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Russian Pronouns: Pronunciation, Grammar & Exciting Facts

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Psss, psss, you. 

Yes, you. 

RussianPod101 has chosen you for a top-secret mission. Don’t worry, no guns or poisoned apples are required. All you need is to equip yourself with a new portion of the Russian language and learn Russian pronouns with us.

The thing is that we need you to deliver a message with secret information to a Russian spy. He’ll find you in the crowd on the street himself. The only difficulty is that you can’t name things directly in case there are enemy ears around. You’ll need to just drop some hints, and the Russian agent will understand.

How? Well, Russian pronouns will help you. These tiny words replace nouns, and even adjectives, so that only the one who knows what you’re talking about will get the idea. Helpful? Without a doubt!

Study this article and arm yourself with knowledge about Russian pronouns pronunciation, the Russian declension of pronouns, and their usage in a sentence, to successfully perform this mission. We provide you with a comprehensive list of Russian pronouns with examples, useful charts and tables, and other information to help you use them. 

Are you ready? The fun is about to begin.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Russian Personal Pronouns
  2. Russian Possessive Pronouns
  3. Russian Reflexive Pronouns
  4. Russian Demonstrative Pronouns
  5. Russian Determinative Pronouns
  6. Russian Interrogative-Relative Pronouns
  7. Russian Indefinite Pronouns
  8. Russian Pronouns Exercises
  9. Conclusion

1. Russian Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

First, let’s understand what exactly a pronoun is. In the Russian language, a pronoun is a substitute word used to mention a noun without naming it directly. Before we start, check out our list of the most useful Russian pronouns.

Basically, the most essential pronouns for beginners are personal pronouns. In Russian, they’re called личные местоимения (lichnyye mestoimeniya). 

The Russian personal pronouns are:

  • я (ya) — “I”
  • ты (ty) — “you” (singular)
  • он (on) — “he” 
  • она (ona) — “she” 
  • оно (ono) — “it” 
  • мы (my) — “we” 
  • вы (vy) — “you” (plural)
  • они (oni) — “they”

Here’s a Russian personal pronouns chart that will help you understand the system of Russian pronoun declension:

SingularPlural
1st2nd3rd1st2nd3rd
NeuterMasculineFeminine
EnglishIyouithesheweyouthey
Nominativeя (ya)ты (ty)оно (ono)он (on)она (ona)мы (my)вы (vy)они (oni)
Accusativeменя (menya)тебя (tebya)его (yego)её (yeyo)нас (nas)вас (vas)их (ikh)
Genitive
Dativeмне (mne)тебе (tebe)ему (yemu)ей (yey)нам (nam)вам (vam)им (im)
Instrumentalмной / мною (mnoy / mnoyu)тобой / тобою (toboy / toboyu)им (im)ей / ею (yey / yeyu)нами (nami)вами (vami)ими (imi)
Prepositionalмне (mne)тебе (tebe)нём (nyom)ней (ney)нас (nas)вас (vas)них (nikh)

There are several things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Его is pronounced as yevo, not yego.
  • If there’s a preposition before the third-person pronoun, the pronoun gets the prefix н- (n-) before е (e) and и (i). For example, К нему кто-то пришёл (K nemu kto-to prishyol), meaning “Somebody came to him.” 

Compare this to Передай ему привет (Pereday yemu privet), meaning “Say hi to him.” 

Because the prepositional case is always used with a preposition, you can see in the Russian personal pronouns chart that only forms starting with н- (n-) are used.

We’ve prepared a special video for you about Russian personal pronouns and the accusative case. Check it out! 

Here are some examples:

  • Я ему передам (Ya yemu peredam) — “I will give it to him.” (Or: “I will tell him what you said.”)
  • У неё новый парень (U neyo novyy paren’) — “She has a new boyfriend.”
  • Как зовут твоего кота? (Kak zovut tvoyego kota?) — “What’s your cat’s name?”
  • Мы пойдём к ней в гости (My poydyom k ney v gosti) — “We will go to her place as guests.”

2. Russian Possessive Pronouns

This is Your Book.

Possessive pronouns are called притяжательные местоимения (prityazhatyel’nyye myestoimyeniya) in Russian. The Russian possessive pronouns are: 

  • мой (moy) — “my” or “mine” 
  • твой (tvoy) — “your” or “yours” (for singular possessor)
  • наш (nash) — “our” or “ours” 
  • ваш (vash) — “your” or “yours” (for plural possessor)

In Russian, possessive pronouns are called притяжательные местоимения (prityazhatyel’nyye myestoimyeniya). These pronouns answer the question “Whose?” and show to whom an object belongs.

Here are a couple more Russian pronouns declension tables:

Singular
1st person2nd person
NeuterMasculineFemininePluralNeuterMasculineFemininePlural
Englishmy; mineyour; yours (singular)
Nominativeмоё (moyo)мой (moy)моя (moya)мои (moi)твоё (tvoyo)твой (tvoy)твоя (tvoya)твои (tvoi)
Accusativeмоё (moyo)мой, моего (moy, moyevo)мою (moyu)мои, моих (moi, moikh)твоё (moyo)твой, твоего (tvoy, tvoyevo)твою (tvoyu)твои, твоих (tvoi, tvoikh)
Genitiveмоего (moyevo)моей (moyey)моих (moikh)твоего (tvoyevo)твоей (tvoyey)твоих (tvoikh)
Dativeмоему (moyemu)моим (moim)твоему (tvoyemu)твоим (tvoim)
Instrumentalмоим (moim)моими (moimi)твоим (tvoim)твоими (tvoimi)
Prepositionalмоём (moyom)моих (moikh)твоём (tvoyom)твоих (tvoikh)
Plural
1st person2nd person
NeuterMasculineFemininePluralNeuterMasculineFemininePlural
Englishmy, mineyour, yours (plural)
Accusativeнаше (nashe)наш, нашего (nashe, nashego)нашу (nashu)наши, наших (nashi, nashikh)ваше (vashe)ваш, вашего (vash, vashego)вашу (vashu)ваши, ваших (vashi, vashikh)
Genitiveнашего (nashego)нашей (nashey)наших (nashikh)вашего (vashego)вашей (vashey)ваших (vashikh)
Dativeнашему (nashemu)нашим (nashim)вашему (vashemu)вашим (vashim)
Instrumentalнашим (nashim)нашими (nashimi)вашим (vashim)вашими (vashimi)
Prepositionalнашем (nashem)наших (nashikh)вашем (vashem)ваших (vashikh)

There are two options for the accusative case that depend on the animacy of the noun following the pronoun.

Please note that in the words моего (moyego), твоего (tvoy, tvoyego), нашего (nashe, nashego), вашего (vash, vashego), the letter г (g) is pronounced as v. This is an important rule of Russian pronouns’ pronunciation.

Here are some examples of Russian possessive pronouns in a sentence:

  • У моего друга есть машина (U moyego druga yest’ mashina) — “My friend has a car.”
  • Как твои дела? (Kak tvoi dela?) — “How are you doing?” (Lit. “How are your doings?”)
  • Нашему папе сегодня исполняется 50 лет (Nashemu pape segodnya ispolnyayetsya pyat’desyat let) — “Our dad is becoming fifty years old today.”
  • Ваша дочь очень красивая (Vasha doch’ ochen’ krasivaya) — “Your daughter is very beautiful.”

3. Russian Reflexive Pronouns

Smiling Woman Pointing to Herself.

Reflexive pronouns are called возвратные местоимения (vozvratnyye mestoimeniya) in Russian. The Russian reflexive pronouns are:

 себя (sebya) — “-self” 

свой (svoy) — “one’s own” 

сам (sam) — “myself,” “himself,” “herself,” “itself”
1- The Personal Reflexive Pronoun Себя

Englishmyself, himself, herself
Nominative
Accusativeсебя (sebya)
Genitiveсебя (sebya)
Dativeсебе (sebye)
Instrumentalсобой (soboy)
Prepositionalсебе (sebe)

Have a look at some examples that show how the information in the Russian pronouns table can be applied:

  • Я всегда сам себе готовлю еду (Ya vsegda sam sebe gotovlyu yedu) — “I always cook for myself.”
  • После увольнения я хочу немного пожить для себя и только потом начать искать новую работу (Posle uvol’neniya ya khochu nemnogo pozhit’ dlya sebya i tol’ko potom nachat’ iskat’ novuyu rabotu) — “After a resignation, I want to live for myself a little bit, and only after that start searching for a new job.”

2- The Reflexive Possessive Pronoun Свой

NeutralMasculineFemininePlural
EnglishMy own, his own, her own
Nominativeсвоё (svoyo)свой (svoy)своя (svoya)свои (svoi)
Accusativeсвоё (svoyo)свой, своего
  (svoy, svoyego)
свою (svoyu)свои, своих (svoi, svoikh)
Genitiveсвоего (svoyego)своей (svoyey)своих (svoikh)
Dativeсвоему (svoyemu)своим (svoim)
Instrumentalсвоим (svoim)своими (svoimi)
Prepositionalсвоём (svoyom)своих (svoikh)

Ready to have a look at some example sentences? Here they are:

  • Заботься о своём здоровье (Zabot’sya o svoyom zdorov’ye) — “Take care of your health.” 
  • Он сегодня пойдёт с ней в кино (On segodnya poydyot s ney v kino) — “He will go to the cinema with her today.” 

3- The Emphatic Pronoun Сам

NeutralMasculineFemininePlural
EnglishMyself, himself, herself
Nominativeсамо (samo)сам (sam)сама (sama)сами (sami)
Accusativeсамо (samo)сам, самого (sam, samogo)саму (samu)сами, самих (sami, samikh)
Genitiveсамого (samogo)самой (samoy)самих (samikh)
Dativeсамому (samomu)самим (samim)
Instrumentalсамим (samim)самими (samimi)
Prepositionalсамом (samom)самих (samikh)

This is how this pronoun can be used in a sentence:

  • Он сам так решил (On sam tak reshil) — “He decided it by himself.” 
  • Она хочет сделать это задание сама (Ona khochet sdelat’ eto zadaniye sama) — “She wants to do this task by herself.” 

4. Russian Demonstrative Pronouns

Man Pointing to Something in the Distance

The Russian demonstrative pronouns are:

  • этот (etot) — “this”
  • тот (tot) — “that”

And here’s another Russian pronouns chart for you to review:

NeutralMasculineFemininePlural
EnglishThis
Nominativeэто (eto)это (eto)эта (eta)эти (eti)
Accusativeэто (eto)этот, этого
  (etot, etogo)
эту (etu)эти, этих (eti, etikh)
Genitiveэтого (etogo)этой (etoy)этих (etikh)
Dativeэтому (etomu)этим (etim)
Instrumentalэтим (etim)этими (etimi)
Prepositionalэтом (etom)этих (etikh)
NeutralMasculineFemininePlural
   EnglishThat
Nominativeто (to)тот (tot)та (ta)те (te)
Accusativeто (to)тот, того (tot, tovo)ту (tu)те, тех (te, tekh)
Genitiveтого (tovo)той (toy)тех (tekh)
Dativeтому (tomu)тем (tem)
Instrumentalтем (tem)теми (temi)
Prepositionalтом (tom)тех (tekh)

Here are some examples of these Russian language pronouns in a sentence:

  • Ты можешь этим гордиться (Ty mozhesh’ etim gordit’sya) — “You can be proud of it.” 
  • Я не знаю ту женщину (Ya ne znayu tu zhenshchinu) — “I don’t know that woman.” 

5. Russian Determinative Pronouns

There’s just one Russian determinative pronoun: весь (ves’), meaning “all” or “the whole.”

NeutralMasculineFemininePlural
Englishall, the whole
Nominativeвсё (vsyo)весь (ves’)вся (vsya)все (vse)
Accusativeвсё (vsyo)весь, всего
  (ves’, vsego)
всю (vsyu)все, всех (vse, vsekh)
Genitiveвсего (vsego)всей (vsey)всех (vsekh)
Dativeвсему (vsemu)всем (vsem)
Instrumentalвсем (vsem)всеми (vsemi)
Prepositionalвсём (vsyom)всех (vsekh)

For example:

  • Я весь промок (Ya ves’ promok) — “I’m all wet.” (if a man is talking)
  • Ты весь горишь (Ty ves’ gorish’) — “You are burning.” (Meaning: “You have a fever.”)
  • Мы все идём гулять в воскресенье, ты с нами? (My vse idyom gulyat’ v voskresen’ye, ty s nami?) — “We all are going out on Sunday, will you go with us?” 

6. Russian Interrogative-Relative Pronouns

Basic Questions

The Russian interrogative-relative pronouns are: 

  • кто (kto) — “who” 
  • что (chto) — “what” 
  • какой (kakoy) — “what” 
  • который (kotoryy) — “which” 
  • каков (kakov) — “how” or “what” 
  • сколько (skol’ko) — “how much” 
  • чей (chey) — “whose” 
  • когда (kogda) — “when” 
  • где (gde) — “where” (location) 
  • куда (kuda) — “where to” (direction)
  • как (kak) — “how” 
  • откуда (otkuda) — “from where” 
  • почему (pochemu) — “why” 
  • зачем (zachem) — “what for”

You may wonder why two groups of pronouns—relative and interrogative—are joined into one. This is because, in the Russian language, in both cases the same pronouns are used while their functions in a sentence differ.

Russian interrogative pronouns are called вопросительные местоимения (voprositel’nyye mestoimeniya). They’re used to ask questions, and can also be called вопросительные слова (voprositel’nyye slova), meaning “question words.” Watch our video lesson about interrogative pronouns to learn more about them.

Russian relative pronouns are called относительные местоимения (otnositel’nyye mestoimeniya). They’re used to connect the parts in a complex sentence.

Only several Russian interrogative-relative pronouns are conjugated (yaaaay!). The following pronouns always stay the same:

  • когда (kogda) — “when” 
  • где (gde) — “where” (location)
  • куда (kuda) — “where to” (direction)
  • как (kak) — “how” 
  • откуда (otkuda) — “from where” 
  • почему (pochemu) — “why” 
  • зачем (zachem) — “what for” 

That leaves us with seven pronouns. It’s important to know their conjugations because the same words—and the same rules of conjugation—work for the next group of pronouns, which will be indefinite pronouns. So, here’s a Russian pronoun declension chart:

EnglishWhatWhoHow many
Nominativeчто (chto)кто (kto)сколько (skol’ko)
Accusativeчто (chto)кого (kovo)сколько, скольких (skol’ko, skol’kikh)
Genitiveчего (chego)кого (kogo)скольких (skol’kikh)
Dativeчему (chemu)кому (komu)скольким (skol’kim)
Instrumentalчем (chem)кем (kem)сколькими (skol’kimi)
Prepositionalчём (chyom)ком (kom)скольких (skol’kikh)

The following pronouns are conjugation by the rules of adjective conjugation: 

  • какой (kakoy) — “what” 
  • который (kotoryy) — “which” 
  • каков (kakov) — “how” or “what” 
  • чей (chey) — “whose” 

For more information, check out our article about Russian adjectives.

Here are some example sentences of interrogative-relative pronouns in a sentence:

  • Я не знаю, где мой телефон (Ya ne znayu gde moy telefon) — “I don’t know where my phone is.” 
  • О чём ты думаешь? (O chyom ty dumayesh’?) — “What are you thinking about?” 
  • Сколько сейчас времени? (Skol’ko seychas vremeni?) — “What time is it now?” 

By the way, do you know another way to ask about time and how to answer this question correctly? If not, read our exhaustive article on time in Russian.

7. Russian Indefinite Pronouns

Mystery Man

Indefinite pronouns are called неопределённые местоимения (neopredelyonnyye mestoimeniya) in Russian. These pronouns are formed from Russian interrogative-relative pronouns with the prefix не- (ne-), meaning “not.” There are also some particles that are used to form the indefinite pronouns: 

  • кое- (koye-) — “some-” 
  • -либо (-libo) — “any-” or “some-” 
  • -то (-to) — “some-” 
  • -нибудь (-nibud’) — “any-” 

Keep in mind that these particles are written with a hyphen.

Every particle has a meaning. It will be useful to know it in order to form indefinite pronouns from Russian interrogative-relative pronouns with it:

  • не- (ne-) — “not” 

This particle means something indefinite or hard to describe. Also, it’s a negation of the following interrogative-relative pronoun, so sometimes it means that there are no options or solutions.

  • кое- (koye-) — “some-” 

This also means something indefinite, but in most cases, the meaning is that the speaker doesn’t want to give exact information.

  • -либо (-libo) — “any-” or “some-“

It’s tricky to separate the meaning of this particle from the particle -нибудь (-nibud’), meaning “any-,” because they mean the same thing. The only difference is that -нибудь (-nibud’) is very common and widely used in spoken language; it can also be used in all situations. On the other hand, -либо (-libo) creates bookish and official pronouns which are mostly used in questions.

  • -нибудь (-nibud’) — “any-” or “some-” 

So, this particle means “at least something,” “at least someone,” “at least somewhere,” “at least somehow,” etc. It’s not important what you’re talking about exactly; just as long as there’s something, it’s fine.

  • -то (-to) — “some-” 

This particle is used when the speaker doesn’t find that it’s important (for his story, claim, message, etc.) to name something directly. It helps keep the focus on the facts that really matter. This particle is very commonly used.

We’ve prepared example sentences with all of the possible variations for the most-used pronouns. Try to memorize sentences instead of learning dry rules. :)

  1. кто (kto) — “who”
  1. некто (nekto) — “someone” 

This is a very bookish word that refers to an unknown person. 

Некто приходил сюда и оставил окно открытым (Nekto prikhod’il syuda i ostavil okno otkrytym) — “Someone came here and left the window opened.” 

  1. кое-кто (koye-kto) — “someone” 

Compared to the previous pronoun, this word is much more frequently used in spoken language. Most of the time, a speaker uses this word when talking about someone he knows, usually an opponent of some sort. The speaker could even jokingly refer to themselves as the opponent to be ironic. 

Кое-кто съел всё мороженое, что у нас было (Koye-kto s’yel vsyo morozhenoye, chto u nas bylo) — “Someone specific ate all the ice-cream we had.” 

  1. кто-либо (kto-libo) — “anyone” 

This word is also pretty bookish, and in spoken language, it’s better to use кто-нибудь (kto-nibud’), meaning “anybody.” 

Не желает ли кто-либо из присутствующих чаю? (Ne zhelayet li kto-libo iz prisutstvuyushchikh chayu?) — “Does anyone from the people who are here fancy some tea?” 

  1. кто-то (kto-to) — “somebody” 

This is a very common word in speech. 

Кто-то мне звонит (Kto-to mne zvonit) — “Someone calls me (on the phone).” 

  1. кто-нибудь (kto-nibud’) — “anybody” 

This word is used a lot in spoken language. 

Кто-нибудь хочет пиццу? (Kto-nibud’ khochet pitsu?) — “Does anybody want a pizza?” 

  1. что (chto) — “what”
  1. нечто (nechto) — “something” (that a speaker has difficulty describing)

This is a very bookish word. 

В темноте было нечто большое и пугающее (V temnote bylo nechto bol’shoye i pugayushcheye) — “There was something big and scary in the darkness.” 

  1. кое-что (koye-chto) — “something specific” (the speaker knows what, but doesn’t want to name it)

This is a very common pronoun in spoken language. 

Мне нужно еще кое-что купить, я вас догоню (Mne nuzhno eshchyo koye-chto kup’it’, ya vas dogonyu) — “I need to buy something else; I’ll come up with you.” 

  1. что-либо (chto-libo) — “anything” 

This word is also pretty bookish, and when speaking, it’s better to use что-нибудь (chto-nibud’), which also means “anything.” 

Не имеется возможности что-либо предпринять на текущий момент (Ne imeyetsya vozmozhnosti chto-libo predprinyat’ na tekushchiy moment) — “There is no opportunity to do anything at the current moment.” 

  1. что-то (chto-to) — “something” 

This is a very common word in spoken language. 

Кто-то мне звонит (Kto-to mne zvonit) — “Someone calls me (on the phone).” 

  1. что-нибудь (chto-nibud’) — “anything” 

This word is used a lot in spoken language. 

Ты хочешь что-нибудь? (Ty khochesh’ chto-nibud’?) — “Do you want anything?” 

Please note that not all of the particles are used with every interrogative-relative pronoun, and some of the words change form. Below is a chart of all possible combinations (we’ve excluded old pronouns that are hardly used in modern language). 

You’ll see that some indefinite pronouns have exactly the same translation—especially with the particles -нибудь (-nibud’) and -либо (-libo). To spot the difference in meaning, check out the explanation about indefinite particles above.

Man Waving from Inside Doorframe
VariationsExample Sentence
какой (kakoy)
“What”
некий (nekiy)
  • With some not very well-known characteristic; little-known
  • Usually followed by a person’s name, surname, or nickname

кое-какой (koye-kakoy)
  • With indefinite characteristics; with bad quality

какой-либо (kakoy-libo)
  • This or that; any from the group of the same; not worth attention

какой-нибудь (kakoy-nibud’)
  • This or that; any from the group of the same; not worth attention
какой-то (kakoy-to)
  • Not clear which exactly
Тебя у дверей ждёт какой-то мужчина

Tebya u dverey zhdyot kakoy-to muzhchina.

“There is a man that waits for you near the door.”
который (kotoryy)
“Which”
некоторый (nekotoryy)
  • Not stated definitely; not very significant

который-нибудь (kotoryy-nibud’)
  • Any one out of several
Он некоторое время молчал 

On nekotoroye vremya molchal.

“He didn’t say anything (kept silent) for some time.”
сколько (skol’ko)
“How much”
несколько (neskol’ko)
  • Indefinite small amount

сколько-либо (skol’ko-libo)
  • Indefinite amount (usually a small one)

сколько-то (skol’ko-to)
  • Indefinite amount

сколько-нибудь (skol’ko-nibud’)
  • Indefinite amount
Рассказать в нескольких словах

Rasskazat’ v neskol’kikh slovakh

“To tell in a small amount of words”
чей (chey)
“Whose”
чей-либо (chey-libo)
  • Belonging to someone, not known to whom

чей-нибудь (chey-nibud’)
  • Belonging to someone, not known to whom

чей-то (chey-to)
  • Belonging to someone
Чья-то забытая книга лежит на столе 

Ch’ya-to zabytaya kniga lezhit na stole.

“Someone’s forgotten the book that lies on the table.”
когда (kogda)
“When”
некогда (nekogda)
  • No spare time

кое-когда (koye-kogda)
  • Sometimes; seldom

когда-либо (kogda-libo)
  • (In) some time

когда-нибудь (kogda-nibud’)
  • (In) some time

когда-то (kogda-to)
  • Some time ago; in the past; some time in the future
Мне некогда 

Mne nekogda.

“I don’t have time (I’m busy).”
где (gde)
“Where” (location)
негде (negde)
  • No place (where something could be done)

кое-где (koye-gde)
  • Somewhere; in some (usually rare) place

где-либо (gde-libo)
  • In any possible place

где-нибудь (gde-nibud’)
  • In any possible place

где-то (gde-to)
  • In some place
Мне негде заниматься 

Mne negde zanimat’sya.

“I don’t have a place to study.”
куда (kuda)
“Where to” (direction)
некуда (nekuda)
  • No place where to

куда-либо (kuda-libo)
  • Somewhere to; doesn’t matter where

куда-нибудь (kuda-nibud’)
  • Somewhere to; doesn’t matter where

куда-то (kuda-to)
  • Somewhere to; unknown where to
Я хочу куда-нибудь в отпуск 

Ya khochu kuda-nibud’ v otpusk.

“I wanna go on vacation somewhere (not stay at home).”
как (kak)
“How”
кое-как (koye-kak)
  • With great difficulty; negligently; anyhow

как-либо (kak-libo) 
  • In any possible way

как-нибудь (kak-nibud’)
  • In any possible way

как-то (kak-to)
  • In an indefinite way, not clear how; to an extent; once upon a time
Он кое-как помыл посуду 

On koye-kak pomyl posudu.

“He washed the dishes in a slapdash manner.”
откуда (otkuda)
“From where”
неоткуда (neotkuda)
  • No place from where

откуда-нибудь (otkuda-nibud’)
  • From somewhere

откуда-либо (otkuda-libo)
  • From somewhere

откуда-то (otkuda-to)
  • From some unknown place or from some source
Он только что откуда-то приехал 

On tol’ko chto otkuda-to priyekhal.

“He’s just arrived from somewhere.”
почему (pochemu)
“Why”
почему-либо (pochemu-libo)
  • According to some indefinite reason

почему-нибудь (pochemu-nibud’)
  • According to some indefinite reason

почему-то (pochemu-to)
  • Due to an unknown reason
Он почему-то не пришёл 

On pochemu-to ne prishyol.

“He hasn’t come (due to an unknown reason).”
зачем (zachem)
“What for”
незачем (nezachem)
  • No need

зачем-либо (zachem-libo)
  • With some, not definitely known reason/goal

зачем-нибудь (zachem-nibud’)
  • With some, not definitely known reason/goal

зачем-то (zachem-to)
  • For something; for some goal
Тебя зачем-то вызывает начальник 

Tebya zachem-to vyzyvayet nachal’nik.

“The boss calls you for something.”

8. Russian Pronouns Exercises

Wow, impressive. You’ve mastered all the nuances of Russian pronouns. Seems like you’re a responsible person to trust with such an important mission. Alright, here are the messages that need to be delivered:

1. В доме с красными занавесками есть комната. В комнате лежит книга. Ответ в ней. Скорее!

(V dome s krasnymi zanaveskami yest’ komnata. V komnate lezhit kniga. Otvet v ney. Skoreye!)

There is a room in the house with red curtains. There is a thick book in the room. The answer is in it. Hurry up!

A possible answer: В доме с красными ними есть она. В ней лежит кое-что. Он в нём. Скорее! (V nyom s krasnymi nimi yest’ ona. V ney lezhit koye-chto. On v nyom. Skoreye!)—”There is it in the house with red them. There is something lying inside it. It is in it. Hurry up!”

2. Операция началась. Будь осторожным. Не ходи в бар “Белая лошадь”.

(Operatsiya nachalas’. Bud’ ostorozhnym. Ne khodi v bar “Belaya loshad’”).

The operation has started. Be careful. Don’t go to the bar “White horse.”

A possible answer: Она началась. Будь осторожным. Не ходи в тот бар. (Ona nachalas’. Bud’ ostorozhnym. Ne khodi v tot bar)—”It has started. Be careful. Don’t go to that bar.”

Now practice replacing the nouns with pronouns in the comments below.

To finalize your Russian pronouns journey listen to our special podcast about Russian pronouns. It will also help you to improve your Russian pronouns pronunciation.

9. Conclusion

Improve Listening

Well, well, well, that was a wonderful trip through the mysteries of Russian pronouns, wasn’t it? Now, you’ll be able to use Russian pronouns correctly in a sentence—that’s a new, serious step toward language fluency. So, well done!

If you want to continue improving your language skills, think about getting professional help from a language tutor. He or she will help you spot mistakes, improve your pronunciation, and help you start talking in Russian. Like REALLY TALKING. Wanna check how effective that will be for you? Then give RussianPod101’s MyTeacher program for Russian-learners a try. Schedule a trial lesson right now and get ready for a language boost!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if you’ve learned anything new about Russian pronouns today! Did we forget any words in our Russian pronouns list? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Learn the Correct Russian Sentence Structure

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Have you ever had difficulties with combining Russian words? We’re sure you know what we’re talking about. Russian word order is important because it makes sentences make sense. Without understanding the main principles of combining words, you won’t be able to communicate with native speakers while, let’s say, vacationing in Russia over the holidays or chatting on social media.Russian sentence structure is one of the most significant parts of learning the grammar rules of this language. If you learn how to make sentences word by word now, you probably won’t have problems with more difficult themes in the future. So let’s start studying!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Overview of Word Order in Russian
  2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object
  3. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases
  4. Word Order with Modifiers
  5. How to Change Your Sentence into a Yes-or-No Question
  6. Translation Exercises
  7. Conclusion

1. Overview of Word Order in Russian

The Russian language word order is SVO, but the existing grammar rules allow us to change it. So, sometimes, the typical SVO Russian word order can become VSO. That’s why we can say that word order in Russian sentences is quite flexible.

So, does word order matter in Russian? When comparing word order in English and Russian, we can notice one big difference. Russian word order doesn’t matter grammatically as much as English word order does.

Before having Russian sentence structure practice, you should definitely learn the most popular Russian phrases and words. It’s impossible to make sentences without knowing them by heart.

An Open Book with Glasses Resting on Top

If you’re an advanced speaker, you may read Russian books and learn new words from them.

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object

According to the basic Russian word order, you must start your sentence with the subject. Then comes the verb, followed by the object. If you use this word order in Russian sentences, you’ll never make a mistake. For example:

  • Я читаю книгу. (Ya chitayu knigu.) — “I read a book.”

There are also some cases when you can use VSO instead of SVO. It’s appropriate if the sentence contains two verbs, and you want to emphasize the first one. It sounds good if you’re telling a story. For example:

  • Читаю я книгу и вдруг… (Chitayu ya knigu i vdrug…) — “I’m reading a book, and suddenly…”

Be careful with VSO in Russian, though. It may sound really weird if you use it while making an order in a restaurant, talking to a stewardess during your flight to Russia, in an emergency, or in other formal situations.

3. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

Improve Listening

Prepositional phrases answer the following questions:

  • Where?
  • When?
  • In what way?

Prepositional phrases that answer the question “Where?” are typically used at the end of the sentence, after the object:

  • Я читаю книгу дома. (Ya chitayu knigu doma.) — “I read a book at home.”

In Russian sentence structure, prepositional phrases that answer the question “When?” are put either at the very beginning or at the end of a sentence. The meaning of the phrase will change a bit, though. For example:

  • Сегодня я читаю книгу. (Segodnya ya chitayu knigu.) — “Today, I read a book.” 
    • In this case, this sentence answers the question “What did I do today?”
  • Я читаю книгу сегодня. (Ya chitayu knigu segodnya.) — “I read a book today.” 
    • This one answers the question “When did I read a book?”

Prepositional phrases that answer the question “In what way?” can be used right after the noun or at the end, after the verb. Both variants are grammatically correct, but the first one sounds more natural:

  • Я увлеченно читаю книгу. (Ya uvlechyonno chitayu knigu.) — “I enthusiastically read a book.”
  • Я читаю книгу увлеченно. (Ya chitayu knigu uvlechyonno.) — “I read a book enthusiastically.”

When there are two (or even more) prepositional phrases, you should use them in the following order:

  • Put the prepositional phrase of time in the first place, before the noun.
  • Add the prepositional phrase that answers the question In what way? after the noun.
  • Use the prepositional phrase of place after the object, at the end.

Here’s an example:

  • Сегодня я увлеченно читаю книгу дома. (Segodnya ya uvlechyonno chitayu knigu doma.) — “Today, I enthusiastically read a book at home.”

If you don’t want to learn all these rules about building sentences in Russian, you may always put the prepositional phrase at the end of the sentence. Of course, doing so is appropriate only for beginners. Advanced students must know and use more complex rules regarding sentence structure in Russian.

4. Word Order with Modifiers

In most cases, the modifier is an adjective which describes something. In Russian word order, adjectives are always used before nouns:

  • Я читаю интересную книгу. (Ya chitayu interesnuyu knigu.) — “I read an interesting book.”

If there are two or more adjectives in the sentence, you should:

  • Firstly, use the one which expresses your own opinion about the subject or marks something about the subject that’s not very stable.
  • Use the adjective which denotes a very stable aspect as close to the noun as possible.

For example:

  • Я читаю интересную научную книгу. (Ya chitayu interesnuyu nauchnuyu knigu.) — “I read an interesting scientific book.”

Note that Russian sentence structure with adjectives is more or less flexible. There are no actual Russian word order rules that say you must use one type of adjective before another (e.g. shape before color). Try not to think too hard about how to order words in Russian when it comes to adjectives.

Other modifiers include the determiner, the numeral, and the possessive. According to the most typical word order in Russian, all modifiers like these come before the noun:

  • Я читаю эту книгу. (Ya chitayu etu knigu.) — “I read this book.”
  • Я читаю одну книгу. (Ya chitayu odnu knigu.) — “I read one book.”
  • Я читаю его книгу. (Ya chitayu yego knigu.) — “I read his book.”

5. How to Change Your Sentence into a Yes-or-No Question

Typical Russian sentence structure makes it really easy to change affirmative constructions into yes-or-no-questions. If you want your Russian question word order to be correct, follow our instructions:

  • Put the verb at the beginning.
  • Add the conjunction ли (li) after the verb.
  • Then use the noun and the object.

Here’s an example:

  • Читаю ли я книгу? (Chitayu li ya knigu?) — “Do I read a book?”

6. Translation Exercises

We hope that you’ve read the information above thoroughly and understand the basic Russian sentence structures. Now we need to practice a bit with new sentences. We’ll use the most common Russian word order: SVO.

Man Scratching His Head in Confusion

Please, stop comparing Russian sentence structure to that of English. They are both easy and comprehendible, believe us.

First of all, try to translate this phrase using your knowledge about how Russian sentences are structured:

  • “I watched a movie.”

You may use the Russian dictionary if you don’t know the translations of some words. 

If it’s difficult for you, think about Russian sentence structure compared to that in English. What do you know about them? They’re both SVOs! That’s why you can translate the simplest sentence word by word without the fear of making mistakes.

The correct Russian translation of the sentence above is:

  • Я посмотрел фильм. (Ya posmotrel fil’m.)

Now let’s translate a slightly more difficult variant of this sentence:

  • “I watched a good movie.”

If you’re struggling, look at our Russian sentence structure examples. There you’ll see that the adjective always comes before the noun:

  • Я посмотрел хороший фильм. (Ya posmotrel khoroshiy fil’m.)

Now it’s time to make our English sentence more difficult. Translate this one:

  • “I watched a good movie yesterday.”

Don’t panic! There are two ways to make this sentence:

  • Вчера я посмотрел хороший фильм. (Vchera ya posmotrel khoroshiy fil’m.)
  • Я посмотрел хороший фильм вчера. (Ya posmotrel khoroshiy fil’m vchera.)

Now try to translate the question:

  • Did I watch a good movie yesterday?

There are two correct ways to translate it:

  • Посмотрел ли я вчера хороший фильм? (Posmotrel li ya vchera khoroshiy fil’m?)
  • Посмотрел ли я хороший фильм вчера? (Posmotrel li ya khoroshiy fil’m vchera?)
Two Women Talking about a Project at Work

Sometimes there’s more than one appropriate way to express your thoughts in Russian.

7. Conclusion 

Improve Pronunciation

You’ve learned a lot about Russian sentence structure and word order. We gave you not only the basic rules, but also some advanced techniques to build complex Russian sentences. Of course, it may seem too difficult right now. But don’t forget that Russian people don’t even think about how to combine words while speaking or writing. You only need some practice to do the same.

No one can fully cover the theme of sentence structure in Russian in one article, because this language is too rich. We’re sure you still have some questions: how to structure a sentence in Russian if there are two subjects and two verbs, how to form complex questions, how Russian sentence structure works in sentences with relative clauses, etc.

If you want to know more about this theme and find the answers to the above-mentioned questions, explore RussianPod101.com. Here you’ll find lots of free materials regarding vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. You’ll be able to download some useful information about Russian sentence structure.Do you want to try personal coaching? You can check our Premium PLUS service MyTeacher and take the assessment test to get started.

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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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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 10 Russian Movies on Netflix to Improve Your Russian!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. Фарца (Fartsa)—Fartsa, 2015

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

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

Interesting fact:

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

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

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

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

Best Ways to Learn

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

3. Спарта (Sparta)—Sparta, 2018

Improve Pronunciation

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

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

4. Троцкий (Trotsky)—Trotsky, 2017

Genre: Political drama
This show is: Cerebral

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

The vocabulary.

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

5. Нюхач (Nyukhach)—The Sniffer, 2017

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

6. Смешарики (Smeshariki)—Kikoriki, 2010

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

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

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

8. Саранча (Sarancha)—Locust, 2014

Movie Genres

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

9. Метод (Method)—Method, 2015

Genre: Crime drama
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

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

The vocabulary.

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

10. Мажор (Mazhor)—Silver Spoon, 2015

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

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

11. Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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Масленица: Celebrating Maslenitsa in Russia

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

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

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1. What is Maslenitsa?

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

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

Each day of Maslenitsa has its own name and meaning:

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

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

2. When Does the Maslenitsa Festival Start?

A Married Couple with Their Two Children

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

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

3. Maslenitsa Celebrations & Traditions

A Woman Carrying a Large Stack of Pancakes

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

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

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

4. What’s in a Name?

Why do you think we call this holiday Maslenitsa?

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

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Maslenitsa

A Maslenitsa Scarecrow

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Happy Maslenitsa! Enjoy some crepes for us. ;)

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Russian Conjunctions List: Build Brilliant Russian Sentences

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. What is a Russian Conjunction?

Sentence Patterns

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

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

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

Improve Listening

1. И (I) — “And”

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

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

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

2. Да (Da) — “And”

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

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

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

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

Improve Listening Part 2

1. но () — “But”

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

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

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

2. А (А) — “But”

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

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

3. Однако (Odnako) — “But”

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

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

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

4. Зато (Zato) — “Instead”; “But”

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

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

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

Learn How to Express a Choice in Russian.

1. Или (Ili) — “Or”

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

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

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

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

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

3. либо (libo) — “or”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn How to Express a Condition in Russian.

1. Если (Yesli) — “If”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This expression is used when someone gets very red.

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

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

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

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

Learn How to Express Similarity in Russian.

1. Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”

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

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

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

2. Также (Takzhe) — “Also”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn How to Express Cause in Russian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn Time Conjunction in Russian.

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

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

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

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

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

14. Conclusion

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

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

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

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

Smile and keep learning Russian with RussianPod101. ;-)

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Russian Etiquette: 7 Do’s and Don’ts in Russia

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Did you know that it’s considered good etiquette in Russia to bring something к чаю (k chayu) or “for the tea?” That means something sweet: cake, chocolate, candies, or a sweet pastry. There are many interesting and exciting Russian customs which may not seem obvious, but definitely are to native Russians. Knowing even basic Russian etiquette for tourists can go a long way during your visit to the country!

Let’s start this exciting journey. Learn Russian etiquette with RussianPod101.com’s Russian tourist etiquette guide!

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Table of Contents

  1. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #1: Basic Russian Etiquette
  2. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #2: Russian Dining Etiquette
  3. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #3: Russian Drinking Etiquette
  4. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #4: What to Expect from a Date with a Russian Girl or Russian Guy
  5. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #5: So, You’re Going to Visit a Russian House
  6. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #6: How Russians Behave in a Public Transport
  7. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #7: Russian Business Etiquette Tips
  8. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #8: Russian Gift Giving Etiquette
  9. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn Russian Better

1. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #1: Basic Russian Etiquette

1- Russian Greeting Etiquette

Someone Putting Their Hand Out to Shake

1. Cheek kiss.

There’s a well-known Russian greeting tradition: the triple cheek-kiss. It’s usually common between close relatives. Sometimes, it’s shortened to two kisses.

One cheek kiss is often used by girls to greet friends, or even close female coworkers.

2. Russian handshake etiquette.

This is a usual greeting between men—regardless of how close they are—who are meeting for the first time, or for the 100th time.

Important advice! If you’re wearing gloves, make sure to take them off before a handshake. If you don’t take them off when another person has prepared to give you a handshake with his bare hands, he might think that you’re disrespecting him.

Another piece of important advice! Don’t give a handshake across a doorway. Walk inside the apartment or wait for someone to come outside, but don’t stick your hand across a threshold immediately after you see a person. This is considered very bad luck in Russia, and a lot of people will refuse to shake your hand in this situation.

For girls, a handshake works in business settings where this American tradition has become popular. But still, most girls prefer just to smile and nod instead of shaking hands.

When you leave a place where you’ve spent some time—a party, a house, or an office—make sure to shake hands as a goodbye with everyone you previously greeted with a handshake. If you leave without saying goodbye, people call this Уходить по-английски (Ukhodit’ po-angliysky) meaning “To leave as Englishmen do.” In England, people can leave without saying goodbye; but in Russia, it would be considered rude to do so. Always be mindful of this Russian meeting etiquette rule.

3. Smile and nod.

This is a basic solution for all other situations. If you feel awkward with other greetings, just stick with this one and you’ll be fine.

4. Hug.

This greeting is often used when greeting close friends, family members, or family members of close friends.

To learn greeting words and phrases, check out our article on how to say “Hello” in Russian.

2- Asking for Forgiveness

There are no specific Russian traditions or gestures for a formal apology. Just use formal Russian apology expressions and you’ll be fine.

If the situation isn’t formal or serious, look into the other person’s eyes. Note that, in Russian culture, looking down during the apology will make it look more sincere.

Learn how to say “I’m sorry” in Russian in our relevant article.

3- Gratitude

Thanks

Спасибо (spasibo) means “thank you” in Russian. You can use it in any situation, both formal and informal.

In informal situations, you can add a hug if you’re feeling extremely grateful. Men are most likely to add a handshake (yes, pretty much the same one they use in greeting).

For additional information on this topic, listen to our audio lesson on how to say “You are welcome” in Russian. By listening to this audio lesson, you can also practice using etiquette interjections.

4- Forms of Address for Different People

When you talk with an elder person or a person you don’t know, don’t use an informal way of speaking. It will be considered extremely rude. Well, of course, not if you’re addressing your own granny who happens to be Russian.

You can use an informal way of speaking only with kids or school children.

2. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #2: Russian Dining Etiquette

Hygiene

1- Paying for Food

First on our list of Russian etiquette at restaurants: paying.

If you’re visiting Russian friends for a short period of time, they’ll most likely pay for your food to show hospitality.

But normally, if you go to a restaurant with your Russian friends, you’ll notice that when it comes to payment, everyone takes a look at the bill and pays for their own food.

Splitting the bill is an option if Russians buy some food to be shared, like pizza or Japanese rolls.

2- When Should You Start Eating?

Don’t start eating your food before everyone gets to the table. According to Russian meal etiquette, this is considered rude.

Before eating, people usually wish Приятного аппетита (Priyatnogo appetita) which means “Enjoy your meal,” in Russian. This phrase is used both in formal and informal situations.

3- Going to the Toilet

It’s perfectly fine Russian table etiquette to leave the table to go to the toilet in Russia. Just say Извините, сейчас вернусь (Izvinite, seychas vernus’) which means “I’m sorry, I’ll be back soon,” and go. However, if you go more than once, it may be considered rude (or cause people to question your digestion). :-)

To learn even more about table manners in Russia, listen to our audio lesson about basic table etiquette.

3. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #3: Russian Drinking Etiquette

Friends Drinking at Lunch

1- Making a Toast

In Russia, no one should drink at the table without making a toast. It’s a famous Russian tradition that shows that they’re aware of the people around them and want to share the moment.

Usually, after making a toast, people clink glasses. Then, everyone drinks.

2- Pouring

There’s a tradition that a man should pour alcohol for the women sitting next to him. This is especially relevant during big occasions such as weddings or funerals, so that women won’t spoil their pretty dresses with a clumsy glass refill.

3- Don’t Put Empty Bottles on the Table

Russia is full of traditions and superstitions, especially about alcohol. One of the famous ones is that keeping empty bottles on the table is considered bad luck, and is thought to make you poor. That’s why, as soon as the bottle gets empty, it should be passed to the waiter, removed to the trash bin, or at least put under the table to be thrown away later.

4. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #4: What to Expect from a Date with a Russian Girl or Russian Guy

Couple at Dinner

In this section, we’ll go over the basic Russian social etiquette that’s expected when dating a Russian. Let’s get started.

1- Dating a Russian Woman Etiquette

1. Bringing Flowers

Bringing flowers on a date with a girl—even on a first date—has become popular in Russian etiquette and customs for dates. It shows that the guy has romantic feelings toward the girl. If you follow this dating tradition, you’ll score a couple of points already, at the beginning of the date.

But make sure that:

  • You don’t bring an even number of flowers. This is REALLY important. Russians bring an even number of flowers only to funerals or when they visit a tomb.
  • Gifting carnations is also associated with funerals—Soviet ones. If you happen to be in Russia on a Victory Day (9th of May) you’ll see a lot of carnations that commemorate war heroes.
  • Don’t gift yellow roses. According to Russian superstition, yellow roses will bring a couple apart.

2. Russian Girls on the Date

Russian girls are famous for being really girly. They put on makeup and dress up even when going out to the supermarket or to throw away the garbage. One of the things that makes them more “girly” are high heels.

Sometimes it’s inconvenient to wear high heels all the time. So they just bring them along to wear when they arrive at the place (the cinema, theatre, or party, for instance).

3. Being a Gentleman

If you go out on a date with a Russian girl, behave like a gentleman. Open the doors for her, let her sit on public transport if there’s only one free seat left, and pay for her food in a restaurant.

Russian girls believe that they spend a lot of money and time to stay pretty—makeup, nails, eyelashes, eyebrows, clothes, etc., so it’s only natural that the guys pay for them on the date.

2- Dating a Russian Man Etiquette

If you want to date a Russian guy, then you should be aware of things that Russian men expect from their dates:

1. Act Like a Lady

While Russian guys, since childhood, are expected to act like gentlemen around girls, Russian girls are expected to accept that. Don’t fight for your life if a guy wants to pay for you on a date. You can take out your purse to show that you’re ready to pay, and if a guy offers to pay for you, just accept that; put your purse back in your pouch and warmly thank him.

2. Be Ready for High Expectations

While women and men in Russia have equal rights, relationships are still built with a specific division of responsibilities.

In a dating phase, women are expected to show good knowledge of doing simple house chores. Girls should clean a messy place of her beloved one and cook some food. In exchange, men will be paying for her when going out.

Of course, this isn’t set in stone, and you can always negotiate your responsibilities. But just know that your boyfriend’s mother is probably very traditional, and she’ll accept you only if you show that you’re good at performing household duties.

5. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #5: So, You’re Going to Visit a Russian House

Bad Phrases

Now, for some Russian guest etiquette so that you can be a great visitor in a friend’s home.

1- Take Your Shoes Off

Once you enter a Russian house, take your shoes off unless you’re told not to. Many Russian houses are decorated with big rugs that are difficult to clean. You may be offered to wear slippers instead.

2- Don’t Show up Empty-handed

It’s considered rude not to bring something along when you come as a guest to a Russian house. A perfect gift is something sweet like a cake, candies, chocolate, pastry, etc., that can be eaten during a tea-time. There’s even a special expression—Что-нибудь к чаю (Chto-nibud’ k chayu) meaning “something for tea”—that you’ll probably hear as an answer if you ask Что купить? (Chto kupit’?) or “What should I buy?”

3- Don’t Whistle Indoors

Russians are very superstitious. Whistling indoors means that you’ll become poor. So, as in many European countries, whistling indoors is considered unacceptable.

4- Offer to Help Clean Dishes After the Meal

This is a really nice thing to do to get extra points for being a good guest in Russia, as it is in many other countries. A Russian hostess would probably refuse your help, but she will for sure remember how considerate you were and will gladly invite you the next time.

It’s especially beneficial if you’re visiting your future parents-in-law. ;-)

5- Russian Food Etiquette

Russian people are extremely hospitable. They’ll feed and feed you until you feel like you’ll blow up from inside from food. It’s considered rude to refuse food when the hostess offers you something.

But there’s a small secret about how to avoid being overfed. When you feel that you’re almost full, leave a small portion of food on your plate to show the hostess that you’re full. It shouldn’t be too much, or the hostess will think that you didn’t like the food, but it shouldn’t be extremely small, or you’ll be offered some more food. About 1/8 of a plateful is fine.

And don’t forget that drinking tea with a cake or sweets is a must after the main course. Leave some free room in your stomach for that.

6. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #6: How Russians Behave in a Public Transport

1- Offering a Seat

There’s an etiquette rule that Russians teach their kids from childhood. You should offer your seat to elder people, pregnant women, women with a child up to seven years old, and disabled people.

There’s a nuance in offering a seat to older people. Do it only when you see that they’re bringing really heavy bags or when it’s hard for them to walk (e.g. they’re really old or bring along a crutch). If you offer a seat to a perfectly normal woman, she might think that she looks too old and even get angry. :-)

If you’re a guy, offer your seat to a girl. This is considered to be a gentlemanly behavior.

2- Pushing in a Crowd and Public Lines

If you get to the Moscow underground, you’ll see that there are no lines to enter a train. People will push to get inside and catch a better spot for a ride.

If you feel uncomfortable around crowds, wait until people get onto the train before getting on the train yourself.

Also, try to avoid rush hour. Usually, people go to work at 8-9 a.m. and go back at 6-7 p.m.

3- Staring at Women

In Russia, it’s rude to stare at people you don’t know. In some countries it’s considered normal to stare at women who walk by themselves, but in Russia, a girl who’s being stared at will feel offended and disrespected.

Of course, quick looks are okay, so don’t walk around trying not to meet some girl’s eyes by accident. :-)

7. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #7: Russian Business Etiquette Tips

People Shaking Hands in a Meeting Room

1- Business and Alcohol

Business

Russian business etiquette is closely connected with alcohol traditions. Russians tend to have greater trust in those with whom they’ve gotten drunk. In a drunken condition, people loosen up and say what they really think. And Russians use this.

Another tradition is to celebrate a sealed business deal with alcohol. Very often, Russians go to баня (banya) or a “banya; Russian sauna” for that. This may look weird to foreigners, but it’s one of the famous Russian etiquette business traditions that you should just accept.

2- Don’t Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets

This is another etiquette point that Russians teach their kids: not keeping hands in pockets during official events. Doing so shows disrespect to the person you’re speaking with.

This is due to psychological logic that comes from old times. When people show their empty hands, it’s considered a gesture of peace; when you keep your hands in your pockets, it indicates that you might be ready to use a weapon.

3- Don’t Spread Your Legs Wide Apart

This is an important Russian office etiquette rule. This posture is popular among men as it allows them to occupy more space and thus show their dominance. But in Russia, it’s also considered a sign of a man with bad etiquette. Showing dominance that way is considered vulgar.

Instead, keep your legs together, or at a natural distance.

If you’re interested in finding a job in Russia, here’s our useful article for you on that very topic.

8. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #8: Russian Gift Giving Etiquette

1- Gift Superstitions

There are famous superstitions that have naturally converted into Russian gift etiquette:

1. Don’t gift an empty wallet. In Russia, giving an empty wallet as a present is like wishing financial hardships to that person. Just put some cash inside to make it a great gift.

2. Don’t give a knife as a gift. Giving a knife as a present is believed to cause the breakup of a relationship. Just give them money to buy a knife with to avoid that.

3. Pay for a pet. When Russians receive a cat or a dog, they need to pay some money even though the pet is a present. Russians believe that if they do, the animal will grow up happy and healthy.

2- First Refusing the Gift and Then Accepting it

Russians tend to refuse any gift that you try to give them. They can say Что ты, это слишком дорого (Chto ty, eto slishkom dorogo) meaning “No-no, it’s too expensive,” or Нет, спасибо, тебе не стоило (Net, spasibo, tebe ne stoilo) meaning “No, thank you, you didn’t need to.”

Just insist on giving them the gift. You’ll get a gush of gratitude.

3- Gifts to Women

If you want to give a gift to a woman on her birthday or another important date, bring along a flower or a flower bouquet. It’s an etiquette tradition that’s followed both in the business world and in personal life.

Some women may not even like flowers that much, but they still gladly accept them as it’s a tradition.

9. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn Russian Better

So, now you know the most common Russian traditions and etiquette. Of course, if you don’t follow them, people will understand. But you’ll be much more welcomed and appreciated if you’re aware of Russian etiquette and follow it as much as you can.

Did you learn anything new in our Russian etiquette guide? Are there similar etiquette rules in your own country? Or is etiquette very different? Let us know in the comments!

Once you’ve learned Russian etiquette, it would be a great help to learn basic Russian vocabulary to be polite around Russians. Our teachers will gladly help you with that. 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. ;-)

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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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