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Learn Russian: YouTube Channels to Improve Your Skills


Sometimes learning a foreign language may seem tiring or boring, but that’s not a reason to give up doing it. One of the best ways to make the process of studying more interesting is to add some entertaining materials (like videos) to your normal routine. This is why, when you set out to learn Russian, YouTube can be a great educational tool.

If you’re studying Russian, you may have heard about the RussianPod101 YouTube Channel, which is the number-one destination for improving your language skills online. If you’re going to learn Russian via YouTube, this channel is the best one to start with. 

That said, there are many other good Russian YouTube channels to help you learn the language. We’re excited to share them with you in this article, so let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Foreign Language Dialogues
  2. Russian Songs with English Subtitles
  3. Russian with Anastasia
  4. Antonia Romaker – English and Russian Online
  5. Киноконцерн «МосФильм» (Kinokoncern «MosFil’m») – Cinema Concern “Mosfilm”
  6. Bridget Barbara
  7. «Вечерний Ургант» (Vecherniy Urgant) – “Evening Urgant”
  8. Искусство харизмы (Iskusstvo kharizmy) – “Charisma on Command”
  9. Varlamov
  10. Learn Russian with
  11. Conclusion

1. Foreign Language Dialogues

Two Girls Talking

Category: Education

Link to the YouTube Channel:

Level: Beginner

This channel includes short and simple dialogues, voiced by native Russian speakers and designed to reflect the kinds of conversations you’d hear in real life. If you learn each line of dialogue by heart, you won’t have any difficulties engaging in small talk with Russians. We think that listening to such dialogues is a must when you first start learning Russian.

For each video, the dialogues are accompanied by Russian subtitles so you can read along. But keep in mind that the English translation is not provided, so you’ll have to search for it by yourself. After some time, you won’t even need the dictionary to understand each dialogue, at which point it’ll be time for you to start watching some more advanced YouTube videos for learning Russian.

Knowing how to hold a dialogue is art!

2. Russian Songs with English Subtitles

Category: Songs

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Beginner

Maybe you’ve never thought of it, but you can learn a lot of new words and expressions from Russian songs. Moreover, listening to Russian YouTube music can help you strengthen your sentence-building skills and grammar knowledge. Check out this channel if you want proof.

There aren’t many songs uploaded on this channel, but the ones which are currently on it are really iconic. You could spend a couple of days studying each song word-by-word. Another perk is that this is one of a few Russian YouTube channels with English subtitles, making it perfect for beginners or those who have poor listening skills.

3. Russian with Anastasia

Category: Education

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Beginner-Intermediate

This is definitely one of the best YouTube channels for learning Russian from scratch. The videos are hosted by Russian speaker Anastasia, who teaches foreigners the language basics: alphabet, vocabulary, spelling, and the most important grammar rules. There’s even a playlist of her videos just for beginners.

People who learn Russian on YouTube love Anastasia for her creativity. She shoots not only typical educational videos, but also other entertaining and enlightening content. For example, in some videos, Anastasia reads Russian poems; in others, she interviews Russian people. Such videos are informative and highly recommended for intermediate level students.

4. Antonia Romaker – English and Russian Online 

Category: Education

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Antonia’s channel is dedicated to studying languages. Each video on this channel belongs to one of two groups: videos for those who have just started studying Russian and videos for those who have started studying English. If you belong to one of these groups, you can find lots of precious information about grammar and vocabulary on this channel. Antonia loves making videos about Russian idioms, and this distinguishes her from other vloggers teaching Russian on YouTube.

Sometimes, Antonia also talks about Russian cities, food, and culture. Thanks to these kinds of videos, the process of studying becomes much more interesting.

Saint Petersburg

It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times… Come and see Saint Petersburg with your own eyes after watching Antonia’s videos!

5. Киноконцерн «МосФильм» (Kinokoncern «MosFil’m») – Cinema Concern “Mosfilm”

Category: Films

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Intermediate

Watching Russian films on YouTube can both teach you the language and introduce you to the cultural background of Russia. All the movies on this channel are divided into categories; you’ll find dramas, comedies, and many other film genres here, so you’ll definitely find something that suits your tastes! 

We highly recommend that you start learning to speak Russian via YouTube by watching iconic Russian films such as: 

  • «Любовь и голуби» (Lyubov’ i golubi) – “Love and Pigeons” 
  • «Иван Васильевич меняет профессию» (Ivan Vasil’yevich menyayet professiyu) – “Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession”

In these films, you can hear a lot of clear Russian speech without any slang or new-fangled words.

The main advantage of this channel is that some of the films on it have both English and Russian subtitles. At the very beginning, you may want to watch Russian movies with English subtitles. A bit later, though, you’ll be able to switch to the Russian ones without a problem—believe us!

6. Bridget Barbara

Category: Vlog

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Intermediate

What sets Barbara apart from other Russian YouTube vloggers? She’s an American girl who studies Russian and shares her progress on YouTube. 

Her videos are mostly life blogs on various themes, such as traveling, languages, and food. The main thing is that they’re all made in Russian; despite Barbara’s American accent, she sounds nice and fluent.

Barbara’s channel was created not only to help you learn to speak Russian through YouTube, but also to inspire you. If you think that you’ll never be good in Russian, just watch the videos in which she pronounces complicated tongue twisters, and you’ll probably become motivated again!

7. «Вечерний Ургант» (Vecherniy Urgant) – “Evening Urgant”

Category: TV Shows

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Upper-intermediate

If you want to learn some colloquial Russian and improve your listening skills, this channel will be perfect for you. «Вечерний Ургант» (Vecherniy Urgant), or “Evening Urgant,” is one of the most popular late-night talk shows in Russia. The actual running time of each episode is 30-50 minutes, but here on YouTube, you’re allowed to watch only short snippets of the funniest moments.

You can learn lots of Russian jokes and slang expressions while watching this program, and may become acquainted with many famous Russians. There are also some live singing videos uploaded on this channel; if you’re an upper-intermediate student, you probably won’t have any troubles understanding most of the lyrics.

8. Искусство харизмы (Iskusstvo kharizmy) – “Charisma on Command”

Category: Education

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Upper-intermediate

This is the Russian version of the famous English channel called “Charisma on Command.” Here, you can find high-quality Russian translations of the best videos from the official channel, made by professional translators. 

Unfortunately, watching videos on one of the best YouTube channels for learning Russian is not easy. You have to be at least an upper-intermediate student to understand what the show’s host is talking about. At the same time, if you don’t understand something, you may find the English version of the video and bridge the gaps.

9. Varlamov

Category: Vlog about urbanism

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: Upper-intermediate

Ilya Varlamov is a Russian video blogger who travels the world and comments on the architecture of the cities he visits. He also discusses the latest news, makes reviews on various gadgets, and gives his subscribers helpful life advice. If you’re interested in one of these topics, welcome to Ilya’s channel.

Varlamov’s videos are done fully in Russian. As a foreigner, you need to have a high level of language knowledge and concentration to understand what he’s saying—but it’s worth it. Learning Russian through YouTube with Varlamov can also broaden your mind on other topics, so don’t miss it!

10. Learn Russian with 

Category: Education

Link to the YouTube Channel: 

Level: All levels

The RussianPod101 YouTube channel is the number-one place for people who want to learn Russian through YouTube on their own. On our channel, you’ll find educational videos prepared by experienced teachers. We post new videos nearly every day, so you can constantly refresh and deepen your knowledge.

The best thing about our channel is that it’s helpful for students of all levels. If you’re beginning your path, watch some simple videos about the alphabet; if you’re at the intermediate level, check out our grammar materials; if you’re pretty advanced, we have plenty of content for you, too.

We’re sure that everyone can learn to speak Russian through YouTube with our channel.

11. Conclusion Image

We’ve shown you the best YouTube channels for learning Russian in an easy and engaging way. We advise you to pay more attention to video materials like these, because this form of education provides you with lots of new lexicology, teaches you to perceive Russian speech by ear, and—of course—it’s a more pleasurable way to learn.

If you’d like to learn more, check out our website, We have a lesson library with dozens of Russian videos for learners at every level. We’re 100% sure that you’ll find something really precious there, as well as on our YouTube channel. Feel free to check them out right now!

Before you go, let us know which of these YouTube channels you’re most interested in watching. Did we miss any good ones you know about? We look forward to hearing from you!

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How to Say Goodbye in Russian


When you’ve just started studying a foreign language, you may not be able to keep up conversations in it, but you should at least know the basic rules of politeness. Greeting and saying goodbye are the most essential aspects of day-to-day communication, and they can make or break your future encounters with native speakers.

Today, will teach you how to say goodbye in Russian for a variety of life situations. After learning the following ten phrases, you’ll be much more confident when meeting and speaking with Russians.

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. До свидания (Do svidaniya)
  2. Пока (Poka)
  3. Прощай (Proshchay)
  4. До встречи (Do vstrechi)
  5. До скорого (Do skorogo)
  6. Увидимся (Uvidimsya)
  7. Спокойной ночи (Spokoynoy nochi)
  8. Мне пора (Mne pora)
  9. Счастливо (Schastlivo)
  10. Давай (Davay)
  11. Conclusion

1. До свидания (Do svidaniya)

Most Common Goodbyes

До свидания (Do svidaniya) is the most popular way to say goodbye in Russian. The literal translation of this expression is “Until we meet again.” Its English equivalent is “Goodbye.”

This versatile Russian phrase for goodbye is suitable for any formal situation. Keep in mind that it may sound a little too formal if you’re chatting with good friends or family.

Feel free to implement this expression while talking to someone who is older than you or anyone you’re not very close with. Look at the following example:

  • До свидания, Мария Ивановна, спасибо вам за всё!
    Do svidaniya, Mariya Ivanovna, spasibo vam za vsyo!
    “Goodbye, Maria Ivanovna, thank you for everything!”

Here, we put the pronoun Вам (Vam) instead of Тебе (Tebe). Anytime you say До свидания (Do svidaniya), you need to use the polite forms of any other words in that sentence.

A Grandson Offering His Grandfather a Cup of Coffee

You should definitely learn more about Russian forms of address in order to be polite while talking to older people (and to avoid awkward situations)!

2. Пока (Poka)

Пока (Poka) is the most popular informal expression for saying goodbye in Russian. Its literal translation is “For now,” but it’s just like saying “Bye” in English. 

You may use Пока (Poka) in any everyday situation, toward anyone you would address informally as Ты (Ty). This kind of goodbye in Russian is appropriate for ending conversations with friends and close relatives. For instance:

  • Пока, дружище!
    Poka, druzhishche!
    “Goodbye, buddy!”

You may also say Пока-пока (Poka-poka). The meaning won’t change at all, but your farewell will be longer, warmer, and friendlier.

3. Прощай (Proshchay)

This Russian word for goodbye isn’t very common, so you probably won’t hear it in everyday conversations. The literal translation of this word is “Forgive me.” By saying it, you mean “Farewell” or “Goodbye forever.”

Прощай (Proshchay) is used when the speaker knows that he or she won’t see the other person again. It’s suitable to use when somebody is moving away, lying on their deathbed, or breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend.

This is the perfect parting word to use when you want to say goodbye and ask for the other person’s forgiveness at the same time. This word carries the additional weight of admitting guilt, and it sounds really sad. Here’s an example:

  • Прощай, моя любовь.
    Proshchay, moya lyubov’.
    “Farewell, my love.”

You’ve probably noticed that the example above uses informal language. If the situation was formal, you would use the polite form Прощайте (Proshchayte).

A Girl Misses Someone

Sometimes saying goodbye is heartbreaking… And you need special words for it.

4. До встречи (Do vstrechi)

До встречи (Do vstrechi) is one of the safest expressions for saying goodbye in Russian. We say this because it’s appropriate for both formal and informal conversations with people of different ages.

The literal translation of this phrase is “Until the next meeting,” but it’s more like saying “See you soon” in English. Of course, you should only use this phrase to part ways with people you’ll definitely be seeing again. Check this example:

  • Мне нужно идти, до встречи!
    Mne nuzhno idti, do vstrechi!
    “I have to go, see you soon.”

5. До скорого (Do skorogo)

Another phrase you should know for saying goodbye to close friends and family is До скорого (Do skorogo). Its literal meaning is “Until soon,” but it’s really just another way to say “See you soon.”

This is a shortened version of До скорого свидания (Do skorogo svidaniya), which is translated into English as “Until we meet again soon.” For your information, the long version isn’t used in modern Russian.

Here’s an example of how to use this Russian informal goodbye phrase: 

  • Ну, мы пойдём, до скорого!
    Nu, my poydyom, do skorogo!
    “We’re going now, see you!”

The most appropriate situation for using this expression is when you know you’ll see the person again very soon. For example, if you’re working, studying, or even living together.

A Dad Is Saying Bye to His Family

Saying goodbye is not sad when you know that you’ll see the person again soon!

6. Увидимся (Uvidimsya)

This expression means almost the same thing as the previous one. Увидимся (Uvidimsya) is literally translated into English as “See each other.” It’s like saying “See you soon” in English.

This phrase is a good way to say goodbye in Russian in more casual situations. You may say Увидимся (Uvidimsya) to your friends if you know you’ll see them again in the near future, like in the following example:

  • Увидимся на неделе.
    Uvidimsya na nedele.
    “See each other again this week.”

You may also say the longer version: Ещё увидимся (Eshchyo uvidimsya). The meaning will stay the same.

7. Спокойной ночи (Spokoynoy nochi)

Спокойной ночи (Spokoynoy nochi) is a good phrase for ending a conversation late in the evening. The literal translation of it is “Have a calm night,” and it’s like saying “Goodnight” in English.

This phrase is very versatile, and you can use it in both formal and informal situations. This language construction is appropriate for when it’s late, and you know that the person whom you’re talking to is going to bed. Look at this simple example:

  • Спокойной ночи, выспись хорошенько!
    Spokoynoy nochi, vyspis’ khoroshen’ko!
    “Goodnight, get enough sleep!”

There are some Russian equivalents for this phrase, as well:

  • Доброй ночи.
    Dobroy nochi.

This one sounds good in both formal and informal situations.

  • Сладких снов.
    Sladkikh snov.

This one sounds very informal and even romantic, so you’d better save it for use with really close friends or your sweetheart.

Texting Someone a Good Night

If someone wishes you goodnight every day, you’re happier than many people.

8. Мне пора (Mne pora)

This is a great example of how to say goodbye in Russian when leaving a formal conversation. Мне пора (Mne pora) may be literally translated as “It’s time for me,” but it actually means “It’s time for me to go.”

Using this phrase implies that you not only need to cut the conversation short, but that you also need to leave your current location. It’s a good idea to elongate it with a more traditional way of saying goodbye in Russian, like in the example below:

  • Мне пора, до свидания!
    Mne pora, do svidaniya!
    “It’s time for me to go, goodbye!”

You may also say:

  • Боюсь, что мне пора.
    Boyus’, chto mne pora.
    “I’m afraid it’s time for me to go.”

9. Счастливо (Schastlivo)

Счастливо (Schastlivo) is a colloquial phrase for ending everyday conversations. The literal translation of it is “Happily,” and it’s like saying “All the best” in English.

We recommend that you use this phrase with people whom you know pretty well—otherwise, it would sound overly familiar. This is a good example of how it should be used:

  • Классно провели время. Счастливо!
    Klassno proveli vremya. Schastlivo!
    “We’ve had a cool time. All the best!”

Pay attention to the stress. In this case, it falls on the vowel И, not on А like in all of the other cases.

10. Давай (Davay)

The literal translation of this word is “give” or “let’s,” but people often use it to mean something like “Bye-bye” in Russian. 

Russians often use this word to say goodbye after a phone call or Skype chat with friends. Here’s an example:

  • Давай, ещё созвонимся.
    Davay, eshchyo sozvonimsya.
    “We’ll talk later, byе.”

You should only use this goodbye phrase with your friends, acquaintances of your age, and close relatives.

People Waving Goodbye

Most Russian Skype sessions end with the word Давай. Russians really love this way of saying goodbye!

11. Conclusion

All of the words and phrases we covered in this article are used regularly in Russia. If you’re only a beginner, it’ll be sufficient for you to learn one formal, one informal, and one universal phrase from this article. If you’re an intermediate or advanced student, you’d better learn all ten of them (or even more!).

Please remember that if you need more help saying goodbye in Russian—or any other aspect of the Russian language—we have a Premium PLUS service called MyTeacher. One-on-one tutoring with your personal teacher will help you succeed at any point of your language-learning journey.

Do you know any other ways to say bye in Russian that we didn’t mention in this article? If yes, please leave a comment below.

Happy learning with!

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Is Russian Hard to Learn?


If you’re thinking about learning Russian but are hesitant to get started, you may be asking yourself: “Is Russian hard to learn?” 

You’ve read in the language forums that it is, and maybe you’ve even heard this firsthand from someone you know who’s learned the language. But here’s a spoiler: it’s not that bad. And even though I’m a native Russian myself, and learned how to speak Russian at the same time as I learned how to walk (oh, a double struggle!), I can sympathize with the experience of my students and apply my own language-learning observations to help them combat common issues.

So if you still haven’t decided whether you want to include Russian in your daily schedule or not, I might be able to help you decide. In this article, we’ll talk about why you would want to learn Russian in the first place, how easy it is to learn, and what you should start with to get onboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Russian Table of Contents
  1. Why Should You Learn Russian?
  2. Is it Hard to Learn Russian?
  3. I Want to Learn Russian. Where Should I Start?
  4. What’s Next?

1. Why Should You Learn Russian?

Let’s start with the most obvious reasons. Just in case you weren’t aware, Russian is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Worldwide, it’s almost as popular as French and Arabic, and even more widespread than German. 

There are around 260 million people speaking Russian around the globe. According to recent statistics, Russian is still widely spoken in Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Estonia, and some other neighboring countries. And that makes learning the language a good investment for travel enthusiasts. You can experience freezing winters, enjoy boiling hot steam baths, try shchi and pelmeni, and see for yourself that there are no bears walking in the streets (if anybody still believes in this stereotype).

Many of my students learn Russian for business or study. Whether you have a business trip to Russia or work with Russian partners, some Russian might help in your working relations and networking. A person working in tourism who has basic Russian language knowledge is a real gem: Russians often travel abroad without knowing any English. 

As for studies, higher education is affordable in Russia, and the vibrant student life will definitely leave a trace in your memory—that is, if you decide to assimilate with locals and not just hang out with your English-speaking friends.

Also, Russia has lots to offer in terms of culture. You might not see lots of Russian movies in theaters or hear Russian songs on every corner, but they exist in abundance. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find Russian movies with subtitles, so this is a good incentive to learn the language. Not to mention the benefits that literature-lovers can experience: you’ll find peace in Tolstoy’s elaborate descriptions, enjoy the witty nature of Krylov’s fables, and relish in the emotional styling of Yesenin’s poems.

Learning Russian is also a good choice for those craving a challenge. English-speakers tend to learn languages similar to their own: Spanish, German, French, etc. But Russian is hard for English-speakers compared to most Germanic and Romance languages. It’s something different and totally unusual, but at the same time, not as drastically “alien” as Japanese, for example. 

But if the motivation comes from inside, no logical reasoning is necessary to convince you to learn the language. Whether you just like the sound of Russian, want to enjoy the Trans-Siberian journey, or understand what Dima Bilan is singing about, if it truly makes you excited, then just go for it!

Russian Pastry

Russian cuisine is definitely worth trying! Guess if it’s savory or sweet.

2. Is it Hard to Learn Russian?

I believe that by now, you’re secretly hoping to hear a strong “no.” I would lie if I said that Russian is the easiest language to learn; it has its own specificities, but it’s still easier than many people say it is. Let’s start with the easy parts.

A- The Good News

1. Cyrillics is not too different from the Latin alphabet. There are even some familiar letters (like е, а, м, с, р, etc.). Yes, some of them are pronounced differently from what you would expect, but they’re easy to write, and you can start reading Russian words in literally one day.

2. Many words are borrowed from English. Yes, they are written with the Russian alphabet, but when you learn to read it, you’ll recognize the words in a heartbeat. Try:

  • футбол (futbol)
  • телефон (telefon)
  • маркетинг (marketing)
  • компания (kompaniya)
  • лампа (lampa)

    ➢ You can check the meanings of these words in a dictionary to see if you were right.

3. Genders are easy to determine. Russian categorizes words into one of three genders: feminine, masculine, and neuter. Usually, you just have to check the ending of the noun to see what gender category it belongs to.

4. There are fewer tenses than in English. We only have three tenses in Russian: past, present, and future. That’s enough; three is a good number.

    ➢ Read more about the tenses and other properties of verbs in our article about Verb Conjugation.

5. Questions are simple. For Yes/No questions, we use intonation. For open questions, we just place the question word at the beginning, and that’s it. No special question structures or word order changes.

  • Сегодня мы смотрим кино. (Segodnya my smotrim kino) — “Today we’re watching a movie.”
  • Сегодня мы смотрим кино? — “Are we watching a movie today?”
  • Где ты был? (Gde ty byl?) — “Where have you been?”
  • Что ты купил? (Chto ty kupil?) — “What did you buy?”
  • Почему торт не купил? (Pochemu tort ne kupil?) — “Why didn’t you buy the cake?” 

6. It’s easy to say “no.” In most cases, to make a negative sentence in Russian, you simply add не (ne) before the word you want to make negative.

  • Я не курю. (Ya ne kuryu) — “I don’t smoke.”
  • Мы не дома. (My ne doma) — “We aren’t home.”
  • Она не такая. (Ona ne takaya) — “She isn’t like that.”

7. Russians appreciate the initiative. It’s rare to hear a foreigner speak Russian, so any attempt to do so will evoke praise and excitement. No need to wait for a pint of beer to untie your tongue; feel free to proudly demonstrate your Russian skills right away. No sarcasm intended.

8. Speakers of other Slavic languages have an (un)fair advantage. If your mother tongue is Polish, Czech, Serbian, or a similar language—congratulations! You have a free upgrade of three times the speed in learning Russian right from the start. These languages come from the same language family, so many words sound similar, and even the grammar can be familiar in some aspects. I believe this is why, in some remote parts of Serbia, Bosnia, and Macedonia, locals prefer foreigners to speak Russian rather than English.

Woman Holding Out Hand to Say Stop

Стой. Торт купил? (Stoy. Tort kupil?)
“Stop. Did you buy the cake?”

B- The (Not So) Bad News

Even taking into account the easier aspects mentioned earlier, the Russian language is hard to learn for many people, particularly English-speakers. Here are some things you can prepare for in advance:

1. Pronunciation. If learning the alphabet takes one evening, mastering the sounds themselves is a bit trickier. Many sounds are similar to those in English, but some are unusual, like [щ], [ы], [р] (and the last one is not an English “p”!).

    ➢ If you want to work on your pronunciation, check out our Ultimate Pronunciation Guide. You’ll learn about the Russian sounds and how to pronounce them without twisting your tongue.

2. Verb conjugations. In Russian, we only have three tenses, but the verb conjugation is also affected by grammatical mood, person, aspect, etc.

Here are some examples:

  • Я пою. (Ya poyu) — “I sing.” (present, 1st person singular)
  • Мы поём. (My poyom) — “We sing.” (present, 1st person plural)
  • Вы бы спели? (Vy by speli?) — “Would you sing?” (conditional, 2nd person plural)

3. Verbal aspects. In Russian, we use verbal aspects to indicate the difference between an action that is complete (perfective aspect) and an action that is habitual or ongoing (imperfective aspect). It’s similar to the English perfect and simple / continuous aspect.

  • Я ужинал. (Ya uzhinal) — “I was dining.” (ongoing > imperfective)
  • Я поужинал. (Ya pouzhinal) — “I’ve had dinner.” (complete > perfective)

Have you spotted the difference?

4. Declensions and cases. Russian has six cases—technically five, if you don’t count the dictionary form (the nominative case). Cases help you see the relationship between words (it’s not just to make you memorize extra endings!):

  • кот (kot) — “a cat” (Nominative singular)
  • У меня нет кота. (U menya net kota) — “I don’t have a cat.” (Genitive singular)
  • Но я люблю котов. (No ya lyublyu kotov) — “But I love cats.” (Accusative plural animate)

The good thing about cases is that each of them has a function and some markers (typical prepositions and verbs they go with). When you learn to distinguish cases by their function, your life becomes easier. Anyway, if you use the wrong case, it won’t be the end of the world. Patience is the key—and practice.

The prospect of learning endings for six cases and three genders might seem intimidating, but you can definitely manage it if you don’t try to swallow the whole cake at once. Instead, slowly savor it piece by piece. 

5. Verbs of motion. You can find countless ways of translating the verb “to go” into Russian. The choice depends on what means of transport you’re talking about:

  • идти (idti) — “to go on foot”
  • ехать (yekhat’) — “to go by car / by bus / by bike / etc.”
  • лететь (letet’) — “to go by plane”
  • плыть (plyt’) — “to go by boat”

Motion verbs with prefixes can seem even more confusing:

  • лететь (letet’) — “to go by plane”
  • прилететь (priletet’) — “to arrive by plane”
  • улететь (uletet’) — “to leave by plane”

“How do I deal with that and not get crazy?”

  • Learn the four basic translations for the verb “to go” listed above. This way, you’ll be able to distinguish between the means of transport.
  • Analyze the prefixes and try to find the logic behind them. For example, the prefix у- usually means “departure” and при- indicates “arrival.”
    ➢ Wikipedia has a nice table of prefixes with their meanings for your verbs of motion.
    ➢ If you don’t know how to say “train” or “bus” in Russian, check out our Vehicles vocabulary list.
Plane Flying Past Clouds

Ехать или лететь?

3. I Want to Learn Russian. Where Should I Start?

The alphabet. A no-brainer. At RussianPod101, we want to support you from the earliest stages, so we provide the English transliteration for almost every word and phrase you see. However, you’ll find no romanization in authentic Russian sources like books or articles. You’ll also need to learn writing (or at least typing) to be able to send messages in Russian, or even to look up words in your dictionary.

    ➢ Start exploring the Russian letters with our series of lessons titled The Russian Alphabet Made Easy. You can even try your hand at writing cursive!

Survival phrases. If you travel to a Russian-speaking place soon, learning some basic phrases would help you immensely. Based on my observations, many young people in the big cities would know enough English to help you find the Red Square or accept your order in a restaurant, but not enough to discuss climate change or politics. However, I wouldn’t have much hope for English while interacting with people of the older generations.

The following series of lessons will be a good start:

Your own sentences. When you master your introductory speech about yourself and your dog, it’s time to combine new chunks of words into meaningful phrases. Analyze how words cooperate with each other, and try to make similar sentences yourself. Start simple. Don’t dive into grammar right away: learning the rules without having the vocabulary to apply them is pointless. 

Send the sentences you make to your RussianPod101 tutor for proofreading (subscribed users only) and receive feedback from a native speaker. Your tutor would also help you find the right path for your further studies if you can’t figure out what to do next.

Russian Calligraphy Handwriting

Russian calligraphy handwriting (created by VectorSR and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

4. What’s Next?

As a language-learner myself, I have established three important rules that always help me stay on track:

  • Quality over quantity. Make sure you’re comfortable with the topic before moving on to something else. It’s also important to review the material from time to time.

  • Consistency. It’s better to practice ten minutes every day than two hours once a week. Consistency is necessary to create strong neural connections in your brain, and this means repetition. If you skip several days of learning, especially if you’re a beginner, chances are that the connections will already be lost when you’re back, and you’ll have to learn everything again.

  • Patience. Don’t compare yourself to other learners. Don’t judge yourself by the number of words that you’ve learned or the grade you’ve received on your recent language test. Take your time and remember the first two rules.

Like learning any other language, learning Russian isn’t that difficult if you have some discipline and patience. There are plenty of resources for you to get started, and many enthusiastic people ready to help. In our premium service, MyTeacher, you can get personal one-on-one coaching with a tutor. You’ll receive assignments, grammar and vocabulary exercises, and also voice recording tasks to improve your pronunciation. And if you have any questions about Russian, feel free to ask your tutor; they’re there to help you!

Useful links for those who want to learn more:

Before you go, let us know if you have any questions or concerns about learning (or continuing to learn) Russian. We’d be glad to help! 

Happy learning with RussianPod101!

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

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The 10 Most Common Questions in Russian & How to Answer Them


Being able to ask questions is a very important communication skill that makes conversation sound lively and interesting. If you’re going to chat with a native Russian speaker, or if you want to travel to Russia one day, you should definitely know some basic questions in this language. 

In this guide, we’ll help you learn ten of the most common questions in Russian. We’ll also give you some information about how to use these Russian questions and answers depending on the age of the person you’re speaking to, and teach you some Russian question words. 

Let’s begin!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Как тебя зовут?
  2. Откуда ты?
  3. Сколько тебе лет?
  4. Ты говоришь на ___?
  5. Сколько ты учишь ____?
  6. Ты был в ___?
  7. Как дела?
  8. Что делаешь?
  9. Что случилось?
  10. Сколько стоит?
  11. Conclusion

1. Как тебя зовут?

First Encounter

Как тебя зовут? (Kak tebya zovut?), meaning “What’s your name?” is usually the first question in Russian you’ll ask when getting to know someone. 

The first word here, как (kak), meaning “how,” is an adverb; it’s also one of the most commonly used Russian question words. The next word, тебя (tebya), is the pronoun “you” in the accusative case. The last word, зовут (zovut), is the present tense form of the verb звать (zvat’), meaning “to call.” So, Как тебя зовут? is literally translated as “How are you called?”

Remember that this question is appropriate only in informal conversations with people who are your age or younger. If the situation is formal, or if you’re talking to an older person, use the following form:

  • Как вас зовут? (Kak vas zovut?) – “What’s your name?”

Вас (vas) is the formal version of тебя (“you” in the accusative case).

Possible Answers

The reply to this question in Russian would be:

  • Меня зовут Джон. (Menya zovut Dzhon.) – “My name is John.”


  • Моё имя – Джон. (Moyo imya – Dzhon.) – “My name is John.”

Simply replace “John” with your own name.

A Man Shaking Hand with a Client

The question Как вас зовут? is the simplest way to establish contact, no matter who you’re trying to get to know.

2. Откуда ты?

Откуда ты? (Otkuda ty?) is the easiest way to say “Where are you from?” in Russian. 

Like many other questions in Russian, this one begins with the adverb откуда (otkuda). The next word, ты (ty), is a pronoun in the nominative case. Like in the example above, this pronoun is applicable only to conversations with people who are your age or younger.

If you’re talking to somebody older, always say вы (vy). For example:

  • Откуда вы? (Otkuda vy?) – “Where are you from?”

Possible Answer

The best way to answer is with:

  • Я из Нью-Йорка. (Ya iz N’yu-Yorka.) – “I’m from New York.”

Keep in mind that you need to use your country, state, or city in the genitive case, like in the example given above.

Introducing Yourself

3. Сколько тебе лет?

Сколько тебе лет? (Skol’ko tebe let?), meaning “How old are you?” is a good question in Russian to keep a conversation going.

 Сколько (skol’ko) is a pronoun here. Тебе (tebe) is also a pronoun, in the dative case. Лет (let) is the plural form of the noun “year.”

If you’re speaking to an older person, you’ll need to say this instead:

  • Сколько вам лет? (Skol’ko vam let?) – “How old are you?”

Possible Answer

The answer is short and simple:

  • Мне 40 лет. (Mne 40 let.) – “I’m 40 years old.”
Woman Disgusted by Her Date

Keep in mind that asking a woman about her age is impolite, even if she looks young!

4. Ты говоришь на ___?

Of all the Russian questions and answers for beginners, this may be the most important: Ты говоришь на ___? (Ty govorish’ na ___?), meaning “Do you speak ___?” It will help you find out if the person you’re talking to speaks your language. 

The first word here is ты (ty), which is the Russian pronoun “you” in the nominative case. The second word is говоришь (govorish’), which is the present tense form of the verb говорить (govorit), meaning “to speak.” After these two words, you’ll need to use the preposition на (na), which means “on” in English. Then comes the name of the language you’re asking about.

Make sure you use the prepositional case, like in this example:

  • Ты говоришь на английском? (Ty govorish’ na angliyskom?) – “Do you speak English?”

The formal variant of this Russian question is:

  • Вы говорите на ___? (Vy govorite na ___?) – “Do you speak ___?”

Possible Answers

You can give an affirmative answer like this:

  • Да, я говорю на ___. (Da, ya govoryu na ___.) – “Yes, I speak ___.”

Or a negative answer:

  • Нет, я не говорю на ___. (Net, ya ne govoryu na ___.) – “No, I don’t speak ___.”
A Couple Frustrated due to Lack of Understanding

One of the most unfair things in life is to meet a wonderful person and not to be able to communicate with him or her because of the language barrier.

5. Сколько ты учишь ____?

The Russian question Сколько ты учишь ___? (Skol’ko ty uchish’ ___?), meaning “How long have you been studying ___?” turns out to be really helpful in conversations with other students. 

The first word, сколько (skol’ko), is a typical adverb used in questions. Ты (ty) is a pronoun, as mentioned previously. The last word is the present tense form of the verb учишь (uchish’), which means “to study.”

The polite form of this question is:

  • Сколько вы учите ___? (Skol’ko vy uchite ___?) – “How long have you been studying ___?”

This Russian question requires the name of the field of study you’re asking about in the accusative case:

  • Сколько ты учишь информатику? (Skol’ko ty uchish’ informatiku?) – “How long have you been studying programming?”

Possible Answer

  • Я учу информатику два года. (Ya uchu informatiku dva goda.) – “I’ve been studying programming for two years.”

 6. Ты был в ___?

There are two variants for asking “Have you been to ___?” in Russian. The first one is appropriate if you’re asking a man:

  • Ты был в ___? (Ty byl v ___?)

The second one is applicable when asking a woman:

  • Ты была в ___? (Ty byla v ___?)

Of course, if you’re going to ask someone older than you, you must say:

  • Вы были в ___? (Vy byli v ___?)

Following the pronoun ты (ty) is был (byl) or была (byla), which is the verb “to be” in the past tense. В is a preposition which requires the prepositional case for the name of the place used after it. For example:

  • Ты был в Париже? (Ty byl v Parizhe?) – “Have you been to Paris?”

Possible Answers

  • Да, я был в Париже. (Da, ya byl v Parizhe.) – “Yes, I’ve been to Paris.”


  • Нет, я не был в Париже. (Net, ya ne byl v Parizhe.) – “No, I haven’t been to Paris.”
A Woman Taking a Photo of Something

Travel is a perfect topic for a conversation.

7. Как дела?

Как дела? (Kak dela?), meaning “How are you?” is one of the most important questions to ask a Russian. 

Как (kak) is an adverb, and дела (dela) is the plural form of the noun дело (delo), meaning “matter.”

Here are a couple of alternative ways to ask this question in Russian:

  • Как ты/вы? (Kak ty/vy?) – “How are you?”


  • Как жизнь? (Kak zhizn?) – “How’s life?”

Possible Answers

The most typical answers are:

  • Всё хорошо. (Vsyo khorosho.) – “Everything is good.”
  •  Отлично. (Otlichno.) – “Excellent.”

8. Что делаешь?

Что делаешь? (Chto delayesh’?), meaning “What are you doing?” is one of those basic Russian questions that you can use both in your real life and while communicating online

Что (chto) is a pronoun that’s very often used for asking questions in Russian. Делаешь (delayesh’) is the present tense form of the verb делать (delat’), meaning “to do.” 

The formal variant of this question is:

  • Что делаете? (Chto delayete?) – “What are you doing?”

Possible Answers

The answer fully depends on what you’re busy with. For example:

  • Я работаю. (Ya rabotayu.) – “I’m working.”
  • Я на учёбе. (Ya na uchyobe.) – “I’m studying.”

9. Что случилось?

Что случилось? (Chto sluchilos’?), meaning “What happened?” is one of those good questions to ask a Russian to find out if something has gone wrong. 

Что (chto) is a common pronoun in Russian questions. Cлучилось (sluchilos’) is the past tense form of the verb случиться (sluchit’sya), which means “to happen.”

Possible Answers

There’s no definite response to this question. It may be something like:

  • Ничего особенного. (Nichego osobennogo.) – “Nothing special.”
  • Всё плохо. (Vsyo plokho.) – “Everything is bad.”
One Girl Comforting Another

The question Что случилось? shows that you care for what’s going on in another person’s life!

10. Сколько стоит?

Сколько стоит? (Skol’ko stoit?), meaning “How much is it?” is an absolutely essential question for you if you’re going to visit Russia. 

Сколько (skol’ko), as mentioned, is a pronoun and one of the most widely used Russian question words. Стоит (stoit) is the present tense form of the verb стоить (stoit’), meaning “to cost.”

You may add the name of the thing that you want to know the price of. Also remember that you should use it in the subjective case. For example:

  • Сколько стоит авиабилет? (Skol’ko stoit aviabilet?) – “How much is the air ticket?”

Possible Answer

The answer depends on the situation. For example:

  • Это стоит два доллара. (Eto stoit dva dollara.) – “It costs two dollars.”

11. Conclusion

We sincerely hope that you’ve learned the basics of asking questions in Russian. Of course, this topic is enormous, and one article isn’t enough to cover it fully. Moreover, there are so many situations in day-to-day life which require their own sets of questions. That’s why memorizing questions in Russian isn’t as effective as understanding how to make them. This is especially true if you’ve been learning the language for a while.

We really recommend that you learn how to ask questions in Russian by reading articles on our website,, or with the help of our premium service MyTeacher. The second option is perfect for those who want to start using questions and answers in Russian as soon as possible. Your native Russian-speaking teacher will guide you through all the ins and outs of this topic during private lessons, so it will be really effective. You can try out our service right now, and be 100% satisfied with its quality!

What other questions in Russian would you like to learn? Feel free to leave your answers in the comment section below!

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Our Preparation Guide for the TORFL Russian Language Exam


At some point in your Russian-learning journey, you’ll probably want to test your mettle and see how far you’ve come. After all, few things are as motivating as tangible progress! 

To establish your proficiency in Russian, you have to pass the international TORFL test. If you don’t know much about this examination, read our article to learn the basics. If you’ve already decided to take the main Russian test for foreigners, you should stick around too, because we’ll help you prepare for the big day!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Russian Table of Contents
  1. General Info on the TORFL Russian Language Test
  2. Who Needs to Take the TORFL Russian Exam?
  3. What’s Inside the TORFL?
  4. How to Pass the TORFL Russian Language Test
  5. Where to Take the TORFL Practice Test
  6. What is the Minimum Score to Get the TORFL Certificate?
  7. What if I Fail the Test?
  8. Conclusion

1. General Info on the TORFL Russian Language Test

TORFL, created in 1998, stands for “Test of Russian as a Foreign Language.” The TORFL is the most authoritative test for foreigners studying Russian.

The main goal of this famous language examination is to determine a person’s level of language proficiency. We’ll talk about each of the possible levels in the following sections.

Elementary Level / A1

Achieving a good score on the Elementary Level of the TORFL shows that a student has a basic competence in Russian. It clearly demonstrates that this student is able to satisfy the elementary needs of communication in a restricted number of daily situations. In addition, successfully passing the TORFL A1 means that a foreigner can:

  • Use a minimal set of linguistic resources
  • Read very short and easy texts
  • Understand slow and simple speech with long pauses

Basic Level / A2

A person who has successfully passed the Basic Level test can satisfy his elementary communication needs without any problems. If you’ve performed well on this level, you may not be afraid of going to Russia and having small conversations with native speakers. Achieving a satisfactory score on this level is also enough to get citizenship in Russia.

Do note, however, that the A2 level is NOT the minimum for acceptance into Russian universities; you’ll need to attain a higher level for this. Preparatory faculties and schools are the exception here, and they often teach students Russian as part of their training. 

This TORFL level is also insufficient for establishing deep connections with Russian people who use only their mother tongue.

A Woman Reading a Book on a Bus

If you dream of studying in Russia, you have to start learning and mastering the language. There is no other way.

The First Certification Level / B1

If you’ve passed the TORFL B1 exam, it means that you have an intermediate level of Russian language competence. You may support conversations about your life, culture, education, and profession. At the same time, you’re still not ready to communicate in Russian freely, because you’ll sometimes need help or preparation for it.

Attaining the B1 certificate for this Russian language test gives you the opportunity to go to any Russian university you’d like. But remember that there are still many things related to the Russian language that you don’t know, and you’ll have to continue studying hard in the future.

The Second Level Certificate / B2

People who manage to perform well on the B2 exam and attain the Second Level Certificate can gratify their needs for communication with other people in a broad range of spheres. They can understand natives talking and writing about culture, politics, and other more-complex themes without using a dictionary.

The certificate of the Second Level of the main Russian foreign language test allows a person to receive a degree from a Russian university. This person may also perform professional activities related to:

  • Humanitarian sciences (not including philology)
  • Engineering
  • Natural sciences

The Third Level Certificate / C1

If a foreigner successfully attains the Third Level Certificate, then this foreigner has excellent skills in communication with native speakers. Moreover, he can definitely:

  • Read and understand long texts
  • Capture details and hidden meanings in complex texts and speeches, even if they have nothing to do with his own specialty
  • Fluently talk about abstract topics for a long time with ease

Such deep knowledge of Russian, proven by this language certificate, gives a person many opportunities. For example, having this level of Russian allows someone to work in difficult spheres and fields such as linguistics.

A Woman Raising Her Hand in Class

There are a few foreigners working as linguists in Russia. You can be one of them if you study Russian really hard!

The Fourth Level Certificate / C2

Excellent performance on the C2 exam represents a real proficiency in understanding and speaking Russian. If someone has gotten to this level, it means that his competence in the language is not far away from the level of a native speaker.

The Fourth Level Certificate also gives its owner an opportunity to receive a Master of Arts degree in philology. With this, a foreigner can choose any kind of work in the sphere of philology.

2. Who Needs to Take the TORFL Russian Exam?

Language Skills

Not everyone who learns Russian needs to take this test, though it can be really helpful for those who:

  • Are going to receive education in a Russian-speaking country
  • Need to be licensed or certified in a particular sphere (in most cases, connected to languages)
  • Need to show their language mastery for immigration purposes
  • Simply want to check their Russian language skills in a formal setting

3. What’s Inside the TORFL?

The TORFL foreign Russian language test is composed of five parts. The difficulty and duration of each part varies depending on the level. These five parts are:


In this part, a student must demonstrate his ability to read a text (or various texts), perfectly understanding it or them. The reading portion of the test is normally composed of three tasks. The duration of this section is 50 minutes for levels A1, A2, and B1; for levels B2, C1, and C2, it is 90 minutes.


Here, students must reproduce the context of a given text and write a unique composition. It may be a letter, a card, or anything else. During this stage, students are usually asked to complete three different tasks. The duration of this section is 50 minutes for levels A1 and A2; levels B1 and C1 suggest 60 minutes for the writing section; for B2, it’s 55 minutes; for C2 it’s 80 minutes.


The number of tasks varies depending on the level. Keep in mind that this portion of the test can use both audio and video items. The listening sections for levels A1 and C1 will require 30 minutes, while the same section for levels A2 and B1 will take 35 minutes. The duration for level B2 is 40 minutes; for level C2, it’s 50 minutes.

Oral Competence

This part of the Russian proficiency exam looks at how a student participates in conversations with other people. The oral competence part may consist of two or four different sections, depending on the level. The duration of this section is 25 minutes (levels A2, B1, B2, and C1), 30 minutes for level A1, and 45 minutes for level C2.

Structural Competence

Here, students must be ready to show their knowledge of the Russian linguistic system. To pass it, they need to know structural rules, grammar points, and other aspects of the language’s linguistic system. The student will also need to know a lot of Russian vocabulary to pass. The grammar and vocabulary section will last 50 minutes for levels A1 and A2, 60 minutes for levels B1 and C2, and 90 minutes for levels B2 and C1.

A Woman Thinking while Doing Homework

All of the parts are important and ranked equally.

4. How to Pass the TORFL Russian Language Test

If you’re a foreigner, you probably won’t pass the exam without good preparation. This is especially true if you’re trying to get the Certificate for the Third or even the Fourth level. Be ready to begin preparing for your Russian proficiency exam at least a month in advance.

There are several ways to prepare:

  • Regularly do TORFL tests online
  • Regularly do paper-based tests
  • Get support from a teacher or tutor
  • Find other people preparing for the test and study with them
  • Find native speakers and talk with them as much as possible
A Group of People Chatting at a Table

Native speakers are the best help in learning a language.

5. Where to Take the TORFL Practice Test

You may test your Russian language level through any organization that’s authorized for handling the TORFL examination. Such organizations are located not only in Russia and other CIS countries, but also in Europe and the USA; you won’t have any difficulties finding them and taking a practice test!

6. What is the Minimum Score to Get the TORFL Certificate?

If you want to pass this Russian test and get the certificate, you need to score no less than sixty-six percent for every section. Keep in mind that this exam is made with some security features to prevent cheating. But once you pass, your certificate will be valid forever.

A Woman Shaking Hands with Someone and Getting a Certificate

This certificate may be yours!

7. What if I Fail the Test?

If you don’t receive the minimum score in one or two of the sections, you may retake that part of the test again for the full price of the exam. And if you failed more than two of the sections, you can retake the entire test for the full price. 

If you fail only one of the sections, you’ll receive a certificate that’s valid for just two years. Of course, in the future, you’ll be able to retake your Russian language test for the full price and get the non-expiring certificate.

8. Conclusion

In this helpful guide, you’ve learned everything you need to know about the TORFL. If you want to test successfully and receive the certificate, be sure to use the free audio recordings and other useful resources on They’ll help you master Russian while having fun.

If you want to increase your chances of passing the TORFL, use our premium service MyTeacher. You’ll get personal one-on-one coaching with a private tutor. Your teacher will help you prepare for your future Russian language examination in accordance with your current level of knowledge. Don’t waste your time; start preparing right now!

What level of Russian proficiency do you think you have right now? Do you feel prepared for the TORFL now? Please, let us know in the comments section below.

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Essential Russian Sentence Patterns to Know


Making sentences in Russian isn’t easy for foreigners. To do it, you have to know not only vocabulary, but also the grammar of this complex language. If you want to start speaking as soon as possible, you’d better learn some Russian sentence patterns. By remembering them, you’ll be able to build your own sentences really quickly, without thinking too much about rules.

In this article, you’ll find ten really useful Russian sentences for beginners. These sentences will help you have basic conversations with native speakers and feel more confident in your knowledge of the language. Don’t be lazy; we recommend that you spend a few hours remembering them. We’re sure that in the future, you’ll appreciate yourself for doing so!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Linking Nouns: A is B
  2. Using Adjectives to Describe Something: A is/was [Adjective]
  3. Expressing “Want”: I Want (to)…
  4. Expressing “Need”: I Need (to)… / I Have (to)…
  5. Expressing “Like”: I Like (to)…
  6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something: Please…
  7. Asking for Permission: May I / Can I?
  8. Asking for Information About Something: What is/was…?
  9. Asking About Time: When is…?
  10. Asking About Location or Position: Where is…?
  11. Conclusion

1. Linking Nouns: A is B

This is one of the most common Russian sentence patterns, and you use it to give a basic explanation or make a statement. For example:

  • Джон – мой брат
    Dzhon – moy brat
    “John is my brother.”

In Russian, we put “–” between the subject and predicate if they’re both nouns. Keep it in mind!

  • Мой брат – таксист
    Moy brat – taksist
    “My brother is a taxi driver.”
  • Эти часы – подарок моей жены
    Eti chasy – podarok moyey zheny
    “This watch is a present from my wife.”

In Russian, the word часы (chasy) is only plural, while in English, it can be either singular or plural. But intermediate and advanced learners should know this already!

  • Россия – самая большая страна в мире
    Rossiya – samaya bol`shaya strana v mire
    “Russia is the biggest country in the world.”
  • Мопсы – хорошие собаки, мне они нравятся
    Mopsy – khoroshiye sobaki, mne oni nravyatsya
    “Pugs are nice dogs; I like them.”
Sentence Patterns

2. Using Adjectives to Describe Something: A is/was [Adjective]

This type of Russian sentence construction is widely used to describe something or somebody. For example:

  • Эта пицца вкусная
    Eta pitstsa vkusnaya
    “This pizza is delicious.”
  • Моя последняя работа была ужасной 
    Moya poslednyaya rabota byla uzhasnoy
    “My last job was terrible.”

This Russian sentence pattern refers to the past. You should remember it!

  • Фильм, который мы смотрели вчера, был страшным 
    Fil’m, kotoryy my smotreli vchera, byl strashnym
    “The film we watched yesterday was scary.”
  • Я думаю, мой брат умнее, чем моя сестра 
    Ya dumayu, moy brat umneye, chem moya sestra
    “I think my brother is smarter than my sister.”
  • Ты красивая 
    Ty krasivaya
    “You are beautiful.”

The last sentence above is correct if you say it to a girl. If you want to compliment a guy, say Ты красивый (Ty krasivyy). If you’re going to praise somebody who’s older than you, use Вы красивые (Vy krasivyye).

A Man Whispering Something in a Woman’s Ear

Don’t skimp on compliments!

3. Expressing “Want”: I Want (to)…

Basic Russian phrases like these are useful in everyday conversations, since they help to express desires and plans. The Russian sentence patterns given below will definitely enrich your speech:

  • Я хочу вот это 
    Ya khochu vot eto
    “I want this.”
  • Я хочу задать вопрос 
    Ya khochu zadat’ vopros
    “I want to ask a question.”
  • Я хочу быть для тебя хорошим мужчиной 
    Ya khochu byt dlya tebya khoroshim muzhchinoy
    “I want to be a good man for you.”

If you’re a girl, change this last Russian sentence pattern a bit by saying: Я хочу быть для тебя хорошей девушкой (Ya khochu byt dlya tebya khoroshey devushkoy).

  • Я хочу жить в Японии через несколько лет 
    Ya khochu zhit’ v Yaponii cherez neskolko let
    “I want to live in Japan in a few years.”
  • Я хочу, чтобы вы перестали так громко разговаривать 
    Ya khochu, chtoby vy perestali tak gromko razgovarivat’
    “I want you to stop talking so loud.”

4. Expressing “Need”: I Need (to)… / I Have (to)…

These basic Russian sentence patterns are really easy and helpful at the same time. Check out some examples:

  • Мне нужна ручка 
    Mne nuzhna ruchka
    “I need a pen.”

If the thing you need refers to the masculine gender, use нужен (nuzhen); if to the neutral, use нужно (nuzhno).

  • Мне нужно попрактиковаться
    Mne nuzhno popraktikovat’sya
    “I need to practice.”
  • Мне нужно попрактиковаться
    Seychas mne nuzhno idti
    “Now I have to go.”

In Russian, “need” and “have to” are normally expressed with the same word: нужно (nuzhno).

  • Мне нужно воспользоваться ванной/Мне нужна ванная 
    Mne nuzhno vospol’zovat’sya vannoy/Mne nuzhna vannaya
    “I need to use the bathroom.”
  • Мне нужно готовиться к экзамену
    Mne nuzhno gotovit’sya k ekzamenu
    “I have to prepare for my exam.”
Sentence Components

5. Expressing “Like”: I Like (to)…

You need to know how to structure a Russian sentence using the verb “to like” in order to sound positive in your speech. We’ve prepared some basic Russian sentence patterns to get you started: 

  • Ты мне нравишься 
    Ty mne nravish’sya
    “I like you.”

If you’re talking to an older person or somebody you don’t know very well, use Вы мне нравитесь (Vy mne nravites’) instead.

  • Мне нравится готовить 
    Mne nravitsya gotovit’
    “I like to cook.”
  • Мне нравится смотреть закаты на пляже 
    Mne nravitsya smotret’ zakaty na plyazhe
    “I like to watch sunsets at the beach.”
  • Мне нравится его чувство юмора 
    Mne nravitsya ego chuvstvo yumora
    “I like his sense of humor.”

If you’re talking about a girl or a woman, simply replace его (ego) with её (yeyo).

  • Мне нравится то, как моя мама ко мне относится 
    Mne nravitsya to, kak moya mama ko mne otnositsya
    “I like the way my mother treats me.”

6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something: Please…

It’s important to know this easy Russian sentence structure if you want to make polite requests. Pay attention to these common Russian sentence patterns:

  • Пожалуйста, сядь(те) 
    Pozhaluysta, syad’(te)
    “Please, sit.”

The form сядь (syad’) is applicable if you’re talking to your friend or a close relative. If you’re speaking to a group of people, to a person who’s older than you, or someone who’s not in a close relationship with you, use the form сядьте (syad’te). Remember this rule while reading and using the Russian sentence patterns below.

  • Пожалуйста, послушай(те) меня 
    Pozhaluysta, poslushay(te) menya
    “Please, listen to me.”
  • Пожалуйста, встаньте в очередь
    Pozhaluysta, vstan’te v ochered’
    “Please, stand in line.”
  • Пожалуйста, прекрати(те) так нагло врать 
    Pozhaluysta, prekrati(te) tak naglo vrat’
    “Please, stop lying so brazenly.”
  • Пожалуйста, познакомь(те) нас друг с другом
    Pozhaluysta, poznakom’(te) nas drug s drugom
    “Please, introduce us to each other.”
A Man and Woman Shaking Hands at a Car Dealership

Being polite in Russian is as easy as in English.

7. Asking for Permission: May I / Can I?

If you visit Russia, it’s crucial that you know how to ask for permission. Moreover, these Russian phrases will help you sound polite. 

  • Я могу войти? 
    Ya mogu voyti?
    “May I come in?”
  • Можно мне воды? 
    Mozhno mne vody?
    “Can I get some water?”
  • Я могу опоздать на 15 минут?
    Ya mogu opozdat’ na 15 minut?
    “Can I be 15 minutes late?”
  • Могу я попросить твоего совета? 
    Mogu ya poprosit’ tvoyego soveta?
    “May I ask you for a piece of advice?”

To use the polite form, change твоего (tvoyego) to вашего (vashego).

  • Могу ли я позвать своего друга? 
    Mogu li ya pozvat svoyego druga?
    “Can I invite my friend?”

8. Asking for Information About Something: What is/was…?

With these Russian sentence patterns, you’ll be able to ask about many core things. For instance:

  • Что это? 
    Chto eto?
    “What is it?”
  • Как его зовут? 
    Kak ego zovut?
    “What is his name?”

If you’re interested in a girl’s name, use её (yeyo) instead of его (ego) in this Russian sentence.

  • Какое блюдо мы ели в последний раз? 
    Kakoye blyudo my yeli v posledniy raz?
    “What was the dish we had the last time?”
  • Какой сегодня день? 
    Kakoy segodnya den’?
    “What is the day today?”
  • Какой твой любимый цвет? 
    Kakoy tvoy lyubimyy tsvet?
    “What is your favorite color?”

In a formal situation or when talking to an older person, say ваш (vash), not твой (tvoy).

A Man and Woman Talking on a Date

Asking questions helps you sound interested in another person while talking to him or her.

9. Asking About Time: When is…?

To ask a question in Russian about the time, use the following sentence patterns:

  • Когда встреча? 
    Kogda vstrecha?
    “When is the meeting?”
  • Когда наш рейс? 
    Kogda nash reys?
    “When is our flight?”
  • Когда мы пойдём на море?
    Kogda my poydyom na more?
    “When will we go to the sea?”
  • Когда они наконец поженятся и заведут детей?
    Kogda oni nakonets pozhenyatsya i zavedut detey?
    “When will they marry and have children?”
  • Когда я уснул? 
    Kogda ya usnul?
    “When did I fall asleep?”

If you’re a woman, say уснула (usnula) instead of уснул (usnul).

10. Asking About Location or Position: Where is…?

Knowing the following Russian sentence structure and patterns, you’ll never get lost. They’ll also help you keep conversations going. Remember these examples:

  • Где лифт? 
    Gde lift?
    “Where is the elevator?”
  • Где ближайший ресторан?
    Gde blizhayshiy restoran?
    “Where is the nearest restaurant?”
  • Где родился Джек Лондон?
    Gde rodilsya Dzhek London?
    “Where was Jack London born?”
  • Где у вас тут туалет? 
    Gde u vas tut tualet?
    Gde u vas tut tualet?
  • Где лучше подстричься?
    Gde luchshe podstrich’sya?
    “Where should I cut my hair?”
The Red Square in Moscow

You should definitely know these questions if you go to Russia! 

11. Conclusion

In this article, you learned the top Russian language sentence structures every beginner should know. Each pattern in this article is correct and useful. 

Of course, there are many more speech constructions, and one article isn’t enough to name all of them. What we covered today should give you a good headstart and increase your speaking and writing level. If you want to learn more basic Russian sentence patterns to practice, visit Here you’ll find a great deal of expressions for both beginners and advanced learners.

We also suggest that you use our premium service MyTeacher. If you choose to do so, a native Russian speaker will teach you, correct your mistakes, and test your knowledge. We’re sure that this method of studying will be the most efficient for you!

Feel free to let us know in the comments if you have any questions or need to know another sentence pattern!

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Looking to the Future: Day of National Unity in Russia

How much hardship can a single country endure? 

Take a brief look at Russian history, and you’ll find that a country can survive just about anything as long as its people remain united. From Polish invasion to the so-called Time of Troubles, Russia underwent quite a series of destructive events in the seventeenth century—and eventually made it to the other side intact as a nation.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of this history with you and talk about the importance of National Unity Day in Russia. 

Let’s get started!

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1. What is National Unity Day?

Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin Commemoration Statue in Russia

The Russian National Day of Unity, celebrated each year on 4 ноября (4 nayabrya), or November 4, commemorates the Russian defeat of Polish invaders in 1612. Led by national heroes Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, Russians from every class and walk of life joined together into one formidable force and thus defeated the Polish and retained their independence. Additionally, the holiday celebrates the end of the so-called Time of Troubles

Following the Russian victory, Mikhail Romanov took the throne as the new Czar and declared that a holiday be implemented to remember the events. He called it: “Day of Moscow’s Liberation from Polish Invaders.” It became an official holiday in 1649, but celebrations ceased in 1918, when the Великая Октябрьская революция (Velikaya Aktyabr’skaya revalyutsyya), or “Great October Revolution,” took place.

At this time, the government eradicated the current holiday and replaced it with a new one honoring the Great October Socialist Revolution. But in 2005, about fifteen years after the USSR collapsed, the original holiday was reimplemented and given the name National Day of Unity. 

Today, the holiday is celebrated not only to remember the events of 1612, but to encourage further unity amongst Russians. 

2. National Unity Day Traditions

In Russia, the Day of National Unity isn’t met with a lot of celebrations, likely because of how new it is. 

The biggest celebration for the Day of National Unity in Russia is the festive ceremony at the Grand Kremlin Palace. Some of Russia’s highest-ranking members of society are invited to attend. These include the Patriarch of Moscow, His Holiness Kirill I, government representatives, and people in the fields of culture and science. 

The President of Russia also offers awards to people who have benefited the country in some way. In particular, those who have contributed to the country’s peace and unity in a big way or have aided the country in its relations with other nations are considered highly valued members of society. 

On the side of the general population, people may host a fair, festival, or Концерт (kantsert), meaning “concert.” There may also be a Военный парад (voyennyy parad), or “military parade,” in larger cities. In addition, flowers are laid at national monuments and services are given. 

National Unity Day is considered a time for Благотворительность (blagatvaritel’nast’), or “charity.” Many Russians give to the poor or perform other charitable acts on this day.

3. A Shared Holiday

A Kite in the Air with Russian Flag Colors

The Day of National Unity in Russia shares its date with another important holiday. Do you know which holiday this is?

It’s called the Feast of Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky prayed to this icon and took it with them on their march. Each year, the churches do a special service dedicated to the Kazan icon.

    →Learn the names of different religions in Russian on our Religion vocabulary list.

4. Essential Vocabulary for National Unity Day

A Public Celebration for the Day of National Unity

Let’s review some of the vocabulary words from this article!

  • Ноябрь (noyabr’) — “November”
  • Цветок (tsvetok) — “flower”
  • Концерт (kantsert) — “concert”
  • День народного единства (Den’ narodnava yedinstva) — “Day of National Unity”
  • Великая Октябрьская революция (Velikaya Aktyabr’skaya revalyutsyya) — “Great October Revolution”
  • Мемориал (memarial) — “memorial”
  • 4 ноября (4 nayabrya) — “November 4”
  • Военный парад (voyennyy parad) — “military parade”
  • Кузьма Минин (Kuz’ma Minin) — “Kuzma Minin”
  • Освобождение (asvabazhdeniye) — “emancipation”
  • Дмитрий Пожарский (Dmitriy Pazharskiy) — “Dmitry Pozharsky”
  • День воинской славы (Den’ voinskay slavy) — “Days of Military Honor”
  • Благотворительность (blagatvaritel’nast’) — “charity”
  • Митинг (mitink) — “rally”
  • Демонстрация (demanstratsyya) — “demonstration”

Remember that you can find each of these words and phrases, along with their pronunciation, on our Day of National Unity vocabulary list. 

Final Thoughts

Does your country have a holiday that encourages national unity? If so, how do you celebrate? Let us know in the comments! 

If you would like to learn more about Russian culture and the language, check out the following blog posts on

And there’s much more where that came from! If you’re serious about becoming fluent in Russian, create your free lifetime account today. You’ll be speaking Russian in minutes and fluent before you know it. 

We hope to see you around! ;)

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100 Must-Know Russian Adverbs List


Why learn about Russian adverbs and Russian adverb rules?

Imagine you’re in a city you’ve never been to and you’re asking for directions. The person knows exactly where you should go, but they just keep repeating “Go, then turn, then go.” You’re stunned. What’s going on? 

This is what life without adverbs would look like. As soon as you include “straight,” “left,” and “right” in the conversation with that passer-by, the interaction suddenly makes much more sense. This is what adverbs do: they add minor and major nuances to our everyday life.

So, you actually have a solid reason to be interested in adverbs, and you’re in the right place to learn more about adverbs in Russian! In this article, we’ll cover Russian adverbs placement, their formation, and—more importantly—we’ll provide you with an extensive list of the 100 most useful Russian adverbs you should know. 

This article is aimed at intermediate Russian learners. However, beginners will also benefit from learning the basics about Russian adverbs, and advanced students will improve their vocabulary and understand more complex Russian structures by reading through our examples.

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  1. Tell Me More About Russian Adverbs
  2. The 100 Most Useful Russian Adverbs
  3. A Bonus from RussianPod101

1. Tell Me More About Russian Adverbs

Top Verbs

1 – What is an Adverb?

Adverbs are words that specify the meaning of verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They can completely change the meaning, or simply make it more precise. Unlike the majority of words in Russian, adverbs do not have gender, case, or number. They never change, but they can have comparative and superlative forms. We’ll talk about them in a minute.

Let’s have a look at some examples of Russian adverbs:

  • Медленно (medlenno) — “Slowly”
  • Быстро (bystro) — “Fast”
  • Прямо (pryamo) — “Straight”

And this is how these adverbs can be used with the verb идти (idti), meaning “to walk”:

  • Я иду медленно. (Ya idu medlenno.) — “I walk slowly.”
  • Я иду быстро. (Ya idu bystro.) — “I walk fast.”
  • Я иду прямо. (Ya idu pryamo.) — “I walk straight.”

As you can see, the first two adverbs change the way I walk, the speed. As for the third one, it’s specifying the direction: I’m walking straight, not left or right. By the way, some Russian adverbs are not adverbs in English; sometimes they don’t even have a direct equivalent, so be ready for surprises!

2 – How Do I Spot an Adverb?

Woman with Magnifying Glass

Russian adverbs are formed from various parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, and so on. However, deriving adverbs from adjectives is the most common way, just like in English. So how does it work in Russian?

Here’s how to form Russian adverbs this way:

хорош ИЙ  (khorishiy) >> хорош +O = хорошО (khorosho)

“Good” >> “Well”

Did you understand what happened? We removed the ending of the adjective and added “o” instead. Basically, an adverb derived from an adjective coincides with the neuter short form of this adjective. You can learn more about short adjectives with (available to signed-up users only).

Let’s consider an example:

  • Adjective: Это хороший фильм. (Eto khoroshiy fil’m.) — “This is a good movie.”
  • Adverb: Она хорошо поёт. (Ona khorosho poyot.) — “She sings well.”

As the word order is pretty flexible in Russian, adverbs can go either before or after the word they modify, preferably before.

Look at the different adverb positions:

  • Саша весело смеётся. (Sasha veselo smeyotsya.) — “Sasha is joyfully laughing.”
  • Саша смеётся весело. (Sasha smeyotsya veselo.) — “Sasha is laughing joyfully.”

You might be wondering, “So if you say that an adverb derived from an adjective looks exactly like its short neuter form, how do I know the difference between adverbs and adjectives?” 

Easily. First, adjectives usually answer questions like “What kind?” or “Which?”, and adverbs answer questions such as “How?”, “Where?”, “When?”, “How much?”, “Why?”, and “What for?” Second, the neuter adjective agrees with the noun in gender and number; the adverb, as mentioned above, does not. 


  • Он красиво играет на гитаре. (On krasivo igrayet na gitare.) — “He plays the guitar beautifully.”
  • Кольцо красиво. (Koltso krasivo.) — “The ring is beautiful.”

I’m pretty sure you can tell which one is the adverb and which one is the adjective even without the translation. Look at these two sentences and explain your choice using the rule above. Give it a go!

Just like in English, there are also some adverbs that look like prepositions. And there is a way to distinguish between them as well! A preposition can’t be separated from the noun, while an adverb is an independent word and it’s not going to hide behind anyone’s back when you ask “How?”, “Where?”, “When?”, “How much?”, “Why?”, and “What for?”


  • Вокруг дома растут деревья. (Vokrug doma rastut derev’ya.) — “There are trees growing around the house.”
  • Вокруг было тихо. (Vokrug bylo tikho.) — “It was quiet around.”

So in the first sentence, вокруг дома (vokrug doma), meaning “around the house,” is an inseparable union,  and if you want to ask the question “Where?”, the answer is going to feature both words: вокруг дома (vokrug doma). However, in the second sentence, вокруг (vokrug) can answer the question “Where?” alone.

3 – Any Interesting Features of Russian Language Adverbs?

Remember how I mentioned that adverbs can have comparative and superlative forms? Indeed, most adverbs derived from adjectives keep their ability to form degrees of comparison. 

The comparative degree, or Russian comparative adverbs, can be formed in two ways:

  1. By adding -ее (-eye) to the end of the adverb (with some exceptions)
  • Весело (veselo) >> веселее (veseleye) — “Fun” >> “funner”
  • Быстро (bystro) >> быстрее (bystreye) — “Fast” >> “faster”
  1. By adding the words более (boleye) meaning “more” and менее (meneye) meaning “less”
  • Глубоко (gluboko) >> более глубоко (boleye gluboko) — “Deep” >> “deeper”
  • Глубоко (gluboko) >> менее глубоко (meneye gluboko) — “Deep” >> “less deep”

As a rule of thumb, you can choose whichever scheme you like; they’re pretty much equal. 

It’s a bit more complicated with the superlative form. The scheme is as follows:

Simple comparative form (ending with -ее) + words всех (vsekh) or всего (vsego) meaning “of all”

  • Интересно (interesno) >> интереснее всех (interesneye vsekh) —
    “Interesting” >> “the most interesting of all”
  • Далеко (daleko) >> дальше всех (dal’she vsekh) — “Far” >> “the farthest of all”

So now you have some solid background knowledge about what Russian adverbs are, what purpose they serve, and how they can change their form. You’re now ready for our comprehensive list of the 100 most common Russian adverbs! Let’s dive in!

2. The 100 Most Useful Russian Adverbs

There are many ways to classify adverbs, each one with its own purpose and reason. For this article, we’ve chosen the classification based on what question each adverb answers. It will be easier to remember the Russian adverbs divided by their functions.

1 – Russian Adverbs of Place (Where?)

East and West

Have you been to Russia? What’s the main attraction every tourist knows about? Let’s see if your guess was correct. Read the dialogue between a tour guide and a tourist.


Далеко (daleko)
А далеко Красная площадь
A daleko Krasnaya ploshchad’?
“Is the Red Square far?”


Близко (blizko)
Нет, совсем близко.
Net, sovsem blizko.
“No, it’s really close.”


Здесь (zdes’)
Мы на месте. Посмотрите, здесь у нас храм.
My na meste. Posmotrite, zdes’ u nas khram.
“That’s the place. Look, here we have the church.”


Там (tam)
“(Over) there”
А там — Мавзолей.
A tam — Mavzoley.
“And the mausoleum is over there.”


Справа (sprava)
“To the right”
Справа от храма Кремль.
Sprava ot khrama Kreml’.
“The Kremlin is to the right of the church.”


Слева (sleva)
“To the left”
Слева от Кремля ГУМ. Это торговый центр.
Sleva ot Kremlya GUM. Eto torgovyy tsentr.
“GUM is to the left of the Kremlin. GUM is a shopping mall.”


Наверху (naverkhu)
“On the top”
Кремль легко узнать. У него наверху звезда.
Kreml’ legko uznat’. U nego naverkhu zvezda.
“It’s easy to recognize the Kremlin. It has a star on the top.”


Внизу (vnizu)
“At the bottom”
Внизу у Кремля стоит охрана.
Vnizu u Kremlya stoit okhrana.
“There are guards at the bottom of the Kremlin.”


Где-нибудь (gde-nibud’)
А здесь где-нибудь можно купить матрёшку?
A zdes’ gde-nibud’ mozhno kupit’ matryoshku?
“Can I buy a Russian doll somewhere here?”


Нигде (nigde)
“No… anywhere”
Тут только красивые здания, а сувениров нигде нет.
Tut tol’ko krasivyye zdaniya, a suvenirov nigde net.
“There are only beautiful buildings around, but I don’t see souvenirs anywhere.”


Везде (vezde)
И везде люди с фотоаппаратами.
I vezde lyudi s fotoapparatami.
“And people with cameras are everywhere.”


Дома (doma)
“At home”
Хочу матрёшку. Дома похвастаюсь, что был в России.
Khochu matryoshku. Doma pokhvastayus’, chto byl v Rossii.
“I want a Russian doll. I want to boast at home that I’ve been to Russia.”
Note: Just like in English, дома (doma), meaning “at home,” doesn’t necessarily imply “in your house.” It can also refer to your neighborhood, city, or country.

Even if you haven’t been to Russia yet, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the Red Square. Do you know what it looks like? Have a look at this 360° panorama of the Red Square in Moscow. Can you find the church? Where is the Kremlin? Is it справа (sprava) or слева (sleva)?

By the way, we have a similar dialogue example with audio on If you want more practice, check it out (available to signed-up users only)!

2 – Russian Adverbs of Direction (Where to?)

Have you read Russian fairy-tales? If yes, you should remember a very prominent inanimate character—a stone that gives you a hard choice of where to go at the junction. Which direction should I go? There is no good choice. Well, actually, there is. You can get familiar with the well-known Russian fairy-tale about the Firebird, read about the stone, and see what choice the main character makes. 

And then proceed through our list of adverbs!


Куда-то (kuda-to)
Снится мне сон, что я куда-то иду.
Snitsya mne son, chto ya kuda-to idu.
“I had a dream that I was going somewhere.”


Вперёд (vperyod)
Смотрю вперёд и вижу камень, как в русских сказках.
Smotryu vperyod i vizhu kamen’, kak v russkikh skazkakh.
 “I look forward and see a stone like the one in Russian fairy-tales.”


Налево (nalevo)
“(To the) left”
На камне написано: «Налево пойдёшь — счастье найдёшь».
Na kamne napisano: «Nalevo poydyosh’ — shchast’ye naydyosh’».
“The stone says, ‘If you go left, you will find your happiness.’”


Направо (napravo)
“(To the) right”
«Направо пойдёшь — богатство найдёшь».
«Napravo poydyosh’ — bogatstvo naydyosh’».
“‘If you go right, you will find wealth.’”


Назад (nazad)
«Назад пойдёшь — беду встретишь».
«Nazad poydyosh’ — bedu vstretish’».
“’If you go back, you will only find misfortune.’”


Обратно (obratno)
Я понял, что обратно идти нельзя.
Ya ponyal, chto obratno idti nel’zya.
“I realized that I can’t go back.”


Туда (tuda)
Счастье — это хорошо, но справа деньги обещают. Пошёл туда.
Shchast’ye — eto khorosho, no sprava den’gi obeshchayut. Poshyol tuda.
“Happiness is good, but I was promised money on the right. So I went there.”


Вверх (vverkh)
Долго я шёл вверх по горам.
Dolgo ya shyol vverkh po goram.
“I was going up the mountains for a long time.”


Сюда (syuda)
Думал: «Зачем я сюда пошёл?»
Dumal: «Zachem ya syuda poshyol?»
“I was thinking, ‘Why did I ever go here?’”


Вниз (vniz)
С вершины холма заметил дом и пошёл вниз.
S vershiny kholma zametil dom i poshyol vniz.
“I spotted a house from the top of the hill, so I went down.”


Домой (domoy)
“Back home”
Зашёл в него: оказалось, вернулся домой к жене. 
Zashyol v nego: okazalos’, vernulsya domoy k zhene.
“I entered the place. It turned out I returned back home to my wife.”


Никуда (nikuda)
“Nowhere” = “Anywhere”
Понял, что семья — моё богатство, никуда за ним ходить не надо.
Ponyal, chto sem’ya — moyo bogatstvo, nikuda za nim khodit’ ne nado.
“I realized that my family is my wealth, and that I don’t need to go anywhere to find it.”

Note: Some adverbs of place and adverbs of direction might sound similar in English. However, there is a distinction in Russian. The difference is that the adverbs of direction indicate the process of moving somewhere, while adverbs of place actually imply that the subject is already at the place. 

3 – Russian Adverbs of Time (When? and How?)

Now, Tomorrow, Yesterday Signs

What is your reason for learning Russian? Do you feel like you need a push sometimes? Get a burst of motivation while reading through these Russian time adverbs! 


Недавно (nedavno)
Недавно ты решил начать изучать русский язык.
Nedavno ty reshil izuchat’ russkiy yazyk.
“Recently, you have decided to learn Russian.”


Ещё (yeshchyo)
“Yet” = “Still”
Ты ещё не знаешь всех слов.
Ty yeshchyo ne znayesh’ vsekh slov.
“You don’t know all the words yet.”


Уже (uzhe)
Но уже что-то понимаешь.
No uzhe chto-to ponimayesh’.
“But you already understand something.”


Когда-нибудь (kogda-nibud’)
“One day”
Когда-нибудь ты точно заговоришь по-русски.
Kogda-nibud’ ty tochno zagovorish’ po-russki.
“One day, you will definitely speak Russian.”


Пока (poka)
“For now”
Пока давай вспомним правила эффективного изучения языка.
Poka davay vspomnim pravila effektivnogo izucheniya yazyka.
“For now, let’s review the rules of effective language learning.”


Заранее (zaraneye)
“In advance”
Заранее реши, чего ты хочешь достичь в изучении языка.
Zaraneye reshi, chego ty khochesh’ dostich’ v izuchenii yazyka.
“Decide in advance what you want to reach in language learning.”


Сразу (srazu)
“At once”
Не учи сразу по 100 слов.
Ne uchi srazu po 100 slov.
“Don’t learn 100 words at once.”


Быстро (bystro)
Ты их быстро забудешь.
Ty ikh bystro zabudesh’.
“You will quickly forget them.”


Сначала (snachala)
Сначала выучи простые и нужные слова.
Snachala vyuchi prostyye i nuzhnyye slova.
“First learn simple and necessary words.”


Потом (potom)
Уже потом можно выучить «отвёртка» и «материнская плата».
Uzhe potom mozhno vyuchit’ «otvyortka» i «materinskaya plata».
“And later, you can learn the words ‘screwdriver’ and ‘motherboard.’”


Скоро (skoro)
А то скоро сможешь обсуждать мировые проблемы, а еду в ресторане заказать не сможешь.
A to skoro smozhesh’ obsuzhdat’ mirovyye problemy, a edu v restorane zakazat’ ne smozhesh’.
“Otherwise, you will soon be able to discuss global problems but not order food in a restaurant.”


Долго (dolgo)
“For a long time”
Учить язык долго, но интересно.
Uchit’ yazyk dolgo, no interesno.
“You can learn a language for a long time, but it’s fun.”


Всегда (vsegda)
Всегда узнаёшь что-то новое.
Vsegda uznayosh’ chto-to novoye.
“You always learn new stuff.”


Обычно (obychno)
Обычно хватает шести месяцев, чтобы начать понимать и говорить.
Obychno khvatayet shesti mesyatsev, chtoby nachat’ ponimat’ i govorit’.
“Usually, six months is enough to start understanding and speaking.”


Впервые (vpervyye)
“For the first time”
Главное — не опускать руки, когда впервые столкнёшься с трудностями.
Glavnoye — ne opuskat’ ruki, kogda vpervyye stolknyosh’sya s trudnostyami.
“It’s important to not give up when you face difficulties for the first time.”


Постоянно (postoyanno)
Чтобы выучить язык, нужно постоянно практиковаться.
Chtoby vyuchit’ yazyk, nuzhno postoyanno praktikovat’sya.
“To learn a language, you need to practice regularly.”


Часто (chasto)
Часто нам не хватает времени.
Chasto nam ne khvatayet vremeni.
“Often, we don’t have time.”


Некогда (nekogda)
“To have no time”
Ты можешь найти 15 минут, даже если тебе постоянно некогда.
Ty mozhesh’ nayti 15 minut, dazhe yesli tebe postoyanno nekogda.
“You can spare 15 minutes, even if you seem to have no time at all.”


Никогда (nikogda)
Никогда не ленись.
Nikogda ne lenis’.
“Never allow yourself to be lazy.”


Редко (redko)
Редко кому удаётся достичь желаемого без усилий.
Redko komu udayotsya dostich’ zhelayemogo bez usiliy.
“One can rarely achieve their goal effortlessly.”


Иногда (inogda)
Иногда хочется всё бросить. Вспомни, зачем ты начал.
Inogda khochetsya vsyo brosit’. Vspomni, zachem ty nachal.
“Sometimes you feel like giving it all up. Remember why you started.”


Снова (snova)
“Once again”
Давай снова повторим известные принципы продуктивности.
Davay snova povtorim izvestnyye printsipy produktivnosti.
“Let’s repeat the well-known rules of productivity once again.”


Рано (rano)
Говорят, что лучше вставать рано, ведь утро — самое продуктивное время суток.
Govoryat, chto luchshe vstavat’ rano, ved’ utro — samoye produktivnoye vremya sutok.
“People say it’s better to get up early: the morning is considered to be the most productive time of the day.”


Поздно (pozdno)
И лучше не ложиться поздно.
I luchshe ne lozhit’sya pozdno.
“And it’s better not to go to bed too late.”


Давно (davno)
“Long (time ago)”
Хотя давно известно, что у каждого свой ритм.
Khotya davno izvestno, chto u kazhdogo svoy ritm.
“Even though it has long been recognized that everybody’s got their own rhythm.”


Завтра (zavtra)
Перестань откладывать дела на завтра.
Perestan’ otkladyvat’ dela na zavtra.
“Stop putting it off till tomorrow.”


Сегодня (segodnya)
Через год ты пожалеешь, что не начал сегодня.
Cherez god ty pozhaleyesh’, chto ne nachal segodnya.
“In a year from now, you will regret not starting today.”


Вчера (vchera)
Каждый день старайся быть лучше, чем вчера.
Kazhdyy den’ staraysya byt’ luchshe, chem vchera.
“Every day, try to be better than yesterday.”


Однажды (odnazhdy)
“One day”
Однажды ты будешь благодарен себе за терпение.
Odnazhdy ty budesh’ blagodaren sebe za terpeniye.
“One day, you will be grateful for your patience.”


Сейчас (seychas)
Начни действовать прямо сейчас! Выучи 10 новых наречий.
Nachni deystvovat’ pryamo seychas! Vyuchi 10 novykh narechiy.
“Start acting right now! Learn 10 new adverbs.”

By the way, here’s a helpful guide about how to learn foreign words effectively. It could be useful for you!

4 – Russian Adverbs of Degree (How much?)

More Essential Verbs

It would be useful to know these adverbs if you go to the market to buy some food. Otherwise, how would you stop that nice lady from putting more and more green peppers into your bag? Or prevent your friend from drinking too much? Look at how our two friends are dealing with this issue.


Много (mnogo)
Ты зачем столько много пил вчера?
Ty zachem stol’ko mnogo pil vchera?
“Why did you drink so much yesterday?”


Мало (malo)
“Little,” “not enough”
Мало тебе проблем с женой?
Malo tebe problem s zhenoy?
“Don’t you have enough problems with your wife?”


Чуть-чуть (chut’-chut’)
“Tiny bit”
Да я выпил-то совсем чуть-чуть.
Da ya vypil-to sovsem chut’-chut’.
“But I drank just a tiny bit.”


Примерно (primerno)
Примерно пять бутылок пива.
Primerno pyat’ butylok piva.
“Five bottles of beer, approximately.”


Достаточно (dostatochno)
Достаточно, чтобы сегодня болела голова.
Dostatochno, chtoby segodnya bolela golova.
“Enough to have a headache today.”


Немного (nemnogo)
“A bit”
Ну, немного перебрал.
Nu, nemnogo perebral.
“Well yeah, I drank a bit too much.”


Только (tol’ko)
Я ж только расслабиться хотел!
Ya zh tol’ko rasslabit’sya khotel!
“I just wanted to relax!”


Больше (bol’she)
Больше пить не буду!
Bol’she pit’ ne budu!
“I’m not going to drink anymore!”


Меньше (men’she)
“Less,” “fewer”
Правильно, меньше будет проблем.
Pravil’no, men’she budet problem.
“That’s right, you’ll have fewer problems.”


Слишком (slishkom)
“Too much,” “too many”
Если в жизни слишком много стресса, давай лучше на природу съездим!
Yesli v zhizni slishkom mnogo stressa, davay luchshe na prirodu s’yezdim!
“If you have too much stress in your life, let’s just have a nature trip!”


Тоже (tozhe)
“As well”
Прогулки в лесу тоже отлично расслабляют.
Progulki v lesu tozhe otlichno rasslablyayut.
“Walking in the forest can relax you as well.”


Очень (ochen’)
Свежий воздух и тишина очень полезны.
Svezhiy vozdukh i tishina ochen’ polezny.
“Fresh air and silence are very healthy.”


Почти (pochti)
Я почти каждую неделю езжу туда отдыхать от шумного города.
Ya pochti kazhduyu nedelyu ezzhu tuda otdykhat’ ot shumnogo goroda.
“I go there almost every week to take a break from the buzzing city.”

5 – Russian Adverbs of Manner (How?)

This is the biggest category of all, by far. The variety of sentences here includes all possible adjectives converted into adverbs. Can you identify which adverbs used to be adjectives?


Хорошо (khorosho)
“Nicely,” “well”
Она хорошо справилась с тестом.
Ona khorosho spravilas’ s testom.
“She did well on the test.”


Плохо (plokho)
Он плохо воспринял новости. 
On plokho vosprinyal novosti.
“He reacted badly to the news.”


Вместе (vmeste)
Давай сходим на концерт вместе?
Davay skhodim na kontsert vmeste?
“Let’s go to the concert together?”


Наоборот (naoborot)
“Vice versa”
Пиццу — в духовку, пиво — в холодильник, а не наоборот!
Pitstsu — v dukhovku, pivo — v kholodil’nik, a ne naoborot!
“Pizza goes in the oven, beer goes in the fridge, not vice versa!”


Легко (legko)
Да я легко 100 метров за 14 секунд пробегу!
Da ya legko 100 metrov za 14 sekund probegu!
“I will easily run a hundred meters in 14 seconds!”


Сложно (slozhno)
Сложно быть умнее всех. 
Slozhno byt’ umneye vsekh.
“It’s difficult to be the smartest one.”


Специально (spetsial’no)
“On purpose”
Я специально несколько банок купил, чтоб на дольше хватило!
Ya spetsial’no neskol’ko banok kupil, chtob na dol’she khvatilo!
“I bought several jars on purpose so that they last longer!”


Зря (zrya)
“For nothing”
Магазин закрыт, зря ходил.
Magazin zakryt, zrya khodil.
“The shop is closed, I’ve been there for nothing.”


По-русски (po-russki)
“In Russian”
Как сказать это по-русски?
Kak skazat’ eto po-russki?
“How do you say it in Russian?”


По-английски (po-angliyski)
“In English”
Я свободно говорю по-английски.
Ya svobodno govoryu po-angliyski.
“I’m fluent in English.”


Наизусть (naizust’)
“By heart”
Я выучил стихотворение наизусть.
Ya vyuchil stikhotvoreniye naizust’.
“I’ve learned the poem by heart.”


Правильно (pravil’no)
“Rightly” = “Correctly”
Мы правильно решили пример.
My pravil’no reshili primer.
“We have solved the equation correctly.”


Случайно (sluchayno)
Он случайно наступил мне на ногу.
On sluchayno nastupil mne na nogu.
“He accidentally stepped on my foot.”


Пешком (peshkom)
“On foot”
Я решил идти на работу пешком.
Ya reshil idti na rabotu peshkom.
“I’ve decided to go to work on foot.”


Медленно (medlenno)
Старушка медленно спускалась по лестнице.
Starushka medlenno spuskalas’ po lestnitse.
“The old lady was slowly walking down the stairs.”


Обязательно (obyazatel’no)
“Definitely,” “necessarily”
В Москве обязательно посетите Красную площадь.
V Moskve obyazatel’no posetite Krasnuyu ploshchad’.
“You should definitely visit the Red Square in Moscow.”


Бесплатно (besplatno)
“For free”
На YouTube можно смотреть видео бесплатно.
Na YouTube mozhno smotret’ video besplatno.
“You can watch videos on YouTube for free.”


Вкусно (vkusno)
Мой папа вкусно готовит.
Moy papa vkusno gotovit.
“My father cooks deliciously.”


Особенно (osobenno)
Мне часто хочется спать, особенно после обеда.
Mne chasto khochetsya spat’, osobenno posle obeda.
“I’m often sleepy, especially after lunch.”


Осторожно (ostorozhno)
“Carefully,” “with caution”
Он осторожно открыл дверь.
On ostorozhno otkryl dver’.
“He opened the door with caution.”

6 – Russian Adverbs of State

The following list doesn’t include adverbs, technically. However, these words—adverbs of state—behave (and look!) like adverbs of manner, so they deserve a separate section in our article. The adverbs of state indicate feelings and states of people and animals. 


  • Adverb of state: Ему холодно. (Yemu kholodno.) — “He’s cold.”
  • Adverb of manner: На улице холодно. (Na ulitse kholodno.) — “It’s cold outside.”
Snowy Scene

We use pronouns and nouns in the dative case with adverbs of state. To review the forms of personal pronouns in dative, you can check this link (available to signed-up users only).


Холодно (kholodno)
Мне холодно.
Mne kholodno.
“I’m cold.”


Жарко (zharko)
Тебе жарко?
Tebe zharko?
“Are you hot?”


Скучно (skuchno)
“Boring,” “bored”
Нам скучно.
Nam skuchno.
“We are bored.”


Интересно (interesno)
“Interesting,” “interested”
Ей очень интересно.
Yey ochen’ interestno.
“She’s really interested.”


Грустно (grustno)
“Sad,” “sadly”
Вам грустно?
Vam grustno?
“Are you sad?”


Весело (veselo)
“To have fun”
Им весело.
Im veselo.
“They are having fun.”
Весело (veselo)
“To have fun”

7 – Russian Adverbs as Questions

Remember we discussed the questions that Russian adverbs answer? The truth is, the questions themselves are actually adverbs! Surprised? Have a look at the example sentences. 


Где (gde)
Где ты живешь? 
Gde ty zhivesh?
“Where do you live?”


Когда (kogda)
Когда ты начал изучать русский язык? 
Kogda ty nachal izuchat’ russkiy yazyk?
“When did you start learning Russian?”


Куда (kuda)
“Where to”
Куда бы ты хотел поехать в отпуск? 
Kuda by ty khotel poyekhat’ v otpusk?
“Where would you like to go on vacation?”


Откуда (otkuda)
“Where from”
У тебя есть друзья из других стран? Откуда они? 
U tybya yest’ druz’ya iz drugikh stran? Otkuda oni?
“Do you have international friends? Where are they from?”


Зачем (zachem)
“What for”
Зачем ты учишь русский язык? 
Zachem ty uchish’ russkiy yazyk?
“What do you learn Russian for?”


Почему (pochemu)
Почему ты ещё не достиг желаемого уровня?
Pochemu ty eshchyo ne dostig zhelayemogo urovnya?
“Why haven’t you reached the desired level yet?”


Как (kak)
Как ты будешь достигать своей цели? 
Kak ty budesh dostigat’ svoyey tseli?
“How are you going to reach your goal?”

How many questions can you answer? We would love to hear from you!

3. A Bonus from RussianPod101

In this guide, you’ve learned everything about Russian adverbs, their formation, their placement in a sentence, and you’ve been through our list of the 100 most useful Russian adverbs. How many new adverbs did you learn? Are you ready to add the new adverbs to your speech and sound more advanced?

Good job! RussianPod101 is offering you a bonus: a free list of Must-know Adverbs to Connect Your Thoughts. Make sure to check it out! 

Remember that you can also use our Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher, to get personal one-on-one coaching to practice adverbs and more with a private teacher. This teacher will use assignments, grammar and vocabulary exercises, and voice recordings to improve your pronunciation and overall language skills! Happy learning with RussianPod101!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Russian

Russian Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Russian


You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Russian! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Russian keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Russian Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Russian
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Russian
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Russian on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Russian Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Russian Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Russian

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Russian

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Russian language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Russian websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Russian teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Russian

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Russian. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Russian, so all text will appear in Russian. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Russian on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Russian language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Russian.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Русский with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Русский” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Russian – Русский.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Russian.”

4. Expand the option of “Russian” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Russian.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Russian,” and add the “Russian – Phonetic” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Russian Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Russian will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Russian keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Russian” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Русский” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Russian Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Russian can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Russian keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

There are two main keyboard types:

1.) Standard (ЙЦУКЕН) is what we actually use on Russian laptops/PCs, and what is usually used on tablets/smartphones.

2.) A phonetic keyboard (say, ЯВЕРТЫ) sort of matches Russian letters to

Latin letters close in pronunciation. This may be fine if you’re moderately interested in Russian, but that’s it. Also, a phonetic keyboard has an obvious advantage if your physical keyboard doesn’t have Russian letters.

7. How to Practice Typing Russian

As you probably know by now, learning Russian is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Russian typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a RussianPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Russian keyboard to do this!

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Everything You Need to Know About Russian Verb Conjugation


Russian verb conjugation… If you’re a beginner, you must be looking for your first conjugation tables to finally see what those proficient Russian learners have been intimidating you with. Or maybe you’re an intermediate learner who’s already mastered basic Russian conjugation rules and are now looking for more of a challenge. Maybe you’re an advanced learner who wouldn’t mind going over the basics again or learning new verb conjugation nuances you’ve never heard of? In any case, I’m happy to reveal some secrets to you that will help you tame the Russian verbs.

It’s not a secret that Russian grammar (and verb conjugation, in particular) are demanding. It’s a long and complicated adventure, but I’m happy to guide you through the dark forests of Russian verb conjugation tables and hold your hand while hiking up the peak of language mastery. 

What are we going to see on our way? I’ll tell you what conjugation is, what factors affect verb conjugation in Russian (tense, mood, aspect, etc.), show you some conjugation tables, and give you a handful of useful tools so that you can continue the journey alone. 

Ready for a big adventure?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Russian Table of Contents
  1. What is Conjugation?
  2. Conjugation Examples
  3. Irregular Verbs
  4. Test Your Knowledge!
  5. A Bonus from RussianPod101

1. What is Conjugation?

Top Verbs

So what is conjugation? It sounds like a complicated linguistic term, but we face this phenomenon daily.  

Conjugation means changing the basic form of a verb. The basic form of the verb—the infinitive—is what you see in the dictionary. In many conjugation tables, you can find so-called “verb derivatives”: participles, verbal adverbs, etc. They are, indeed, derived from verbs, but behave differently. They either decline like adjectives or don’t change their form at all. So in this article, we will mainly focus on verbs.

To conjugate a verb in Russian, you need to keep several features in mind:

  • Person
  • Number
  • Tense
  • Conjugation group
  • Aspect
  • Mood
  • Gender

As you can see, Russian verb conjugation differs significantly from the verb conjugation in English. I’m pretty sure you’re already familiar with some of these features, but we will brush up on all of them!

1- Person and Number

1st person singularя (ya)“I”
2nd person singularты (ty)“you” (casual)
3rd person singularон, она, оно (on, ona, ono)“he” / “she” / “it”
1st person pluralмы (my)“we”
2nd person pluralвы (vy)“you” (plural), “you” (formal)
“you” (plural), “you” (formal)они (oni)“they”

Russian verbs conjugate differently with each person.

For example: 

  • Я рисую (Ya risuyu) — “I draw.”
  • Мы рисуем (My risuyem) — “We draw.”

You can find the Russian conjugation table with the endings for each person a bit later in this article. Also, don’t hesitate to revisit the most common Russian pronouns!

2- Tense

As complicated as Russian conjugation and grammar seem overall, here’s a big relief. There are only three tenses in Russian: present, past, and future. Not difficult to guess what each of them represents!

The Present Tense

Have a look at this example:

  • покупать (pokupat’) — “to buy”
  • я покупаю (ya pokupayu) — “I buy”
  • мы покупаем (my pokupayem) — “we buy”

Did you notice what happened? We’ve changed the ending of the verb. And I’d be happy to tell you that this is just what you need to do—remove the last letters of the infinitive, and you’re golden. But, unfortunately, it’s not that easy. So grab a cup of tea and some cookies, and get comfy.

There are two sets of endings for Russian verbs, and therefore, two conjugation groups. We didn’t come up with insanely complicated names for them; we just called them “Group 1” and “Group 2.” Quite often, you can predict which group a verb belongs to by looking at the ending of the infinitive.

Russian verbs: first and second conjugation groups

Group 1Group 2
Endings -еть, -ать, -ять, -уть, -ти
(-yet’, -at’, -yat’, -ut’, -ti)

For example:

Богатеть (bogatet’) — “to get richer”
Играть (igrat’) — “to play”
Гулять (gulyat’) — “to stroll”
Гнуть (gnut’) — “to bend”
Ползти (polzti) — “to crawl”
Most verbs ending with -ить (-it’)

For example: 

Говорить (govorit’) — “to speak”
Учить (uchit’) — “to learn” / “to teach”

+ 11 exceptions, verbs that seemingly belong to Group 1:
  • Дышать (dyshat’) — “to breathe”
  • Держать (derzhat’) — “to hold”
  • Гнать (gnat’) — “to drive fast”
  • Ненавидеть (nenavidet’) — “to hate”
  • Слышать (slyshat’) — “to hear”
  • Вертеть (vertet’) — “to spin something”
  • Смотреть (smotret’) — “to look”
    Видеть (videt’) — “to see”
  • Обидеть (obidet’) — “to offend”
  • Терпеть (terpet’) — “to tolerate”
  • Зависеть (zaviset’) — “to depend”
  • PRO TIPS: 

1. You can easily identify the group by keeping in mind that eleven exceptions, and most verbs ending with -ить, belong to Group 2. The rest belong to Group 1.

2. Many infinitives end with -ть, but sometimes -ться can pop up. It’s a typical ending for reflexive verbs like одеваться (odevat’sya), meaning “to dress.”

“So, now I know about the conjugation groups. Can I finally see the endings?” 

I hope you still have some cookies left! Even though you can try to guess the Russian verb conjugation type by the infinitive endings (with a pretty high success rate!), the endings for the present tense are added onto the present tense verb stem. You can find the stem by cutting off the ending of its third person plural form (“they”). 

Confusing? Read it once again, your eyes are not deceiving you: to find the stem, you need a verb that is already conjugated. This is the only sure way to get the rest of your conjugations right. Does it seem like a lot of unnecessary steps? Spoiler: This stem will be used for other conjugations, such as the future and imperative forms. 

  • Here’s a tool that will help you tackle verb conjugations and support you until you feel confident conjugating them yourself: Context Conjugator.
  • What part of the verb do I add the endings to? 
  • The present tense stem: Remove the last two letters in third person plural + add new endings

“To play”: играть (infinitive) > играют (third plural) > игра (stem)

  • The infinitive: Remove the last two letters from the infinitive (usually -ть or -ти)

“To learn”: учить (infinitive, Group 2) > учи (stem)

Again, finding the stem from the third plural form is more reliable. 

Now, let’s have a look at the endings that we use for each conjugation group.

Group 1

играть (igrat’) — “to play”

я играю* (ya igrayu) — “I play”
ты играешь (ty igrayesh’) — “you play” (inf.)
он играет (on igrayet) — “he plays”
мы играем (my igrayem) — “we play”
вы играете (vy igrayete) — “you play” (f./pl.)
они играют* (oni igrayut) — “they play”
Group 2

учить (uchit’) — “to learn”, “to teach”

я учу* (ya uchu) — “I learn”
ты учишь (ty uchish’) — “you learn”
она учит (ona uchit) — “she learns”
мы учим (my uchim) — “we learn”
вы учите (vy uchite) — “you learn”
они учат* (oni uchat) — “they learn”
* Use the endings -ю, -ют after vowels or the soft sign (e.g.: я думаю, они читают).

Use -у, -ут after consonants (e.g. я расту).
* Use the endings and -ат after the letters 
Ж, Ш, Ч, Щ, and all hard consonants.

Use and -ят after soft consonants
and vowels.

As you can see, the Russian verb conjugation endings are pretty similar. The biggest difference is that changes into , and -у/ю is replaced with -а/я

  • Impatient to see all possible conjugations without getting into the details or the logic behind it? You can jump right to the Russian verb conjugation chart!

Also feel free to check this grammar section on about the conjugation of verb groups (logged-in users only).

Woman Doing Something on a Tablet

Она учится или играет? (Ona uchitsya ili igrayet?)
“Is she learning or playing?”

The Past Tense

To form Russian verbs in past tense, you need to drop the infinitive endings -ть, -ти, -чь, and add the following endings:

  • masculine: (-l)
  • feminine: -ла (-la)
  • neuter: -ло (-lo)
  • plural: -ли (-li)


  • думать (dumat’) — “to think”
  • он думал (on dumal) — “he thought”
  • она думала (ona dumala) — “she thought”
  • мы думали (my dumali) — “we thought”
  • This is the only tense where gender plays a role.

The Future Tense

So far so good. The past tense was super-easy, wasn’t it? Back to the real business! There are two ways to create the future form in Russian:

Way 1: Appropriate form of the verb быть (byt’), meaning “to be,” + the infinitive 

писать (pisat’), meaning “to write.”

  • я буду писать (ya budu pisat’) — “I will write”
  • ты будешь писать (ty budesh’ pisat’) — “you will write” (inf.)
  • он будет писать (on budet pisat’) — “he will write”
  • мы будем писать (my budem pisat’) — “we will write”
  • вы будете писать (vy budete pisat’) — “you will write” (f./pl.)
  • они будут писать (oni budut pisat’) — “they will write”

Way 2: The perfective form of the verb + the present tense endings.

  • писать (pisat’) — “to write”
  • я напишу (ya napishu) — “I will write”

“Wait, what? What perfective form are you talking about? How do I know if I should choose Way 1 or Way 2?” 

These are really smart questions! Without further ado…the verb aspects!

3- Aspect

Due to the simplicity of the tense system in Russian, we had to come up with the idea of aspects. There are two verb aspects in Russian: imperfective and perfective. Aspects are only used when talking about the past and the future; we don’t differentiate the verbs by their aspect in the present tense!

Aspects are used to indicate the difference between an ongoing / repeating action (the imperfective aspect) and an action that was completed successfully (the perfective aspect). Doesn’t it remind you of anything? That’s right, the continuous / simple tenses in English versus the perfect tenses. The only difference is that the English present perfect is going to be considered past in Russian.


  • я ел (ya yel) — “I was eating”
  • я поел (ya poyel) — “I’ve eaten”

What is the difference in English? What form of the verb is perfective? Which one is imperfective? I’m pretty sure you can answer these questions yourself!

Please look at those two phrases again. Have you noticed what happened to the Russian verb? We added a prefix to the verb! A prefix is a set combination of letters added before the stem of the verb. So, outfitting Russian verbs with prefixes is the most frequent way of making perfective forms. In some cases, we can make them with a suffix instead, but it’s not as common. 

The good news is that you can easily spot a perfective form by its prefix (with some minor exceptions). The bad news is that there are many prefixes to remember, and sometimes they change the meaning of the verb completely. I suggest that you memorize the prefix of the verb together with the meaning it brings.


  • он шёл (on shel) — “he was going”
  • он пришёл (on prishel) — “he has arrived”
  • он ушёл (on ushel) — “he has gone”
  • он отошёл (on otoshel) — “he has left, but will come back soon”
  • Again, we don’t use the perfective form in the present, only in the past or in the future. So, depending on what idea you want to convey, you choose the appropriate form. 

Look at these two verbs in the past tense:

  • я видел (ya videl) — “I saw”
  • я увидел (ya uvidel) — “I have seen” / “I had seen”

And now check out these two verbs in the future:

  • я буду петь (ya budu pet’) — “I will sing” (regularly)
  • я спою (ya spoyu) — “I will sing” (once, like a promise)

Can you see the difference? The perfective form usually carries the idea of a one-time action. The imperfective form indicates that the process is ongoing or that the action repeats.

4- Mood

Just in case, this section is going to be about the grammatical mood (and not about how your mood affects the verb conjugation). Well, people tend to use more imperatives when they’re angry!

We define the mood by the intention of what we say. Do we want to talk about something that’s happening in reality? Are we imagining a hypothetical situation? Do we want to give an order to another person?

IndicativeЯ говорю (Ya govoryu) — “I speak”Expressing facts and reality
ImperativeГовори! (Govori!) — “Speak!” (informal)
Говорите! (Govorite!) — “Speak!” (formal)
Giving orders or instructions
ConditionalЯ бы сказал (Ya by skazal) — “I would say”Talking about a condition or a possibility

The Indicative Mood 

This is what beginners start learning first. This is by far the most common mood in Russian. The indicative mood is usually combined with three tenses, and that creates a specific set of endings for each verb group.

The Imperative Mood

In an informal situation, the imperative form usually ends in -и, -ай, or .

  • The verbs ending in -ать in the infinitive mainly take -ай. For example: играть (igrat’) >> играй (igray) — “Play!” 
  • The verbs ending in -ить mainly take . For example: говорить (govorit’) >> говори (govori) — “Speak!” 

In a formal situation, or when we speak to more than one person, we take the informal imperative form and add -те. For example: играть (igrat’) >> играйте (igrayte) — “Play!” (formal / plural).

You can learn more about the imperative mood from our relevant article (logged-in users only). 

Conditional Mood 

We use бы (by) + the past tense of the verb.


  • я бы подумал (ya by podumal) — “I would think”
  • он бы написал (on by napisal) — “he would write”

Бы doesn’t have a fixed place in the sentence. I would say it’s pretty common to place it closer to the subject (noun or pronoun) rather than the verb.

  • The imperative and conditional moods do not have tenses.
Someone Erasing Something on Notebook Paper

Сначала написал, потом подумал. (Snachala napisal, potom podumal.)
“First wrote, then thought.”

2. Conjugation Examples

Now let’s try to summarize everything we’ve learned and put it into practice. Again, four main features to keep in mind:

Let’s finally dive into the Russian conjugation charts! You’ll notice that some cells have the abbreviations (m) and (f). They stand for “male” and “female” respectively.

GROUP 1: Part 1
“to think”

(imperfective / perfective)
(imperfective / perfective)
думаю*(m) думал 

(f) думала
(m) подумал 

(f) подумала
буду думатьподумаю*
“you” informal
думаешь(m) думал 

(f) думала
(m) подумал 

(f) подумала
будешь думатьподумаешь
он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”




будет думатьподумает
думаемдумалидумалибудем думатьподумаем
“you” formal /
думают*думалиподумалnmjhбудут думатьподумают*
GROUP 1: Part 2
“to think”
(imperfective / perfective)
(imperfective / perfective)
(m) бы думал 

(f) бы думала
(m) бы подумал 

(f) бы подумала
“you” informal
думайподумай(m) бы думал 

(f) бы думала
(m) бы подумал 

(f) бы подумала
он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”
бы думал 

бы думала

бы думало
бы подумал 

бы подумала

бы подумало
бы думалибы подумали
“you” formal /
думайтеподумайтебы думалибы подумали
бы думалибы подумали
* Use the endings , -ют after vowels or the soft sign (e.g.: я думаю, они читают
   Use -у, -ут after consonants (e.g. я расту).
  • Still confused about these perfective and imperfective forms? Not sure which one to choose? Please refer to the “Aspect” section once again.

Carefully analyze the table. Do you see the similarities between some forms? Try to remember the Russian conjugation patterns.

Woman Thinking Hard about a Homework Question

What verb would you use to describe her:
подумала? думает? будет думать?
(podumala? dumayet? budet dumat’?)

Let’s have a look at how other verbs behave.

GROUP 2: Part 1
“to talk”
(imperfective / perfective)
(imperfective / perfective)
говорю*(m) говорил 

(f) говорила
(m) поговорил 

(f) поговорила
буду говоритьпоговорю*
“you” informal
говоришь(m) говорил 

(f) говорила
(m) поговорил 

(f) поговорила
будешь говоритьпоговоришь
он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”




будет говоритьпоговорит
говоримговорилипоговорилибудем говоритьпоговорим
“you” formal /
говоритеговорилипоговорилибудете говоритьпоговорите
говорят*говорилипоговорилибудут говоритьпоговорят*
GROUP 2: Part 2
“to talk”
(imperfective / perfective)
(imperfective / perfective)
(m) бы говорил 

(f) бы говорила
(m) бы поговорил 

(f) бы поговорила
“you” informal
говорипоговори(m) бы говорил 

(f) бы говорила
(m) бы поговорил 

(f) бы поговорила
он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”
бы говорил 

бы говорила

бы говорило
бы поговорил 

бы поговорила 

бы поговорило
бы говорилибы поговорили
“you” formal /
говоритепоговоритебы говорилибы поговорили
бы говорилибы поговорили
* The endings and -ат are used after the letters Ж, Ш, Ч, Щ, and all hard consonants 
and -ят are used after soft consonants and vowels.

Now let’s have a look at how reflexive verbs conjugate (pay special attention to their form in the past tense).

I have chosen a verb that takes a suffix to create a perfective form, not a prefix. Can you spot it?
“to smile”
(imperfective / perfective)
(imperfective / perfective)
улыбаюсь(m) улыбался 

(f) улыбалась
(m) улыбнулся 

(f) улыбнулась
буду улыбатьсяулыбнусь
“you” informal
улыбаешься(m) улыбался 

(f) улыбалась
(m) улыбнулся 

(f) улыбнулась
будешь улыбатьсяулыбнёшься
он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”




будет улыбатьсяулыбнётся
улыбаемсяулыбалисьулыбнулисьбудем улыбатьсяулыбнёмся
“you” formal /
улыбаетесьулыбалисьулыбнулисьбудете улыбатьсяулыбнётесь
улыбаютсяулыбалисьулыбнулисьбудут улыбатьсяулыбнутся
“to smile”
(imperfective / perfective)
(imperfective / perfective)
(m) бы улыбался 

(f) бы улыбалась
(m) бы улыбнулся 

(f) бы улыбнулась
“you” informal
улыбайсяулыбнись(m) бы улыбался 

(f) бы улыбалась
(m) бы улыбнулся 

(f) бы улыбнулась
он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”
бы улыбался 

бы улыбалась

бы улыбалось
бы улыбнулся 

бы улыбнулась

бы улыбнулось
бы улыбалисьбы улыбнулись
“you” formal /
улыбайтесьулыбнитесьбы улыбалисьбы улыбнулись
бы улыбалисьбы улыбнулись
Man Giving an Exaggerated Smile

My face when I’ve finally understood how to conjugate verbs!

3. Irregular Verbs

I believe you were hoping not to see this section in the article. Nobody likes exceptions. But irregular verbs are featured in many languages, including English, and Russian is not an exception. The curse of irregular verbs is that the most common verbs usually fall into this category. But if you just pay close attention to how they conjugate, you might see the pattern to follow as well. 

So, how are they irregular? It really depends on the verb. Sometimes they might insert an extra vowel in the stem:

  • брать (brat’) — “to take”
  • The present tense: я беру, ты берёшь, мы берём (ya beru, ty beryosh’, my beryom) — “I take, you take, we take”

However, the same verb behaves normally in the past tense:

  • я брал, мы брали, она брала (ya bral, my brali, ona brala) — “I was taking, we were taking, she was taking”

As long as it keeps its imperfective form! The verb in its perfective form changes beyond recognition! 

  • я взял, он взял, ты взяла (ya vzyal, on vzyal, ty vzyala) — “I’ve taken, he’s taken, you’ve taken (f)”

You can find similar examples in English: “go — went — gone.” The middle word is totally different!

Sometimes, irregular verbs can “misbehave” only in first person singular (“I”). 

Compare: я люблю, ты любишь, мы любим (ya lyublyu, ty lyubish’, my lyubim) — “I love, you love, we love.”

This happens when the infinitive of a verb has features of a Group 2 verb and its stem ends in Б, В, Д, З, П, С, Т, or СТ. In this case, it undergoes a spelling change for the first person singular (“I”) in the present.

Similar verbs:

  • готовить (gotovit’) — “to cook” >> я готовлю (ya gotovlyu) — “I cook”
  • летать (letat’) — “to fly” >> я лечу (ya lechu) — “I fly”
  • терпеть (terpet’) — “to tolerate” >> я терплю (ya terplyu) — “I tolerate” etc.

This is not an exhaustive list of tricks that irregular verbs use to stand out. And while learning how to spot them, or remembering all the exceptions, can indeed be exhausting, seeing irregular verbs as a challenging adventure can be motivating! Every language is a secret code that you’re about to decipher, and this is just an extra layer of security. But a true detective should know how to solve this mystery!

  • Again, here’s a tool that will help you tackle complicated verb conjugations and support you until you feel confident conjugating them yourself: Context Conjugator.

Now let’s try to unscramble the behavior of an irregular verb.

“to give”
(imperf / perf)
(imperf / perf)
(imperf / perf)
(imperf / perf)
даю(m) давал 

(f) давала

буду даватьдам(m) бы давал 

(f) бы давала

“you” informal
даёшь (m) давал 

 (f) давала

будешь даватьдашьдавайдай(m) бы давал 

(f) бы давала

он “he”

она “she”

оно “it”




будет даватьдастбы давал 

бы давала 

бы давало


даёмдавалидалибудем даватьдадимбы давалидали
“you” formal /
даётедавалидалибудете даватьдадитебы давалидали
даютдавалидалибудут даватьдадутбы давалидали

Have a look at this table and try to analyze it: Does the conjugation of this irregular verb have anything in common with how regular verbs conjugate? What is it? And what exactly is different? 

  • You can find a pretty detailed list of Russian irregular verbs here. Conjugation tables will keep you good company at first, but learn not to rely on them too much. Practice makes perfect!

4. Test Your Knowledge!

More Essential Verbs

Now I feel like you’re ready to impress me with your newly acquired skills! Prepare your conjugation tables, your irregular verbs table, your attentiveness, and your desire to succeed!

For this Russian conjugation quiz, please conjugate the verbs in parentheses. Don’t worry if you can’t find all the answers. I will help you!

  1. Я (жить) _______ в Екатеринбурге. Где вы (жить) _______?
    I live in Ekaterinburg. Where do you live?”
  1. (Рассказывать)______ мне о своих увлечениях.
    “Tell me about your hobbies.”
  1. Мы с друзьями (любить)______ (путешествовать)_______ и (изучать) _____ иностранные языки.
    “My friends and I, we love to travel and learn new languages.”
  1. Если бы я больше времени (проводить)______ дома, я бы с радостью (взять) ______ кошку или собаку.
    “If I spent more time at home, I would gladly take a cat or a dog.”
  1.  В следующем году мои друзья (ехать) _____ в Японию. 
    Конечно же, я тоже (хотеть) _____ !
    “Next year, my friends are going to Japan. Of course, I want to go too!”

Alright, let’s analyze each of them.

  1. Я живу в Екатеринбурге. Где вы живёте?
    “I live in Ekaterinburg. Where do you live?”

First, it’s an irregular verb in the indicative mood (it’s just a fact), the present tense, the first person. And even though this is an irregular verb, and it’s hard to guess that another letter is going to appear in the stem, the endings are standard.

  1. Расскажи / расскажите мне о своих увлечениях.
    “Tell me about your hobbies.”

Both options are possible depending on who you’re addressing (informal or formal interaction), and it’s the imperative mood because we ask somebody to give us some information.

  1. Мы с друзьями любим путешествовать и изучать иностранные языки.
    “My friends and I, we love to travel and learn new languages.”

Here, we can see the indicative mood, the present tense, and the third person plural for the first verb (also irregular, by the way). Unlike in English, where you should decide if a gerund or an infinitive should go after the verb, in Russian, it’s always the infinitive. This is why the next two verbs are in their initial form. 

  1. Если бы я больше времени проводил / проводила дома, я бы с радостью взял / взяла кошку или собаку.
    “If I spent more time at home, I would gladly take a cat or a dog.”

Finally, some conditional! It’s pretty common to use the word если (yesli), meaning “if,” in conditional sentences. So, the verb проводить (provodit’), meaning “to spend (time),” is also irregular, but behaves normally in the past tense (Group 2, imperfective form). Why the past tense? Because conditional is just бы + past tense. It also means that we can choose between the masculine (проводил) and the feminine form (проводила). The same goes for the verb брать (brat’), meaning “to take.” It’s irregular, and I’ve mentioned it before, in Irregular Verbs. 

Do you know why the verb “to take” is in its perfective form? (Think before reading next!) Because perfective forms usually convey a one-time action. It means I would take a cat or a dog once. If I were to keep taking a new dog every week, it would be imperfective: брала бы.

  1.  В следующем году мои друзья поедут в Японию. Конечно же, я тоже хочу !
    “Next year, my friends are going to Japan. Of course, I want to go too!”

So, the verb “to go” (for travel in general) is in the future tense, indicative mood, perfective form. I’m sure now you can explain why! The verb хотеть (khotet’), meaning “to want,” is irregular (oh, not again!), so it has changed one consonant in the middle. By the way, you may wonder why the conjugation table says the ending for “I” is, and here it’s . If you forgot, please get back to the comment right under the table. ;)

Man Tired After a Long Hike

After the journey to the land of verb conjugation

5. A Bonus from RussianPod101

In this guide, you’ve learned everything about Russian verb conjugation, endings, aspect, mood, tenses… Ah, so many new linguistic terms! Maybe you’ve learned something new about the English language as well? Bookmark this guide to refer to it from time to time—learning everything at once is hard, which is why you should get back to it sometimes to review and learn something new. Are you sure you haven’t skipped any piece of information? ;)

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