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Intermediate Russian Words: Expanding Your Vocabulary

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As an intermediate learner of Russian, you already know how to form basic sentences, ask for directions, and even order a beer. Congrats on making it this far! Since you already have a sense of basic grammar, adding up new layers of vocabulary will be easier from now on. This is where the real expansion starts!

To pass the intermediate level of TORFL (Test of Russian as a Foreign Language), you’ll need to know around 2000 words. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll cover 300+ intermediate Russian words in this article—just enough to give you a general idea of what areas you could explore to increase your vocabulary. 

Remember to keep your intermediate words relevant. Save any complicated or situational terms like “chisel” or “egg slicer” for the advanced level. There—the sky’s the limit, you know. For now, let’s just focus on less common pronouns, more sophisticated verbs, additional nouns for describing the physical world around you, and other parts of speech to help you cover more topics in a conversation.

➤ Check our beginner Russian words list first if you’re looking for something simpler. There, you’ll also find plenty of general tips on vocabulary learning.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Nouns
  3. Verbs
  4. Adjectives
  5. Numbers
  6. Adverbs
  7. Conjunctions and Prepositions
  8. What’s Next?

1. Pronouns

whoseчей (chey)

my
your [form.] / [inf.]
his, its
her
our
their
мой (moy)
ваш (vash) / твой (tvoy)
его (yego)
её (yeyo)
наш (nash)
их (ikh)

nobody’sничей (nichey)

[refers to my, your, his, her, our]свой (svoy)
  • У неё своя квартира. 
    (U neyo svoya kvartira.)
    “She has her own apartment.”

(at least) somebodyкто-нибудь (kto-nibud’)

(at least) somethingчто-нибудь (chto-nibud’)

someнекоторые (nekotoryye) [plural]

which oneкоторый (kotoryy)

every, eachкаждый (kazhdyy)

anyлюбой (lyuboy)

other, another oneдругой (drugoy)

-selfсебя (sebya)
  • Я себя виню. 
    (Ya sebya vinyu.
    “I blame myself.”

(by) myself,
(by) yourself, etc.
[without any help]
сам (sam)
  • Я сам всё сделаю. 
    (Ya sam vsyo sdelayu.)
    “I’ll do it myself.”

A Woman Painting the Walls of Her New Apartment Yellow

Теперь у неё своя квартира. 
(Teper’ u neyo svoya kvartira.)
“She now has her own apartment.”

2. Nouns

Because nouns make up such a huge chunk of any language, they should be one of your top priorities as you build up your intermediate Russian vocabulary. Below, we’ve listed several Russian nouns in a variety of categories to get you started. 

Relatives

auntтётя (tyotya)
uncleдядя (dyadya)
nieceплемянница (plemyannitsa)
nephewплемянник (plemyannik)
grandmotherбабушка (babushka)
grandfatherдедушка (dedushka)
granddaughterвнучка (vnuchka)
grandsonвнук (vnuk)
cousin [f.]двоюродная сестра (dvoyurodnaya sestra)
cousin [m.]двоюродный брат (dvoyurodnyy brat)

➤ You can also check our list of common occupations to learn how to talk about people’s jobs.

Around Town

cinema theaterкинотеатр (kinoteatr)
parking lotпарковка (parkovka)
libraryбиблиотека (biblioteka)
hairdresser’sпарикмахерская (parikmakherskaya)
bus stop
tram stop
остановка (ostanovka)
bus stationавтовокзал (avtovokzal)
shopping mallторговый центр (torgovyy tsentr)
pharmacyаптека (apteka)
night clubночной клуб (nochnoy klub)
templeхрам (khram)

➤ You can find even more shops downtown!
➤ If you’re more into nature, though, we have a vocabulary list for you as well.

Around the House

kitchenкухня (kukhnya)
kettleчайник (chaynik)
panсковорода (skovoroda)
сковородка (skovorodka) [informal]
saucepanкастрюля (kastryulya)
lidкрышка (kryshka)
stoveплита (plita)
ovenдуховка (dukhovka)
fridgeхолодильник (kholodilnik)
microwave ovenмикроволновая печь (mikrovolnovaya pech’)
микроволновка (mikrovolnovka) [informal]
sinkраковина (rakovina)
living roomгостиная (gostinaya)
armchairкресло (kreslo)
sofaдиван (divan)
carpetковёр (kovyor)
curtainsшторы (shtory)
fireplaceкамин (kamin)
shelfполка (polka)
bedroomспальня (spal’nya)
alarm clock
[even in your smartphone]
будильник (budil’nik)
pillowподушка (podushka)
blanketодеяло (odeyalo)
bedsheetпростыня (prostynya)
wardrobe
[also the cupboard
in the kitchen]
шкаф (shkaf)
bathroomванная (vannaya)
studyкабинет (kabinet)
balconyбалкон (balkon)

A Kitchen

Let’s practice what we’ve learned! Answer in Russian:
1. What is this room?
2. In the picture, find at least three items from the list!

Veggies, Fruits, Berries

eggplant
aubergine
баклажан (baklazhan)
zucchiniкабачок (kabachok)
pumpkinтыква (tykva)
cucumberогурец (ogurets)
broccoliброкколи (brokkoli)
cabbageкапуста (kapusta)
lettuceсалат (salat)
pearгруша (grusha)
watermelonарбуз (arbuz)
melonдыня (dynya)
peachперсик (persik)
apricotабрикос (abrikos)
avocadoавокадо (avokado)
grapeвиноград (vinograd)
kiwiкиви (kivi)
pineappleананас (ananas)
plumслива (sliva)
strawberryклубника (klubnika)
raspberryмалина (malina)
cherryвишня (vishnya)

Animals

wolfволк (volk)
bearмедведь (medved’)
deerолень (olen’)
foxлиса (lisa)
elephantслон (slon)
giraffeжираф (zhiraf)
lionлев (lev)
tigerтигр (tigr)
monkeyобезьяна (obez’yana)
whaleкит (kit)
snakeзмея (zmeya)
goatкоза [f.] (koza)
козёл [m.] (kozyol)
sheep
ram
овца (ovtsa)
баран (baran)
roosterпетух (petukh)
rabbitкролик (krolik)
hedgehogёж (yozh)

➤ For animal lovers, we’ve prepared an entire article dedicated to animal words in Russian!

A Llama

Моё любимое животное — лама. А твоё?
(Moyo lyubimoye zhivotnoye — lama. A tvoyo?)
“My favorite animal is the llama. What about you?”

Clothes and Footwear

swimming suitкупальник (kupal’nik)
bathrobeхалат (khalat)
jacketкуртка (kurtka)
sneakers
trainers
кроссовки (krossovki)
slippersтапки (tapki) [plural]
тапочки (tapochki) [plural]
flip-flopsшлёпанцы (shlyopantsy) [plural]
bootsботинки (botinki) [plural]
high bootsсапоги (sapogi) [plural]

Technology

screenэкран (ekran)
keyboardклавиатура (klaviatura)
mouseмышь (mysh’)
laptopноутбук (noutbuk)
speakersколонки (kolonki) [plural]
headphones
earphones
наушники (naushniki) [plural]
USB-stickфлеш-карта (flesh-karta) [formal]
флешка (fleshka) [informal, more common]
chargerзарядное устройство [formal]
(zaryadnoye ustroystvo)

зарядник (zaryadnik) [informal]

Sports

tennisтеннис (tennis)
basketballбаскетбол (basketbol)
soccerфутбол (futbol)
volleyballволлейбол (volleybol)
swimmingплавание (plavaniye)
karateкарате (karate)
hockeyхоккей (khokkey)
gymтренажёрный зал (trenazhyornyy zal)
тренажёрка (trenazhyorka) [informal]

➤ Do you know which of these sports are in the Olympic Games? Check our list of Olympic sports to see if you were right!

3. Verbs

Verbs comprise another key component of language, so it would be wise to learn the most common intermediate Russian verbs at this stage. Doing so will give you more precise and engaging words to use when talking about actions or states of being.

to standстоять (stoyat’)
to sitсидеть (sidet’)
to lie downлежать (lezhat’)
to liveжить (zhit’)
to dieумирать (umirat’)
to seemказаться (kazat’sya)
to stay, to remainоставаться (ostavat’sya)
to enterвходить (vkhodit’)
to exitвыходить (vykhodit’)
to meanзначить (znachit’)
to loseтерять (teryat’)
to returnвозвращаться (vozvrashchat’sya)
to noticeзамечать (zamechat’)
to be afraidбояться (boyat’sya)
to feelчувствовать (chuvstvovat’)
to be on timeуспевать (uspevat’)
to be lateопаздывать (opazdyvat’)
to recallвспоминать (vspominat’)
to holdдержать (derzhat’)
to releaseотпускать (otpuskat’)
to nameназывать (nazyvat’)
to approachподходить (podkhodit’)
to pick upподнимать (podnimat’)
to throwбросать (brosat’)
to throw awayвыбрасывать (vybrasyvat’)
to sendпосылать (posylat’)
to receiveполучать (poluchat’)
to tellрассказывать (rasskazyvat’)
to be silentмолчать (molchat’)
to believeверить (verit’)
to have doubtsсомневаться (somnevat’sya)
to runбежать (bezhat’)
to walk, to strollгулять (gulyat’)
to shoutкричать (krichat’)
to call (somebody)звать (zvat’)
1. to imagine
2. to present
представлять (predstavlyat’)
to pronounceпроизносить (proiznosit’)
to smileулыбаться (ulybat’sya)
to cryплакать (plakat’)
to laughсмеяться (smeyat’sya)
to offerпредлагать (predlagat’)
to agreeсоглашаться (soglashat’sya)
to refuseотказываться (otkazyvat’sya)
to fallпадать (padat’)
to winвыигрывать (vyigryvat’)
to loseпроигрывать (proigryvat’)
to disappearисчезать (ischezat’)
1. to meet with sb.
2. to date sb.
встречаться (vstrechat’sya)
to carryнести (nesti)
to be surprisedудивляться (udivlyat’sya)
to botherмешать (meshat’)
to promiseобещать (obeshchat’)
to remindнапоминать (napominat’)
to forceзаставлять (zastavlyat’)
to observeнаблюдать (nablyudat’)
to wake upпросыпаться (prosypat’sya)
to fall asleepзасыпать (zasypat’)
to useпользоваться (pol’zovat’sya)
to dreamмечтать (mechtat’)
to explainобъяснять (ob’yasnyat’)
to confessпризнаваться (priznavat’sya)
to inviteприглашать (priglashat’)
to get to know sb.знакомиться (znakomit’sya)
to lieврать (vrat’)
to give a presentдарить (darit’)
to take awayзабирать (zabirat’)
to sufferстрадать (stradat’)
to get tiredуставать (ustavat’)
to be sickболеть (bolet’)
to recoverвыздоравливать (vyzdoravlivat’)

A Woman being Gifted Something by Her Friends

Choose five Russian verbs to describe the image.
___________________________
Level up: Now, make sentences using these verbs to describe the image!

4. Adjectives

Our next set of intermediate Russian words consists of frequently used adjectives. You may have learned a few of these descriptive words as a beginner, but now that your Russian skills are stronger, you can make better use of them to really engage your audience.

➤ If these aren’t enough for you, please head over to our blog post on the top 100 Russian adjectives.

mainглавный (glavnyy)
similar toпохожий (pokhozhiy)
entireцелый (tselyy)
realнастоящий (nastoyashchiy)
differentразный (raznyy)
sameодинаковый (odinakovyy)
weirdстранный (strannyy)
loudгромкий (gromkiy)
noisyшумный (shumnyy)
quiet, soft [sound]тихий (tikhiy)
emptyпустой (pustoy)
fullполный (polnyy)
cleanчистый (chistyy)
dirtyгрязный (gryaznyy)
regular, usualобычный (obychnyy)
nextследующий (sleduyushchiy)
previousпрошлый (proshlyy)
famousизвестный (izvestnyy)
familiarзнакомый (znakomyy)
formerбывший (byvshiy)
free [without cost]бесплатный (besplatnyy)
correctправильный (pravil’nyy)
wrongнеправильный (nepravil’nyy)
interestingинтересный (interesnyy)
boringскучный (skuchnyy)
poorбедный (bednyy)
richбогатый (bogatyy)
specialособый (osobyy)
greatотличный (otlichnyy)
terribleужасный (uzhasnyy)
softмягкий (myagkiy)
hard, firmтвёрдый (tvyordyy)
funnyвесёлый (vesyolyy)
happyсчастливый (schastlivyy)
dangerousопасный (opasnyy)
safeбезопасный (bezopasnyy)
futureбудущий (budushchiy)
closestближайший (blizhayshiy)
dryсухой (sukhoy)
wetмокрый (mokryy)
1. useful
2. healthy
полезный (poleznyy)
uselessбесполезный (bespoleznyy)
harmfulвредный (vrednyy)

5. Numbers

11одиннадцать (odinnadtsat’)
12двенадцать (dvenadtsat’)
13тринадцать (trinadtsat’)
14четырнадцать (chetyrnadtsat’)
15пятнадцать (pyatnadtsat’)
16шестнадцать (shestnadtsat’)
17семнадцать (semnadtsat’)
18восемнадцать (vosemnadtsat’)
19девятнадцать (devyatnadtsat’)
20двадцать (dvadtsat’)
30тридцать (tridtsat’)
40сорок (sorok)
50пятьдесят (pyat’desyat)
60шестьдесят (shest’desyat)
70семьдесят (sem’desyat)
80восемьдесят (vosem’desyat)
90девяносто (devyanosto)
100сто (sto)
200двести (dvesti)
300триста (trista)
400четыреста (chetyresta)
500пятьсот (pyat’sot)
600шестьсот (shest’sot)
700семьсот (sem’sot)
800восемьсот (vosem’sot)
900девятьсот (devyat’sot)
1,000
2,000
3,000
etc.
тысяча (tysyacha)
две тысячи (dve tysyachi)
три тысячи (tri tysyachi)
10,000
20,000
30,000
etc.
десять тысяч (desyat’ tysyach)
двадцать тысяч (dvadtsat’ tysyach)
тридцать тысяч (tridtsat’ tysyach)
100,000
200,000
300,000
etc.
сто тысяч (sto tysyach)
двести тысяч (dvesti tysyach)
триста тысяч (trista tysyach)
1,000,000миллион (million)

➤ Our video on Numbers will explain how to say numbers like “22” and “56.” It’s pretty straightforward, as you’ll see. 

An Old Guy Fanning Out His Money while Holding a Cigar

Let’s practice more!
Check how much cash you have in your pocket or wallet right now. Can you say the number in Russian?
– You can keep it a secret ;) –

6. Adverbs

(at) homeдома (doma)
alreadyуже (uzhe)
stillпока (poka)
beforehandзаранее (zaraneye)
immediatelyсразу (srazu)
constantlyпостоянно (postoyanno)
againснова (snova)
onceоднажды (odnazhdy)
approximatelyпримерно (primerno)
enoughдостаточно (dostatochno)
justтолько (tol’ko)
finallyнаконец (nakonets)
togetherвместе (vmeste)
accidentallyслучайно (sluchayno)
obligatoryобязательно (obyazatel’no)

➤ You’ll find example sentences for these adverbs (and many more) on our 100 Must-Know Russian Adverbs List.

7. Conjunctions and Prepositions

At the intermediate level, one of the best ways to improve your Russian is to become familiar with the most common conjunctions and prepositions. These little words and phrases can help you more smoothly connect ideas, provide additional information, and more.

even thoughхотя (khotya)
as ifбудто (budto)
ifесли (yesli)
despiteнесмотря на (nesmotrya na)
instead ofвместо (vmesto)
forради (radi)

Я делаю это ради тебя.
(Ya delayu eto radi tebya.)
“I’m doing it for you.”
throughчерез (cherez)
amongсреди (sredi)
betweenмежду (mezhdu)
atу (u)

у окна (u okna) – “at the window”
except forкроме (krome)

A Woman Smiling while Walking into Her Home

Наконец-то я дома! 
(Nakonets-to ya doma!)
“I’m finally home!”

8. What’s Next?

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of intermediate Russian words, but it should give you some ideas on how to develop your vocabulary further. Did you know any of these words already, or were they all new to you?

Feel free to explore more words in each category and come up with your own lists. Just keep it relevant: Learn something that you personally need or want to know. If knowing the bird names isn’t on your priority list, let them wait. At this level, you can also dip your toes into abstract topics: politics, economics, culture. But don’t overcomplicate it just yet.

To make the most of this article, you can create flashcards with new words from this list. Reviewing them helps retention, especially when combined with spaced repetition. And I can’t stress enough the importance of practice: producing new words—for example, making up sentences on your own—and recognizing them in texts or speech make them stick even faster. 

Also, keep in mind that nouns and pronouns decline, adjectives change their ending depending on the gender and case, and verbs conjugate. Remember: It’s not the number of words that matters, but your ability to combine them well

That’s where our teachers could help you. You can get a private tutor with RussianPod101’s Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher. Your tutor will help you choose the best pathway to continue your Russian learning journey. You can ask them anything about Russian grammar, vocabulary, or culture—they will dispel any doubts! You can also opt to receive assignments, grammar and vocabulary exercises, as well as voice recording tasks to work on specific skills. Too many benefits to fit into one paragraph… Just give it a try!

Happy learning with RussianPod101!

About the author: Dzhuliia Shipina is a Russian linguist and a language teacher. For the past few years, she’s been traveling around the world and sharing her passion for languages with other inquiring minds. She invites you to explore the beauty of Russian and unravel its mysteries together.

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