Different ways to apologize in Russian

Hello, everybody. Today's post is all about saying sorry in Russian. We'll learn how to apologize in different situations without being embarrassed. So, let's go.

It's not easy to find a common way to apologize in Russian, because it seems like we have a variety of words to use each of them in a particular case. The most common one is probably:

Прошу прощения. - I apologize. (literally "I ask for an apology").

Others would argue that this isn't the most popular way to say sorry, but I think it's the best one because it's appropriate in most cases. There's a problem with other ways to apologize - we use them depending on who we refer to. For example:

Извини / прости (меня). - Forgive (me) = I'm sorry. - For a friend, relative, younger person.
Извините / простите (меня). - Same stuff but for people who are older and respected or strangers you meet on the street (or somewhere else).

For instance:


- Вы наступили мне на ногу! - You stepped on my foot!
- Ой, извините, пожалуйста. - Oops, forgive me, please. 

We also often use (Я) извиняюсь (I apologize) but some people don't like using this because they suppose you forgive yourself by saying that. The point is that the verb извиняюсь is reflexive. So some russians reckon it literally means "I forgive myself". Maybe they're right, and it's not the best phrase to apologize sincerely.

But if your faul is not so serious, you can use it sometimes:


- Почему ты не закрыл окно? Я же просила тебя. - Why didn't you close the window. I asked you to do it.
- Извиняюсь. Забыл. - Sorry, I forgot.

We use the preposition за with these verbs when we want to ask for an apology:

Прости меня за мои ошибки. - Sorry for my mistakes.

Извините за плохую связь. - Sorry for the bad connection.

Извиняюсь за вчерашний вечер. - I apologize for yesterday evening.

In some cases it's also possible to use the conjunction что (just like in English).

Прости, что не пришел вчера. - I apologize that I did not come yesterday.

Don't forget that you can add the word пожалуйста (please) to your apology, so that you sound more polite. And you'll be more likely forgiven. Maybe.

Phrases to apologize in different situations


Прости(-те) за опоздание / Прошу прощения за опоздание. - I'm sorry for being late.

Прости(-те), что заставил тебя (вас) ждать. - Sorry I kept you waiting.

Извини(-те), что перебиваю. - Sorry for interrupting. 

Прости(-те) меня за все. - I'm sorry for everything (forgive me for everything).

Это моя вина. - It's my fault.

Я не хотел тебя (вас) обидеть. - I didn't want to offend you.

Is there something else you want to know? Ask a question in the comments. If you don't know how to apologize in a certain situation, I'll try to help you :)

Shopping vocabulary: phrases and words you'll hear in Russian stores

In this post I'll teach you some useful shopping vocabulary. There will be some phrases you might hear as a customer from a shop assistant, questions you can ask, sentences you can make and, of course, basic words: verbs and nouns - all about doing shopping. 

Basic words that have to do with shopping



nouns:
магазин - shop/store
супермаркет - supermarket
торговый центр - shopping centre
продуктовый магазин - grocery store
универсальный магазин (abr. универмаг) - department store
покупатель / клиент - customer
продавец - shop assistant, seller
касса - cash desk
деньги - money 
наличные (деньги) - cash
карта - card
покупка - purchase
скидка - discount 

The difference between покупатель and клиент is that покупатель is someone who literally buys goods. Клиент (client) can also buy services. 

The word магазин sounds and looks like the English "magazine". But the meaning is completely different. A magazine in Russian is журнал, which is similar to journal. Very confusing, lol. 

verbs:

покупать - to buy/purchase
платить - to pay
тратить - to spend
ходить / ездить за покупками - to go shopping
закупаться  - to buy goods in advance (for instance, закупаться едой на неделю - when busy people go to a mall (at the weekend) to buy food for the next week). 

Phrases used at the store



Assistant's questions:



Могу ли я вам помочь? / Я могу вам помочь? / Подсказать что-то? - Can I help you? (подсказать - to suggest)
Какой цвет (вам) нужен? - What colour would you like?
Какой размер (вам) нужен? - What size would you like?
Что-то еще? - Anything else?
Есть наша карта? / Есть карта нашего магазина? - Do you have a loyalty card?
Это всё? - Will that be all?
Оплата/будете оплачивать наличными или картой? - (Will that be) cash or credit?
Пакет (нужен)? - (Would you like) a bag?

Customer's questions:



Извините, вы тут работаете? - Excuse me, do you work here?
Не могли бы вы мне помочь? / Можете мне помочь? - Could you help me?
У вас есть...? - Do you have any...?
Сколько стоит? - How much? (Сколько стоит это платье? - How much is this dress?)
Есть что-то подешевле? - Do you have something less expensive?
(Вы) принимаете карты? / Карты принимаете? - Do you take (credit/debit) cards? 
Где у вас примерочные? - Where is the fitting rooms?
Вы осуществляете доставку? (formal) / У вас есть доставка? - Can you deliver?

Phrases and sentences



Это единственный размер / Остался один размер. - This is the only size / One size left.
У нас нет... - We don't have any...
Он/она/оно стоит... - It (he/she/it) costs...
Они стоят... - These (they) cost...  
Мы не принимаем карты. - We don't accept (credit) cards.
(Это) слишком дорого. - It's too expensive.
Я возьму это... / Я беру это... - I'll take this... 

Russian Prepositions в and на: how to use them correctly

It's been a long time since I last posted. It's the end of March, so why don't we learn some grammar?Prepositions в and на, for examle.

Russian prepostions в and на can be very tricky at times. Generally, в is very similar to the English "in", and на is similar to "on". But there are many moments that might seem strange to foreigners.

Let's start with the simple idea. When we use в that means that something is inside. When we use на, it means that something is on the surface of something.

Examples:

Яблоко лежит на столе. - The apple is (is lying) on the table. 
Яблоко лежит в холодильнике. - The apple is (is lying) in the fridge.

It seems quite easy, doesn't it? But when we talk about directions, for instance, there might be a problem. We don't have an equivalent of "to" for directions. We use the same prepositions of the place - в and на. And it can be very confusing:

Я иду в школу. - I'm going to school.
Я иду на почту. - I'm going to the post-office.

Well, to be honest we use в almost all the time when we talking about going to some place.

в школу - to school
в магазин - to the store
в супермаркет - to the supermarket
в банк - to the bank
в детский сад - to kindergarten
в больницу - to the hospital
в театр - to the theatre
в кино(театр) - to the cinema
в офис - to the office
в парк - to a park

But what's wrong with the post-office??? Well, I don't know. Just remember it.

And that's not all. We use на pretty often when we talk about going somewhere:

на работу - to work
на репетицию - to rehearsal
на концерт - to the concert
на соревнования - to the competition/to the tournament
на собеседование - for a job interview
на занятия - to the classes

You can notice that those nouns aren't physical places but rather abstract ideas of what you are going to do there (events, actions). At the sime time the same preposition is used if you need to answer the question "Where?".

на работе - at work
на репетиции - at rehearsal
на концерте - at the concert
на соревнованиях - at the competition/at the tournament
на собеседовании - in a job interview
на занятиях - in class

в школе - at school/in a school
в магазине - at/in the store
в банке - in/at the bank
etc.

You should also remember that на is used with stations and stops:


на железнодорожной станции/на железнодорожную станцию - at the railway station/to the railway station

на автобусной остановке/на автобусную остановку - at the bust stop/to the bus stop

Prepositions на and в also can make a problem when talking about informations media:

в газете - in the paper
в журнале - in the magazine
в книге - in the book
в интернете - on the internet

but

на радио - on the radio (Note: here we use по more often: Я слушаю песню по радио - I'm listening to a song on the radio, but in sentences such as "I work in radio" we use на)
на диске - on a disk
на флешке (на флеш-карте) - on a flash drive
на компьютере - (в компьютере is also possible but less common) - on a computer

When we talk about copying files, for instance, we use same prepositions:

на диск - to disk/on a disk
на флешку - to a flash drive
на компьютер - to a computer

Скопируй песню на этот диск. - Copy the song to this disk.
Мне надо скачать этот файл на свой компьютер. - I need to download this file to my computer.

but "в" is also possible in some cases (imput of data):

Мне нужно внести данные в компьютер. - I need to enter data to the computer.

If you have any questions, just leave them in the comment section. I'll be glad to help you and add some new information to this article.

  

5 ways to say "I understand" in Russian

There are some ways to express understanding in Russian which we use in everyday conversation. You'll see how short and simple these phrases are, so it won't be difficult to remember all of them.
I understand in Russian

(Я) понял (I understood [I got you])


If you're a male, say я понял or just понял. If you're a female - я поняла or поняла.We use the past form of the verb понимать here to show that what was said is perfectly understood. 

- Срочно приезжай ко мне! У нас ЧП! Нет времени объяснять.Come to my house [literally: to me] immediately! We've got an emergency! No time to explain.
- Понял. Выезжаю.I got you. I'm on my way.

Я понимаю (I understand [I get you])


I guess, most of the time we say я понимаю when someone is complaining and we have to listen to her or to him. It's quite rare in other situations.

Понятно (It's understood [I got it])


Понятно is an adverb, which you can realize by looking at the ending of this word. It doesn't change its form. You can use it all the time.

Ясно (It's clear)


Actually, it's the same as понятно. Literally means "it's clear", which can be also used when talking about the sky with no clouds.

Да я понял! (I got it! [I'm not that stupid, you twat])


It's a good way to say "I understood" when you are really annoyed. Like when someone is trying to explain you something in so many ways so many times but you've already got it.


- Кстати, этот актер играл в "Криминальном чтиве". Ну, это фильм Тарантино. Там и Траволта снимался. Они еще с Умой Турман танцевали тот знаменитый танец. By the way, this actor was in "Pulp Fiction". It's a Tarantino movie. Travolta also was there. He danced that famous dance with Uma Thurman.
- Да я поняла уже! I got it (already)!

One more thing

Ясно, понятно

When you see this phrase, it's a bad news for you. We usually say it to another person when we think he/she is stupid and we don't really want to keep the conversation going. 

The internet world brought this expression to our life. You can often see it on memes. For example:



If you didn't understand something in this article, leave a comment, don't be shy :)

Describing People in Russian: Appearance

Do you know how to describe your friend, parent, teacher or anyone in Russian? If you don't, just read on and you'll learn some new words and simple examples of sentences which help you describe any person's appearance.

Hair (волосы ['volosi])


Adjectives to describe hair:

светлые - blond
темные - dark
рыжие - red
русые - light brown

прямые - straight
кудрявый - curly
короткие - short
длинные - long

Nouns to describe people with different types of hair:

блондин/ блондинка - a blond/ a blonde
брюнет/ брюнетка - a brunet/ a brunette
рыжий (рыжеволосый)/ рыжая (рыжеволосая) - red-haired man/woman
лысый (m.)/ лысая (f.) - bald

кудрявый/ кудрявая - curly-haired (man/ woman)
длинноволосый/длинноволосая - long-haired (man/woman)


Note that some words can be both nouns and adjectives at the same time. It is quite common in Russian. For example, рыжий can mean a color of someone's hair and also a person who has red hair.

Тот рыжий мальчик мне улыбнулся. - That red-haired boy smiled at me.
Я рыжий, но это не моя вина. - I'm a redhead but it's not my fault.

Он всегда был кудрявым. - He's always been curly-haired. 
У него кудрявая голова. - He has curly hair (literally: head). 

Face (лицо [li'tso])


круглое лицо - round face
худое лицо - thin face
щека - cheek (pl. щеки)
подбородок - chin
лоб - forehead
челюсть - jaw
ухо - ear (pl. уши)

Eyes (глаза [glaza])


светлые - light
темные - dark
голубые - blue
зеленые - green
карие - brown
черные - black

большие - big
маленькие - little
узкие - narrow



бровь - eyebrow (pl. брови)
веко - eyelid (pl. веки)
ресницы - eyelashes

Нос (nose [nos])


длинный - long
маленький - small
большой - big


Lips/mouth (губы/ рот)



тонкие губы - thin lips
пухлые губы - full lips
большой рот - big mouth
маленький рот - small mouth


Talking about likes and dislikes in Russian

In today's lesson we're going to learn how to express your likes and dislikes in Russian. I'm going to show you some patterns that you can use in any situation when you need to say that you love, like or dislike something.


Expressing likes


If you want to say that you like something, just start the sentence with this phrase "мне нравится" (I like). You won't probably understand this construction cause it's not like a typical subject+object thing. It's something different. Мне literally means "me" or "to me" and нравится is a reflexive verb... Alright, I don't want to scare you. Just remember this combination, it's really useful.  

So, how do I say that I like something in Russian:

Мне нравится + a verb (the infinitive)/a noun (singular)/a phrase.

Examples:

Мне нравится петь/танцевать/рисовать/спать/есть/смотреть телевизор.
I like to sing/dance/draw/sleep/eat/watch TV.

Мне нравится эта машина. - I like this car.
Мне нравится мой компьютер. - I like my computer.
Мне нравится мальчик в синей рубашке. - I like the boy in the blue shirt.

Note: If you are going to say you like something in plural, use "мне нравятся". 

Мне нравятся твои родители.
I like your parents.

Мне нравятся эти носки.
I like these socks.

Мне нравятся умные дети. 
I like smart kids.

For a stronger feeling like love we use the verb любить. I love is "я люблю" in Russian. This is how we use it in a sentence:

Я люблю мороженное. 
I love ice-cream.

Я люблю детей.
I love kids.

Я люблю тебя.
I love you.

Я люблю ходить в кино.
I love to go to the cinema.

So, the pattern is a little different here. It's the same only with verbs. When we use "любить" with a noun, we need to change the form of this noun - put it in the accusative case. So, for inanimate nouns (exept for feminine nouns ending in -a or -я) there's no any change. We just take a word from a dictionary:

Я люблю солнце.
I love the sun.

Я люблю свой свитер. 
I like my sweater.

Я люблю этот город. 
I love this city (town).

Я люблю свою машину (we changed the ending of the word машина). 
I love my car.

If we talk about plural nouns, the verb doesn't change, but the noun does:


Я люблю эту книгу. (I love this book). Я люблю книги. (I love books).
If you want to talk about something that you really really love, a verb обожать (adore) is just what the doctor ordered.  

Я обожаю читать. 
I adore to read.

Я обожаю маленьких котят.
I adore little kittens.

The pattern here is the same as with the verb любить. You just switch "я люблю" to "я обожаю" and leave all the rest the same. 

Expressing dislikes


Now it's time for hating. The first way of saying you don't like something is to take our first construction мне нравится and add the particle не into the middle of it. So, we have the phrase мне не нравится (I don't like).

It's used in the same way as "мне нравится", just with the opposite meaning. You can take the previous examples and make a little change:

Мне не нравится петь/танцевать/рисовать/спать/есть/смотреть телевизор.
I don't like to sing/dance/draw/sleep/eat/watch TV.

Another strong phrase to express dislikes is я ненавижу (I hate) or я терпеть не могу (I can't stand): 

Я ненавижу ждать.
I hate to wait. 

Я ненавижу его.
I hate him.

Я ненавижу этот город.
I hate this city.

In everyday speaking we elliminate the personal pronoun я (same with the verb любить):

Ненавижу рано вставать. 
I hate to wake up early.

Ненавижу, когда отвечают вопросом на вопрос.
I hate it when someone answers a question with another question.

Терпеть не могу его мать.
I can't stand his mother.

Терпеть не могу, когда мой сын плачет.
I can't stand it when my son cries.

And, again, we make sentences following the same rule as we did with the verb любить (to love).

We finish here. Now tell me what you like or dislike. In Russian, of course. Would be great to know 😉



10 Easiest Russian Words for Absolute Beginners

Hello, readers! It's the April fool's day today, the second spring month has just started. But... It is snowing outside here in Siberia, which makes me a little sad 😞 Because I want summer! Or at least I want the warm spring to finally come here. 

Anyway, it's not a case. This post is for those who only started to learn Russian and have some fear of learning it. There's a video for you to learn your first 10 Russian words without any pain! Just watch, listen and repeat. I know you all can do it. If you're a higher level student, it can be hardly interesting for you, maybe just for checking your pronounciation.



What Russian words are easy for you to read and pronounce? Maybe it's a good idea to make a big list of easy Russian words and share it with all the other learners. What would you suggest?

How to compliment in Russian (women or men)

Compliments help us to ingratiate ourselves to other people. It can be used for profit, but most of the time we just want to make someone feel good. Everyone likes to recieve compliments. In this lesson we're going to learn how to compliment a woman or a man in Russian and how to respond when someone gives you a compliment. 

How to compliment a woman in Russian


It's no secret that the best way to make a woman like you is to compliment her. We love to hear beautiful things. We like to hear that someone thinks we look good. We like to know that someone thinks we are very intelligent. So, there are some typical phrases which can help you to make a woman happy:

Ты очень красивая. - You are very beautiful.

Ты очень умная. - You are very smart (intelligent).

У тебя такие красивые глаза. - You have such beautiful eyes.

Мне нравится твое платье. - I like your dress. 

Ты великолепно выглядишь. - You look great.

Тебе идет этот цвет. - That color looks good on you.

Мне нравится твоя новая прическа. - I love your new hairstyle.

Ты прекрасно готовишь. - You are such an amazing cook.


How to compliment a man in Russian


Now we'll try to compliment a man. It's not so easy as it seems. You should choose right words to point out best male features.


С тобой приятно общаться. - It's very nice to talk to you (I like talking to you).

Ты такой умный. - You are so smart.

Ты такой сильный. - You are so strong.

Ты хорошо выглядишь. - You look good.

Мне нравится твой стиль. - I like your style. 

У тебя приятный голос. - You have a lovely voice.


Accepting a compliment 


Here are some expressions you can use to accept a compliment or to react to it in some other way.  

Спасибо. - Thank you.

Ты правда так думаешь? - Do you really think so?

Ты такой милый. - You're so sweet (about a man).

Я так не думаю, но все равно спасибо. - I don't think so, but thanks anyway.

Ты такой подхалим. - You're such a toady.  (he-he)

------------------------------

I hope theses phrases are enough to make someone happy. If you want to know how to say any phrase in Russian, just post a comment below. I'll be glad to answer you as soon as possible.


Talking about the weather in Russian

Weather... it is very crazy sometimes. Especially here, in Russia. Because our country is huge and the climate varies in different parts of it. When it's snowing in the north, it can be still warm in the south. 

So, the weather takes a huge part of our everyday conversation. We talk about the weather with our friends, neighbours, acquaintances even if it doesn't make sense. But how do we talk about the weather in Russian? How can we describe a nasty or a good weather? Let's find out!

Weather vocabulary


погода - weather
прогноз погоды - weather forcast
облачность - overcast
солнце - sun
небо - sky
облако - cloud
туча - black cloud (before rain)
ветер - wind
дождь (m.) - rain
ливень (m.) - shower
снег - snow
град - hail
росá - dew
тумáн - fog
грозá - thunderstorm
шторм - storm


Describing good or bad weather

Useful phrases


Хорошая погода. - A good weather. Сегодня хорошая погода. - It's good weather today
Плохая погода. - A bad weather.
Солнечно. - It's sunny. Завтра будет солнечно. - Tomorrow will be a sunny day. 
Облачно/пасмурно - It's cloudy.
Холодно. - It's cold.
Тепло. - It's warm.
Жарко. - It's hot.

Note that we use adverbs ending in -o here to describe the weather. We can also use adjectives with nouns but if we just want to make a short statement about how the weather is it's better to do it with adverbs like пасмурно, холодно, жарко etc. These two are similar: сегодня солнечная погода and сегодня солнечно (it's sunny today), however the second one is more common. Collocations "жаркая погода" or "холодная погода" sound quite unnatural. 

Adjectives to describe the weather

холодный - cold (холодный ветер - cold wind, холодная вода - cold water)
теплый - warm (теплый день - a warm day, теплая погода - warm weather, теплое время суток - the warm part of the day)
жаркий - hot 
морозный - freezing
туманный - foggy
солнечный - sunny
дождливый - rainy
пасмурный/облачный - cloudy
прохладный - cool

General phrases about the weather and concrete examples


Идет снег. - It's snowing.
Идет дождь. - It's raining.
Дует ветер. - The wind is blowing.
Солнце светит. - The sun is shining.

Notice that we use the verb "идти" with raining and snowing. We literally say that the snow or the rain "goes". It's another funny thing about the Russian language. 

Here are some phrases to describe certain weather conditions:

Сегодня очень сильный ветер. - The wind is very strong today.
Небо так быстро темнеет. Скоро пойдет дождь. - The sky is getting dark so quickly. It's going to rain soon.
Сегодня довольно прохладно. Завтра обещают жаркий день. - Today it is quite cool. The weather forecasters promise a hot day for tomorrow.

See also: Seasons and months in Russian

Question words in Russian

What? Which? Who? We ask too many questions every day using the same question words. But there are even more question words in Russian. I'll try to list them all with translation and transcription.

Что? [shtoh] - What?
Кто? [ktoh] - Who?
Как? [kak] - How?
Когда? [kag-da] - When?
Сколько? [skol-ka] - How many/ how much?
Почему? [pa-chee-moo] - Why?
Зачем? [za-chem] - Why? (What for?)
Чей? [chey] - Whose?
Куда? [koo-da] - Where to?
Откуда? [at-koo-da] - Where from?
Кому? [ka-moo] - To whom?
Чему? [che-moo] - To what?
Чем? [chem] - By what?
Кем? [kem] - By who?
О чём? [ah chyom] - About what?
О ком? [ah kom] - About whom?
Чего? [chee-vo] - What (Genitive case)?
Кого? [ka-vo] - Whom?
Какой? [ka-koy] - What? Which?
Который? [ka-to-riy] - Which?

OMG. There are so many question words in Russian! I didn't realize that until I wrote this list. But be calm for now, we start with basic question words.

First, I should explain the difference between "Почему?" and "Зачем?", because they both mean why in English. It's what you can find in a dictionary. But we distinguish these two words. Почему corresponds to English "why", while зачем corresponds to "for what" or "what for". Is it difficult to understand so far? OK, let me give you some examples.

Зачем (для чего) тебе эта ручка? - Why do you need this pen? (for what? what are you going to do with it?)

Зачем ты взял мой телефон? - Why did you take my phone? (for what purposes?)

Зачем мы здесь? - Why are we here? (for what? what are we going to do here?)

Почему ты не пришел? - Why didn't you come?

Почему Земля круглая? - Why is the Earth tround?

Почему у нас так мало денег? - Why do we have so little money? 

All the other question words are not so difficult to use. You might notice that какой and который also have the same meaning. It's almost true. But the word какой is much more common than который. The difference between these words exists, but we can ignore it for now. 

Now let's look at some examples of sentences with Russian question words.

Что ты делаешь? - What are you doing?
Кто это? - Who is it?
Как ты сюда попал? - How did you get there?
Какой это этаж? - Which floor is it?
Откуда ты приехал? - Where did you come from?
Откуда ты это знаешь? - How do you know this? (Note that we don't use как [how] in this case, we use откуда [literally: where from?] instead).
Где это? - Where is it?
Куда ты идешь? - Where are you going? (direction)
О чём вы говорите? - What are you talking about?