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Getting started learning Russian

The key to learning any language is to immerse yourself in the language. Try to study a
little each day if possible. Even if you only revise one or two words a day. If you are keen
to get started you can go straight to Lesson 1. On this page you will find some tips that
will help you to learn Russian.
About The Russian Language
Some people say that Russian can be hard to learn. This is not really true, it's no harder
than other languages. The main difficulty for a lot of people is learning the new grammar
structure. If you have learnt other languages before you will already be familiar with
some of these grammar concepts, such as gender and cases.
In fact, there are many things that make Russian easier to learn than other languages. The
key is to use these things to your advantage. Here are some things that make Russian
easier.
1. Once you learn the alphabet, you can pronounce almost all words quite accurately.
With Russian the pronunciation is normally quite clear from the written form of the word.
2. Russian does not complicated sentence structures like English. You can normally say
exactly what you want with just a few words. For example, in English to be polite we
would say something like can you please pass me the salt, however in Russian they
would say something simpler like give salt please. Speaking so directly may even feel
unusual for an English speaker, however it is perfectly normal, just add the word please
to be polite. This makes it easy to say what you want in Russian, and it will probably be
correct. Less words also makes listening to people easier, as you can just pick out the
important words.
3. Russian uses the case system. Instead of having a strict sentence word order like in
English, you just need to change the ends of the nouns. This makes Russian a very
expressive language, because you can emphasise a point by changing the order of the
words in a sentence. It also helps you understand what people are trying to say.
4. Russian does not use articles. (Like a and the)
5. Russian has less tenses than English. Russian does not bother with the difference
between I was running, I had been running, etc.
Tips for learning Russian
We recommend that you try and immerse yourself in the language. Bookmark this site,
and take a new lesson when ever possible. Here are some more ideas that might help you
learn.
1. You should practice writing and speaking Russian. Even if you are only speaking to
yourself. It will help it to stay in your memory.

2. After you have done a lesson, revise it that night. If you revise something on the same
day you are more likely to remember it. Particularly if you do it before you go to sleep.
3. Through-out the day, when you say something in English, try to think how you would
say it in Russian.
4. Try printing out lessons and putting them in places where you will see them, for
example in the toilet, in the shower (where it wont get wet), or at your desk at work.
5. Keep your lesson notes with you. Revise them whenever you are bored or waiting for
something. For example on a train, or in someones car. You could even try making small
flash-cards with a Russian word on one side, and the English on the other. Keep them in
your pocket, and test yourself on a few words whenever you get the chance.
6. It is important to learn a word or phrase from Russian to English as well as English
to Russian. That way you will remember how to say it, not just recognise it when you
hear it.
7. Most importantly, when you get the chance: Practice! Never be afraid to make
mistakes. Everyone does! The people who make the most mistakes learn the most.
Always try to explain what you want, even if it takes time. Even seek out Russians who
cant speak English and try to speak to them. You may not have the chance to practice at
home, so if you travel to Russia practice as most as you can.

Russian Lesson 1 - The Russian Alphabet - Main Lesson


The first step to learning Russian is to learn the alphabet. It may seem daunting to learn a
new alphabet, but it is relatively easy. In fact, the great thing about Russian is that almost
all words can be sounded out as they are written. Unlike English where the pronunciation
of a word may not be clear from its written form. Russian also has one letter to one
sound, unlike English where two letter often make one sound. (Example sh).
Either before or after this lesson we recommend you print the alphabet table, and stick it
up next to the computer (or around the house), to help you with the following lessons.
The Russian alphabet is known as the Cyrillic alphabet. There are 33 letters in the
Russian alphabet. 11 Vowels, 20 consonants and 2 pronunciation signs. We will break
these into groups to help you remember them. You can find the dictionary order in the
alphabet table. For your reference we will make some notes about unusual hand-written
forms, however this will be covered in another lesson so don't worry too much yet.
Russian letters that are (almost) the same.
- Pronounced like the "a" in the word "father" or "car". It is not the 'flat' "a" sound
you sometimes hear in words like"cat" or "Adam".
- Pronounced like the "k" in "kitten" or "kangaroo". This letter replaces the english
"c" in words like "cat".
- Pronounced like the "m" in man. (Note: Unlike english, the hand-written ""
should always start from the bottom)
O o - When stressed, it is pronounced like the "o" in "spot". When un-stressed it is
pronounced more like the letter "a". (See later notes.)
- Pronounced like the "t" in "tap". (Note: The hand-written form for "" should
always start from the top, as it looks quite similar to the letter "")
Russian letters that look like english letters but sound different. - (These are the most
important to learn so you don't get them mixed up.)
- Pronounced like the "v" in "vet". (Equivalent to the english letter "v").
- Pronounced like the "ye" in "yes".
- Pronounced like the "n" in "no". (Equivalent to the english letter "n").
- Pronounced like the "r" in "run", but it is rolled. (Equivalent to the english letter
"r", but always rolled.).
- Pronounced like the "s" in "see". (Equivalent to the english letter "s"). (It might

help to remember that it's used like the "s" sound in the english words "centre" and
"cent".)
- Pronounced like the "oo" in "boot" or "root".
- Pronounced like the "h" in "hello". However, this is often pronounced more like
the "ch" in the Scottish "Loch" or German "Bach", or the spanish "x" in "Mexico".
Russian letters that look unusual, but have familiar sounds
- Pronounced like the "b" in "bat". (Equivalent to the english letter "b").
- Pronounced like the "g" in "go". (Equivalent to the english letter "g").
- Pronounced like the "d" in "dog". (Equivalent to the english letter "d").
- Pronounced like the "z" in "zoo". (Equivalent to the english letter "z").
- Pronounced like the "ee" in "see". (Note: The hand-written form for "" looks a
little like the english "u").
- Pronounced like the "l" in "love". (Equivalent to the english letter "l").
- Pronounced like the "p" in "pot". (Equivalent to the english letter "p").
- Pronounced like the "f" in "fat". (Equivalent to the english letter "f").
- Pronounced like the "e" in "fed".
- Pronounced like the "u" in "universe". (Pronounced much like the english word
"you").
- Pronounced like the "ya" in "yard".
New Russian letters and sounds - (The sounds will be familiar, but they don't have their
own letter).
- Like "s" in "measure" or "pleasure" or like "g" in colour "beige". (As there is no
english symbol for this sound, it is usually represented as "zh")
- Similar to the "ts" sound in "sits" or "its".
- Pronounced like the "ch" in "chips" or "church" .
- Pronounced like the "sh" in shut.
- Pronounced like the "sh" in "welsh sheep". (Often transliterated to "shsh").

English speakers will find it hard to define the difference between "" and "".
- Pronounced like the "i" in "bit" or "ill". (Said with you tounge slightly back in
your mouth.)
- This letter is used to form diphthongs. So "o" is like the "oy" sound in "boy" or
"a" is like the "igh" in "sigh".
Pronunciation Symbols - (These letters have no sound on there own, but are still
considered letters.).
- The 'Hard Sign' is rarely used. It indicates a slight pause between sylables.
- The 'Soft Sign' makes the previous letter 'soft'. Think of the "p" sound in the word
"pew". (Try inflecting a very slight "y" sound onto letter before it. So "" is a little like
the "ny" in "canyon", the "ny" should be said as one.)
A note about vowels
You may have noticed that there are often two forms of a vowel, hard and soft. It may
help to note the corresponding vowels.
("a")
("e")
("oo")
("o")

("ya")
("ye")
("yoo")
("yo")

, and don't really follow this pattern.


The "y" sound is always pronounced. It may take some time to get used to pronouncing it
with consanants. Try the following:
(No) - Pronounced "nyet". This is one syllable.
(Metro, underground railway) - Pronounced "mye-tro".
Spelling Rule 1. There is a rule for spelling in russian you should keep in mind: "Never
write , , or after the letters ', , , , , , ' instead use , , ".
A note about stress.
In most languages, including English, some syllables are emphasised more than others. A
good example would be the word photograph, where the first syllable is stressed.
Compare this to Photography where the second symbol is stressed. Phonetically the
sound of the vowel changes.
Russian works in much the same way. However in some words its important to know
which syllable is stressed, this is because the letter o is pronounced very differently

depending on weather its stressed or not. Other stressed vowels are important, but if you
only remember the o rule, then you will still be able to speak well. Once you start to
hear Russian's speak, you will be able to copy the way they are pronouncing words. (On
this site we will indicate a stressed vowel by underlining it. However, we will only do
this to the first occurrences of a word. One syllable words are assumed to be stressed.)
Take notice of the following examples:
(window) - Pronounced "ak-no". (Remember the second o is pronounced like the o
in bottom, not like the word no.)
(good-bye) - Pronounced "da-svee-da-nee-ye". (The is pronounced as if
it is part of the next word).
(thank-you) - Pronounced "spa-see-ba".
Conclusion
You have now seen how the whole alphabet works and is pronounced. It is time to
practice, go to the exercises section of this lesson. Here you will be able to practice your
new skills, reading words that are almost the same as the English equivalent. You may
also wish to print a copy of the alphabet table for reference in future lessons.

Russian Lesson 1 - The Russian Alphabet - Alphabet Table


In the table below is the full Russian alphabet in presented in dictionary order.

The Russian Alphabet


Russian
Character

English
Equivalent

Sound

Letter Name in
Russian

Like "a" in car

"ah"

Bb

Like "b" in bat

"beh"

Vv

Like "v" in van

"veh"

Gg

Like "g" in go

"geh"

Dd

Like "d" in dog

"deh"

YE ye

Like "ye" in yet,

"yeh"

YO yo

Like "yo" in yonder

"yo"

Zh zh

Like "s" in measure or


pleasure
or like "g" in beige (the
colour)

"zheh"

Zz

Like "z" in zoo

"zeh"

EE ee

Like "ee" in see

"ee"

I i or Y y

like "y" in boy or toy

"ee kratkoyeh"

Kk

Like "k" in kitten, "c" in cat.

"kah"

Ll

Like "l" in light

"ehl"

Mm

Like "m" in mat

"ehm"

Nn

Like "n" in no

"ehn"

Stressed: O o
Unstressed: A a

Like "o" in spot


Like "a" in car

"oh"

Pp

Like "p" in pot

"peh"

Rr

Like "r" in run (rolled)

"ehr"

Ss

Like "s" in sam

"ehs"

Tt

Like "t" in tap

"teh"

Uu

Like "oo" in boot

"oo"

Ff

Like "f" in fat

"ehf"

H h, KH kh

Like "h" in hello or like


the "ch" in Scottish 'loch' or
German 'Bach'

"khah"

TS ts

Like "ts" in bits

"tseh"

CH ch

Like "ch" in chip

"cheh"

SH sh (hard)

Like "sh" in shut

"shah"

SH sh (soft)

Like "sh" in sheep

"schyah"

Hard Sign

Letter before is hard

"tvyordiy znahk"

Ii

Like "i" in ill

"i"

Soft Sign

Letter before is soft

"myagkeey znahk"

Ee

Like "e" in pet

"eh"

YU yu

Like "u" in use or university

"yoo"

YA ya

Like "ya" in yard.

"yah"

The table below gives you the normal printed version of the russian characters, and the
cursive (italic) version of the character. This may be useful in a later lesson, as the
lowercase cursive version is much closer to the hand-written version of the russian
character. Differences to note are highlighted in red.

Russian Lesson 1 - The Russian Alphabet - Exercises


Here are some exercises to help you learn the Russian alphabet. You may be surprised
how many Russian words you are now able to recognise now that you can sound out the
words.
1. Places spelt in Russian
Try reading the following words in russian. They are cities from around the world.


Now try to recognise these countries written in Russian, their names should sound similar
to English.

2. Russian Signs
Here are some signs you might see while you are in Russia. See if you can understand
them.

3. Russian words that are similar in english


Try reading the following words in russian. You should be able to work out what they
mean.

Answers
1a: London, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Madrid, St. Petersburg
1b: England, Canada, Korea, Brazil, Netherlands, Australia, Portugal, America, Mexico, Germany.
2: Airport, Toilet, Resturant, Bar, Taxi.
3: Opera, Soup, Sport, Football, Gymnastics, Volleyball, Menu, Coffee, Cafe

Russian Lesson 2 - Russian Numbers - Main Lesson


The next step in learning Russian is to learn to count. Once you learn the numbers you
will find it much easier doing things like shopping, or catching a train or tram. You will
be able to understand when people give you the price of something. We will start with the
numbers 1-10.
1 - ("a-deen")
2 - ("dva")
3 - ("tree")
4 - ("chye-tir-ye")
5 - ("pyat")
6 - ("shest")
7 - ("syem")
8 - ("vo-syem")
9 - ("dyev-yat")
10 - ("dyes-yat")
Read through the numbers 1-10 a couple of times until you are confortable with them.
Try counting from 1 to 10 without refering to them. Then for practice, try counting
backwards from 10 to 1.
Now that you are confortable with your first Russian numbers, try the numbers from 11
to 19. To help you with reading practice we will not include the trans-literations. (You can
find these in the vocabulary section if you wish to refer to them).
11 -
12 -
13 -
14 -
15 -
16 -
17 -

18 -
19 -
As you could see, the numbers 11-19 are simply formed by adding "" to the
numbers 1-9. (You will need to drop the soft sign, or the "" in "")
20 in Russian is "". The numbers 21-29 are formed in a similar way to English.
Here are some examples:
20 -
21 -
22 -
23 -
24 -
Other compound numbers are formed in the same way, quite similar to English. (There is
no need to use the word "and" in Russian). Here are the other numbers you will need to
form numbers in Russia. It will be useful to learn as many of these numbers as you can
because it makes it easier to understand the price of goods in Russian roubles.
30 -
40 -
50 -
60 -
70 -
80 -
90 -
100 -
200 -
300 -
400 -
500 -
600 -
700 -
800 -
900 -
1,000 -
1,000,000 -
1,000,000,000 -
For example: 131 -
When reading phone numbers you may also need to know the name of the digit 0. It is
.

At first it may be difficult to remember all those numbers. But don't worry. You can
always return to this lesson to revise them. In the next lesson or two we will cover some
useful words and phrases that will help you to introduce yourself and buy things.

Russian Lesson 2 - Russian Numbers - Vocabulary


Here are the Russian numbers that you have learnt in this lesson.
Russian Numbers
0 - ("nol")
1 - ("a-deen")
2 - ("dva")
3 - ("tree")
4 - ("chye-tir-ye")
5 - ("pyat")
6 - ("shest")
7 - ("syem")
8 - ("vo-syem")
9 - ("dyev-yat")
10 - ("dyes-yat")
11 -
12 -
13 -
14 -
15 -
16 -
17 -
18 -
19 -
20 -
30 -
40 -
50 -
60 -
70 -
80 -
90 -
100 -
200 -
300 -
400 -
500 -
600 -
700 -
800 -

900 -
1,000 -
1,000,000 -
1,000,000,000 -

Russian Lesson 2 - Russian Numbers - Exercises


. Count backwards in Russian from 20 to 1.
2. Can you recognise the following numbers when they are written in Russian

3. See if you can read out the following phone numbersin Russian:
a. 22 56 78 54
b. 79 09 34 51
c. 43 85 99 20

Answers
2 - 9, 6, 4, 1, 10, 12, 20, 80, 100, 15, 20
3a - , , ,
3b - , , ,
3c - , , ,

Russian Lesson 3 - Basic Russian Phrases - Main Lesson


Now that you understand the Russian letters and numbers, we will begin to learn some
basic Russian phrases that you will commonly use as part of everyday communication.
We will not attempt to introduce any grammar in this lesson. It is more important to have
basic communication skills in Russian. Once you have a feel for the language, you will
find it easier to understand how the grammar works. When you were young, you learnt to
speak before you learnt the grammar. We feel it is easier to learn Russian the same way,
however dont worry, we will cover grammar in later lessons.
When you are in Russia it is important to realise that Russians have two manners of
speaking, formal or friendly. It would be considered slightly rude to use the wrong form

in the wrong situation. Use the friendly (or familiar) form when you are speaking to
someone you consider a friend. In situations where you have never met the person before
you would use the formal form, for example in shops or with taxi drivers. You would also
use the formal form as a sign of respect to teachers, or in places like business meetings.
Keep this in mind as you work through these lessons. This is much easier than it sounds,
as there are only a couple of words that change. (Mainly the Russian word for you.)

Please and Thank-You.


The two most important words you will learn in Russian are please and thank-you. You
can just add these to any sentence to make it more polite.
("spa-see-ba") - Thank-You
("pa-zhal-sta") - Please (and You're Welcome)
The word is also used to mean "You're Welcome", after somebody says
thank-you. You should always say this after someone thanks you. is
pronounced a little different than it is written, you can basically forget the "".

Yes and No.


Two other very important Russian words are "Yes" and "No".
("da") - Yes
("nyet") - No

Saying Hello.
When you are in Russia and you meet somebody, the first thing you will want to do is to
say "hello". There are two forms of this word.
("zdra-stvooy-tye") - Hello (Formal)
("pree-vyet") - Hi (Informal)
may be a little difficult for you to pronounce at first, but it is the most
common Russian greeting so you should try to practice it. is also commonly used
with friends. However, keep in mind that is informal (much like "hi" in English),
and should only be used with friends. If somebody says to you, then it is
normally safe to proceed in the friendly tone.

Introducing Yourself.
In order to introduce yourself, you may need the following phrases.

... ("min-ya za-voot") - My name is ...


? ("kak vas za-voot") - What is your name?
("och-en pree-yat-na") - Pleased to meet you.
Note: The above 3 phrases are gramatically unusual. You should just learn the whole phrase, not the
individual words.

How are you?


The most natural way to ask someone how they are in Russian is to ask: "how are
things?"
? - How are things?
- Good/Well Thank-You
- Bad

Saying Good-Bye.
There are also two words for saying good-bye.
("da-svee-da-nee-ye") - Good-bye. (The is pronounced as if it is part of the
next word)

("pa-ka") - Bye (Informal, slang)


You should generally use , which is appropriate in formal or informal
situations. You may also hear people say , but we suggest you only use it as a
response when it is said to you.

Asking about languages


When you are asking a yes/no question in Russian, there is no difference between the
question and the statement, except for the question mark. When you are speaking Russian
you should ask questions in a different tone. The tone of your voice should rise if you are
asking a question. If you are making a statement your tone will naturally fall. You may
find that you actually do this in English without meaning to. If all else fails, put a real
questioning expression on your face.
-? - Do you (formal) speak English?
-? - Do you (formal) speak Russian?
- - I speak English
- - I speak Russian
- I understand
- I don't understand
You may have noticed that the ending of the verb (speak) changes depending on

who the subject is. Don't worry too much about this yet. It will be covered in another
lesson very soon. (lesson 5).

Conclusion
You have now reached the end of your first lesson that involves useful Russian phrases.
After some practice you should be comfortable introducing yourself.

Russian Lesson 3 - Basic Russian Phrases - Vocabulary


Here is a summary of all the Russian words we covered in this lesson.
("spa-see-ba") - Thank-You
("pa-zhal-sta") - Please (and You're Welcome)
("da") - Yes
("nyet") - No
("zdra-stvooy-tye") - Hello (Formal)
("pree-vyet") - Hi (Informal)
... ("min-ya za-voot") - My name is ...
? ("kak vas za-voot") - What is your name?
("och-en pree-yat-na") - Pleased to meet you.
? - How are things?
- Good
- Bad
("da-svee-da-nee-ye") - Good-bye.
("pa-ka") - Bye (Informal, slang)
- You (formal)
- I
/ - To Speak
- Not
- - (On/In) Russian
- - (On/In) English
- - Do you (formal) speak English?
- - Do you (formal) speak Russian?
- - I speak English
- - I speak English
- I understand
- I don't understand

Russian Lesson 3 - Basic Russian Phrases - Exercises

1. Read out-loud then translate the following Russian phrases:


?
.
-

2. Translate the following phrases into Russian. Also practice saying them out-loud in
Russian
Thank-You.
Hi (Informal).
What is your name?
My name is....
Nice to meet you.
Bad.
Do you speak Russian?
I speak Russian
Please.
I understand.

Answers
1. How's things?, Good thank-you, I speak English, I don't understand, Hello, No, Yes, Please, Nice to meet
you.
2. , , ?, ..., , , -?,
-, , .

Russian Lesson 4 - In the bar or cafe. (Buying things) - Main Lesson


The aim of lesson 4 is to enable you to buy things when you are in Russia. With just a
few phrases you should be able to manage in Russian bars or cafes. In this lesson we will
not introduce any grammar concepts. The lesson will focus on new Russian phrases.
After a busy day in Russia, you might be looking for somewhere to have a drink. You
could ask people with the following phrases.
, .... - Tell me please....
, , ? - Tell me please, where is a cafe?
, , ? - Tell me please, where is a bar?
Russian does not use the articles a or the, so the phrase ? means both
where is a cafe? and where is the cafe?.

If you were in a Russian bar or caf, here are some words you might see on the menu:
- Menu
- Coffee
- Tea
- Milk
- - Coka-Cola
- Lemonade
- Juice
- Russian beetroot soup
- Soup
- Cake
- Vodka
- Beer
- Water
Be careful, when you order vodka in russia, you will generally get straight vodka.
If you want to ask someone if they have something, you can use the following phrase.
(Just learn the whole phrase, it is gramatically unusual).
....? - Do you have ....? (formal)
For example:
? - Do you have coffee?
? - Do you have tea?
? - Do you have vodka?
When you decide what you will have you will need to order. Here are some Russian
phrases you might need, or be asked:
? ("shto?") - What?
? - What do you want?
... - I want ...
, , .... - Give me please ...
? - How much is it?.
Examples:
, , , - Please give me tea.
, , - Please give me coffee.
, , - Please give me coffee with milk.
, , - Please give me coffee with milk
and sugar.
To finish up this lesson here are a few Russian phrases to help you find out where a toilet
is.
, , - Tell me please, where is the toilet?

The mens toilets are normally labled with an "M".


The ladies toilets are normally labled with a "".

Conclusion
This has been a shorter lesson, but it should helpful next time you are in a Rusisan cafe or
bar. You may wish to try some of the exercises. In the next lesson we will introduce verbs
and pronouns, and you will be able to start constructing your own sentences.

Russian Lesson 4 - In the bar or cafe. (Buying Things) Vocabulary


Here is a list of the new Russian words from lesson 4.
- Tell
? - Where is?
- Cafe
- Bar
- Menu
- Coffee
- Tea
- Milk
- - Coka-Cola
- Lemonade
- Juice
- Russian beetroot soup
- Soup
- Cake
- Vodka
- Beer
- Water
....? - Do you have ....? (formal)
? ("shto?") - What?
? - What do you want?
... - I want ...
, , .... - Give me please ...
? - How much is it?.
- with milk
- and
- with sugar
- toilet

Russian Lesson 4 - In the bar or cafe. (Buying Things) - Exercises

Imagine you are in a Russian cafe,


1. Try ordering a coffee with milk.
2. Ask the waitress if they have any beer.
3. Ask where the toilet is.
4. Order three other items from the menu. (refer to the vocabulary for ideas).

Refer back to the lesson, and see if what you asked was correct. Did you
remember to say please and thank-you?

Russian Lesson 5 - Verbs and Pronouns


Now that you have mastered some basic Russian phrases, is time to start forming your
own Russian sentences. To do this you need to learn about Russian verbs and pronouns.
This lesson will enable you to start forming short Russian sentences. When you are
learning to speak Russian it is easiest to start by just using short sentences. Often you can
break a long sentence into several short ones. This is a long lesson, and introduces some
of the most difficult concepts in Russian. So don't worry if you need to go slow, or it
takes some time to understand at first. You can always come back and review this lesson.
When you have completed this lesson you will have taken a major step forward in
understanding Russian grammer.
Definitions
Verbs are action words, they are things you can do. For example: run, walk, love, eat,
want.
Pronouns are words that can replace names. For example: I, you, he, she, him, her, it.
In the sentence "I love him". "love" is the verb. The subject is "I", and the object is "him".
Pronouns
Here are the Russian pronouns that can be used as the subject of a sentence. (Known as
the nominative case.)
- I
- You (informal)
- He, It (m)
- She, It (f)
- It (n)
- We
- You (formal, or plural)
- They
is used as the formal singular "you", and the plural "you" (slang: "yous" or "you all")
when talking to more than one person.

Here are the Russian pronouns that can be used as the object of a sentence. (Known as the
accusative case)
- Me
- You (informal)
- ("yevo") - Him
- Her
- Us
- You (formal, or plural)
- Them
You should be familiar with using different pronouns for the subject and object of a
sentence ("me" instrad of "I"). Just remember that unlike English, Russian uses an extra
version of the word "you". You should memorise these pronouns.
Verbs
You will be pleased to know that Russian has only one present tense. In Russian there is
only one way of saying "I work", "I am working" and ""I do work".
Russian verbs change their endings depending on the subject. This happens a little in
English, but not as much. (Example: I work, he works). This happens according to two
different patterns known as the first conjunction, and the second conjunction. Both these
patterns are quite similar, and once you get the hang of it, it is not too difficult.
To form the verb for each person you need to drop the last two letters of the infinative
(normally ""), and add the appropriate ending ("", "", "", "", "" or "").
Lets take a look at a verb that uses the first conjunction: (to work).
- To work. (infinative, dictionary form)
- I work
- You work
, , - He, She, It works.
- We work
- You work.
- They work.
Let's try some other Russian words from the first conjunction:
- To understand. (infinative, dictionary form)
- I understand.
- You understand.
, , - He, She, It understands
- We understand.
- You understand.
- They understand.
- To know. (infinative, dictionary form)
- I know.
- You know.

, , - He, She, It knows.


- We know.
- You know.
- They know.
Remember you can make a statement negative by using the word "" (not). For
example:
- I don't know.
- I don't understand.
- He doesn't understand.
You can also form questions:
- Do you know?
? - Do you understand?
No we will introduce some verbs from the second conjunction. Verbs where the infinative
ends in "" use the second conjunction. There are also some other verbs that use this
conjunction. The second conjunction uses the endings "" (or "") "" "" ""
"" "" (or ""), which replace "".
Reminder: Spelling Rule 1: "Never write , , or after the letters ', , , , , ,
' instead use , , ".
When using the second conjunction, sometimes the last letter of the stem (infinitive
without "") for the first person singular () chages. Change this letter acording to the
following table:
becomes
becomes
c becomes
ct becomes
becomes
, , , , add the letter
Remember, this only applies to the first-person singular ().
- To speak. (infinative, dictionary form)
- I speak.
- You speak.
, , - He, She, It Speaks.
- We speak.
- You speak.
- They speak.
- To hear.
- I hear.
- You hear.
- He, She, It hears.
- We hear.

- You hear.
- They hear.
For Example:
- - I speak English
- - He speaks Russian
-? - Do you speak Russian?
- - We speak Russian.
- - The dog doesn't speak English.
There are a number of irregular verbs in Russian. (Verbs that don't exactly follow the
above rules). However, often once you know the stem of the verb, you can often predict
the endings. Even irregular verbs normally follow a similar pattern to those above.
Some examples:
- To go (by transport).
- I go (by transport).
- You go (by transport).
, , - He, She, It goes (by transport).
- We go (by transport).
- You go (by transport).
- They go (by transport).
Notice that once you know the stem "" it almost follows the first conjuction, except
that "" replaces "".
- To live.
- I live.
- You live.
, , - He, She, It lives.
- We live.
- You live.
- They live.
Notice that "" is used instead of "" when the stress falls on the ending.
Examples:
- I live in London.
- He is going home

Conclusion
You now know the main concepts involved in forming Russian verbs. This lesson
contained alot of grammar, which is some of the hardest in the Russian language, so don't
worry if you found this lesson a little difficult at first. In lesson 7 you will get some more
practice. In the next lesson we will introduce some grammar associated with nouns

(things), so by lesson 7 we will have covered enough grammar to have some practice
forming sentences.
To help you remember some of the concepts learnt in this lesson, you may wish to work
through the exercises.

Russian Lesson 5 - Verbs and Pronouns


Here is the vocabulary for Russian lesson 5.
- I
- You (informal)
- He, It (m)
- She, It (f)
- It (n)
- We
- You (formal, or plural)
- They
- Me
- You (informal)
- ("yevo") - Him
- Her
- Us
- You (formal, or plural)
- Them
- To work.
- To understand.
- To know.
- To speak.
- To hear.
() - To live.
() - To go (by transport).
- Dog.

Russian Lesson 5 - Verbs and Pronouns - Exercises


1. Try translating the folling phrases to Russian:
Do you know? (informal)
I don't know.
They don't know.
He understands.
She doesn't understand.
We don't speak Russian.
Do you speak English? (formal).
I live in London.

2. Try forming all the variations of (to look). (Use the 2nd conjunction).
I look.
You look.
He looks.
We look.
You look.
They look.

Answers
1. ?.
.
.
.
.
-.
-?

2.




Russian Lesson 6 - Nouns: Gender and the accusative case.


In this lesson we will introduce some of the Russian grammar that is associated with
nouns. This is the second lesson in a row that will deal with a lot of the Russian grammar,
but afterwards you will start to see a little less, as we concentrate more on Russian
phrases and vocabulary in the following lessons.
This lesson will introduce two concepts: Gender of nouns, and cases. Specifically the
accusative case. Other cases will be introduced through-out later lessons.
Definitions
Noun - A noun is a thing, name or place. Example: dog, cat, Moscow, cup, paper, pen.
Cases - Cases are a grammatical way of determining what a noun does in a sentence. In
English we do this by having a strict word-order. In Russian we use 6 cases.
Gender of nouns.
In Russian, as with many other languages, each noun is assigned a gender. Russian has
three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter (neutral). In the cases of words like
father these relate to physical gender. In the case of other objects like pen, cup,
house, there is no physical meaning attached to the gender. However you will still need

to know the gender because it affects how words are formed. Luckily, unlike many
languages, in Russian it is almost always possible to tell what the gender of a noun by its
spelling. This is not true in some other languages where you just have to memorise them.
When you use a noun as the subject of a sentence, it will be in its dictionary form. In this
form you can easily work out its gender. If the noun is in another part of the sentence the
ending is changed to suit the case. From the dictionary form of a noun, here is how you
can tell what the gender is:
1. Look at the last letter of the word:
2. If it is a consonant, or , the word is masculine.
3. If it is or it is feminine.
4. If it is or it is neuter.
5. If it is a soft sign then it could be either masculine or feminine.
There are very few exceptions to these rules. But there are five notable exceptions, this
occurs mainly because of physical gender.
- (Daddy, Papa) - Is Masculine
- (Uncle) - Is Masculine
- (Grandfather) - Is Masculine
- (Man) - Is Masculine
- (Coffee) - Is Masculine
Some examples:
Masculine : (passport), (document), (brother), (bread).
Feminine : (newspaper), (Russia), (daughter)
Neuter : (building), (radio), (letter)

The Nominative Case. (The subject of a sentence)


The nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence. In the sentence I love her, the
word I is the subject. The nominative case is the dictionary form for nouns, so there is
nothing special to learn here.
The only time you need to change the ending is to form the plural. In English we make a
plural by adding s. In Russian, in the nominative case, you make a plural by using the
letters , , or .
For masculine nouns:
If the word ends in a consonant, add .
Replace with
Replace with
For feminine nouns:
Replace with
Replace with
Replace with

For neuter nouns:


Replace with
Replace with
Some examples:
(student) becomes: (students)
(newspaper) becomes: (newspapers)
(building) becomes: (buildings)

The Accusative Case. (The object of a sentence)


To form simple sentences like I want a dog, you need to use the accusative case also.
The accusative case is used for the object of a sentence, in this case the word dog. The
only time we use the accusative case in English is with pronouns. We use me instead of
I and him instead of he. Russian uses the case for all nouns.
Russian is very free about word order. For example, in Russian it may be possible to
change the order of the words in a sentence, without changing the actual meaning. This
doesnt work in English because we rely on the subject always coming first. However, in
Russian it still makes perfect sense because the object will still be in the accusative case.
It is normal in Russian to use the same word ordering as English.
Definition: An animate noun is something that is alive (person or animal). An
inanimate noun is a non-living object.
Here are the rules for forming the accusative case from the dictionary (nominative) form.
Masculine Nouns:
1. If the noun in inanimate, there is no change.
2. If noun is animate and ends in a consonant, add .
3. If noun is animate, replace , with .
4. If noun is animate, replace , add .
Feminine Nouns:
1. Replace with .
2. Replace with .
Neuter Nouns:
1. Inanimate nouns do not change (almost all neuter nouns are inanimate).
Conclusion
Now you know all the theory to move onto lessons 7. In the next lesson we will focus on
forming sentences and vocabulary building, and take a rest from grammar. A summary of
the grammar information you learnt in this lesson is always available in the grammar
section of this site.

To help you remember some of the concepts learnt in this lesson, you may wish to work
through the exercises.

Russian Lesson 6 - Nouns: Gender and the accusative case Exercises


1. For each of the following Russian nouns, work out their gender.
a. - (dog)
b. - (bar)
c. - (lemonade)
d. - (beer)
e. - (water)
f. - (toilet)
g. - (cake)
h. - (magazine)
i. - (newpaper)
j. - (building)
k. - (radio)
l. - (television)
m. - (England)
n. - (letter)
o. - (passport)
p. - (visa)
q. (school)

Answers
1. (a) F, (b) M, (c) M, (d) N, (e) F, (f) M, (g) M, (h) M, (i) F, (j) N, (k) N, (l) M, (m) F, (n) N, (o) M, (p) F,
(q) F.

Russian Lesson 7 - I Love...


Now that we have done the hard work learning some Russian grammar, it is time to start
using it. In this lesson we will form simple Russian phrases and sentences. After this
lesson you should be able to ask or tell people what you want and like.
Let's start with the Russian verb "to love":
(, )
Remember that a noun after I love should be in the accusative case as it is the object of
the sentence. Here are some uses of the word:
- I love sport.
- I love music.
- I don't like music.
? - Do you love music?
- I love Moscow.
- He loves Moscow.

- Ivan loves tea.


- Nadya loves wine.
- Nadya doesn't like wine.

The word "?" (pronounced "shto?") means "What?". You can use it to form questions.
? - What do you love?
However, if you see the word "" in the middle of a sentence, it is probably the
conjunction "that". The word "" has two uses, so don't be confused. An example
could be:
, . - I know that you love music.

To express yourself in better in Russian you will need to learn some more Russian verbs.
Let's introduce some new Russian verbs now. If you would like, you can see how these
verbs are conjugated by clicking here.
- to watch.
- to read.
- to listen
- to study
- to think
- to work
- to want
Here are some possible uses of these verbs:
- I am watching television.
- I am listening to the radio.
- I am listening to music.
- I am reading a magazine.
- I am reading the newspaper
- I am reading a book.
- I study Russian. (lit: I study the Russian language).
- I think so!
? - What do you think? (lit: How do you think?)
- I want tea.
? - What do you want?

Sometime you will want to talk about an action. For example "I like to read" or "I want to
read". In such cases you are using 2 verbs in a row. In Russian you should leave the 2nd
verb in the infinative form. For example:
- I love to read.
- I love to travel.
- I want to buy a magazine.

A very useful Russian word is the word for "very". You can include it into many phrases.
It sometimes replaces the word "really" also. For example:
- very. (or really)
- I really love sport.
- I really love Moscow.

Conclusion
You should now know the basics for forming simple Russian sentences. In this lesson we
covered things expressions useful for explaining things that you like. There is quite a bit
of vocabulary in this lesson, so you may wish to review some of it again later. In
particular, if you can memorise the verbs you will find it easier to express yourself in
Russian.

Russian Lesson 7 - I Love... Vocabulary


Here is the vocabulary for Russian lesson 7.
- to love (also: to like)
- to watch.
- to read.
- to listen
- to study
- to think
- to work
- to want
- to buy
- to travel
- sport
- music
- Moscow
- wine
- television
- radio
- magazine
- newpaper

- book
- language
- Russian language
? (pronounced "shto?") - what?
? - how?
- very
- so
(pronounced "shto?") (as a conjuction) - that

Russian Lesson 8 - In, at on, about - The Prepositional Case


In this lesson we will introduce the prepositional case. It will also attempt to expand your
vocabulary to include a number of places. The prepositional case is one of the easiest
Russian cases to learn. It is also one of the most useful. It will allow you to expand your
use of Russian phrases to include useful phrase like I live in Russia. The prepositional
case has no meaning of its own. It is simply used after certain Russian prepositions.
The prepositional case is used after the prepositions (in), (on/at), (about).
To form the prepositional case you should take the nominative form (dictionary form)
and do the following to the end of the word:
Masculine Nouns:
1. Add : .
2: Some nouns (mostly single syllable) take (but not after preposition )
Feminine Nouns:
1. Replace with .
2. Replace with .
3. Replace with .
4. Exception: Replace , it become
Neuter Nouns:
1. Replace with
2. remains unchanged.
Using the prepositions and the prepositional case.
As with any language, Russian prepositions can sometimes have slightly different uses
and meanings than in English. Here are some tips to help you, although these arent
precise rules.
The word (in) is used to replace the English word at, when you are referring to
enclosed spaces or buildings. (Eg. at school)
The word (on/at) replaces the English word at when you are talking about open

spaces or places that were traditionally open spaces. (Eg. at work, at a station, at a
concert).

Now you can easily tell people where you live:


? - Where do you live?
- I live in Moscow.
- I live in London.
- I live in St. Petersburg.
- I live in Siberia.
As with "" you should change the case of other cities, suburbs and places, even
though they are not Russian.

You can also describe where something or someone is:


? - Where is she?
- at the station
- at the post office
- in the garden
- in the forest
- in the street
? - What is on the table?
- On the table is a book and a pencil.

Here are some names of other useful places. (They are in dicionary form)
- Cinema
- Theatre
- Pharmacy
- Park
- Stadium
- School
- Library
- Cafe
- Square
- Resturant
- Bank
- Hotel
- Museum
- Hospital

Sometimes, prepositions have more than one meaning, you can tell this by the case.
When answering questions asked with the word "" (Where is (location)), your answer
will involve the propositional case. However, when you answer questions asked with
"" (Where to), you would use the accusative case. Here are some examples for you
to compare.
- Where are you going (to)? (Indicates direction)
- I am going to school.
? - Where do you work? (Indicates a location)
- I work at (in) a school.

Here are some useful words and phrases for finding your way around Russia.
- Straight ahead.
- To the left.
- To the right.
- Straight ahead then to the right.

Conclusion
You should now be comfortable using the prepositional case. Combined with the you
knowledge from the previous lessons, you should be a little more confortable expressing
yourself in Russian. If you have reached this point in the lessons, then you now know a
number of basic phrases and concepts that will halp you get by in Russia. You may not
yet sound like a native Russian speaker, but you will definatly be in a better position to
make yourself understood by others. The people you meet on your travels in Russian will
no doubt appreciate that you have made an attempt to learn Russian. In future lessons we
will continue to introduce more vocabulary and grammar concepts.

Russian Lesson 8 - In, at on, about - The Prepositional Case - Vocabulary


- in/at.
- on/at.
- about.
- School.
- Train Station.
- Post office.
- Garden.
- Forest.
- Street.

- Cinema
- Theatre
- Pharmacy
- Park
- Stadium
- School
- Library
- Cafe
- Square
- Resturant
- Bank
- Hotel
- Museum
- Hospital
- Table
- Straight ahead.
- To the left.
- To the right.
- then.
/ - to go (by foot).
- Where to
Russian Lesson 9 - Family
In our next Russian lesson will introduce words and phrases associated with families.
This will allow you to talk of your family which is a very popular topic of conversation in
Russia. One of the important concepts that we will introduce in this lesson is personal
pronouns. Personal pronouns are words such as: my, your, his, her, our. Personal
pronouns are normally used indicate the ownership of an object, the other method to
indicate ownership is to use the genative case.
Here are the words Russians commonly use to refer to members of their family:
- father
- mother
- dad
- mum
- sister
- brother
- son
- daughter
- grandmother
- grandfather

- wife
- husband
Just like English, in Russian there are two ways to refer to your mother and father. For
example we use the words mum and dad. Most commonly Russians use the words Mama
and Papa to refer to their parents.
Here are some other words that it is a talk about members of your family.
- uncle
- auntie
- parents
- children
- granddaughter
- grandson
- family
Quite often you want to tell people how many brothers and sisters you have. Here are
some examples of heavy to do this:
- I have a sister.
- I have a brother.
? - Do you have children?.
- I have a son and a daughter.
- I don't have any children.
In order to talk about your family your normally need to use possesive pronouns so we
will introduce them now. You should always choose the possesive pronoun that matches
the gender of the item it owns.
(m), (f), (n), (pl) - my
(m), (f), (n), (pl) - your
(m n) ("yevo"), (f) - his, her
(m), (f), (n), (pl) - our
(m), (f), (n), (pl) - your
- their
Now you will be able to combine words and phrases that your learnt in earlier lessons to
talk about your family. Here are possible examples of things you can say with the words
they already know:
- my mother loves music
- my sister is reading a newspaper
- my brother loves sport
When you introduce members of your family you will need to adapt one of the phrases
we learnt lesson 3. For example, you may wish to say her name is Anna. However, the

only problem is that this particular phrase is unusual. The pronouns need to be used in the
genative case which we have not learnt yet. So here are two examples that you can use
for now:
- my name is Anna
- her name is Anna
- his name is Ivan.
Finally, in this lesson will introduce some extra greeting phrases they may wish to use
every now and again.
- good morning
- good afternoon
- good evening
- goodnight (when going to bed)
Conclusion
In this lesson we have learnt the basic Russian words and phrases for talking about your
family. And possibly more importantly you can use personal pronouns. For some practice
it would be good idea to try and describe members of your family, perhaps you could try
writing a paragraph about each member of your family discussing their names, hobbies,
where they live and which languages they can speak. When you get the chance to talk to
Russian people in Russia, you will find that this is often a popular topic of conversation,
in particular when you're having conversations with people you don't know in times such
as travelling on a train.

Russian Lesson 9 - Family - Vocabulary


Here are the Russian words you might need to talk about your family.
- father
- mother
- dad
- mum
- sister
- brother
- son
- daughter
- grandmother
- grandfather
- wife
- husband
- uncle
- auntie
- parents
- children
- granddaughter
- grandson
- family

(m), (f), (n), (pl) - my


(m), (f), (n), (pl) - your
(m n) ("yevo"), (f) - his, her
(m), (f), (n), (pl) - our
(m), (f), (n), (pl) - your
- their

Russian Grammar - Spelling Rules


Russian Spelling Rules
Here are the so called Russian spelling rules.

Spelling Rule 1
Never write , , or after the letters ', , , , , , ' instead use , ,
Spelling Rule 2
Never write an unstressed "o" after ', , , , '

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Gender


Gender of nouns.
In Russian, as with many other languages, each noun is assigned a gender. Russian has
three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter (neutral). In the cases of words like
father these relate to physical gender. In the case of other objects like pen, cup,
house, there is no physical meaning attached to the gender. However you will still need
to know the gender because it affects how words are formed. Luckily, unlike many
languages, in Russian it is almost always possible to tell what the gender of a noun by its
spelling. This is not true in some other languages where you just have to memorise them.
When you use a noun as the subject of a sentence, it will be in its dictionary form. In this
form you can easily work out its gender. If the noun is in another part of the sentence the
ending is changed to suit the case. From the dictionary form of a noun, here is how you
can tell what the gender is:
1. Look at the last letter of the word:
2. If it is a consonant, or , the word is masculine.
3. If it is or it is feminine.
4. If it is or it is neuter.
5. If it is a soft sign then it could be either masculine or feminine.
There are very few exceptions to these rules. But there are five notable exceptions, this
occurs mainly because of physical gender.
- (Daddy, Papa) - Is Masculine
- (Uncle) - Is Masculine
- (Grandfather) - Is Masculine

- (Man) - Is Masculine
- (Coffee) - Is Masculine
Some examples:
Masculine : (passport), (document), (brother), (bread).
Feminine : (newspaper), (Russia), (daughter)
Neuter : (building), (radio), (letter)

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Case Summary


Here is a summary of when to use the six Russian cases. Remember, you can check how
to form the individual cases by checking section. When you are studying, you may find it
useful to have this page open, so you can quickly check how each case is formed.
Summary of Russian cases:
Nominative Case - The Subject.
Accusative Case - The Object.
Dative Case - The Indirect Object
Genative Case - Indicates Possession ('s in English)
Instrumental Case - Indicates how something was done ("by" or "with" in English)
Prepositional Case - Used after "in", "at", "about".

For Example
In the sentence "Adam gave a flower to Anna".
- "Adam" is the subject.
- "flower" is the object.
- "Anna" is the indirect object.
In the sentence: "We live in Moscow"
- "We" is the subject.
- "Moscow" would be used in the prepositional case.
In the phrase: "Adam's book"
- "Adam's" would be in the genative case.
- "book" could be the subject or the object, depending on the context.
The order of these words would be reversed in Russian.
In the sentence: "We went to Moscow by car"
- "We" is the subject.
- "Car" would be used in the Instrumental case.

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Nominative Case


The Nominative Case. (The subject of a sentence)
The nominative case is used for the subject of a sentence. In the sentence I love her, the

word I is the subject. The nominative case is the dictionary form for nouns, so there is
nothing special to learn here.
The Nominative Plural
The only time you need to change the ending is to form the plural. In English we make a
plural by adding s. In Russian, in the nominative case, you make a plural by using the
letters , , or .
For masculine nouns:
If the word ends in a consonant, add .
Replace with
Replace with
For feminine nouns:
Replace with
Replace with
Replace with
For neuter nouns:
Replace with
Replace with
Some examples:
(student) becomes: (students)
(newspaper) becomes: (newspapers)
(building) becomes: (buildings)

Pronouns of the Nominative Case.


Here are the personal pronouns used in the nominative case.
- I
- You (informal)
- He, It (m)
- She, It (f)
- It (n)
- We
- You (formal, or plural)
- They

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Accusative Case


The Accusative Case. (The object of a sentence)
To form simple sentences like I want a dog, you need to use the accusative case. The
accusative case is used for the object of a sentence, in this case the word dog. The only
time we use the accusative case in English is with pronouns. We use me instead of I

and him instead of he. Russian uses the case for all nouns.
The accusitive case is also used after the prepositions (to, into) and (on, to)
when they indicate motion towards somthing.
Definition: An animate noun is something that is alive (person or animal). An
inanimate noun is a non-living object.
Here are the rules for forming the accusative case from the dictionary (nominative) form.
Masculine Nouns:
1. If the noun in inanimate, there is no change.
2. If noun is animate and ends in a consonant, add .
3. If noun is animate, replace , with .
4. If noun is animate, replace , add .
Feminine Nouns:
1. Replace with .
2. Replace with .
3. Does not change if a soft sign.
Neuter Nouns:
1. Inanimate nouns do not change (almost all neuter nouns are inanimate).

Here are the Russian pronouns that can be used as the object of a sentence. (Accusative
case)
- Me
- You (informal)
- ("yevo") - Him
- Her
- Us
- You (formal, or plural)
- Them

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Dative Case


Dative Case (The indirect object)
The dative case is used for the indirect object of a sentence. In the sentence "Adam gave
flowers to Anna", the word "Anna" should be in the dative case.
Forming the Dative Case
Masculine Nouns:
1. If the noun ends in a consonant, add .
2. Replace , with .
3. Replace , add .

Feminine Nouns:
1. Replace with .
2. Replace with .
3. Replace with .
4. Replace with .
Neuter Nouns:
1. Replace with
2. Replace with

Other Uses of the Dative Case.


In addition to simply using the dative case as the indirect object. There are some
additional times when you will need to use the dative case.
1. It is used after the Russian verbs "" ("to help") and "" ("to
advise"). (ie. instead of using the accusative case, as you may have expected).
2. With "" ("to like"). Example : " " ("Adam likes
Moscow").
3. It is also used in conjuction with some other reflexive verbs (-).
4. When using the word "" (to need). (the word you would expect as the subject, is
used in the dative).

Pronouns of the dative case.


To use a personal pronoun in the dative case, you should use the following:
- me. (1st Person Singular)
- you (informal). (2nd Person Singular)
(m), (n), (f) - him, it, her. (3rd Person Singular)
- us. (1st Person Plural)
- you (formal, or plural). (2nd Person Plural)
- them. (3rd Person Plural)

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Genitive Case


The Genitive Case - (Possession)
The primary use of the genitive case is to show possession. In English we often indicate
this with an apostrophe (s), or the word of. Grammatically, the definition of possession
may be larger than we are used to thinking of in English. In Russian the possessor always
follows the object it possess. (This is the reverse of the normal English s).

For example in the sentence this is Adams dog, the word Adam is in the genitive
case. But to convert it to Russian you should think of it like the dog of Adams, placing
the possessor after the object.
You should also use the genitive in most cases where you would use the word of in
English.
You should use the genitive case for words, where in English you could place some or
any before them.
The genitive is commonly used after negation.
Forming the Nominative Case
Masculine Nouns:
1. If the noun ends in a consonant, add .
2. Replace , with .
3. Replace , add .
Feminine Nouns:
1. Replace with .
2. Replace with .
3. Replace with .
Neuter Nouns:
1. Replace with
2. Replace with

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Instumental Case


Instumental Case (With, By)
In Russian, the instrumental case is used to indicate how something is done. In English
we commonly use the words "by" or "with" to do this. You would use the instrumental in
a sentence like "we went there by car".
Forming the Instumental Case
Masculine Nouns:
1. If the noun ends in , , , or , then add if unstressed, if stressed
add .
2. Other consonants, add . 3. Replace , with , if stressed .
4. Replace , add , if stressed .
Feminine Nouns:
1. If the stem of the noun ends in , , , or , replace with
2. Otherwise, replace with (or rarely ) 2. Replace with , if stressed
.
4. Replace with .

Neuter Nouns:
1. Add
The phrase "if stressed" in this case, means if the end of the word is stressed.
The exceptions for , , , or are to comply with the spelling rule.

Russian Grammar - Nouns: Prepositional Case


Prepositional Case (In, At and About)
In Russian, the prepositional case is used after the prepositions (about), (in),
(at).
Note: Sometimes these prepositions are used with other cases, this gives them a different
meaning.
Forming the Prepositional Case
Masculine Nouns:
1. Add : .
2: Some nouns (mostly single syllable) take (but not after preposition )
Feminine Nouns:
1. Replace with .
2. Replace with .
3. Replace with .
Neuter Nouns:
1. Replace with
2. remains unchanged.

Russian Grammar - Verbs - Present Tense


Russian Verbs - Present Tense
You will be pleased to know that Russian has only one present tense. In Russian there is
only one way of saying "I work", "I am working" and ""I do work".
Russian verbs change their endings depending on the subject. This happens a little in
English, but not as much. (Example: I work, he works). This happens according to two
different patterns known as the first conjunction, and the second conjunction. Both these
patterns are quite similar, and once you get the hang of it, it is not too difficult.
Please also refer to lessons 5. It will contain many more samples.
First conjunction
To form the verb for each person you need to drop the last two letters of the infinative
(normally ""), and add the appropriate ending ("", "", "", "", "" or "").
For example the verb: (to work).
- To work. (infinative, dictionary form)

- I work
- You work
, , - He, She, It works.
- We work
- You work.
- They work.
Second conjunction
Verbs where the infinative ends in "" use the second conjunction. There are also other
verbs that use this conjunction. The second conjunction uses the endings "" (or "")
"" "" "" "" "" (or ""), which replace "".
Reminder: Spelling Rule 1: "Never write , , or after the letters ', , , , , ,
' instead use , , ".
When using the second conjunction, sometimes the last letter of the stem (infinitive
without "") for the first person singular () chages. Change this letter acording to the
following table:
becomes
becomes
c becomes
ct becomes
becomes
, , , , add the letter
Remember, this only applies to the first-person singular ().
- To speak. (infinative, dictionary form)
- I speak.
- You speak.
, , - He, She, It Speaks.
- We speak.
- You speak.
- They speak.
Irregular Verbs
There are a number of irregular verbs in Russian. (Verbs that don't exactly follow the
above rules). However, often once you know the stem of the verb, you can often predict
the endings. Even irregular verbs normally follow a similar pattern to those above.
Some examples:
- To go (by transport).
- I go (by transport).
- You go (by transport).
, , - He, She, It goes (by transport).
- We go (by transport).
- You go (by transport).
- They go (by transport).

Notice that once you know the stem "" it almost follows the first conjuction, except
that "" replaces "".
- To live.
- I live.
- You live.
, , - He, She, It lives.
- We live.
- You live.
- They live.
Notice that "" is used instead of "" when the stress falls on the ending.

Russian Grammar - Verbs - Aspect


Russian Verbs - Aspect
Fortunately the Russian language uses only three tenses; present, past and future. Unlike
English which has far more. (Consider the English: I have eaten, I ate, I have been
eating, I was eating, I had eaten, I had been eating, and that is just past tense.) So
as a student of Russian, using verbs can be much easier than in English, especially once
you have mastered conjugating verbs in the present tense.
However, to make up for such simplicity, Russian uses a thing called aspects. Each
verb has 2 aspects. (Verbs of motion have 3). When you are talking in the present tense
there is only one, the imperfective. You only need to think about aspects when you are
speaking in the past or future tense.
Put simply, aspects are used to indicate if an action was completed successfully or is
ongoing. To do this in English we use extra verbs like had and have. For example, in
the phrase I ate., the action is completed. However, in a phrase like I have been
eating, it is implied that action is not yet completed. Aspects are used to illustrate this
difference, however their use in Russian is much more defined.
The aspects are:
Imperfective - Incomplete, ongoing, or repeated actions
Perfective - Actions completed successfully.
If you are unsure which to use, then just use the imperfective. The perfective aspect is
specifically for successfully completed actions.
Understand? I hope so! If not, there is a link to an external page at the bottom.
Here is a set of guidelines to help you choose which aspect to use.
Present Tense.
1. Always use the imperfective. (By definition, actions are not complete so there is no
perfective)

Past Tense.
1. Is the action completed, completed successfully, and was not or will not be repeated?
Yes: Use the perfective aspect.
No: Use the imperfective.
Not sure: Use the imperfective.
Future Tense:
1. Will the action be completed, completed successfully, and will not be repeated.
Yes: Use the perfective aspect.
No: Use the imperfective.
Not sure: Use the imperfective.

Russian Verb Machine - Index of Conjugated Verbs


Russian Imperfective

Russian Perfective

be (is, are, will,


was)

(View Conjugations)

see

(View Conjugations)

speak, talk, say

(View Conjugations)

give

(View Conjugations)

do, make

(View Conjugations)

think

(View Conjugations)

eat

(View Conjugations)

live

(View Conjugations)

know

(View Conjugations)

study

(View Conjugations)

have

(View Conjugations)

love

(View Conjugations)

can, able (to be


able)

(View Conjugations)

understand

(View Conjugations)

work

(View Conjugations)

sit

(View Conjugations)

()

()

listen

(View Conjugations)

()

()

watch, look at

(View Conjugations)

ask

(View Conjugations)

become, begin

(View Conjugations)

stand

(View Conjugations)

()

()

want, feel like

(View Conjugations)

read

(View Conjugations

English

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

be (is, are, will, was)

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

---- ()**
----

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments
**Not used in present tense. is used only in certain situations.

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

see

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

speak, talk, say

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine

Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

give

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

do, make

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

think

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

eat

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural

3rd Person Plural

Comments

Irregular

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

live

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/
Imperfective Aspect
English

know

Perfective Aspect

Infinitive

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments







No perfective

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

study

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense

Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

have

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

-----

-------

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments

There is no perfective aspect.

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

love

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

can, able (to be able)

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular

3rd Person Singular


1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

-------

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments

Irregular. Imperfect future not


used.

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

understand

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

work

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/
Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

English
Infinitive

sit

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - () /


()
() / ()

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

listen
()

()

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

()
()
()
()
()
()

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

()
()
()
()

()
()
()
()

()
()
()
()
()
()

()
()
()
()
()
()

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments

Can be used as a reflexive


verb.

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - () /


()
() / ()

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

watch, look at
()

()

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

()
()
()
()
()
()

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

()
()
()
()

()
()
()
()

()
()
()

()
()
()

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular

1st Person Plural


2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments

()
()
()

()
()
()

Can be used as a reflexive verb.

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

ask

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /

/
Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

English
Infinitive

become, begin

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

-------

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

stand

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine

Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - () /


()
() / ()

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

want, feel like


()

()

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

()

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

()

()

()

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Comments

Irregular. Can be used as a reflexive


verb.

Russian Verb Machine - Conjugated Russian Verbs - /


/

English
Infinitive

Imperfective Aspect

Perfective Aspect

read

Present Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Past Tense
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
Plural

Future Tense
1st Person Singular
2nd Person Singular
3rd Person Singular
1st Person Plural
2nd Person Plural
3rd Person Plural

Russian Vocabulary - Question Words


In Russian, there are a number of words used to form questions. You should remember
that when you ask a yes/no question it is formed the same was as a statement. (There is
no equivalent of words "do", "are"). When you are speaking Russian you should use a
rising questioning tone.
? - What? (Pronounced "shto")
? - How?
? - Who?
? - Why?
? - When?

? - Where? (Used when you are searching for something. "Where is the bank?")
? - (to) Where? (indicates motion towards something. "Where are you going?")
? - (from) Where? (indicates motion away from something. "Where are you
coming from?")
? (m), ? (f), ? (n) - Which? What sort of?
? (m), ? (f), ? (n), ? (pl) - Whose?
Notes:
Where gender is shown, the word should agree with the noun it relates to.
The word declines like a stressed adjective, so it must also agree in case.
The words ? and ? have different forms in different cases. Above is nominative.
(others shown below)

Advanced Topics:
Different cases of ? and ?
Nominative Case (subject):
? - What? (Pronounced "shto")
? - Who?
Accusative Case (object):
? - What?
? - Whom?
Dative Case (indirect object):
? - To What?
? - To Whom?
Genative Case (Possession, negation):
? - What?
? - Whom?
Insrumental Case (by/with)
? - What?
? - Whom?
Prepositional Case (in/at/about)
- (in/about) What?.
? - (in/about) Whom?

Russian Vocabulary - Days of the week


The days of the week in Russian...
- Monday
- Tuesday

- Wednesday
- Thursday
- Friday
- Saturday
- Sunday
- Today (pronounced "sivodnya")
- Tomorrow
- Yesterday
- Day
- Week
- Month
- Year
Notes:
1. The preposition "" is used to mean "on". (" " - on Monday). If the last
letter is "" it becomes "y".
2. The days always start with a lowercase letter unless at the start of a sentence.

Russian Vocabulary - Months


The months of the year in Russian. The months in Russian are related to the same words
in English so this should help you to remember them. Remember that the months in
Russian don't start with a capital letter unless at the start of a sentence.
- January
- February
- March
- April
- May
- June
- July
- August
- September
- October
- November
- December
- Month
- Year