • Romanization: Pust’ vasha zhizn’ budet dolgoy, schastlivoy i napolnennoy samymi dobrymi sobytiyami!
  • English Translation: “Let your life be long, happy, and filled with the kindest occasions!”

This is a nice and long congratulations phrase suitable for a toast or a card.

8. Russian Congratulations: Weddings & Anniversaries

Marriage Proposal

Russian weddings are full of peculiar traditions. It would be a great experience if you could get to a real Russian wedding to see it with your own eyes. But first, let’s learn some expressions and congratulations that would be useful during a Russian wedding.

1- Совет да любовь!

  • Romanization: Sovet da lyubov’!
  • English Translation: “May you live happily!”

Literally, these words mean: “Advice and love!” The thing is that, in the past, the word совет (sovet) had another meaning, “friendship,” so basically this phrase is a wish of friendship and love between the newlyweds.

2- Поздравляю с днём вашей свадьбы! От всей души желаю семейного счастья, искреннего взаимопонимания, любви и благополучия!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s dnyom vashey svad’by! Ot vsey dushi zhelayu semeynogo schast’ya, iskrennego vzaimoponimaniya, lyubvi i blagopoluchiya!
  • English Translation: “I congratulate you on your wedding day! I wish your family happiness, true understanding, love, and prosperity.”

After you say this, you can also add: Всего самого наилучшего! (Vsyego samogo nailuchshego!), which means “All the best” in Russian.

Usually, Russians give a whole speech when congratulating a marriage. This is a short version of it that you can still use though. And to distract attention from how short it is, once you finish, shout the congratulation below. :)

3- Горько!

  • Romanization: Gor’ko!
  • English Translation: “Bitter!”

This is a famous phrase that you’ll hear at all Russian weddings. Guests love to finish their congratulations with it. After this word is pronounced, all other guests start chanting it. To stop it, newlyweds need to kiss—that is metaphorically sweet, so the guests don’t feel bitter anymore. :)

Also, listen to our special podcasts on how to give a wedding toast in Russian and what wedding gift to choose for a Russian couple.

9. Death and Funerals: Russian Condolence Messages

If you get invited to a Russian funeral, it’s good to know the most common phrases Russian people say regarding the deceased.

1- Пусть земля ему/ей будет пухом

  • Romanization: Pust’ zyemlya yemu/yey budyet pukhom.
  • English Translation: “May the earth rest lightly on him/her.”

This is a very famous phrase said during funerals. You can also address it directly to the deceased: Пусть земля тебе будет пухом (Pust’ zyemlya tyebye budyet pukhom), which means “May the earth rest lightly on you.” The etymology of this phrase is very interesting as it’s a translation from Latin: Sit tibi terra levis. It was first used in Roman times. Some historians believe that it was a curse to deceased people, but there is no definite proof for that hypothesis.

2- Помним, любим, скорбим

  • Romanization: Pomnim, lyubim, skorbim.
  • English Translation: “We remember, love, and mourn.”

This official phrase is great in writing. You can use it for a card.

3- Ты навсегда останешься в моей памяти

  • Romanization: Ty navsegda ostanesh’sya v moyey pamyati.
  • English Translation: “I will always remember you.”

This phrase sounds really sincere when you’re talking with a deceased person one last time.

10. Bad News

Bad situations can happen suddenly to anyone, and it’s good to know how to react when they do happen. Let’s learn the most-used condolences phrases in Russian.

1- Сочувствую

  • Romanization: Sochuvstvuyu.
  • English Translation: “I feel for you (for your feelings).”

This is a great phrase to show that you care about the person when something less serious than death happened. It’s great to use in all situations.

2- Сожалею об утрате

  • Romanization: Sozhaleyu ob utrate.
  • English Translation: “My condolences for your loss.”

This is a good phrase to express your condolences. Nowadays, it’s usually shortened to Я сожалею (Ya sozhaleyu), or “My condolences!”

3- Мои соболезнования

  • Romanization: Moi soboleznovaniya.
  • English Translation: “My condolences.”

This is an official phrase that will definitely fit any situation when you don’t know people well, or when you are talking with older people. It’s also great for a message or a letter.

11. Injured or Sick

Sick.

When Russian people know that someone is sick, they usually want to cheer that person up by saying one of the following phrases.

1- Поправляйся!

  • Romanization: Popravlyaysya!
  • English Translation: “Get better!”

This phrase is good for informal situations. It will make a great message to a friend.

2- Не болей!

  • Romanization: Nye boley!
  • English Translation: “Don’t be ill!”

This might sound weird, but Russian people actually say that to cheer someone up and show that they care. It’s also an informal phrase.

3- Скорее выздоравливай!

  • Romanization: Skoryeye vyzdoravlivay!
  • English Translation: “Recover faster!”

This phrase is more formal, but if you want to be very respectful, change it to Скорее выздоравливайте! (Skoreye vyzdoravlivaytye!), which also means “Recover faster!”

Sickness is an important topic in any language. If you want to dig deeper, start with our special podcasts on how to ask for medical assistance and what words and expressions to expect from a Russian doctor.

12. Other Holidays and Life Events

There are many other different national holidays and life events in Russia. Here are the biggest ones.

1- How to Say Happy Mother’s Day in Russian

Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of November in Russia. It will be really considerate of you to congratulate women with children on this wonderful holiday. Here’s a common phrase:

  • С днём матери! (S dnyom materi!) — “Happy Mother’s Day!”

2- Defender of the Fatherland Day

This day is an official holiday in Russia, celebrated on February 23. Originally, it was a holiday for people who serve, or served, in the military forces, but modern people congratulate all men with it. Girls prepare surprises and give presents to all the men around them. Here is how you can congratulate men around you:

  • С 23 февраля! (S dvadtsat’ tret’im fevralya!) — “Congratulations on February 23!”
  • С днём Защитника Отечества! (S dnyom Zashchitnika Otechestva!) — “Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day!”

3- Happy International Women’s Day in Russian

A couple of weeks after the Defender of the Fatherland Day, International Women’s Day became a holiday for all women. It’s the men’s turn to prepare surprises and presents. Here are some common congratulations:

  • С 8 марта! (S Vos’mym marta!) — “Congratulations on May 8!”
  • С Международным женским днём! (S Mezhdunarodnym zhenskim dnyom!) — “Happy Women’s Day!”
  • С праздником весны! (S prazdnikom vesny!) — “Congratulations on the spring holiday!”

We’ve prepared a special educational video lesson about International Women’s Day in Russia. Have a look!

4- Happy Anniversary in Russian

It would be nice of you to remember your friends’ wedding anniversary and congratulate them, especially if you attended their wedding. The first wedding anniversary is a big day, and some people even celebrate it with some of their guests from the wedding.

Here’s how you could wish them a happy anniversary in Russian:

  • С годовщиной свадьбы! (S godovshchinoy svad’by) — “Happy wedding anniversary!”

5- Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

Valentine’s Day became a pretty big holiday in Russia. So, it will be useful to learn the most popular phrases for how to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian:

  • С днём Святого Валентина! (S dnyom Svyatogo Valentina!) — “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
  • С днём всех влюблённых! (S dnyom vsekh vlyublyonnykh!) — “Congratulations on the day of all people who are in love!”

These phrases are great both for writing and speaking, and for formal and informal situations.

If you want to know more about Valentine’s Day in Russia, watch our free educational video lesson.

13. Conclusion

So, now you won’t be empty-handed in any life situation—you know how to say Merry Christmas in Russian, Happy New Year in Russian, Happy Birthday in Russian, and loads more. To learn more about national holidays in Russia, listen to our audio lesson.

If you feel excited about the Russian language, or simply need it for work or travel, consider participating in RussianPod101’s MyTeacher program for Russian learners. We have impressively experienced native Russian teachers who will explain all grammar points so that you can understand them easily. They can also help you enrich your vocabulary, overcome a language barrier, and, of course, make sure that you start talking with Russians in Russian in no time. Just try it. ;-)

And before you go, let us know in the comments which of these Russian life event messages you plan on trying out first, or if we missed any. We’d love to hear from you!

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Weather Phrases: St. Petersburg, Russia Weather & More

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Russia is the only country in the world that lies in eight climate zones. That means that the general weather in Russia is very different from one region to another. Whether you want to travel or have a business visit in mind, being able to talk about the weather will be very useful. Talking about the weather in Russian can help you keep your socks dry, your body warm, and your face without sunburns. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

So, let’s learn Russian weather vocabulary with RussianPod101.com, and get a glimpse of St. Petersburg, Russia weather too!

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Table of Contents

  1. Basic Vocabulary: How’s the Weather?
  2. Advanced Vocabulary about Weather in Russia
  3. Russian Weather: Let’s Practice a Conversation
  4. Weather in Russian Cities
  5. Russian Weather Forecast
  6. Conclusion

1. Basic Vocabulary: How’s the Weather?

Cloudy Sky

[How’s the weather?]

So, how does the word “weather” sound in Russian? It’s погода (pogoda). You may notice that the word год (god), meaning “year,” is right in the middle. These two words have emerged from the same ancient word, but right now they don’t have a common meaning. This nice detail should still help you remember this word better, though.

In the following sections, you’ll learn the most important weather terms in Russian, so that discussing the weather in Russian will be a piece of cake. ;)

Asking about the Weather

To ask about the weather in Russian, use this question:

  • Как погода?
    Kak pogoda?
    “How’s the weather?”

This is the simplest question about the weather, and you can use it anytime. Literally, it means “How (is) weather?”

Describing the Weather in Russian

Now let’s learn how to describe the weather in Russian by saying if it’s cold or warm:

  • Морозно
    Morozno
    “It’s frosty.”

This word is an adverb that comes from the noun мороз (moroz) meaning “frost.”

  • Холодно
    Kholodno
    “It’s cold.”

The noun for this is холод (kholod) meaning “cold.”

  • Прохладно
    Prokhladno
    “It’s cool.”

The noun for this is прохладa (prokhlada) meaning “coolness.”

  • Тепло
    Teplo
    “It’s warm.”

The noun for this is теплота (teplota) meaning “warmth.”

  • Жарко
    Zharko
    “It’s hot.”

The noun for this is жара (zhara) meaning “heat,” or “hot weather.”

Before all of these adverbs, you can always put modifiers:

  • Oчень (ochen’) meaning “very”
  • Довольно (dovol’no) meaning “pretty,” or “kind of.”

So, just imagine that your sister went for a run early in the morning and has just returned home. You haven’t been outside yet, so you may have the following conversation:

  • You: Как погода? (Kak pogoda?) — “How’s the weather?”
  • Your sister: Довольно тепло (dovol’no teplo) — “It’s pretty warm.”

More Weather Phrases in Russian

But what if the weather is windy or if it’s raining? Let’s learn how to tell that:

  • Дождливо
    Dozhdlivo
    “It’s rainy.”
  • Идет дождь
    Idyot dozhd’
    “It’s raining.”
  • Идет снег
    Idyot sneg
    “It’s snowing.”
  • Ветрено
    Vetreno
    “It’s windy.” [The noun is ветер (veter) meaning “wind.”]
  • Душно
    Dushno
    “It’s stuffy.” [Usually, it gets stuffy before a storm.]
  • Солнечно
    Solnechno
    “It’s sunny.” [The noun is солнце (solntse) meaning “sun.”]
  • Туманно
    Tumanno
    “It’s foggy.” [The noun is туман (tuman) meaning “fog.”]
  • Пасмурно
    Pasmurno
    “It’s cloudy.”

Use this phrase when the clouds are heavy, so no sunlight can force through it. It’s dull and a bit dark.

  • Ясно
    Yasno
    “It’s not cloudy.”

Basically, this word is the opposite of пасмурно (pasmurno) and refers to a clear sky. You can also use the word ясно (yasno) when you want to confirm that you understood something. But it’s better to use it that way only in informal conversations.

  • Облачно
    Oblachno
    “It’s cloudy.”

Use this phrase when the clouds are light, and you can see the sun here and there.

  • На небе радуга
    Na nebe raduga
    “There is a rainbow in the sky.”

So, let’s clarify the nouns here: небо (nebo) means “sky” and радуга (raduga) means “rainbow.”

Now you’re ready to go out into the big Russian world, young learner! Oh wait, don’t forget to grab the word зонт (zont), or “umbrella,” on your way. Well, just in case. ;)

If you feel a bit unsure about the pronunciation, you can practice with our audio lesson about Russian weather.

2. Advanced Vocabulary about Weather in Russia

Raindrops Hitting Water

[It’s raining.]

1- Asking about the Weather

There are a lot of ways to ask about the weather in Russian. Let’s see which one is best for various situations:

  • Как погода?
    Kak pogoda?
    “How’s the weather?”

This question is used in conversations when it’s convenient; it doesn’t need a serious or long answer. It’s often asked to know the other person’s opinion about the weather: “So, how is the weather for you?” This question can be asked in both formal and informal conversations.

  • Как погодка?
    Kak pogodka?
    “How’s the weather?”

The suffix –к– makes this question more easy-going and fun. It’s used only in informal conversations.

  • Какая сегодня погода?
    Kakaya segodnya pogoda?
    “How’s the weather today?”

This question can also be asked in both formal and informal conversations. But when it’s used in informal ones, it may feel a bit rigid.

  • Как там на улице?
    Kak tam na ulitse?
    “How is it outside?”

A brilliant and lively question, don’t hesitate to ask it in any formal and informal situations. Use it when someone has just come from outside.

  • Какой на завтра прогноз погоды?
    Kakoy na zavtra prognoz pogody?
    “What’s the weather forecast for tomorrow?”

This question can be asked if you know that someone has specifically watched or read a weather forecast. By the way, “weather forecast” is прогноз погоды (prognoz pogody).

  • Какую погоду обещают на завтра?
    Kakuyu pogodu obeshchayut na zavtra?
    “What is the weather forecast for tomorrow?”

This is another version of the previous question, but with more familiarity. For example, it could be asked between family members.

2- Answering about the Weather

Now, let’s learn different constructions for answering weather-related questions, using common weather words in Russian:

  • Идёт… (Idyot…) — “It’s…”
    • …дождь (…dozhd’) — “…raining.”
    • …снег (…sneg) — “…snowing.”
    • …град (…grad) — “…hailing.”
  • Будет… (Budet…) — “It will…”
    • …дождь (…dozhd’) — “…be raining.”
    • …снег (…sneg) — “…be snowing.”
    • …град (…grad) — “…be hailing.”
    • …холодно (…kholodno) — “…be cold.”
    • …тепло (…teplo) — “…be warm.”
  • Вчера шёл… (Vchera shyol…) — “It was …”
    • …дождь (…dozhd’) — “…raining.”
    • …снег (…sneg) — “…snowing.”
    • …град (…grad) — “…hailing.”
  • Завтра будет… (Zavtra budet…) — “It will be… tomorrow.”
    • …холодно (…kholodno) — “…cold…”
    • …тепло (…teplo) — “…warm…”
  • На завтра обещали… (Na zavtra obeschali…) — “The weather forecast says it will be… tomorrow.”
    • …дождь (…dozhd’) — “…raining…”
    • …снег (…sneg) — “…snowing…”
    • …град (…grad) — “…hailing…”

Learn more Russian words and expressions about the weather with our word list.

If you wanna get into the heart of the language and know all the exciting local expressions, check out our video about slang related to the weather.

3- Talking about Temperatures

Complaints

Russian people use the Celsius scale when they talk about the weather and temperature. When speaking, they usually omit the word градусы (gradusy), or “degrees.”

  • На улице минус (Na ulitse minus) — “The temperature is lower than 0 °C outside.” [Literally: “It’s minus outside.”]

This phrase is commonly used when the weather is switching between plus and minus temperatures.

  • На улице плюс (Na ulitse plyus) — “The temperature is higher than 0 °C outside.” [Literally: “It’s plus outside.”]
  • На улице ноль (Na ulitse nol’) — “The temperature is 0 °C outside.” [Literally: “It’s zero outside.”]
  • Плюс десять (Plyus desyat’) — “+10 °C.”
  • Минус пять (Minus pyat’) — “-5 °C.”

For advanced learners, it would also be useful for you to understand Russian radio or TV weather forecasts. Watch our video to learn useful expressions and practice your listening skills.

3. Russian Weather: Let’s Practice a Conversation

Weather

Let’s have a look at two conversations about the weather to learn a couple more useful expressions.

Conversation 1

Аня: Ну что, какая сегодня погода? (Nu chto, kakaya segodnya pogoda?)
Вова: Да непонятная – то дождь, то солнце. (Da neponyatnaya—to dozhd’, to solntse.)
Аня: Ясно. Очень холодно? (Yasno. Ochen’ kholodno?)
Вова: Скорее не холодно, а ветрено. Одевайся теплее и возьми с собой зонт. (Skoree ne kholodno, a vetreno. Odevaysya tepleye I voz’mi s soboy zont.)

Anya: So, how’s the weather today?
Vova: Well, it’s odd—one moment it’s raining, another one—it’s sunny.
Anya: Oh, I see. Very cold?
Vova: Rather windy than cold. Wear warmer clothes and take an umbrella.

What city do you think it’s in? :) Sounds like St. Petersburg, Russia weather. We’ll talk about that later in the article. ;)

Conversation 2

Катя: Какую погоду обещают на субботу? (Kakuyu pogodu obeshchayut na subbotu?)
Оля: Сейчас гляну. Так, солнечно, плюс двадцать три. (Seychas glyanu. Tak, solnechno, plyus dvadtsat’ tri)
Катя: Ооо, классно! Как у тебя со временем? Давай в парк? (Ooo, klassno! Kak u tebya so vremenem? Davay v park?)
Оля: Заманчиво. Давай я тебе чуть позже скажу, смогу или нет? (Zamanchivo. Davay ya tebe chut’ pozzhe skazhu, smogu ya ili net.)
Катя: Хорошо! (Khorosho!)

Katya: What’s the weather forecast for Saturday?
Olya: Let me see… Well, it’ll be sunny, +23 °C.
Katya: Oh, cool! Do you have time? Let’s go to the park!
Olya: Sounds nice (Tempting). Let me tell you a bit later if I can go or not.
Katya: Sure!

As you can see, talking about the weather in Russian is always related to making plans for holidays. Listen to our audio lesson for more examples.

4. Weather in Russian Cities

Autumn

Now let’s talk about the weather in different cities, from weather in Moscow, Russia to the more extreme Oymyakon, Russia weather. We’ll also cover Russian weather during the most popular touristic months: Russian weather in June, July, and August. By the time you’re through with this section, you should have a much easier time talking about the weather in Russian year round!

1- Weather in Moscow, Russia

Moscow

[Moscow.]

Moscow has a humid continental climate. That means the Russian capital has all four seasons: зима (zima) meaning “winter,” весна (vesna) meaning “spring,” лето (leto) meaning “summer,” and осень (osen’) meaning “autumn.”

Russian winter temperatures are usually about -10 °C, but they can drop to -20 °C or even lower for a couple of weeks (usually in December). We’ve prepared a couple of tips for you if you’re planning your visit to Moscow in winter:

  1. Bring non-slippery boots. Even though Moscow’s government spreads chemical reagents to eliminate ice on the roads and make them safer for pedestrians, that refers only to the main roads. A lot of little ones, especially near courtyards, stay too slippery and dangerous. Make sure to check if your shoes are good for slippery surfaces.

    And of course, your shoes must be very warm to protect your feet from low temperatures. You’d be surprised how fast your feet can freeze in Russia if your boots aren’t warm enough.

  2. Prepare layered clothing. If you’re going to use underground, or just take a tour to see gorgeous Moscow metro stations, keep in mind that it’s really warm down there compared to the weather outside. You should be able to take off your jacket or feel comfortable even if you sweat a bit—that’s what layered clothing is for.

    The first layer should keep your skin dry by transferring all the moisture to the next level. The second level keeps that moisture and also provides warmth. The third layer protects from wind or water/snow. The more layers you have on you, the warmer you feel thanks to the air between layers.

The weather Moscow experiences in summer is usually very mild. The temperatures are around 23 °C (73.4 °F). They may rise to 30 °C (86 °F), but usually not for a long time. The Moscow underground is usually a pretty cool place, so make sure not to catch a cold from temperature switches.

Also, the central part of Russia doesn’t have a lot of sunny days, so Moscow citizens catch every chance to catch the sun during summer. You’ll see a lot of people lying on the grass in the parks, and even in small public gardens, taking sunbaths.

Russian weather in June is unpredictable, especially in Moscow. It may be warm, around 15-20 °C, but it can also get cold to around 5-10 °C. Sometimes it might even start snowing. Yes, in June! But don’t start packing your winter clothes yet; it’s more like an exception to the rule. ;)

Moscow autumn can be divided into two parts. The first part lasts from September to the middle of October. It’s still pretty warm, the tree leaves become beautifully golden, the air smells of the sun. There’s usually a quick return of summer weather that lasts about a week or two in the first part of September. Russians call it бабье лето (bab’ye leto) meaning “indian summer,” or more literally “girl’s summer.”

The second part of Moscow autumn is mostly rainy, windy, and cold. There can even be rain with snow in November. Make sure to bring shoes that are both warm and waterproof.

Russian weather in spring is usually sunny and nice. Some people continue wearing winter jackets until it gets very warm, while other people change into long coats. As the temperature goes up and down, a lot of people get the flu. To avoid the flu, get a vaccination in the hospital, as many Moscow citizens do.

If you want to know more about Moscow, listen to our audio lesson “How much do you know about Moscow?” Also learn how to ask “Have you been to Moscow?” in Russian.

2- Weather in St. Petersburg

Saint-Petersburg

[Saint-Petersburg.]

St. Petersburg weather is usually more humid and windier than Moscow weather. Temperature change is usually smaller than in the capital, thanks to the sea nearby. But because of the high humidity, the cold seems even more severe.

Some tips for those who plan to visit Saint-Petersburg:

1. If you’re thinking about whether you should wear extra clothing or not, just wear it. It’s never too warm because of the cold, humidity, and strong winds.
2. After doing that…put some extra clothes into your bag. You’ll be happy about bringing them along later. :)
3. If you catch colds easily, always wear a scarf.

The best season to visit Saint-Petersburg is summer. Russian weather in summer here is warm and sunny, so the wind and humidity don’t have such a bad effect like they do during other seasons. And of course, pictures of beautiful Saint-Petersburg in sunny weather will be much better. ;) However, Russian weather in June, regarding St. Petersburg, is usually still pretty cold and windy. Consider taking a warm coat with you.

Useful tip. If you plan to live in Saint-Petersburg for a long period of time, don’t forget to buy and drink D3 vitamin pills. You won’t get as much of this vitamin from the sun as you usually do, because there are about seventy-five sunny days in this city in total each year. Can you believe that?

Saint-Petersburg summers are famous for its белые ночи (belyye nochi), or “white nights,” when it doesn’t get completely dark even at night. A lot of people enjoy walking around the city all night long.

If you want to know more about Saint Petersburg, listen to our audio lesson.

3- Oymyakon Weather

Oymyakon is a Russian village that’s known as the coldest permanently inhabited settlement on Earth. The lowest temperature here was registered on the 6th of February, 1933. It was -67.7 °С (-89.86 °F). Usually, the temperature is about -46 °С (-50.8 °F) in December and January.

It’s interesting to know that kids aren’t allowed to go to school, only if it’s colder than -55.0 °C (-67 °F). You see, -54.0 °C and you’re good to go! :)

Thanks to such extreme Oymyakon weather, this village is often featured in media: films, series, TV shows.

If you’re going to visit this place, prepare a lot of warm clothes. Just imagine that you’re getting ready to conquer a snow peak of Elbrus—the highest Russian mountain—and make your clothing choices based on that thought. Consider preparing layered clothing to be warm yet mobile.

5. Russian Weather Forecast

Spring

There are a lot of websites and apps that provide weather forecasts, but every country has its favorites. There are two of them in Russia:

1. Yandex Weather. Yandex is the most popular Russian web-browser. As most browsers do, it’s also developed and provides a lot of other useful services like Yandex Taxi, Yandex Music, and, of course, Yandex Weather.

2. Gismeteo. This is another famous weather website in Russia. Very often, it provides different forecasts than Yandex, so it will be your choice whom to believe :)

6. Conclusion

Wow, it seems like you’ve mastered the most common phrases and sentences to talk about the weather in Russian! This topic is really easy to practice because you can start almost every conversation by talking about the weather.

If you feel a language barrier is in the way of you going right to the fields and impressing native Russians with your fresh knowledge, consider taking some lessons with our professional Russian tutors who can help, guide, and catalyze your language-learning progress. RussianPod101.com is glad to be a part of your language-learning journey!

So, какая сегодня погода? (Kakaya segodnya pogoda?) — “How’s the weather today?” :) Let us know in the comments!

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Top 100 Russian Adjectives: Grammar, Vocabulary & Examples

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It’s великолепная идея (velikolepnaya ideya)—”a great idea”—to learn Russian adjectives ahead of nouns and verbs. They can be used as a whole sentence when speaking, so once you have the most essential Russian adjectives down, you can start characterizing objects, people, and occasions right away. For advanced learners, Russian adjectives will make your speech richer, wittier, and more expressive.

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Table of Contents

  1. Russian Grammar: Adjectives & How They Work
  2. Top 100 Russian Adjectives Every Language Learner Should Know
  3. Conclusion

1. Russian Grammar: Adjectives & How They Work

Reading

The declension of Russian adjectives might seem difficult at first, but after seeing some example sentences and getting deeper into the language as a whole, you’ll start to feel the logic and beauty of how everything is thought through.

Before you learn Russian adjectives themselves, you need to become familiar with some Russian grammar. The endings of Russian language adjectives change depending on the nouns that they describe. In order to change an adjective correctly, you need to know what case the noun is, its grammatical gender (for singular nouns), and if it’s singular or plural.

Usually, in a dictionary, Russian adjectives are given in the singular, nominative, masculine form. You’ll notice that adjectives in Russian have four different endings: -ый, -ий (not stressed), -ий (stressed), and -ой. Adjectives with –ый and -ий (not stressed) endings will change one way, and adjectives with -ий (stressed) and -ой endings will change another way.

Here’s a table to use so you can better see the changing form of Russian adjectives:

Singular Plural
Masculine Neutral Feminine All genders
Nominative -ый / -ий (not stressed)

-ой / -ий (stressed)

-ое

-ее

-ая

-яя

-ые

-ие

Genitive -ого

-его

-ой

-ых

-их

Dative -ому

-ему

-ой

-ей

-ым

-им

Accusative

Animate

Not animate

As in Genitive

As in Nominative

As in Nominative -ую

-юю

As in Genitive

As in Nominative

Instrumental -ым

-им

-ой

-ей

-ыми

-ими

Prepositional -ом

-ем

-ой

-ей

-ых

-их

Russian adjectives exercises: Don’t memorize the endings themselves. If you don’t have an absolutely perfect memory, that would probably take a really long and boring time. :) The best way to learn the table is to make whole sentences for each adjective ending and memorize these sentences.

For example:

Мне нравятся русские девушки
Mne nravyatsya russkiye devushki
“I like Russian girls.”

In the above sentence, the noun девушки (devushki), meaning “girls,” is the plural, accusative case.

Я поеду в Южную Корею
Ya poyedu v Yuzhnuyu Koreyu
“I will go to South Korea.”

In the above sentence, the noun Корея (Koreya), meaning “Korea,” is the singular, accusative case, feminine gender.

Я не привык к острой еде
Ya ne privyk k ostroy yede
“I am not used to spicy food.”

In the above sentence, the noun еде (yede), meaning food,” is the singular, dative case, feminine gender.

In Russian grammar, adjectives can be full and short. Short adjectives are used only in the nominative case:

Singular Plural
Masculine Neutral Feminine All genders
No ending

In terms of Russian word order, adjectives that are full usually stand before the noun:

Маленький котёнок мяукает
Malen’kiy kotyonok myaukayet
“A small kitten mews.”

Short adjectives are part of the predicate and stand after the noun:

Он стар
On star
“He is old.”

2. Top 100 Russian Adjectives Every Language Learner Should Know

Most Common Adjectives

For this Russian adjectives lesson, we’ve analyzed different lists of the most-used Russian words, took the adjectives from there, and have prepared a nice guide for you. All adjectives are grouped according to their meaning, and adjectives with opposite meanings follow each other.

Russian adjectives exercises: To learn Russian adjectives, make a sentence with each of them. Afterwards, you can check this sentence with our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to get feedback from professional Russian teachers.

Let’s get started with our Russian adjectives list!

1- Describing Appearance, Sizes & Weight

A Big and a Small Elephant.

Маленький (malen’kiy) — “small; little”

Маленькая игрушка (malen’kaya igrushka) — “a small toy”

Большой (bol’shoy) — “big”

Большой дом (bol’shoy dom) — “a big house”

Огромный (ogromnyy) — “huge”

Огромная комната (ogromnaya komnata) — “a huge room”

Высокий (vysokiy) — “tall; high”

Высокое дерево (vysokoye derevo) — “a tall tree”

Высокий балл (vysokiy ball) — “a high score”

Низкий (nizkiy) — “low; short”

Низкий стул (nizkiy stul) — “a low chair”

Новый (novyy) — “new”

Новый рюкзак (novyy ryukzak) — “a new backpack”

Полный (polnyy) — “full”

Полная чашка (polnaya chashka) — “a full cup”

Пустой (pustoy) — “empty”

Пустой кошелёк (pustoy koshelyok) — “an empty wallet”

Тяжёлый (tyazholyy) — “heavy”

Тяжёлая коробка (tyazhyolaya korobka) — “a heavy box”

Лёгкий (lyogkiy) — “light; easy”

This Russian adjective is used to talk about weight and levels of difficulty.

Лёгкая сумка (lyogkaya sumka) — “a light bag”

Лёгкий диктант (lyogkiy diktant) — “an easy dictation, quiz”

Длинный (dlinnyy) — “long”

Длинный провод (dlinnyy provod) — “a long cable”

Короткий (korotkiy) — “short”

Короткая юбка (korotkaya yubka) — “a short skirt”

Широкий (schirokiy) — “wide; broad”

Широкая дорога (schirokaya doroga) — “a wide road”

Узкий (uzkiy) — “narrow; tight”

Узкие джинсы (uzkiye dzhinsy) — “tight jeans”

Чистый (chistyy) — “clean”

Чистый пол (chistyy pol) — “a clean floor”

Грязный (gryaznyy) — “dirty”

Грязная одежда (gryaznaya odezhda) — “dirty clothes”

Грязные шутки (gryaznyye shutki) — “dirty jokes”

Тонкий (tonkiy) — “thin”

Тонкие колготки (tonkiye kolgotki) — “thin tights”

Тонкий юмор (tonkiy yumor) — “a witty humor”

2- Russian Adjectives to Describe a Person

A Grandfather and a Grandson.

Молодой (molodoy) — “young”

Молодой человек (molodoy chelovyek) — “a young man”

Старый (staryy) — “old”

Старый дед (staryy ded) — “an old granddad”

Сильный (sil’nyy) — “strong”

Сильный мужчина (sil’nyy muzhchina) — “a strong man”

Сильное желание (sil’noye zhelaniye) — “a strong desire”

Слабый (slabyy) — “weak”

Слабые руки (slabyye ruki) — “weak arms”

Страшный (strashnyy) — “scary”

Страшный сон (strashnyy son) — “a scary dream; nightmare”

Красивый (krasivyy) — “beautiful; handsome; pretty”

Красивая девушка (krasivaya devushka) — “a beautiful girl”

Прекрасный (prekrasnyy) — “splendid; fine; great”

Прекрасная погода (prekrasnaya pogoda) — “great weather”

Милый (milyy) — “cute; dear”

Милый ребенок (milyy rebyonok) — “a cute kid”

Худой (khudoy) — “skinny”

Худая девушка (khudaya devushka) — “a skinny girl”

Толстый (tolstyy) — “fat”

Толстый кот (tolstyy kot) — “a fat cat”

Богатый (bogatyy) — “rich”

Богатый сосед (bogatyy sosed) — “a rich neighbor”

Бедный (bednyy) — “poor”

Бедный официант (bednyy ofitsiant) — “a poor waiter”

Больной (bol’noy) — “ill; aching; hurting”

Больное горло (bol’noye gorlo) — “an aching throat”

Здоровый (zdorovyy) — “healthy”

Здоровая еда (zdorovaya yeda) — “healthy food”

Старший (starshiy) — “older; elder”

Старший брат (starshiy brat) — “an elder brother”

Младший (mladshiy) — “younger”

Младшая сестра (mladshaya sestra) — “a younger sister”

Детский (detskiy) — “kids’”

Детская спальня (detskaya spal’nya) — “kids’ bedroom”

Взрослый (vzroslyy) — “adult”

Взрослый человек (vzroslyy chelovek) — “an adult person”

3- Describing Personalities and Feelings

Happy People

Добрый (dobryy) — “kind”

Добрый доктор (dobryy doktor) — “a kind doctor”

Злой (zloy) — “angry”

Злая собака (zlaya sobaka) — “an angry dog”

Верный (vernyy) — “loyal”

Верный друг (vernyy drug) — “a loyal friend”

Уверенный (uverennyy) — “confident”

Уверенный ответ (uverennyy otvet) — “a confident answer”

Серьёзный (ser’yoznyy) — “serious”

Серьёзный разговор (ser’yoznyy razgovor) — “a serious talk”

Счастливый (schastlivyy) — “happy”

Счастливая семья (shchastlivaya sem’ya) — “a happy family”

Опасный (opasnyy) — “dangerous”

Опасное приключение (opasnoye priklyucheniye) — “a dangerous adventure”

Весёлый (vesyolyy) — “funny”

Весёлый друг (vesyolyy drug) — “a funny friend”

Скучный (skuchnyy) — “boring”

Скучный урок (skuchnyy urok) — “a boring lesson”

For more adjectives for describing personality, check out our dictionary list.

4- Describing Colors

Colored Pencils.

Белый (belyy) — “white”

Белый снег (belyy sneg) — “white snow”

Красный (krasnyy) — “red”

Красная кровь (krasnaya krov’) — “red blood”

Чёрный (chyornyy) — “black”

Чёрный костюм (chyornyy kostyum) — “a black suit”

Зелёный (zelyonyy) — “green”

Зелёная трава (zelyonaya trava) — “green grass”

Жёлтый (zhyoltyy) — “yellow”

Жёлтая футболка (zhyoltaya futbolka) — “a yellow T-shirt”

Синий (siniy) — “intense blue”

Синие глаза (siniye glaza) — “intense blue eyes”

Голубой (goluboy) — “light blue”

Голубое небо (goluboye nyebo) — “a light blue sky”

Серый (seryy) — “gray”

Серый волк (seryy volk) — “a gray wolf”

Тёмный (tyomnyy) — “dark”

Тёмный цвет (tyomnyy tsvet) — “a dark color”

Светлый (svetlyy) — “light; bright”

This Russian adjective is used to talk about the light, as well as colors.

Светлая комната (svetlaya komnata) — “a bright room”

5- Evaluating Things

Важный (vazhnyy) — “important”

Важный звонок (vazhnyy zvonok) — “an important call”

Хороший (khoroshiy) — “good”

Хорошая рубашка (khoroshaya rubashka) — “a good shirt”

Плохой (plokhoy) — “bad”

Плохой пловец (plokhoy plovets) — “a bad swimmer”

Любимый (lyubimyy) — “favorite”

Любимый цвет (lyubimyy tsvet) — “a favorite color”

Настоящий (nastoyashchiy) — “real; true”

Настоящая любовь (nastoyashchaya lyubov’) — “a real love”

Нужный (nuzhnyy) — “necessary”

Нужная вещь (nuzhnaya veshch’) — “a necessary/important thing”

Известный (izvestnyy) — “famous”

Известный актер (izvestnyy aktyor) — “a famous actor”

Знакомый (znakomyy) — “known; familiar”

Знакомая песня (znakomaya pesnya) — “familiar song”

Похожий (pokhozhiy) — “similar”

Похожая проблема (pokhozhaya problema) — “a similar problem”

Следующий (sleduyushchiy) — “the next”

Следующая книга (sleduyushchaya kniga) — “the next book”

Личный (Lichnyy) — “personal”

Личные вещи (Lichnyye veshchi) — “personal belongings”

Простой (prostoy) — “easy; simple”

This Russian adjective is used to talk about a level of difficulty.

Простое решение (prostoye resheniye) — “a simple solution”

Сложный (slozhnyy) — “difficult; complicated”

Сложная задача (slozhnaya zadacha) — “a difficult task”

Единственный (yedinstvennyy) — “the only”

Единственный ребёнок в семье (yedinstvennyy rebyonok v sem’ye) — “the only child in the family”

Последний (posledniy) — “the last; the latest”

Последняя песня (poslednyaya) — “the last/the latest song”

Лучший (luchshiy) — “the best”

Лучший учитель (luchshiy uchitel’) — “the best teacher”

Основной (osnovnoy) — “primary; first; basic”

Основная идея (osnovnaya ideya) — “the initial idea”

Главный (glavnyy) — “main; chief; head”

Главный бухгалтер (glavnyy bukhgalter) — “Chief accountant”

Бывший (byvshiy) — “ex-; last”

Бывшая девушка (byvshaya devushka) — “ex-girlfriend”

Особый (osobyy) — “special”

Особый день (osobyy den’) — “a special day”

Обычный (obychnyy) — “usual”

Обычный день (obychnyy den’) — “a usual day”

Поздний (posdniy) — “late”

Поздний ужин (posdniy uzhin) — “a late dinner”

Ранний (ranniy) — “early”

Ранний подъем (ranniy pod’yom) — “an early wakeup”

6- Describing Tastes and Temperatures

Different Foods.

Острый (ostryy) — “spicy”

Острое мясо (ostroye myaso) — “a spicy meat”

Солёный (solyonyy) — “salty”

Солёный суп (solyonyy sup) — “salty soup”

Сладкий (sladkiy) — “sweet”

Сладкое яблоко (sladkoye yabloko) — “a sweet apple”

Кислый (kislyy) — “sour”

Кислый лимон (kislyy limon) — “a sour lemon”

Холодный (kholodnyy) — “cold”

Холодные руки (kholodnyye ruki) — “cold hands”

Тёплый (tyoplyy) — “warm”

Тёплый салат (tyoplyy salat) — “a warm salad”

Горячий (goryachiy) — “hot”

This Russian adjective is used to talk about this temperature in all cases, except for weather.

Горячая ванна (goryachaya vanna) — “a hot bath”

Жаркий (zharkiy) — “hot”

This one is used to talk about the weather or the temperature of the air.

Жаркая страна (zharkaya strana) — “a hot country”

Usually, Russians go to hot countries for their summer vacations.

Learn more about how to describe weather conditions with our list, and study up on Russian food with our Russian food vocabulary list.

7- Describing Places

Долгий (dolgiy) — “long”

Долгая поездка (dolgaya poyezdka) — “a long trip”

Быстрый (bystryy) — “fast; quick”

Быстрая уборка (bystraya uborka) — “a quick cleanup”

Медленный (medlennyy) — “slow”

Медленный бег (medlennyy beg) — “a slow run”

Глубокий (glubokiy) — “deep”

Глубокая река (glubokaya reka) — “a deep river”

Московский (moskovskiy) — “Moscow’s”

This adjective refers to something that belongs to Moscow, the capital of Russia.

Московский зоопарк (moskovskiy zoopark) — “a Moscow zoo”

Русский (russkiy) — “Russian”

Русская кухня (russkaya kukhnya) — “a Russian cuisine”

Российский (rossiyskiy) — “Russian Federation’s”

This is a more official word than Русский (russkiy), or “Russian.” It refers to something that belongs to the Russian Federation as a modern government.

Российское гражданство (rossiyskoye grazhdanstvo) — “Russian citizenship”

Военный (voyennyy) — “military”

Военный лагерь (voyennyy lagyer’) — “a military camp”

Местный (mestnyy) — “local”

Местные достопримечательности (mestnyye dostoprimechatel’nosti) — “local places of interest”

Рабочий (rabochiy) — “working”

Рабочий день (rabochiy den’) — “a working day”

8- Describing Shapes and Materials

Different Shapes.

Мягкий (myagkiy) — “soft”

Мягкая подушка (myagkaya podushka) — “a soft pillow”

Твёрдый (tvyordyy) — “hard; rigid; firm”

Твёрдое решение (tvyordoye resheniye) — “a firm decision”

Круглый (kruglyy) — “round”

Круглая монета (kruglaya monyeta) — “a round coin”

Квадратный (kvadratnyy) — “square”

Квадратный стол (kvadratnyy stol) — “a square table”

Гладкий (gladkiy) — “smooth”

Гладкая кожа (gladkaya kozha) — “smooth skin”

Золотой (zolotoy) — “golden; gold”

Золотая корона (zolotaya korona) — “a gold crown”

Золотая середина (zolotaya seredina) — “the golden mean,” literally “the golden middle”

Железный (zheleznyy) — “iron”

Железный трон (zheleznyy tron) — “an iron throne”

That’s right, the one from Game of Thrones. ;)

3. Conclusion

Improve Pronunciation

So, how many Russian adjectives did you manage to remember? Ten? Twenty? All 100 Russian adjectives?

Don’t worry if you suddenly can’t recall some Russian adjectives in your memory. There are two types of vocabulary: passive and active. Active vocabulary means that you can easily remember a word and use it, and passive vocabulary means that you can recognize it when you read or hear it. To move more words from your passive vocabulary to your active one, make sure to have more speaking practice! That’s the best way to learn Russian adjectives.

Want to practice Russian adjectives even more? Then also check out our list of the top 30 adjectives with pronunciation and examples, to repeat the most important Russian adjectives one more time. And here’s a nice video with the top 25 Russian adjectives to practice your listening skills.

And if you’re already a master jedi in Russian adjectives, we’ve prepared an audio blog with slang adjectives for you! Make sure to check out our article about Russian text slang, as well.

To practice using Russian adjectives, changing them according to grammar rules, and pronouncing them correctly, you can use RussianPod101’s MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. Native Russian teachers with an impressive teaching background will help you understand all the rules as quickly as possible and boost your language-learning progress. Just try it. ;-)

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Top 10 Russian Movies on Netflix to Improve Your Russian!

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The best way to learn any language is to immerse yourself in the culture of the target language. Such as reading in Russian, watching movies and TV shows in Russian, listening to Russian podcasts, chatting with Russian friends, and learning new words with Russian teachers. Russian series on Netflix will be a great step in creating this true Russian atmosphere for boosting the learning process.

Yes, you really can learn Russian on Netflix! And when it comes to Russian TV, Netflix is a gold mine.

So, what’s the best way to learn from Netflix Russia? Here are some tips on how to watch Russian Netflix for language-learning purposes:

First, don’t translate every single word. You’ll get tired and lose interest pretty fast. Instead, either translate the first episode or translate the first few minutes of every episode. Write down the translations in a notebook and look in there every time you hear a familiar word. Once you hear it ten or twenty times, you’ll naturally start to recognize the meaning!

To help you with that, RussianPod101.com has prepared a list of words and expressions that you’ll hear a lot in Russian movies on Netflix. You can write them down in your “show-notebook” as well. ;)

Without further ado, our list of some of the best Netflix Russian content for language-learners!

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Table of Contents

  1. Фарца (Fartsa)—Fartsa, 2015
  2. Хождение по мукам (Khozhdeniye po mukam)— The Road to Calvary, 2017
  3. Спарта (Sparta)—Sparta, 2018
  4. Троцкий (Trotsky)—Trotsky, 2017
  5. Нюхач (Nyukhach)—The Sniffer, 2017
  6. Смешарики (Smeshariki)—Kikoriki, 2010
  7. Машины Сказки (Mashiny skazki)—Masha’s Tales, 2017
  8. Саранча (Sarancha)—Locust, 2014
  9. Метод (Method)—Method, 2015
  10. Мажор (Mazhor)—Silver Spoon, 2015
  11. Conclusion

1. Фарца (Fartsa)—Fartsa, 2015

Genre: Crime TV Show
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

This is one of the best Russian shows on Netflix, and it tells a story about four Russian friends who grow up in the early ‘60s in Moscow. Kostya Germanov gambles away a huge sum of money that he needs to find and give to bandits. Three of his friends decide to help him, so he can get that money in time. As they become фарцовщик (fartsovshchik — see below), they start to make a lot of money and their life changes…

Interesting fact:

When it comes to Russian history, Netflix shows like this can be a great learning tool.

The movie title comes from a Russian slang term фарцовка (fartsovka) which is simply “fartsovka” in English. The Soviet Union was a closed country, so foreign goods were scarce and it was illegal to trade them. But scarcity makes things even more desirable, which is how фарцовка (fartsovka) appeared. A number of clever people started to acquire foreign goods from foreigners and sell them to Soviet people. They were called фарцовщик (fartsovschik).

The most popular goods were clothes, accessories, phonograph records and other sound storages, cosmetics, and books. Ownership of foreign goods gave prestige, which was the basic principle of the arisen subculture – стиляги (stilyagi). Cтиляги were the main buyers of foreign goods. There’s a great Russian musical about this subculture called Cтиляги (Stilyagi).

For language learners. This Russian Netflix show contains a handful of Soviet Union vocabulary and historic terms, so it will give you a great chance to dig into exciting Russian history. Though the show is about history, language is pretty easy and modern, so you’ll be able to find a lot of useful expressions.

The vocabulary.

  • Гражданин (grazhdanin) — “Citizen” or “Mister” (in the Soviet Union)
    • This was the common form of address to another person in the Soviet Union. гражданин (grazhdanin) was used outside to address an unknown person, while гражданин (grazhdanin) plus the person’s surname were used to officially address someone. The first phrase of the first episode is гражданин Рокотов (grazhdanin Rokotov), meaning “Mister Rokotov.” Find it and remember this word. You’ll hear it a lot in the series. By the way, “Miss” or “Mrs.” will be гражданка (grazhdanka).
  • Поехали! (Poyekhali!) — “Let’s go!”
    • This is a famous phrase that belongs to Yurii Gagarin, the first human to go to outer space. He said it right before the launch. This phrase became a symbol of a new era in the history of Russia.
  • Спектакль окончен. Занавес. (Spektakl’ okonchen. Zanaves.) — “The show is over. The end.”
    • Literally, занавес (zanaves) refers to a curtain on the scene in the theater. The curtain goes up at the beginning of the show and goes down at the end of the show. In this phrase, it’s used as a synonym of “the end.”
  • Костыль (kostyl’) — “crutch”
    • What is this word doing on the list? The thing is that some Russian names get turned into specific nicknames. For example, the name Константин (Konstantin), or the shorter version Костя (Kostya), is often turned into Костыль (kostyl’). You’ll hear this nickname throughout the show because he’s one of the main heroes. In the first episode, when the main hero gets off the train and meets his friends, he asks: А где Костыль? (A gde Kostyl’?) meaning “And where is Kostyl?” His friends joke: Сломался (Slomalsya) meaning “Broken.”
  • Жить взахлёб (Zhit’ vzakhlyob) — “To live excitedly/effusively”
    • This is a poetic expression that the main hero often quotes and tries to build his life off of. It essentially means “to seize the moment” or “to enjoy every moment of life.” If you’re a person who lives like that, then you can say about yourself: Я живу взахлёб (Ya zhivu vzakhlyob), which means “I live excitedly/effusively,” or Я люблю жить взахлёб (Ya lyublyu zhit’ vzakhlyob), which means “I love to live excitedly/effusively.”
  • Твою ж мать! (Tvoyu zh mat’!) — “Darn it!”
    • Literally, it means “Your mother!” and is the ending of a Russian obscene phrase. But as it’s used quite often in Russia, Твою ж мать! (Tvoyu zh mat’!) has lost its negative meaning and can now be translated as “Darn it!”
  • Бегом! (Begom!) — “Run!”
    • This word is used when people are late and need to hurry up.
  • Давай! Давай! (Davay! Davay!) — “Go! Go! Go!”
    • Literally, it means “Give! Give!” but it has another meaning depending on the context. By the way, there’s one more meaning of Давай! (Davay!) — “Let’s do it!”
  • Счастливо! (Shchactlivo!) — “Goodbye!”
    • This word comes from the noun счастье (shchast’ye), which means “happiness.” So literally it means “be happy,” and is used to say “goodbye.”
  • Пошёл вон отсюда! (Poshyol von otsyuda!) — “Go away!”
    • Russian people can use this expression when they’re really angry. Of course, people can also use it as a joke. Always mind the context and facial expression of the person saying it.

2. Хождение по мукам (Khozhdeniye po mukam)— The Road to Calvary, 2017

Best Ways to Learn

Genre: Political TV Show based on the book
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

This Russian Netflix TV series covers the life of two sisters during political changes in 1914 through 1919. The old imperial Russia is dying, and the revolution is rising. The show is based on a book trilogy by the Russian classical author Alexey Tolstoy. The language is really literal and the dialogue is truly deep. If you enjoy solving language puzzles and trying to find the meaning underneath every phrase, this Russian Netflix series will become an exciting nut to crack. It’s best for advanced language learners or for those who want to immerse themselves in the great Russian Revolution.

The vocabulary.

  • Да здравствует революция! (Da zdravstvuyet revolyutsiya!) — “Viva revolution”
    • During revolution times, this was a popular phrase to cry out loud in the crowd.
  • Хороших снов тебе (Khoroshikh snov tebe) — “Sweet dreams to you.”
    • This is a really sweet phrase to say to a friend, or someone who is more than a friend. You can say it without тебе (tebe), or “to you” at the end, but this little word makes the phrase sound smarter and more intellectual. Use it. ;-)
  • Я хочу выпить за вашу смелость (Ya khochu vypit’ za vashu smelost’) — “I want to have a drink for your bravery.”
    • As you probably know, Russians rarely drink alcohol without making a toast. This is one of the ways to make a toast: Я хочу выпить за… (Ya khochu vypit’ za…), meaning “I want to have a drink for…” You can put pretty much anything after that: …ваше здоровье (…vashe zdorov’ye) meaning “…your health,” …мир во всем мире (…mir vo vsyom mire) meaning “…peace in the whole world,” …красоту женщин (…krasotu zhenshchin) meaning “…women’s beauty,” etc. Use your imagination. :-)
  • Чем могу быть полезен? (Chem mogu byt’ polezen?) — “How can I be useful?”
    • This is an old-fashioned phrase used when you’ve been called by someone you don’t know. You will often hear it during this show.
  • Барышня (baryshnya) — “young lady”
    • This is another old-fashioned way for older people to address a young lady. As there are many heroines in the show, you’ll hear this address pretty often.
  • Слово хозяина – закон (Slovo khozyaina – zakon) — “The word of a host is a law.”
    • This is a very interesting phrase, in that you can actually change the noun хозяин (khozyain) meaning “host” for начальника (nachal’nika) or “boss,” мужа (muzha) or “husband,” and Кати (Kati) or “Katya” (a girl’s name, though you can put any name here).
  • Вы что себе позволяете? (Vy chto sebe pozvolyayete?) — “What do you think you are doing?” (What are you daring?)
    • This is an old-fashioned phrase to ask someone who’s acting inappropriately.
  • Это безобразие! (Eto bezobraziye!) — “It’s a disgrace!”
    • Famous phrase to use in the Soviet Union to comment on anything that’s out of order or scandalous. Now it’s used very occasionally and mostly by people born in the Soviet Union.
  • Это издевательство! (Eto izdevatel’stvo!) — “That’s an insult/mockery!”
    • A nice way to comment on something when you feel that someone is intentionally doing something bad.
  • Милости прошу (Milosti proshu) — “Welcome”
    • An old-fashioned way to welcome someone. Though it’s old-fashioned, nowadays this expression is very popular. It’s used as a mocking or cool way to greet guests into a home.

3. Спарта (Sparta)—Sparta, 2018

Improve Pronunciation

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

In this Netflix Russian language series, a crime investigator starts to uncover the mysterious death of a young high school teacher. He finds out about a video game that all the kids in that school love to play. The more he knows about the game, the more he realizes that what happens in the game happens in real life as well… All dark fantasies become real.

This Russian Netflix series contains great vocabulary that modern teenagers use, making this one of the best Russian Netflix series for improving your informal communication skills.

The vocabulary.

  • Самоубийство (samoubiystvo) — “suicide”
    • As the story takes place around the suicide of a school teacher, you’ll hear this word quite often. It’s interesting to know that “murder” is убийство (ubiystvo), so cамоубийство (samoubiystvo) can literally be translated as “self-murder.”
  • Не перебивай (Ne perebivay) — “Don’t interrupt.”
    • You can tell this phrase to your friend who’s trying to say something while you’re still speaking.
  • Да пошёл ты (Da poshyol ty!) — “F*ck you.” [Literally “You go away.”]
    • This is a short version of the phrase with obscene words, which is why even without obscene lexic, it still sounds harsh.
  • Да ладно, не парься! (Da ladno, ne par’sya!) — “It’s fine, don’t worry.”
    • This phrase was popular when todays’ adults were teenagers. It’s still pretty commonly used between friends.
  • Мне б твои проблемы (Mne b tvoi problemy) — “I’d love to have your problems.”
    • This means that your problems are very small compared to mine, so I’d gladly switch them. This is a great and very common phrase, so don’t hesitate to use it in a friendly conversation.
  • Чё смотрим? (Chyo smotrim?) — “Stop staring.” [Literally “Why are you looking?”]
    • This is a rude question to ask, and it may result in a conflict.
  • Британские учёные доказали, что… (Britanskiye uchyonyye dokazali, chto…) — “British scientists have proved…”
    • You’ll hear this phrase several times during this series. It refers to the highly valued authority of British scientists. Kids in the series use it as a joke to “prove” random facts.
  • А чё так? (A chyo tak?) — “Why?”
    • This alternative of the question Почему? (Pochemu?) or “Why?” is used a lot in spoken language between friends. Try to use it in your next conversation.
  • Тянуть кота за хвост (Tyanut’ kota za khvost) — “To pull a cat by his tail.”
    • It means that something takes a longer time than it should.
  • Это в прошлом (Eto v proshlom) — “It is in the past.”
    • You can use this phrase to emphasize that even though you did something in the past, you’re not doing it now.

The story is about modern high school students, so they use a lot of slang words and abbreviations. We’ve prepared an awesome article on this topic for you.

4. Троцкий (Trotsky)—Trotsky, 2017

Genre: Political drama
This show is: Cerebral

This is a great Russian period drama Netflix currently has. Lev Trotskiy was a powerful political figure. It was he who influenced the minds of Russian people, headed the Russian Revolution, and destroyed the Russian Empire. This Russian Netflix series contains a lot of revolution-related words that would be exciting vocabulary to learn for advanced learners.

The vocabulary.

  • Приятного вечера (Priyatnogo vechera) — “Have a nice evening.”
    • This is a very polite phrase that you can use toward someone you respect.
  • Пошёл вон! (Poshyol von!) — “Get out of here!”
    • This phrase is used by people who have a different kind of authority, such as teachers or parents toward kids.
  • Всего хорошего (Vsego khoroshego) — “I wish you well.”
    • A very polite thing to say as an alternative to До свидания (Do svidaniya) meaning “Goodbye.”
  • Есть! (Yest’!) — “Yes, sir!” and Так точно! (Tak tochno!) — “Yes, sir!”
    • These replies to commands are used in Russian military forces.
  • Вы свободны (Vy svobodny) — “You can go.” [Literally “You are free.”]
    • Very official phrase used by people with authority.
  • Позвольте представиться (Pozvol’te predsatvit’sya) — “Let me introduce myself.”
    • Follow it with your name. It’s a nice and intelligent way to introduce yourself. It was mainly used in XIX-XX centuries by the aristocracy, so you’ll bring some noble manners into your speech by using it.
  • Я знаю, кто вы (Ya znayu, ko vy) — “I know who you are.”
    • This phrase is often used in series as a reply to someone’s introduction.
  • Я никогда ни о чём не жалею (Ya nikogda ni o chyom ne zhaleyu) — “I never regret anything.”
    • One of the phrases that the main hero likes to use.
  • Строить новый мир (Stroit’ novyy mir) — “To build a new world.”
    • You’ll hear this phrase many times in the series. Revolutionists built their propaganda around this idea.
  • Управлять людьми можно единственно страхом (Upravlyat’ lyud’mi mozhno edinstvenno strakhom) — “You can rule people only by fear.”
    • A famous phrase of Trotsky.

5. Нюхач (Nyukhach)—The Sniffer, 2017

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

A genius detective with a nasty character has a keen sense of smell. Just by smell, he can tell everything and even more about any person: what he ate, with whom did he sleep, if he has an alibi.

The vocabulary in this series is pretty simple, so it’s great for beginners. But do be warned it may have the most interesting vocabulary of the other Russian shows on Netflix… ;) You’ll see.

The vocabulary.

  • Чёрт! (Chyort!) — “Darn it!”
    • Literally, it means “Devil!” Often used as an interjection.
  • Я вызову полицию (Ya vyzovu politsiyu) — “I’ll call the police.”
    • In the context of this series, the phrase is used as a threat.
  • Совершенно верно (Sovershenno verno) — “Absolutely right.”
    • This phrase is often used by the main hero of the series.
  • Посмотрим (Posmotrim) — “We’ll see.”
    • It has the same meaning as the English phrase.
  • Ладно (Ladno) — “Okay.”
    • This is a nice and very Russian alternative to Окей (Okey) meaning “okay” and Хорошо (Khorosho) meaning “good.”
  • Отпечатков нет (Otpechatkov net) — “There are no fingerprints.”
    • All crimes that the main hero will come across are complicated, so this phrase will come up pretty often.
  • Убитый (Ubityy) — “Murdered person”
    • Well, this word will come up even more often.
  • Убийца (Ubiytsa) — “Murderer”
    • This one as well.
  • Труп (Trup) — “Corpse”
    • You’re going to get pretty interesting Russian words in your memory after watching this series, right? :)
  • Да? (Da?) — “Yes?”
    • In the series, the main hero uses this reply as an alternative to Алло (Allo) or “hello,” which is used to reply to phone calls. You can also start your phone call reply this way, as it’s very common in Russia.

6. Смешарики (Smeshariki)—Kikoriki, 2010

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

Cute animals live, get into adventures, and build friendships in this funny animation series.

The vocabulary is simple but very diverse, like most Netflix Russian programs for kids. This is one of the best Russian Netflix shows for beginner language learners, as they’ll find a great deal of useful words here.

The vocabulary.

  • Ёжик (Yozhik) — “Yozhik”
    • That’s the name of the hedgehog hero. It was made from the word Ёж (Yozh) meaning “hedgehog” by adding the suffix -ик (-ik) that usually shows that the thing referred to is small.
  • Бараш (Barash) — “Barash”
    • That’s the name of the ram hero. The name comes from the word Баран (Baran) that actually means “ram” or “sheep.”
  • Нюша (Nyusha) — “Nyusha”
    • That’s the name of the pig hero. It’s interesting to know that нюша (nyusha) is a cute way to refer to a “pig.”
  • Что это у тебя? (Chto eto u tebya?) — “What’s that you have?”
  • Не мешайте (Ne meshayte) — “Don’t distract (me).”
    • A very often-used phrase to stop someone from interfering.
  • Это как-то само собой получилось (Eto kak-to samo soboy poluchilos’) — “It happened by itself.”
    • A nice way to remove guilt from yourself. :)
  • Я чуть не умерла от страха! (Ya chut’ ne umerla ot strakha!) — “I’ve almost died from fright!”
    • You can say this phrase after you’ve been suddenly very frightened by someone or something.
  • Ёлки-иголки! (Yolki-igolki!) — “Fir tree needles!”
    • Actually, the translation of this phrase isn’t that important. It’s an interjection which is used by some people, and can be translated as “Wow!”
  • Спасайся, кто может! (Spasaysya, kto mozhet!) — “Save yourself, everyone who can!”
    • The short version of this phrase is Спасайся! (Spasaysya!) meaning “Save yourself!” It’s used in the same situations as the English phrase.
  • Какая прелесть! (Kakaya prelest’!) — “So cute!”
    • You can say this phrase if a kid is gifting you with something cute that he made himself, or if you get an amazing and pretty gift. The phrase can also be cut to Прелесть! (Prelest’!)
  • Чего нет, того нет (Chego net, togo net) — “What I don’t have, I don’t have,” or “What there isn’t, there isn’t.”
    • This phrase gives an interesting emphasis on regret about something that you don’t have. For example, if someone asks you if you have a video camera, you can sadly shake your head and say Чего нет, того нет (Chego net, togo net).

7. Машины Сказки (Mashiny skazki)—Masha’s Tales, 2017

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

Another one of the best Russian Netflix TV shows for beginners, where the most famous Russian tales are interpreted and told by a cute little Russian girl.

The vocabulary that you learn from this series will help you to read Russian tales. Good for both beginners and advanced language learners.

The vocabulary.

  • Голубчики мои (Golubchiki moi) — “My darlings”
    • Usually, this address is used by grannies to their grandkids. It has a patronizing connotation.
  • Жили были… (Zhili byli…) — “Once upon a time there lived…”
    • The most common beginning of Russian tales.
  • Заяц (Zayats) — “Hare”
    • In Russian tales, he’s often named as Зайчик-попрыгайчик (Zaychik-poprygaychik), meaning “Hare the Jumper.”
  • Медведь (Medved’) — “Bear”
    • One of the most often-met characters in Russian tales.
  • Волк (Volk) — “Wolf”
    • Another one of the most often-met characters in Russian tales.
  • Лиса (Lisa) — “Fox”
    • Another one of the most often-met characters in Russian tales.
  • Мышка-норушка (Myshka-norushka) — “Mouse the Burrow”
    • A lot of Russian tales refer to a mouse hero by that name.
  • Лягушка-квакушка (Lyagushka-kvakushka) — “Frog the Croaker”
    • A lot of Russian tales refer to a frog hero by that name.
  • Баба-яга (Baba-yaga) — “Baba Yaga”
  • Проще простого (Proshche prostogo) — “Easier than easy.”
    • You can say this phrase when someone asks you to do a job for them, and you want to show that the job will be really easy for you—even if it’s really not. :)

8. Саранча (Sarancha)—Locust, 2014

Movie Genres

Genre: Thriller; Drama
This show is: Steamy; romantic

This is an exciting thriller and Russian Netflix drama with intense love between a rich girl and a poor guy. The language is quite simple, and there are a lot of useful modern expressions for language learners—both beginners and advanced.

The vocabulary.

  • Саранча (Sarancha) — “Locust”
    • This is a metaphorical name of the series. But we won’t spoil why it’s named that way. :)
  • Я ничего не слышу! (Ya nichego ne slyshu!) — “I don’t hear anything!”
    • Use this phrase when you really don’t hear a word that another person is saying.
  • Ладно, давай, пока (Ladno, davay, poka) — “Okay, well, bye.”
    • You might wonder why the main heroine can’t just say Пока (Poka), or “Bye.” Well, won’t it be too simple and short? :) By the way, a lot of Russians use this expression, so make sure to remember it and use it at the end of a first conversation.
  • Приятных снов (Priyatnykh snov) — “Sweet dreams.”
    • A nice way to wish goodnight.
  • Хватит на сегодня (Khvatit na segodnya) — “Enough for today.”
    • This phrase can be used in many situations. For example, to send your employees home. :)
  • За тебя! (Za tebya!) — “For you!”
    • A really short and meaningful toast when nothing else comes into your mind.
  • Иди ты! (Idi ty!) — “F*ck you.” [Literally: “Go away.”]
    • Can be used when you have nothing witty to say in reply to an insult or a joke.
  • Пока. Целую (Poka, Tseluyu) — “Bye. Kissing you.”
    • It’s a nice way to say goodbye to someone. Though it may seem to be okay only for relationship goodbyes, in Russia it’s very popular between girlfriends and family members.
  • Заткнись! (Zatknis’!) — “Shut up!”
    • Use this rude phrase when somebody is really annoying.
  • Не заводись (Ne zavodis’) — “Don’t start.”
    • This is a popular phrase to calm down a wife or a girlfriend when she’s starting to shower you with negative emotions.

9. Метод (Method)—Method, 2015

Genre: Crime drama
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

Do you like genius maniacs with perverted minds, and even more genius detectives? Then this Russian crime drama Netflix series would be a great addition for your Russian language study process. The language is pretty simple and modern, so the series will be good for beginners.

The vocabulary.

  • Метод (Metod!) — “Method”
    • The word means pretty much the same as in English.
  • Чем занимаешься? (Chem zanimayesh’sya?) — “What are you up to? What are you doing right now?”
    • This is a famous and really common question to start a casual conversation on the phone or via Messenger.
  • Глянь! (Glyan’!) — “Have a look!”
    • You probably know the alternative word for it: Смотри! (Smotri!) meaning “Look!” Глянь! (Glyan’!) sounds more common.
  • Я не понимаю (Ya ne ponimayu) — “I don’t understand.”
    • Pretty useful phrase even when you do understand. :)
  • Маньяк (Man’yak!) — “A maniac”
    • Well, you’ll get to know a lot of maniac heroes while watching this series. :) At least, now you know what they’re called in Russian. By the way, you can say: Ну ты маньяк! (Nu ty man’yak!) or “You’re a maniac!” when somebody is overdoing something (e.g. they learned a crazy amount of foreign words). How about you? How many Russian words have you already learned? 10? 100? What??? 1000??! Ну ты маньяк! (Nu ty man’yak!)
  • Помогите! (Pomogite!) — “Help me!”
    • This is a phrase you need to cry out loud in case you face a guy we talked about earlier, Маньяк (Man’yak!) or “A maniac.” And since we’re talking about maniacs…
  • Ты меня не поймаешь (Ty menya ne poymayesh) — “You won’t catch me.”
    • That’s the nickname of the first maniac in the series.
  • Тело (Telo) — “A body.”
    • In the context of the series, this word often means a dead body.
  • Ничего страшного (Nichevo strashnovo) — “It’s fine.” [Literally “Nothing bad.”]
    • You’ll hear this phrase a lot, both in the series and in real life in Russia. People say this phrase when somebody is apologizing to them.
  • Внешность обманчива (Vneshnost’ obmanchiva) — “Looks can be deceiving.”
    • This is a popular expression in Russia. Use it to characterize a person whose appearance doesn’t match his character.

10. Мажор (Mazhor)—Silver Spoon, 2015

Genre: Thriller; Drama
This show is: Exciting; suspenseful

A rich boy that had everything since birth seems not to understand what’s right and what’s wrong anymore. After one of his drunken adventures, his father gets so pissed that he cuts all his bank cards and makes him take a job as a simple investigation officer. A rich boy has to face a simple life with its ups and downs in order to become respected among his colleagues and find himself. His witty humor and positive life attitude seem to change the life of his colleagues for the better, as well.

There’s a lot of modern jargon in this Netflix Russian series, so if you’d like to learn some juicy Russian expressions to impress your Russian friends, this series is a great choice.

The vocabulary.

  • Вали отсюда! (Vali otsyuda!) — “Be off with you!”
    • The word валить (valit’), meaning “to go,” comes from a criminal slang word, so every usage of it has this spicy feeling of something illegal. A milder version of it that you’ll hear in one of the episodes is: Иди отсюда! (Idi otsyuda!) meaning “Go away.” Also, in this series, you’ll hear the phrase Валим! (Valim!), meaning “Time to go!” which is used when people have been doing something restricted and now it’s time to go.
  • Вопросы остались? (Voprosy ostalis’?) — “Any questions left?”
    • This question can be used by someone who has just given instructions.
  • Погоны не жмут? (Pogony ne zhmut?) — “Shoulder boards are not tight?”
    • Shoulder straps in Russia usually indicate a military rank. This phrase is used when a person with shoulder boards is overusing his power (and thus risking the loss of his shoulder straps).
  • Пистолет (Pistolet) — “Gun; pistol”
    • This word will be used often in the series. Make sure to memorize it.
  • Мажор (Mazhor) — “Silver spoon”
    • This is how Russians describe a person with a lot of money. In spoken language, they call someone this if they spend a lot of money on something that’s very expensive or exclusive. In that situation, you can say, with admiration on your face, Ну ты мажор! (Nu ty mazhor!) meaning “What a silver spoon you are!”
  • Ты чего? (Ty chego?) — “Why are you behaving like that?”
    • It’s a quick way to ask what’s going on with someone who’s behaving oddly or not like they usually do.
  • Здравствуйте. А вы к кому? (Zdrastvuyte. A vy k komu?) — “Hello. Whom did you come for?”
    • This phrase is often used by secretaries or employees of companies when they see an unknown visitor.
  • Проставиться (Prostavit’sya) — “To buy drinks to celebrate.”
    • This is an interesting Russian word that doesn’t have an exact translation in English. There’s a tradition that a person who’s celebrating something should buy a round of drinks for his friends or coworkers (depending on the event). That’s what Russians call Проставиться (Prostavit’sya), or “To buy drinks to celebrate.” That way, a Russian person kind of shares his good luck or happiness with others. If you want to know more such words, go ahead and check out our article with the top ten untranslatable Russian words.
  • Не таких кололи (Ne takikh kololi) — “We’ve cracked tougher ones.”
    • This phrase is used by policemen when they’re trying to get the truth from somebody who doesn’t want to tell it. You can use the word колоться (kolot’sya), meaning “to crack,” in a popular phrase used in spoken language: Колись давай (Kolis’ davay), or “Come on, tell me.” It’s used when a person is hiding some secret and you want to know it.
  • Издеваешься? (Izdevayesh’sya?) — “Are you mocking me?”
    • This phrase can be used when someone is proposing or talking about something irritating. Another way to say it, with the same meaning: Ты издеваешься, что ли? (Ty izdevayeshsya, chto li?).

11. Conclusion

Now you have a list with the most relevant Netflix Russian series for language learners. Choose one you like and start your new exciting step in your language-learning journey!

Have you already watched any of these Russian series on Netflix? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments!

If you’ve watched one or several series and realized that you want to learn Russian more profoundly with professional tutors, check out our MyTeacher program for Russian learners. Our teachers are all native speakers with an impressive teaching background. They’ll make sure that you start talking in Russian very soon. ;-) And Russian series on Netflix will be a great help in the learning process.

RussianPod101.com also has several other practical learning tools for the aspiring Russian learner! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study our free vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow students on our community forums!

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Масленица: Celebrating Maslenitsa in Russia

Each year, Russians celebrate Масленица (Maslenitsa), or Maslenitsa’s Day, near the beginning of springtime. Today, due to the popularity of Christianity in Russia, this celebration is also referred to as Shrovetide and celebrated as a religious holiday.

In this article, you’ll learn about the Maslenitsa festival in Russia, from modern-day traditions to what “Maslenitsa” actually refers to. Let’s get started!

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1. What is Maslenitsa?

Maslenitsa is an old Slavic holiday, and came to be long before Christianity. The Maslenitsa holiday symbolizes bidding farewell to the winter and welcoming the spring. Maslenitsa is also called “crepe week” because the main dish eaten during this time is crepes.

Nowadays, Maslenitsa is also considered a time of подготовка к Великому посту (padgatofka k Velikamu pastu), or “preparation for the Great Fast.”

Each day of Maslenitsa has its own name and meaning:

  • Monday is called “Welcoming.”
  • Tuesday is called “Merrymaking.”
  • Wednesday is called “Sweet-Tooth Day.”
  • Thursday is called “Wide Maslenitsa” (AKA “Revelry”).
  • Friday is called “Mother-in-Law’s Eve.”
  • Saturday is called “Sister-in-Law’s Gathering.”
  • Sunday is called “Forgiveness Day.”

Keep reading to learn more about what takes place on each day of Maslenitsa!

2. When Does the Maslenitsa Festival Start?

A Married Couple with Their Two Children

The start date of Maslenitsa changes every year because it depends on the start date of Lent. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s start and end dates for the next ten years.

Start Date End Date
2020 February 24 March 1
2021 March 8 March 14
2022 February 28 March 6
2023 February 20 February 26
2024 March 11 March 17
2025 February 24 March 2
2026 February 16 February 22
2027 March 8 March 14
2028 February 21 February 27
2029 February 12 February 18

3. Maslenitsa Celebrations & Traditions

A Woman Carrying a Large Stack of Pancakes

Traditionally, on the Monday of the Maslenitsa festival, Russian housewives began making crepes, the main Maslenitsa food. On Tuesday, young men invited young women for sleigh rides on the icy hills. Young men looked for brides, and young women looked for grooms. On Wednesday, the mother-in-law invited her son-in-law over for crepes, and on Friday, the son-in-law invited his mother-in-law over. On Thursday, various folk games and competitions began.

Nowadays, the traditions of celebrating Maslenitsa are preserved in many villages. The big cities organize different fairs, performances, competitions, and concerts. Russians enjoy playing the ancient Maslenitsa games, such as storming a snow fortress. On the last day of Maslenitsa, people burn a чучело Масленицы (chuchela Maslenitsy), or “Maslenitsa scarecrow,” which symbolizes bidding farewell to winter.

A very popular competition during Maslenitsa is climbing up a wet pole and taking the prize from the top. Climbing up is very difficult because the wet pole freezes and becomes very slippery. Doing this requires great strength and agility.

4. What’s in a Name?

Why do you think we call this holiday Maslenitsa?

The word Maslenitsa is believed to come from the word Масло (maslo), meaning “butter,” which is a favorite in eating crepes, the most popular of Maslenitsa recipes. Nowadays, crepes are fried in a skillet and served with various fillings: cottage cheese, meat, mushrooms, or condensed milk. Crepes on Maslenitsa are also eaten with honey, fruit preserves, and even caviar.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Maslenitsa

A Maslenitsa Scarecrow

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the essential Russian vocabulary for Maslenitsa!

  • Масло (maslo) — “butter”
  • Масленица (Maslenitsa) — “Maslennitsa’s Day”
  • катание на санках (kataniye na sankakh) — “sledding”
  • массовое гуляние (massavaye gulyaniye) — “public celebration”
  • Прощённое воскресение (Proshchyonnoye voskreseniye) — “Shrove Sunday”
  • подготовка к Великому посту (padgatofka k Velikamu pastu) — “preparation for the Great Fast”
  • фаршированный блин (farshirovannyy blin) — “farshirovanniye blini
  • чучело Масленицы (chuchela Maslenitsy) — “Maslenitsa scarecrow”
  • Прощение (prashcheniye) — “forgiveness”
  • семейный праздник (semeynyy praznik) — “family holiday”
  • Православный (Pravaslavnyi) — “Orthodox”
  • Блин (blin) — “thin pancake”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Russian Maslenitsa vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Maslenitsa in Russia with us! Do you have a celebration for the beginning of spring in your country? Tell us about it in the comments!

If you’re curious to learn more about Russian culture and holidays, check out the following pages on RussianPod101.com:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Russian culture or the language, RussianPod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and increase your skills. With tons of fun lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning Russian like never before.

Happy Maslenitsa! Enjoy some crepes for us. ;)

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Russian Conjunctions List: Build Brilliant Russian Sentences

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Compared to verbs, nouns, and adjectives, conjunctions in Russian don’t decline, agree, or conjugate. Yaaaay! Moreover, they’re very similar to those in English. Once you learn the top ten (well, the top twelve) conjunctions—if you’ve set your mind seriously—your Russian language skills will become undeniably better.

Ready to start learning the most basic conjunctions in Russian? Let’s get to our Russian conjunctions list!

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Russian Conjunction?
  2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts: И (I) — “And”
  3. Conjunctions to Express Opposition: Но (No) — “But”
  4. Conjunctions to Express Choice: Или (Ili) — “Or”
  5. Conjunctions to Express Condition: Если (Yesli) — “If”
  6. Conjunction for Comparison: Как (Kak) — “As”; “Like”
  7. Conjunctions to Express Similarity: Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”
  8. Conjunction to Express Purpose: Чтобы (Chtoby) — “So that”; “In order to”
  9. Conjunction to Express Cause: Потому что (Potomu chto) — “Because”
  10. Conjunctions to Express Consequence: Поэтому (Poetomu) — “So”; “That’s why”
  11. Conjunctions for Clarification: То есть (To yest’) — “In other words”; “So”
  12. Conjunction of Time: Когда (Kogda) — “When”
  13. Conjunction of Place: Где (Gde) — “Where”
  14. Conclusion

1. What is a Russian Conjunction?

Sentence Patterns

Conjunctions connect words, phrases, and even sentences. That’s why knowing Russian grammar conjunctions will let you express more complicated thoughts and sound much more natural. In the Russian language, conjunctions don’t change and aren’t counted as a part of the sentence.

To warm up, check out our list of must-know adverbs and phrases for connecting thoughts in Russian, and listen to our audio lesson about the six most-used Russian conjunctions.

2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts: И (I) — “And”

Improve Listening

1. И (I) — “And”

This is the most-used of all Russian language conjunctions. It can connect nouns, verbs, adjectives, parts of sentences, and even whole sentences.

Remember, if you connect similar words with и (i), you don’t need to put a comma. If you connect two sentences, then put a comma before и (i). Take a look at these examples:

  • Я люблю петь и танцевать
    Ya lyublyu pet’ i tantsevat’
    “I love singing and dancing.”
  • Ешь суп и картошку
    Yesh’ sup i kartoshku
    “Eat soup and a potato.”
  • Она забыла дома кошелёк, и он заплатил за неё в кафе
    Ona zabyla doma koshelyok, i on zaplatil za neyo v kafe
    “She’d left her purse at home, and (so) he paid for her in the restaurant.”

2. Да (Da) — “And”

This is one of those Russian conjunction words that’s seldom used in speech. But you can come across it in fables and fairytales quite often:

  • Ешь яблоки да груши
    Yesh’ yabloki da grushi
    “Eat apples and pears.”
  • Ты да я – хорошие друзья
    Ty da ya – khoroshiye druz’ya
    “You and I are good friends.”

Don’t use the last sentence with your friends though, as it’s more suitable to use when talking to kids.

3. Conjunctions to Express Opposition: Но (No) — “But”

Improve Listening Part 2

1. но () — “But”

This conjunction is used to express any opposition. You can oppose single words, phrases, and even sentences. Remember to put a comma before но (no) if it doesn’t stand at the beginning of the sentence:

  • Она красивая, но глупая
    Ona krasivaya, no glupaya
    “She is beautiful but stupid.”
  • Он хотел поехать в путешествие, но заболел и остался дома
    On khotel poyekhat’ v puteshestviye, no zabolel i ostalsya doma
    “He wanted to travel, but caught a cold and stayed at home.”
  • Я был бы рад, но…
    Ya byl by rad, no…
    “I’d be glad to but…”

Leave a meaningful pause when using the last sentence to imply that an undeniable circumstance prevents you from doing something.

2. А (А) — “But”

This one gives a slight contrast in order to specify the description:

  • Он не просто умный, а самый умный в классе
    On ne prosto umnyy, a samyy umnyy v klasse
    “He isn’t just smart, but the smartest one in the class.”
  • Я не Коля, a Толя
    Ya ne Kolya, a Tolya
    “I’m not Kolya, (but) I’m Tolya.”
  • Она не из Америки, а из Франции
    Ona ne iz Ameriki, a iz Frantsii
    “She is not from America, (but) she is from France.”

3. Однако (Odnako) — “But”

This is used mostly in written language as an alternative of но (no). It sounds smarter and more poetic:

  • Они расстались, однако через год снова встретились и решили возобновить отношения
    Oni rasstalis’, odnako cherez god snova vstretilis’ i reshili vozobnovit’ otnosheniya
    “They broke up, but a year later they met again and decided to start their relationship again.”
  • Внутри ей было очень страшно, однако на лице не дрогнул ни мускул
    Vnutri yey bylo ochen’ strashno, odnako na litse ne drognul ni muskul
    “She was very frightened inside, but she didn’t show it.”
    (Literally: “…but not even one muscle on her face did tremble” when translated.)

Interesting fact. In spoken language, there’s another meaning of oднако (odnako). When said by itself, it means “wow,” and expresses moderate amazement. To sound more natural, you can say Хммм, oднако ж (Khmm, odnako zh) which translates to “Well, wow.”

4. Зато (Zato) — “Instead”; “But”

This is used to specify that one thing has happened and that another thing has not, or that there isn’t one thing but there is another one. The conjunction emphasizes a thing that happened or is there:

  • Она не очень красивая, зато добрая
    Ona ne ochen’ krasivaya, zato dobraya
    “She is not very beautiful, but (instead) she is kind.”
  • Он не поехал в Германию, зато поехал в Китай
    On ne poyekhal v Germaniyu, zato poyekhal v Kitay
    “He didn’t go to Germany, but (instead) he went to China.”

4. Conjunctions to Express Choice: Или (Ili) — “Or”

Learn How to Express a Choice in Russian.

1. Или (Ili) — “Or”

This is the most basic conjunction to express choice in the Russian language. As with и (i), if you join similar words with или (ili) you don’t need to put a comma. If you connect two sentences, then put a comma before или (ili). Take a look at these examples:

  • Ты хочешь пиццу или суши?
    Ty khochesh’ pitsu ili sushi?
    “Do you want pizza or sushi?”
  • Ты ещё учишься в школе или уже поступил в университет?
    Ty eschyo uchish’sya v shkole ili uzhe postupil v universitet?
    “Do you still study at school or have you already entered the university?”
  • Ты будешь покупать себе гитару, или друг одолжит тебе свою?
    Ty budesh’ pokupat’ sebe gitaru, ili drug odolzhit tebe svoyu?
    “Will you buy yourself a guitar or will your friend lend you his?”

2. Либо…, либо… (Libo…, libo…) — “Either… or…”

This is a popular conjunction both in speech and literature. Put a comma before the second либо (libo):

  • Ты либо иди вперед, либо отойди в сторону
    Ty libo idi vpered, libo oyoudi v storonu
    “You either go, or move aside.”
  • Либо она извинится, либо я расскажу об этом её руководителю
    Libo ona izvinitsya, libo ya rasskazhu ob etom yeyo rukovoditelyu
    “She either apologizes or I will tell her boss about it.”

3. либо (libo) — “or”

This is a more poetic version of the conjunction above. You can find it in books or articles:

  • За это её могут лишить зарплаты либо даже уволить
    Za eto eyo mogut lishit’ zarplaty libo dazhe uvolit’
    “For that, she may be left without a salary or even get fired.”

4. Или…, или… (Ili…, ili…) — “Either… or…”

This is the same as либо…, либо… (libo…, libo…), but it’s used relatively more often:

  • Или тот, или другой вариант сработает
    Ili tot, ili drugoy variant srabotayet
    “Either this or that option will work.”
  • Он или сменит работу, или попросит о повышении зарплаты
    On ili smenit rabotu, ili poprosit o povyshenii zarplaty
    “He will either change his job or will ask for a salary raise.”

5. Conjunctions to Express Condition: Если (Yesli) — “If”

Learn How to Express a Condition in Russian.

1. Если (Yesli) — “If”

This conjunction can be used when you need to state a condition. It divides a sentence into two parts: the part with a condition and the part that describes what happens if the condition occurs. The “if” part can be placed either in the first or second part of the sentence:

  • Если ты не будешь заниматься спортом, у тебя будет плохое здоровье
    Esli ty ne budesh’ zanimat’sya sportom, u tebya budet plokhoye zdorovye
    “If you don’t do physical exercises, you’ll have bad health.”
  • Ты заболеешь, если не оденешься теплее
    Ty zaboleyesh’, esli ne odenesh’sya tepleye
    “You’ll catch a cold if you don’t wear warmer clothes.”
  • Она пойдёт в кафе, если ей будет лень готовить
    Ona poydyot v kafe, esli ey budet len’ gotovit’
    “She’ll go to the restaurant if she is too lazy to cook.”

Listen to the audio lesson that we made for you to practice using this conjunction.

2. Если…, то… (Esli…, to…) — “If… then”

This is another way to set a condition. As it’s longer, it’s less used in spoken language than just если (esli).

  • Если она родит сына, то назовёт его Дмитрием
    Esli ona rodit syna, to nazovyot ego Dmitriyem
    “If she gives birth to a boy, then she’ll call him Dmitriy.”
  • Если он узнает об этом, у неё будут проблемы
    Esli on uznayet ob etom, u neyo budut problemy
    “If he gets to know about it, then she’ll have problems.”

3. Если бы…, …бы… (Esli by…, …by…) — “If…”

This conjunction helps to show what would have happened (or could happen) if some event occurred:

  • Если бы ты приехал завтра, я была бы счастлива
    Esli by ty priekhal zavtra, ya byla by schastliva
    “If you could come tomorrow, I would be so happy.”
  • Если бы она не позвонила ему, он бы уже был в Корее
    Esli by ona ne pozvonila emu, on by uzhe byl v Koreye
    “If she hadn’t called him, he’d have been in Korea by now.”

4. Если бы только… (Esli by tol’ko…) — “If only…”

This is used to express regrets about an event that didn’t happen.

  • Если бы только он приехал на час раньше…
    Esli by tol’ko on priyekhal na chas ran’she…
    “If only he came one hour earlier…”
  • Если бы только она не забыла купить торт…
    Esli by tol’ko ona ne zabyla kupit’ tort…
    “If only she hadn’t forgotten to buy a cake…”

6. Conjunction for Comparison: Как (Kak) — “As”; “Like”

This conjunction is used to compare things. There’s a punctuation rule that set expressions with как (kak) are written without a comma, while other comparisons with как (kak) are written without it:

  • Он красный как помидор
    On krasnyy kak pomidor
    “He is red like a tomato.”

This expression is used when someone gets very red.

  • Ты ведешь себя как девочка
    Ty vedesh’ sebya kak devochka
    “You behave like a girl.”

This expression is used toward a boy who behaves moodily or cries.

  • Её волосы, как огонь, горели при солнечном свете
    Yeyo volosy, kak ogon’, goreli pri solnechnom svete
    “His hair looked like a fire in the sunlight.”

7. Conjunctions to Express Similarity: Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”

Learn How to Express Similarity in Russian.

1. Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”

So, this conjunction is perfect for saying “me too” and things like that:

  • Я тоже это хочу
    Ya tozhe eto khochu
    “I also want this.”
  • Петя умный. Коля тоже неглупый
    Petya umnyy. Kolya tozhe ne glupyy
    “Petya is clever. Kolya is also not stupid.”
  • Они тоже решили купить себе такую же микроволновку
    Oni tozhe reshili kupit’ sebe takuyu zhe mikrovolnovku
    “They also decided to buy themselves the same microwave.”
  • Я тоже
    Ya tozhe
    “Me too.”

You need to be careful not to mix the conjunction тоже (tozhe) and pronouns with the particle то же (to zhe). Listen to our audio lesson about the particle.

2. Также (Takzhe) — “Also”

This is an alternative for тоже (tozhe). It’s used most often in written language:

  • Будьте готовы к тому, что вам также не выдадут визу
    Bud’te gotovy k tomu, chto vam takzhe ne vydadut vizu
    “Be ready that you also won’t get a visa.”
  • Помимо дивана они также решили приобрести кресло
    Pomimo divana oni takzhe reshili priobresti kreslo
    “Besides a sofa, they’ve also decided to buy an armchair.”

8. Conjunction to Express Purpose: Чтобы (Chtoby) — “So that”; “In order to”

This conjunction is the most-used conjunction to express purpose, both in spoken language and in written speech:

  • Чтобы выздороветь, она купила лекарство
    Chtoby vyzdorovet’, ona kupila lekarstvo
    “In order to recover, she bought a medicine.”
  • Она начала вести трекер привычек, чтобы научиться вставать и ложиться в одно и тоже время каждый день
    Ona nachala vesti treker privychek, chtoby nauchit’sya vstavat’ I lozhit’sya v odno I to zhe vremya kazhdyy den’
    “She started a habit tracker to start going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.”
  • А что бы ты сделал, чтобы такого больше не произошло?
    A сhto by ty sdelal, chtoby takogo bol’she ne proizoshlo?
    “What will you do so that it doesn’t happen again?”

Listen to our audio lesson about the conjunction чтобы (chtoby) for additional information.

9. Conjunction to Express Cause: Потому что (Potomu chto) — “Because”

Learn How to Express Cause in Russian.

Do you like to explain yourself, or do you prefer for others to guess why you did this or that? In any case, the conjunction потому что (potomu chto) will come in handy if you’re late for work and your Russian boss asks you why you’re late. :-) Usually, the part of the sentence containing this conjunction is at the end.

  • Он опоздал, потому что попал в пробку
    On opozdal, potomu chto popal v probku
    “He was late because he got stuck in a traffic jam.”
  • Потому что я не хочу!
    Potomu chto ya ne khochu!
    “Because I don’t want to!”
  • Она начала учить русский язык, потому что захотела переехать жить в Россию
    Ona nachala uchit’ russkiy yazyk, potomu chto reshila pereyekhat’ zhit’ v Rossiyu
    “She’s started to learn Russian because she’s decided to move to Russia.”

Listen to our dialogue to learn more about conjunctions of cause. Make sure to listen to a review about the conjunctions of cause as well.

10. Conjunctions to Express Consequence: Поэтому (Poetomu) — “So”; “That’s why”

If you love to build heavy logical sentences, this conjunction is just for you. Set the statement in the first part of the sentence, add поэтому (poetomu) which means “so,” or “that’s why,” and tell what statement comes out of the first statement. Voila! A perfect sentence is ready.

In spoken language, this conjunction can be transformed into и поэтому (i poetomu), meaning “and so,” or “and that’s why,” to sound more smooth.

  • Он был сыт, поэтому отказался от десерта
    On byl syt, poetomu otkazalsya ot deserta
    “He was full, and that’s why he refused the dessert.”
  • Она не сделала домашнее задание, и поэтому получила двойку
    Ona ne sdelala domashneye zadaniye, I poetomu poluchila dvoyku
    “She didn’t do her homework, and that’s why she got a D.”
  • Солнце встает там, поэтому мы пришли с той стороны
    Solntse vstayot tam, poetomu my prishli s toy stotony
    “The sun rises there, so we came from that way.”

11. Conjunctions for Clarification: То есть (To yest’) — “In other words”; “So”

1. То есть (To yest’) — “In other words”; “So”

If you want to clarify something, you can express the same information in different words. That’s a nice way to practice your vocabulary. Let’s look at some examples of how to use the conjunction то есть (to yest’):

  • Это она сделала всю работу, то есть я даже ей не помогал
    Eto ona sdelala vsyu rabotu, to yest’ ya dazhe ey ne pomogal
    “She did this work all along, in other words, I haven’t even helped her.”
  • Он купил себе новый компьютер. То есть, как понимаешь, денег мы снова не увидим
    On kupil sebe novyy kompyuter. To yest’, kak ponimayesh’, deneg my snova ne uvidim
    “He bought himself a new computer. So, as you understand, we won’t see our money again.”
  • Она заболела. То есть проект мы должны заканчивать самостоятельно
    Ona zabolela. To yest’ proekt my dolzhny zakanchivat’ samostoyatel’no
    “She caught a cold. So, we’ll have to finish the project by ourselves.”

2. А именно (A imenno) — “Namely”; “What/who exactly”

This is another conjunction to specify details. Use it to ask for a specified answer:

  • А именно кто это сделал?
    A imenno kto eto sdelal?
    “Who exactly did this?”
  • Что-то мне не нравится этот дизайн
    Chto-to mne ne nravitsya etot disayn
    “Hmm, seems like I don’t like this design.”
  • А именно что не нравится?
    A imenno chto ne nravitsya?
    “What exactly don’t you like?”
  • Мне не нравится вкус этого блюда, а именно мяса
    Mne ne nravitsya vkus etogo blyuda, a imenno myasa
    “I don’t like the taste of this dish, namely the meat.”

12. Conjunction of Time: Когда (Kogda) — “When”

Learn Time Conjunction in Russian.

As in English, the word когда (kogda), meaning “when,” can be both a conjunction and question word. Use it when you need to specify that some action happened right after another one:

  • Когда я вернулся с работы, я сразу лёг спать
    Kogda ya vernulsya s raboty, ya srazu lyog spat’
    “When I returned from work, I immediately fell asleep.”
  • Я не люблю, когда меня перебивают
    Ya ne lyublyu, kogda menya perebivayut
    “I don’t like when I’m being interrupted (to be interrupted).”
  • Она ещё не решила, когда поедет в отпуск
    Ona eschyo ne reshila, kogda poyedet v otpusk
    “She hasn’t decided yet when she’ll take a vacation.”

13. Conjunction of Place: Где (Gde) — “Where”

As in English, the word где (gde), meaning “where,” can be both a conjunction and question word. Use it when you need to specify the place where an action is taking place (or has taken place):

  • Она приехала в город, где еще никогда не была
    Ona priyekhala v gorod, gde eschyo nikogda ne byla
    “She arrived in the city where she had never been before.”
  • Я сижу в том кафе, где мы встречались летом
    Ya sizhu v tom kafe, gde my vstrechalis’ letom
    “I’m sitting in that café where we met in summer.”
  • В сумке, где должен был находиться ключ, его не оказалось
    V sumke, gde dolzhen byl nakhodit’sya klyuch, ego ne okazalos’
    “There was no key in the pouch where it should have been.”

14. Conclusion

So, you’ve learned the most-used Russian conjunctions. You can look through the titles once again to refresh the words in your memory. Of course, the list of Russian conjunctions is not limited to the ones shown in our article. But you need to feel confident using the most common conjunctions to start feeling the difference with their alternatives.

Also, keep in mind that in modern texting, some of the conjunctions might be shortened. Check out our article about Russian internet slang to find out more about it.

If you feel that you need some practice with what you’ve just learned, but you don’t have quite enough motivation to make the most out of your studies, consider taking some lessons with our professional Russian tutors who can help, control, and catalyze your language-learning progress.

Before you go, let us know in the comments what you thought of our Russian conjunctions list! Do you feel more confident now, or is there still something you’re struggling to understand? We look forward to hearing from you!

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