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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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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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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!

Smile and keep learning Russian with RussianPod101. ;-)

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Reading Russian Dates: Learn Years, Months and Days in Russian

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Just imagine that you need to make an appointment to save the world with native Russian super heroes—just for the usual international superhero meeting. :-) Well, you’d definitely need to be able to tell the date…the Russian date.

Maybe you have a super ability to read other people’s minds? Well, you still need to learn the dates because Russian superheroes—and actually all other Russians—think in…yep, Russian! Surprise. :-)

So, gonna save the world? Learn how to read and tell the date in Russian. Let’s get started with the basics, and you’ll soon see that expressing dates in Russian really isn’t so hard.

Table of Contents

  1. Russian Dates: Calendar Dates in Russian
  2. Days of the Week in Russian
  3. Must-Know Phrases and Words to Talk about Dates in Russian
  4. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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1. Russian Dates: Calendar Dates in Russian

Russian Dates

Let’s learn how to say dates in Russian. More specifically, we’ll answer the question “How are dates written in Russian?”

Russian dates are usually written in the following order: day-month-year. For example, 22.05.2025. Let’s learn how to read Russian dates and use the Russian calendar, so that you can soon start talking about dates in Russian like it’s nothing!

1- How to Say Months in Russian

Months

Let’s start with the months of the year in Russian. You may notice that Russian month names resemble the English ones. That’s because the etymology for these words is the same:

  • “January” in Russian is Январь (yanvar’). This month got its name from the ancient Roman god Janus. He was the god of time, gates, and doorways. So, metaphorically speaking, январь (yanvar’) is a doorway to the new year.
  • Февраль (fevral’) is “February.” In Russia, this month has always been the coldest month of the whole year. The month’s name comes from the name of the ancient Roman god of purification, Februus. His holy month was February.
  • Март (mart) is “March.” The first spring month was named after the god of war, Mars. But how are spring and war connected? Well, the thing is that this god also guarded agriculture. That’s why most of his festivals were held in this first spring month.
  • Апрель (aprel’) is “April.” This month was named after the ancient Greek goddess, Afrodita. During this month, the snow melts and everything starts to grow and bloom.
  • Май (may) is “May.” The warmest spring month was named after the ancient Greek pleiad Maia, who symbolized the growth and blooming of nature.
  • Июнь (iyun’) is “June.” The first summer month was named after the ancient Roman goddess Juno, who took care of soil fertility and the strength of marriage.
  • Июль (iyul‘) is “July.” The hottest summer month was named after Gaius Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor.
  • Август (avgust) is “August.” This month’s name comes from the name of another Roman emperor: Augustus.
  • Сентябрь (sentyabr’) is “September.” In ancient times, the year started not in January but in March. That is why the first autumn month was derived from the Latin word septum which means “seven.”
  • Октябрь (oktyabr’) is “October.” October was derived from the Latin word octo which means “eight.” But did the fantasy of the ancient month name-giver finish? :-)
  • Ноябрь (noyabr’) is “November.” This is from the Latin word novo which means “nine.”
  • Декабрь (dekabr’) is “December.” This month’s name is also derived from a Latin word: decem which means “ten.”

If you need to say “leap month” in Russian, use високосный месяц (visokosnyy mesyats).

Now, practice the Russian calendar months with our word list.

2- How to Say Days in Russian

Learning Dates

Dates and numbers in Russian go hand-in-hand. When telling dates in Russian, you need to use Russian ordinal numbers for the days, which behave like adjectives in sentences. “Date” or “number” in Russian is число (chislo). This noun has a neutral gender, which is why all the date numbers are used with neutral endings as well:

  • Первое (pervoye)—”the first”
  • Второе (vtoroye)—”the second”
  • Третье (tret’ye)—”the third”
  • Четвертое (chetvyortoye)—”the fourth”
  • Пятое (pyatoye)—”the fifth”
  • Шестое (shestoye)—”the sixth”
  • Седьмое (sed’moye)—”the seventh”
  • Восьмое (vos’moye)—”the eighth”
  • Девятое (devyatoye)—”the ninth”
  • Десятое (desyatoye)—”the tenth”
  • Одиннадцатое (odinnadtsatoye)—”the eleventh”
    • Please, note that the letter д (d) in the number одиннадцатый and in the following numbers is not pronounced.
  • Двенадцатое (dvenadtsatoye)—”the twelfth”
  • Тринадцатое (trinadtsatoye)—”the thirteenth”
  • Четырнадцатое (chetyrnadtsatoye)—”the fourteenth”
  • Пятнадцатое (pyatnadtsatoye)—”the fifteenth”
  • Шестнадцатое (shestnadtsatoye)—”the sixteenth”
  • Семнадцатое (semnadtsatoye)—”the seventeenth”
  • Восемнадцатое (vosemnadtsatoye)—”the eighteenth”
  • Девятнадцатое (devyatnadtsatoye)—”the nineteenth”
  • Двадцатое (dvadtsatoye)—”the twentieth”
  • Двадцать первое (dvadtsat’ pervoye)—”the twenty-first”
  • Двадцать второе (dvadtsat’ vtotoye)—”the twenty-second”
  • Двадцать третье (dvadtsat’ tret’ye)—”the twenty-third”
  • Двадцать четвертое (dvadtsat’ chetvyortoye)—”the twenty-fourth”
  • Двадцать пятое (dvadtsat’ pyatoye)—”the twenty-fifth”
  • Двадцать шестое (dvadtsat’ shestoye)—”the twenty-sixth”
  • Двадцать седьмое (dvadtsat’ sed’moye)—”the twenty-seventh”
  • Двадцать восьмое (dvadtsat’ vos’moye)—”the twenty-eighth”
  • Двадцать девятое (dvadtsat’ devyatoye)—”the twenty-ninth”
  • Тридцатое (tridtsatoye)—”the thirtieth”
  • Тридцать первое (tridtsat’ pervoye)—”the thirty-first”

In order to write the day in Russian dates with numerals, write a number, add a hyphen, and add the last two letters of the last number-word. For example:

  • Первое (pervoye)
    1-ое
    “the first”
  • Второе (vtoroye)
    2-ое
    “the second”
  • Третье (tret’ye)
    3-ье
    “the third”
  • Четвертое (chetvyortoye)
    4-ое
    “the fourth”
  • Пятое (pyatoye)
    5-ое
    “the fifth”
  • Двадцать восьмое (dvadtsat’ vos’moye)
    28-ое
    “the twenty-eighth”
  • Тридцатое (tridtsatoye)
    30-ое
    “the thirtieth”

You can learn more about Russian ordinal and cardinal numbers from our article about Russian numbers, and practice naming numbers with our word list.

3- How to Say the Years in Russian

Learning Years in Russian

Now, onto dates and years in Russian. The numbers of the year in Russian are also ordinal numbers. “Year” in Russian is год (god). This noun has a masculine gender, which is why all year numbers are used with masculine endings as well. For example:

  • 1876: тысяча восемьсот семдесят шестой (tysyacha vosem’sot semdesyat shestoy)
  • 1925: тысяча девятьсот двадцать пятый (tysyacha devyat’sot dvadtsat’ pyatyy)
  • 2012: две тысячи двенадцатый (dve tysyachi dvenadtsatyy)

Please, note that there’s more than one way to read 1000 in Russian: тысяча (tysyacha or tyshcha) or одна тысяча (odna tysyacha). The shorter version is used in spoken language.

4- How to Say Dates in Russian: Putting it Together

Numbers

Now you know how to tell days, months, and years in Russian. Let’s see how they work together, and how to write dates in Russian in full.

In order to tell the date, use the Genitive case for the name of the month and the number of the year:

  • 08.03.2007
    восьмое марта две тысячи седьмого года
    vos’moye marta dve tysyachi sed’mogo goda
    “The 8th of March, 2007.”

By the way, the 8th of March is an official holiday in Russia: International Women’s Day. To learn more about important dates in Russia, listen to our audio.

  • 23.04.1991
    двадцать третье апреля тысяча девятьсот девяносто первого года
    dvadtsat’ tret’ye aprelya tysyacha devyat’sot devyanosto pervogo goda
    “The 23d of April, 1991.”

Now, to practice writing dates in Russian yourself, write down your birthday in Russian in the comments section below. ;)

Now you’re ready to learn how to ask “When is your birthday?” in Russian.

2. Days of the Week in Russian

Weekdays

The first day of the Russian week is usually Monday. “Weekdays” are called будни (budni). If you want to say “weekday,” use будний день (budniy den’).

“Weekend” is выходные (vykhodnyye). To say “weekend day,” use выходной день (vykhodnoy den’).

1- Monday

So, let’s start with how to say “Monday” in Russian. First, you need to know that there’s a Russian tradition of not doing anything on Sunday. In Russian, this is called не делать (ne delat’) or “not to do.” That’s why “Monday” in Russian language is called понедельник (ponedel’nik). It’s the day after not doing anything.

2- Tuesday

“Tuesday” in Russian is вторник (vtornik). You can see that it starts similarly to the word второй (vtoroy) which means “the second.” That was actually how this weekday was named; it’s the second day of the week.

3- Wednesday

“Wednesday” in Russian is среда (sreda). Wednesday in Russia is usually considered to be the middle of the week (at least, the middle of the working week). That’s why the name was created from the word середина (seredina) meaning “the middle.”

4- Thursday

“Thursday” in Russian is четверг (chetverg). Thursday is the fourth day of a Russian week, so the name comes from the number четыре (chetyre) which means “four.” If you want to know more about Russian numbers, check out our article.

5- Friday

“Friday” in Russian is пятница (pyatnitsa). In Russian, “five” is пять (pyat’), hence the name of the weekday.

6- Saturday

So, now let’s learn how to say “Saturday” in Russian: суббота (subbota). The name has an interesting history. It comes from the Jewish word Sabbath which means “to rest.”

7- Sunday

“Sunday” in Russian is воскресенье (voskresen’ye). The name comes from the Russian Christian tradition and means the day of the resurrection of Jesus. In Russian, “resurrection” is воскресение (voskreseniye). As you can see, only one letter is different. Make sure that you don’t mix the words up!

Now practice Russian days of the week with our word list.

3. Must-Know Phrases and Words to Talk about Dates in Russian

Let’s Learn How to Make an Appointment in Russian

Now you know how to give the dates and days of the week in Russian. Let’s enrich your vocabulary so that you can learn how to use these words in a sentence and build a proper dialogue about the dates. By the end of this section, you should also have a better idea about how to read dates in Russian.

  • Вчера (vchera)—”yesterday”
    Вчера шёл дождь (Vchera shyol dozhd’)—”It was raining yesterday.”
  • Сегодня (segodnya)—”today”
    Сегодня плохая погода (Segodnya plokhaya pogoda)—”The weather is bad today.”
  • Завтра (zavtra)—”tomorrow”
    Завтра будет солнечно (Zavtra budet solnechno)—”It will be sunny tomorrow.”
    Давай встретимся завтра (Davay vstretimsya zavtra)—”Let’s meet tomorrow.”

    The answer to that suggestion can be:
              Давай! (Davay!)—”Sure!”

  • Позавчера (pozavchera)—”the day before yesterday”
    Позавчера я встретился с русским другом (Pozavchera ya vstretilsya s russkim drugom)—”The day before yesterday, I met up with my Russian friend.”
  • Послезавтра (poslezavtra)—”the day after tomorrow”
    Послезавтра я собираюсь в больницу (Poslezavtra ya sobirayus’ v bol’nitsu)—”The day after tomorrow, I’m going to a hospital.”
  • Квартал (kvartal)—”quarter”
    This word is seldom used in actual conversations, but you’ll come across it if you work with Russian-speaking colleagues. Business goals are usually set for a quarter (among monthly and yearly goals).
  • Какое сегодня число? (Kakoye segodnya chislo?)—”What date is it today?”
    The answer could be:

    • Сегодня двадцать девятое июня (Segodnya dvadtsat’ devyatoye iyunya)—”Today is the 29th of June.”
  • Какого числа начинаются занятия? (Kakogo chisla nachinayutsya zanyatiya?)—”When does the study start?”

    The answer could be:

    • Занятия начинаются первого сентября (Zanyatiya nachinayutsya pervogo sentyabrya)—”The study starts on the 1st of September.”

      Interesting fact. The 1st of September is called День Знаний (Den’ Znaniy) which means “Knowledge Day.” Every year on the 1st of September, Russian students have the first school/university day. If you’re lucky to be in Russia on this day, you’ll probably see a lot of school children formally dressed and with flowers to give to their teachers.

  • Какого числа ты выходишь на работу? (Kakogo chisla ty vykhodish’ na rabotu?)—”When will you get back to work?” or “When is your first day at work?” depending on the context.

    The answer could be:

    • Я выхожу на работу тридцать первого ноября (Ya vykhozhu na rabotu tridtsat’ pervogo noyabrya)—”I will start working on the 31st of November.”
  • Когда у тебя день рождения? (Kogda u tebya den’ rozhdeniya?)—”When is your birthday?”

    The answer could be:

    • Мой день рождения одиннадцатого апреля (Moy den’ rozhdeniya odinnadtsatogo aprelya)—”My birthday is on the 11th of April.”
    • Семнадцатого января (Semnadtsatogo yanvarya)—”On the 17th of January.”
  • Какой сегодня день недели? (Kakoy segodnya den’ nedeli?)—”What weekday is it today?”

    The answer could be:

    • Сегодня вторник (Segodnya vtornik)—”Today is Tuesday.”
  • В каком месяце ты собираешься приехать? (V kakom mesyatse ty sobirayesh’sya priyekhat’?)—”What month are you planning to come?”

    The answer could be:

    • В феврале (V fevrale)—”In February.”

If you wanna dig even deeper, you can learn how to reschedule an appointment or what to do when you arrive late for the appointment.

4. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

So, now you know how to talk about dates, how to make appointments, and how to tell someone when your birthday is (so no one has an excuse not to prepare a gift for you). ;-)

If the Russian language and Russian culture make you excited and you wanna tell more about yourself in Russian, check out our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. You can set your own goals and reach them fast with our professional native Russian teachers. You can also choose a specially prepared program to pass Russian language exams and to achieve the level of Russian you need.

And remember, keep the learning process fun and exciting—that way, you’ll keep moving forward no matter what difficulties you meet on your way.

Before you go, let us know how you feel about reading dates in Russian now. And why not practice Russian dates by telling us today’s date in Russian in the comments section? ;) We look forward to hearing from you!

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Russian Family: Guide on Talking about Relatives in Russian

Thumbnails

Did you know that the woman who gave birth the most times was Russian? She lived in the 18th century and was the wife of a peasant. She had sixty-nine kids! Sixteen pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets.

In the past, Russian people tried to have more kids because not all of them were able to survive infancy (rest assured that sixty-seven of the record-holder’s children survived). Since that difficult time, the Russian family has become the core value of many Russians, and has remained so for a long time.

That’s why it’s important to know how to talk about your family and ask about your Russian friend’s family. Once family backgrounds are exchanged, you’ll be able to understand each other much better!

And besides, it’s a nice and easy topic to master, even for beginners. ;-) To tackle this topic, family in Russian lessons like this one are essential.

Let’s dig in to our guide on family words in Russian and family in Russian culture!

Table of Contents

  1. Family in Russia: Russian Family Culture
  2. Family Members
  3. How to Talk about the Family
  4. Top Four Quotes and Famous Phrases about Family
  5. Exercise
  6. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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1. Family in Russia: Russian Family Culture

Russian Family Dinner

Before we go over the most basic Russian family words, here’s some background information on the family culture in Russia!

1- Age of Marriage

Family is a really important aspect of life for Russians. In the 20th century, the age for marriage was twenty-three years old for men and twenty years old for women. From 1990 to 1993, the average marriage age lowered about two-three years; this was dictated by government policy to make families stronger.

Being together without marriage was criticized. A woman who lived with a man outside of marriage was thought to be frivolous; she usually couldn’t make a career of her work. A married man could build his career more quickly, as he was considered reliable and serious.

That government policy has significantly influenced how people think about marriage. They think that marriage is a serious thing, and people should be married once for the whole lifetime. That’s how people of the 20th century taught their children to view marriage.

However, by 2019, the age for marriage has increased. Now, it’s usually twenty-seven years old for men and twenty-two to twenty-four years old for girls. In smaller towns, people tend to get married earlier than this age, and in bigger cities (e.g. Moscow and Saint Petersburg) they get married later.

2- Children

Russian Kid

When it comes to Russian family size, modern Russian families usually have two kids. People think that because there are two parents, they need to make two replacements.

However, one child is more common for families living in bigger cities. This is because children’s education costs much more and requires much more from the parents there.

Of course, there are families with more kids, but this is an exception to the rule. Most Russian people prefer giving a lot to one child, than giving a little to several children.

3- Elders

Russian Grandparents

Of course, Russian people have high respect for elders. For example, it’s good etiquette to stand up and offer a seat on public transport if an older person walks in.

Unfortunately, the level of respect in Russia can’t compare with that in Asian countries where respect is built into the culture itself. In Russia, modern people tend to think that age alone isn’t enough to gain respect. The person needs to be intelligent, kind, or have another outstanding quality that youngsters could learn from.

4- The Most Popular Russian Family Names

For a long time, Russian people didn’t have surnames. In documents, they had only their name, nickname, father’s job, nationality, place of birth, and occupation. That’s how the first surnames were made.

Столяров (Stolyarov) is the son of столяр (stolyar) meaning “carpenter,” and Андреев (Andreyev) is the son of Андрей (Andrey) meaning “Andrey” (boys’ name).

It’s hard to say how many family names there are in Russia. According to the last attempt to count, there are more than one-hundred-thousand surnames. Here are the top five most common surnames:

  • Иванов (Ivanov)
    • The son of Иван (Ivan)
    • “Ivan” (boys’ name)
  • Смирнов (Smirnov)
    • The adjective смирной (smirnoy) refers to a person who is calm, not proud, and not arrogant. This was considered one of the highest Christian virtues.
  • Кузнецов (Kuznetsov)
    • The son of кузнец (kuznets) meaning “blacksmith.”
  • Попов (Popov)
    • The son of поп (pop)
    • That’s what people unofficially called the Christian priest.
  • Васильев (Vasil’yev)
    • The son of Василий (Vasiliy)
    • “Vasiliy” (boys’ name).

2. Family Members

Family Words

Now let’s learn the Russian words for family members to increase your family in Russian vocabulary!

1- Mother

This is how to say “mother” in Russian: мама (mama). In English, it can be translated as “mom.” This is the word kids learn to use when they’re little.

There’s also a more formal word for “mother” in Russian language: мать (mat’). It’s used in formal writing or formal speeches.

Interesting fact. If someone who has always called his mother мама (mama) has suddenly referred to her as мать (mat’), he might be pissed at her at the moment, or he’s intentionally using a more formal style to talk about her.          

Also, Russian people just looooove to use suffixes to make Russian language-learners suffer to give extra meanings to the words, usually in terms of a quality or to describe closeness, especially between family members. In English, the same additional meanings can be expressed using diminutives.

The word мама (mama) is often used with suffixes to express love for her: мамочка (mamochka), мамуля (mamulya). Russians can both call the mother мамочка (mamochka) or мамуля (mamulya) directly, or refer to her like that in a conversation (though it feels way too showy when the second situation happens).

For example, a child can try to persuade his mother to buy him something he wants by using these affectionate suffixes:

  • Мамочка, мамочка, купи мне мороженое!
    Mamochka, mamochka, kupi mne morozhenoye!
    “Mommy, mommy, buy me ice cream!”

Interesting fact. “Mother Russia” in Russian is Матушка Россия (Matushka Rossiya). The word матушка (matushka) is formed with the suffix –ушк– (-ushk-) which expresses love and tenderness toward the mother-country.     

2- Father

The word “father” in Russian also has two translations. Usually, it’s папа (papa), and in formal situations it’s отец (otets).

Also, you might come across the translation батя (batya). This word is usually used by guys to talk about their fathers. The word is of Ukranian origin.

The suffix most often used with “father” words is –к– (-k-): папка (papka), батька (bat’ka). In these cases, the suffix gives a slightly contemptuous meaning.

3- Sister

“Sister” in Russian is сестра (sestra). It slightly resembles the English word, right? When we talk about our siblings, we usually tell whether they’re older or younger than us. Let’s learn how to do that in Russian:

  • Старшая сестра
    Starshaya sestra
    “Older sister”
  • Младшая сестра
    Mladshaya sestra
    “Younger sister”

In Russian, there’s no difference in how a male or female speaker would phrase this (as is the case in other languages, such as Korean).

The word сестра (sestra) is usually used without suffixes, but you may come across the word with a suffix in a children’s story book: сестричка (sestrichka).

You can also use сестричка (sestrichka) as an endearment term to refer to your sister. The suffix –ичк– (-ichk-) also expresses a good attitude toward your sister. Keep in mind that сестричка (sestrichka) nowadays is used only in books, and almost never in other situations.

4- Brother

“Brother” in Russian is брат (brat). Just like сестра (sestra), you can describe whether your brothers are older or younger.

  • Старший брат
    Starshiy brat
    “Elder brother”
  • Младший брат
    Mladshiy brat
    “Younger brother”

The word брат (brat) has been actively used to refer to one another in criminal groups since the 1990s. During this time, many suffixes became commonly used with this word:

  • Братан
    Bratan
    “Bro”
  • Братишка
    Bratishka
    “Little bro”

The suffix –ишк– (-ishk-) here shows that you undermine the person you’re calling with it.

Now, братан (bratan) is actively used by young people to seem “cooler,” especially between guys. Try to address your Russian friend by saying Привет, братан (Privet, bratan) which means “Hi, bro.” ;-)

By the way, young Russian guys often use бро (bro) or “bro” the same as it’s used in English..

5- Grandmother

This is probably one of the most popular Russian words. So, “grandmother “in Russian translation is бабушка (babushka).

If you’re interested in how Russian words are built, then it’ll be interesting for you to know that the word бабушка (babushka) already contains a suffix in it. The suffix –ушк– (-ushk-) doesn’t give any new quality, it just shows that we like the thing (or person) we’re talking about. The stem of the word is баба (baba) which meant “woman” in previous centuries.

Nowadays, if you use баба (baba) when talking to or about a woman, it will have a disparaging meaning. But it’s often used when we talk about a grandmother in Russian language, with an added name. For example: баба Света (baba Sveta), баба Надя (baba Nadya), or баба Маша (baba Masha).

6- Grandfather

The “grandfather” in Russian translation is дедушка (dedushka). Like бабушка (babushka), this word already contains the suffix –ушк– (-ushk-) which shows that we like the person we’re talking about. The stem here is дед (ded).

Interesting fact. Santa Claus in the Russian language is Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz). Дед (Ded) means “grandfather” and Мороз (Moroz) means “frost.”

7- Wife

“Wife” in Russian is жена (zhena). It has the stem жен– (zhen-), which is used in the word жениться (zhenit’sya) which means “to marry a girl.”

If you add the suffix –ушк– (-ushk-), you’ll get a more tender name for your wife: женушка (zhenushka).

The more formal word for “wife” in Russian translation is супруга (supruga). The ending –a (-a) here shows the sex of the person (female).

Of course, there are a lot of things husbands can call their wives. The most popular are:

  • Спутница жизни
    Sputnica zhizni
    “Life companion”

The above phrase shows that the husband has chosen his wife for his whole life.

  • Боевая подруга
    Boyevaya podruga
    “Combat friend”

This phrase basically means that the wife will be at her husband’s side in any situation that might occur during their life together.

8- Husband

“Husband” in Russian is муж (muzh). It has the same stem муж– (muzh-) as the word мужчина (muzhchina) which means “man.”

The more formal word for “husband” in Russian is супруг (suprug).

9- Daughter

Let’s learn how to say “daughter” in Russian: дочь (doch’). When people talk, they’re more likely to use the less formal version by adding the suffix –к– (-k-) to make дочка (dochka).

There are plenty of suffixes that mothers add to address their daughter in a more loving and tender way. These are the most commonly used ones:

  • Доченька (Dochen’ka)
  • Дочурка (Dochurka)
  • Доча (Docha)
    • Technically, there’s no suffix in this word. But it still has a loving, emotional ring to it.
  • Дочушка (Dochushka)
  • Дочечка (Dochechka)
  • Дочура (Dochura)

10- Son

“Son” in Russian is сын (syn). The most commonly used forms with suffixes to express love are:

  • Сынок (Synok)
    • This form is the most frequently used.
    • Сынок, помоги мне, пожалуйста (Synok, pomogi mne, pozhaluysta) or “Dear son, please, help me.”
  • Сынуля (Synulya)
    • The suffix –ул– (-ul-) is used to express love.
  • Сыночка (Synochka)
    • This form is usually used in a country speech.
  • Сынишка (Synishka)
    • This form shows that the son being addressed is smaller than the speaker.

11- Uncle and Aunt

“Uncle” in Russian is дядя (dyadya). “Aunt” in Russian is тётя (tyotya).

To make it clear whose relative is being talked about—mom’s or dad’s—Russians add со стороны матери (so storony materi) or со стороны отца (so storony otsa) after дядя (dyadya) or тётя (tyotya).

12- Cousin

“Cousin” (male) in Russian is двоюродный брат (dvoyurodnyy brat). “Cousin” (female) in Russian is двоюродная сестра (dvoyurodnaya sestra).

As you can see, to say “cousin,” Russians use the words брат (brat) meaning “brother” and сестра (sestra) meaning “sister.” The word двоюродный (dvoyurodnyy) shows that this brother or sister is second-tier.

You can indicate a third-tier relative by using the word троюродный (troyurodnyy), or a fourth-tier relative by using the word четвероюродный (chetveroyurodnyy), etc. That’s a smart way to show how close your relatives are to you.

13- Niece and Nephew

“Niece” in Russian is племянница (plemyannitsa). “Nephew” in Russian is племянник (plemyannik).

To say “great niece,” add the word внучатый (vnuchatyy), and you’ll get внучатая племянница (vnuchataya plemyannitsa).

“Great nephew” is внучатый племянник (vnuchatyy plemyannik).

14- Grandchildren

Grandparents call their “granddaughter” внучка (vnuchka), and their “grandson” внук (vnuk). Внук (vnuk) is often used with the suffix –ок (-ok) and sounds like внучок (vnuchok).

Also keep in mind that old people will often call younger people these words, even if they’re not related.

3. How to Talk about the Family

Parent Phrases

Okay, now let’s learn how to talk about family in Russian. Here are some family Russian phrases and sentences:

  • Родители (Roditeli) meaning “Parents.”

Interesting fact. Though there is a word for “grandparents”—прародители (praroditeli)—Russians prefer to use бабушка с дедушкой (babushka s dedushkoy) which means “grandmother and grandfather” if they have one grandmother and one grandfather. They use бабушки с дедушками (babushki s dedushkami) meaning “grandmothers and grandfathers” if they have more.

  • В моей семье 3 человека
    V moyey sem’ye tri cheloveka
    “There are three people in my family.”
  • У меня большая семья
    U menya bol’shaya sem’ya
    “I have a big family.”
  • У меня маленькая семья: я и мой кот
    U menya malen’kaya sem’ya: ya i moy kot
    “I have a small family: me and my cat.”
  • У меня есть папа, мама, брат и сестра
    U menya yest’ papa, mama, brat i sestra
    “I have a father, mother, brother, and sister.”
  • Моему брату 20 лет
    Moyemu bratu dvadtsat’ let
    “My brother is 20 years old.”
  • Моя сестра старше меня на 5 лет
    Moya sestra starshe menya na pyat’ let
    “My sister is five years older than me.”
  • Я очень люблю и уважаю своих родителей
    Ya ochen’ lyublyu i uvazhayu svoikh roditeley
    “I really love and respect my parents.”
  • Мой папа – учитель
    Moy papa – uchitel’
    “My father is a teacher.”
  • Моя мама – врач
    Moya mama – vrach
    “My mother is a doctor.”
  • Моя племянник – школьник
    Moy plemyannik – shkol’nik
    “My nephew is a pupil at school.”
  • Моя сестра – студентка
    Moya sestra – studentka
    “My sister is a student.”
  • Моя сестра учится в университете
    Moya sestra uchitsya v universitete
    “My sister studies in a university.”

Interesting fact. There’s an interesting Russian pronoun cвой (svoy) which is translated as “my,” “our,” “your,” “his,” “her,” and “their,” depending on which person in a sentence is performing the action. Have a look at the sentence above. The word cвой (svoy) there can be easily replaced with мой (moy) meaning “my.” But the natives prefer to use cвой (svoy). So…why?

The word cвой (svoy) has a stronger meaning of ownership. By using cвой (svoy), you emphasize that something belongs to the person who’s taking action. Please, keep in mind that there should be someone taking an action in a sentence, or else using this word would be a mistake.

For example, in the sentence В моей семье 3 человека (V moyey sem’ye tri cheloveka) which means “There are three people in my family,” we don’t see any person. There’s no “I/you/him/etc.,” so you can’t use cвой (svoy) here. If you use it, Russians won’t understand whose family you’re talking about.

For better understanding, note that the antonym of cвой (svoy) is чужой (chuzhoy) which means “someone else’s,” “not belonging to me/you/etc.”

4. Top Four Quotes and Famous Phrases about Family

Family Quotes

There are many phrases about family that go around. Here are the most famous ones:

  • В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше
    V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe
    “There’s no place like home.”

This proverb is often used in books and even orally, especially by older people. The perfect situation to use this phrase would be when you come home from someone else’s place after having a good time.

  • Яблочко от яблони недалеко падает
    Yablochko ot yabloni nedaleko padayet
    “The apple doesn’t fall far from an apple tree.”

This proverb can be translated as “Like mother, like son.” It’s used to comment on someone else’s bad behavior when the speaker doesn’t like that person’s mother. For example, Tanya’s mother got pregnant without being married. When Tanya grew up, she also got pregnant without being married. The person who knows these facts, and doesn’t like this family, could express his contempt by saying Яблочко от яблони недалеко падает (Yablochko ot yabloni nedaleko padayet).

  • Я старый солдат и не знаю слов любви
    Ya staryy soldat i ne znayu slov lyubvi
    “I am an old soldier and I don’t know words of love.”

This is a quote from another famous Soviet film Здравствуйте, я ваша тётя (Zdravstvuyte, ya vasha tyotya) which translates to “Hello, I’m Your Aunt.” Watch the moment when this phrase is used. Note that Донна Роза (Donna Roza) is the name of the main hero. This phrase can be ironically used by a husband when his wife asks him to tell her more often that he loves her.

  • В семье не без дурака
    V sem’ye ne bez duraka
    “There is no family without a fool.”

When one family member does something bad, other family members can comment on the situation by saying this proverb. There’s a stronger version of this phrase: В семье не без урода (V sem’ye ne bez uroda) which means “There is no family without a freak.” It’s usually said when the speaker is really angry. Be very careful when using it.

4. Exercise

Now it’s time for practice! First, read the following example and then write a paragraph or two about your own family. If you want professional assistance, don’t hesitate to apply for our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners, where professional Russian tutors will help you nail this topic.

Okay, here’s the example:

Меня зовут Катя. Мне 16 лет. У меня большая семья. В ней шесть человек: мама, папа, сестра и два брата. Моя сестра – студент, учится на адвоката. Мои братья – еще школьники. Младший учится в шестом классе, а старший – в одиннадцатом. Я очень люблю свою семью!

Menya zovut Katya. Mne shestnadtsat’ let. U menya bol’shaya sem’ya. V ney shest’ chelovek: mama, papa, sestra i dva brata. Moya sestra – student, uchitsya na advokata. Moi brat’ya – eshchyo shkol’niki. Mladshiy uchitsya v shestom klasse, a starshiy – v odinnadtsatom. Ya ochen’ lyublyu svoyu sem’yu!

“My name is Katya. I’m 21 years old. I have a big family. I have six family members: mom, dad, sister, and two brothers. My sister is a student; she is studying to be a lawyer. My brothers are still at school. The younger one is in sixth grade, and the older one is in eleventh grade. I love my family a lot!”

Now, your turn! And don’t move to the next article until you finish this task.

To add to this paragraph of yourself, please read our article on how to introduce yourself in Russian. To handle numbers, read our article on numbers in Russian.

5. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

In this article, we’ve learned the words to talk about Russian family and family members. Print our colorful PDF to keep all the new words in front of your eyes while you’re learning them. You can also refresh the vocabulary in your memory with our word list for family members.

And keep in mind that practice makes perfect. Try to use the words as much as you can to transfer them from short-term memory into long-term memory. You can do it!

If you’re searching for a professional Russian tutor, 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. ;-)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Russian

Useful Russian Phrases for Tourists: Travel Vocabulary

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Going to explore gorgeous Moscow Kremlin or travel back into the XIX century on the tiny cobblestone streets of Saint Petersburg? Or maybe you’re coming to study or work in Russia? Whatever your goal is, knowing useful Russian phrases for tourists will make your life easier in this snowy country.

If you’ve had trouble finding travel guides when having road trips in Russia, look no further. RussianPod101.com is here to help you learn Russian travel phrases in English, so that your stay in Russia will be much more enjoyable and comfortable.

Please note that hotel staff in Russia usually speak English, so we’re not going to cover hotel phrases in this article. But once you leave your hotel, it’ll become a little bit trickier to find a person who knows English. In Moscow and Saint-Petersburg you’ll probably find an English-speaking person to help you out, but in smaller cities this becomes a real challenge. Thus, it’s definitely good to know at least a few Russian language travel phrases.

So, let’s get started with common phrases in Russian for travelers in our Russian travel phrases guide!

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Russian Phrases for Travel
  2. Transport
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurant Phrases
  5. Asking for and Giving Directions
  6. Emergencies
  7. Flattery Phrases
  8. Useful Phrases to Go through Language Problems
  9. Conclusion

Log

1. Basic Russian Phrases for Travel

Basic Questions

Even if your language skills are poor—or if you’ve just opened this article in a last attempt to learn at least a couple of the most important words—then you’ve come to the right place! These fifteen basic Russian language travel phrases are just enough to show that you’re really trying. You may also gain a few points in the eyes of Russian people.

1- Спасибо (Spasibo)

This means “Thank you,” and is one of the most common Russian travel phrases. You can use it in any situation, both formal and informal. For example:

Спасибо за помощь (Spasibo za pomoshch) — “Thank you for your help.”

2- Пожалуйста (Pozhaluysta)

This is translated into English as “You are welcome,” or “Please…” For example:

Пожалуйста, дайте пройти (Pozhalusta, dayte proyti) — “Please, let me walk past you.”

3- Извините (Izvinite)

This means, “Excuse me, sorry.”

When it comes to travel phrases in Russian grammar, you can also ask for forgiveness with Простите (Prostite) — “Sorry.”

Check out our article about how to say “I’m sorry” in Russian if you want to know more.

4- Привет (Privet)

That means informal “Hi.” Alternatively, Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte)—is formal “Hello.” If you want to know more, please, read our article about Russian ways to say Hello.

5- Пока (Poka)

This easy word is an informal way of saying, “Bye.” Don’t hesitate to use it with people your age or younger when you meet them while traveling. For older people, use the formal До свидания (Do svidaniya) — “Goodbye. ”

6- Да (Da)

This simply means, “Yes.” An important word to remember, isn’t it?

You can emphasize your answer by adding Хорошо (Khorosho), meaning “Good,” so it sounds like Да, хорошо (Da, khorosho), meaning “Yes, okay.”

Or you can add “of course”: Да, конечно! (Da, konechno!), meaning “Yes, sure!” or “Yes, of course!”

7- Нет (Net)

This simple means, “No.” You can make your refusal more polite by adding words of gratitude: Нет, спасибо (Net, spasibo) — “No, thank you.”

8- Вы не могли бы меня сфотографировать (Vy ni mogli by menya sfotografirovat’)

This important phrase for every traveler means, “Please, could you take a picture of me.” If you wanna take a picture with other people, use Вы не могли бы нас сфотографировать (Vy ni mogli by nas sfotografirovat’), meaning “Please, could you take a picture of us.”

9- Я не говорю по-русски (Ya ne govoryu po-russki)

This basic Russian travel phrase means, “I don’t speak Russian.” It’s a nice phrase to know even if you do know Russian, right? To get rid of annoying salespeople. ;-)

10- Хорошо (Khorosho)

This means “Good.” If things go better than good, use Отлично! (Otlichno!), meaning “Great! Perfect!” We hope that your Russian trip goes отлично!

Learn more conversational phrases from our vocabulary list.

By the way, do you know what the Russian word for “travel” is? It’s путешествовать (puteshestvovat’).

2. Transport

Airplane Phrases

Transportation is one of the most vital aspects of a trip to anywhere, making Russian phrases for traveling related to this so important. Let’s look at some Russian travel words and phrases to help you find your way around Russia.

1- Taxi Phrases

Taxis are a popular way of transportation in Russia. Be aware of stopping the car on the street, because there are plenty of cases of robberies and fraudulent actions. The best way to order a taxi is through an app or by calling a taxi company. The prices will be absolutely the same as the prices of cars you stop on the street, and most of the time even lower.

You can use Uber or Yandex taxis (which works the same way as Uber). If you’re in a small city, you’ll probably be able to use either Uber or Yandex as well, but there might be less cars available, so give yourself a time cushion to account for searching for one. Or ask your friends or fellow travelers for a local taxi app.

Here are the phrases that will help you communicate with the driver:

  • Мне нужно доехать до… (Mne nuzhno doyekhat’ do…) — “I need to get to… [location].” Use this phrase when you need to get somewhere using a transportation service.
  • Остановите, пожалуйста… (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta…) — “Please, stop…” After that, add where you want to stop:
    • …на остановке (…na ostanovke) — “…at the public transport stop.”
    • …за перекрестком (…za perekryostkom) — “…after the crossroads.”
    • …у светофора (…u svetofora) — “…near the traffic light.”
    • …у следующего подъезда (…u sleduyushchego pod’yezda) — “…near the next entrance.”
    • …у того подъезда (…u togo pod’yezda) — “…near that entrance.”
    • …прямо здесь (…pryamo zd’es’) — “…right here.”
    • …у того магазина (…u togo magazina) — “…on the public transport stop.”
  • Можно остановить тут (Mozhno ostanovit’ tut) — “You can stop here.”
  • Остановите, пожалуйста, чуть подальше (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta, chut’ podal’she) — “Please, stop a little bit further.”

2- Bus/Trolleybus/Tram/Metro Phrases

There are several means of public transportation in Russia—trams, trolleybuses, buses, and the metro. Use the following phrases to ensure that you don’t miss the right stop and to be polite during your ride:

  • На какой остановке мне выходить? (Na kakoy ostanovke mne vykhodit’?) — “On which stop should I get off?”
  • Подскажите, пожалуйста, какая следующая остановка? (Podskazhite, pozhaluysta, kakaya sleduyishchaya ostanovka?) — “Please, could you tell me what the next stop is?”
  • Какая это остановка? (Kakaya eto ostanovka?) — “What stop is it now?”
  • Сколько остановок до…? (Skol’ko ostanovok do…?) — “How many stops until… [location]?”
  • Садитесь, пожалуйста (Sadites’, pozhaluysta) — “Sit, please.”
    • In Russia, it’s considered polite to give up your seat for old people, pregnant ladies, and parents with little kids. It also looks really chivalrous when a guy gives up his seat for a girl.

Also, there’s one interesting means of public transport that’s not very common in other countries. It’s called маршрутка (marshrutka) — “route taxi.” It works like a shared taxi or a small bus, which drives along one route back and forth. Usually, it’s slightly more expensive than a bus/tram/trolleybus, but moves faster. It usually doesn’t stop on every public transport stop, so you’ll need to ask for a stop:

  • На остановке остановите, пожалуйста… (Na ostanovke ostanovite, pozhaluysta…) — “Please, stop on the (next; nearest) public transport stop.”
    • Use the phrase right before the needed stop. Remember to shout loud so the driver hears you. Don’t hesitate to shout one more time, if the driver has missed the stop and keeps driving: Остановите, пожалуйста! (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta!) — “Please, stop!”

To make public transportation more predictable, use the app Yandex Transport. After you set the starting point and final point of the route, the app shows you the fastest way to get there with the numbers of buses/route taxis/trams/trolleybuses needed. In big cities, such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg, you’ll also be able to see on the map where the needed bus is and how many minutes it will be until it arrives.

3- Suburban Train Phrases

If you want to travel between cities, especially if they’re four hours (or less) away from each other, consider taking a suburban sitting train. It’s usually quite cheap and fast. Unfortunately, for now you can’t buy a ticket online. You’ll have to buy a ticket at a ticket window or from a ticket machine. These are usually located on the way to the station before the security turnstile, or right at the station if it’s a smaller station. In 90% of stations, especially big ones, you’ll be able to pay by card.

These phrases will be useful for you:

  • Электричка (Elektrichka) — “Suburban electric train.”
  • Сколько стоит билет до…? (Skol’ko stoit bilet do…?) — “How much is the ticket to… [location]?”
  • До…, пожалуйста (Do…, pozhaluysta) — “Ticket to… [location], please.”
  • Где я могу купить билет на электричку? (Gde ya mogu kupit’ bilet na elektrichku?) — “Where can I buy a ticket on a suburban train?”
  • Подскажите, пожалуйста, где туалет? (Podskazhite, pozhaluysta, gde tualet?) — “Please, tell me which way the bathroom is.”

4- Sleeping Train Phrases

Sleeping Train.

Usually, tickets to sleeping trains are bought online, but you can also buy them at the ticket window on the station in advance.

While you’re on the train, you’ll probably have some questions. These phrases will help you deal with most of the situations that might occur:

  • Когда мы приедем? (Kogda my priyedem?) — “When will we arrive?”
  • Это какая станция? (Eto kakaya stantsiya?) — “What station is this?”
  • Сколько стоим на этой станции? (Skol’ko stoim na etoy stantsii?) — “How long will we stay on this station?”
  • У вас есть зарядка для… (U vas est’ zaryadka dlya…?) — “Do you have a charger for…?” (Where the blank space is the model of the phone.)
    • …такого телефона? (…takogo telefona?) — “…this kind of the phone?” After that, show your phone.
    • …Айфона? (…Ayfona?) — “…iPhone?”
    • …Самсунга? (…Samsunga?) — “…Samsung?”
  • Как пройти в вагон-ресторан? (Kak proyt’i v vagon-restoran?) — “How can I get to the restaurant-carriage?”
  • Где можно покурить? (Gde mozhno pokurit’?) — “Where could I smoke?”
    • Курить запрещено (Kurit’ zapreshcheno) — “Smoking is prohibited.” Usually, it’s prohibited to smoke on the trains, though people do it on stops outside.
  • Проводник (Provodnik) — “Train conductor.” The provodnik’s room is located at the beginning of each wagon. You can ask him any questions during your trip.The provodnik usually checks tickets, and provides bed-clothes and food if it’s included in your ticket. Most of the time, the provodnik reminds you in advance about your stop, but still be careful and in control about where you should get off the train yourself. You can also order a tea from provodnik, but be ready to pay for it:
    • Сколько стоит чай? (Skol’ko stoit chay?) — “How much does the tea cost?”
    • Зеленый чай (Zelyonyy chay) — “Green tea”
    • Черный чай (Chyornyy chay) — “Black tea”
  • Вагон (Vagon) — “Wagon.” You’ll probably buy a ticket for one of these types of wagons:
    • Плацкарт (Platskart) — “Open plan carriage.” This is the cheapest kind of carriage. Open plan coach has no separate rooms.
    • Купе (Kupe) — “Сompartment.” There are separate rooms in these. Each room in a compartment coach has four beds: two upper ones and two lower ones. Upper ones are usually cheaper because you need to be physically fit to climb into them.
    • СВ (Es Ve) — “Sleeping wagon.” This is the most expensive type. A sleeping wagon consists of separate rooms with two beds in each room.
  • Постельное белье (Postel’noye bel’yo) — “Bed-clothes.” When you’re booking the ticket, check if they provide the bed-clothes or not. If you plan to sleep during your trip, then it’s better to include it in your ticket. However, nobody will blame you if you bring and use your own bed-clothes or a sleeping bag to lower your travel expenses.

3. Shopping

Shopping with a Credit Card.

While you’re traveling, you may need to buy food from a shop, some souvenirs, or even hunt for great deals on clothes and other goods. This list has everything you need to know to feel comfortable while shopping:

  • Рубль (Rubl’) — “Ruble.” This is the Russian currency. Learn more about the Ruble in our short video.
  • Сколько это стоит? (Skol’ko eto stoit?) — “How much does it cost?”
  • Вы не могли бы сделать скидочку? (Vy ne mogli by sdelat’ skidochku?) — “Could you give me a discount?”
  • Что посоветуете? (Chto posovetuyete?) — “What would you recommend?”
  • Дайте, пожалуйста, это (Dayte, pozhaluysta, eto) — “Give me this, please.”
  • Картой можно оплатить? (Kartoy mozhno oplatit’?) — “Can I pay by card?”
    • If you travel to smaller cities, paying by credit card might not be an option. You may hear a Russian salesperson offer you: Можете перевести на Сбербанк (Mozhete perevesti na Sberbank) — “You could transfer money to Sberbank.” This means that you can make a wire transfer to a Russian bank account.
    • Sberbank is the most common bank in Russia. Please, note that if you transfer from a foreign bank account, the commission may be taken. Also, if you transfer from a Russian bank, whether Sberbank or another one, the commission might be taken as well. Please, carefully check this option with your bank in advance.
  • Оплата наличными? (Oplata nalichnymi?) — “Should I pay by cash?”

Talking about prices requires knowing Russian numbers. Learn how to count in Russian and how to use these numbers in shopping phrases in our article.

4. Restaurant Phrases

Communicating with a Waiter.

Eating local food in local restaurants is usually one a “must” during a trip. And you, for sure, don’t wanna miss trying out traditional Russian food. Of course, you might have food or beverage preferences, or just want to feel free when communicating with waiters, so our list with the most important phrases will come in handy:

  • Меню, пожалуйста (Menyu, pozhaluysta) — “Bring the menu, please.”
  • Мне, пожалуйста, это (Mne, pozhaluysta, eto) — “Give me this one, please. ” This way, you can smartly avoid pronouncing the name of the dish. Just point to the picture, to the menu item, or to the food on the shop window.
  • Воду, пожалуйста (Vodu, pozhaluysta) — “Craft beer.”
    • Вода с газом (Voda s gazom) — “Sparkling water, soda.”
    • Газированная вода (Gazirovannaya voda) — “Sparkling water, soda.”
    • Вода без газа (Voda bez gaza) — “Still water.”
    • Негазированная вода (Negazirovannaya voda) — S”till water.”
  • Пиво, пожалуйста (Pivo, pozhaluysta) — “Beer, please.”
    • Светлое пиво (Svetloye pivo) — “Light beer.”
    • Темное пиво (Tyomnoye pivo) — “Dark beer.”
    • Нефильтрованное пиво (Nefil’trovannoye pivo) — “Unfiltered beer.”
    • Крафтовое пиво (Kraftovoye pivo) — “Craft beer.”
  • Я вегетарианец (Ya vegetarianets) — “I’m a vegetarian.”
  • Я веган (Ya vegan) — “I am vegan.” Please, note that your waiter probably won’t know the difference between being a vegan and being a vegetarian. Check out the list of ingredients on the menu carefully, and if you order a salad, ask them to bring the sauce (dressing) separately, just in case: Соус отдельно, пожалуйста (Sous otdel’no, pozhaluysta) — “Bring the sauce separately, please.”
  • Я не ем мясо. Какие у вас блюда без мяса? (Ya ne yem myaso. Kakiye u vas blyuda bez myasa?) — “I don’t eat meat. Which dishes are without meat?”
  • У меня аллергия на… (U menya allergiya na…) — “I’m allergic to…”
  • Это очень вкусно! (Eto ochen’ vkusno!) — “It’s really tasty!”
  • Официант! (Ofitsiant!) — “Waiter!”
  • Посчитайте, пожалуйста (Poschitayte pozhaluysta) — “Bring the bill, please.” You’ll sound really “Russian” if you use this phrase. Literally, the translation is “Count, please.”
  • Счет, пожалуйста (Shchot, pozhaluysta) — “Bill, please.”
  • Оплата картой (Oplata kartoy) — “Payment by card.”
  • Оплата наличными (Oplata nalichnymi) — “Payment by cash.”

If you want to feel even more confident in a Russian restaurant, check out our restaurant vocabulary list.

5. Asking for and Giving Directions

Figuring out the Direction

Getting lost in a foreign country is a terrifying thing. That’s why it’s important to make sure to remember basic Russian expressions—or even print them out on paper in case your phone dies:

  • Где я? (Gde ya?) — “Where am I?”
  • Где находится… (Gde nakhoditsya…?) — “Where is… [location] located?”
  • Подскажите, пожалуйста, где ближайший туалет? (Podskazhite, pozhaluysta, gde blizhayshiy tualet?) — “Please, could you tell me where the nearest bathroom is?”
  • Как мне дойти до…? (Kak mne doyti do…?) — “How can I get to… [location]?”
  • Идите… (Idite…) — “Go…”
    • …прямо (pryamo) — “…straight”
    • …направо (napravo) — “…to the right”
    • …налево (nalevo) — “…to the left”
    • …туда (tuda) — “…that way”
    • …сюда (syuda) — “…this way”

If you feel like going into the wild—and we know that Russian wilderness can be amazingly beautiful and attractive for hiking-lovers—study our vocabulary list with direction words that will come in handy when you use the map.

6. Emergencies

Calling the Emergency Number.

The Russian emergency number is 112. The operator will redirect your call to the police, ambulance, fire brigade, gas alarm, or rescuers.

  • Помогите! (Pomogite) — “Help me!”
  • Спасите! (Spasite!) — “Save me!”
  • Пожар! (Pozhar!) — “Fire!”
  • Вызовите скорую! (Vyzovite skoruyu!) — “Call an ambulance!”
  • Здесь есть доктор? (Zdes’ yest’ doctor?) — “Is there a doctor?”
  • Я потерял свой паспорт (Ya poteryal svoy pasport) — “I’ve lost my passport.” (For a male.)

    • Я потеряла свой паспорт (Ya poteryalа svoy pasport) — “I’ve lost my passport.” (For a female.)
  • Я потерял свой кошелек (Ya poteryal svoy koshelyok) — “I’ve lost my purse.” (For a male.)
    • Я потеряла свой кошелек (Ya poteryalа svoy koshelyok) — “I’ve lost my purse.” (For a female.)

Study our vocabulary list with more words and phrases for emergency situations.

7. Flattery Phrases

Complimenting Russians is One of the Ways to Their Hearts.

When you travel in a foreign country, you’ll probably get a chance to make new Russian friends. Learn some phrases to leave a good first impression:

  • Мне нравятся русские (Mne nravyatsya russkiye) — “I like Russians.”
  • Я люблю русскую еду (Ya lyublyu russkuyu yedu) — “I love Russian food.”
  • Я люблю Россию (Ya lyublyu Rossiyu) — “I love Russia.”
  • Я хочу быть твоим другом (Ya khochu byt’ tvoim drugom) — “I wanna be your friend.”
  • У тебя есть Фейсбук или Инстаграм? (U tebya yest’ Feysbuk ili Instagram?) — “Do you have Facebook or Instagram?”

8. Useful Phrases to Go through Language Problems

Survival Phrases

Well, even if you’ve learned all the phrases above, in some situations, the phrase you need may disappear from your memory or you might not understand what that gloomy Russian is saying. Don’t worry, just use the following phrases:

  • Вы говорите по-английски? (Vy govorite po-angliyski?) — “Do you speak English?”
  • Я не понимаю (Ya ne ponimayu) — “I don’t understand.”
  • Вы не могли бы повторить? (Vy ne mogli by povtorit’?) — “Could you repeat, please?”
  • Пожалуйста, говорите помедленнее (Pozhaluysta, govorite pomedlenneye) — “Please, speak more slowly.”
  • Я не говорю по-русски (Ya ne govoryu po-russki) — “I don’t speak Russian.”
  • Напишите это, пожалуйста (Napishite eto, pozhaluysta) — “Write it down, please.”
  • Как это читается? (Kak eto chitayetsya?) — “How do you read this?”

9. Conclusion

We hope you now know why travel phrases, to learn Russian, are so vital. Travel phrases in Russian language learning provide you with helpful information for when you’re in a pinch, and also give you cultural context to make learning easier and more relevant!

Make sure that you return to the basic Russian words for tourists list and look through it one more time, as it’s the most important part of the article. Believe me, Russian people will be kinder to you once they understand that you’ve come prepared. Having some travel phrases in your Russian vocabulary is the first step to a good first impression.

Remember that knowing and using foreign words are totally different skills. Find a Russian-speaking language partner to practice or consider taking some lessons with our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to start using the vocabulary for free and to feel more comfortable while you’re staying in Russia. Our teachers are native Russians and they’ll help you digest the most important and useful Russian phrases for tourists.

We wish you a great Russian journey that you’ll remember with excitement for a long time!

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