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

Expressing likes and dislikes in Russian

talking about likes and dislikes in russian
In today's lesson we're going to learn how to express 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.

Talking about 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.


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).

expressing likes and dislikes in Russian

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 collocations with the word дождь (rain):

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? What kind of?

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 the dictionary. But we distinguish these two words. Почему refers to English "why", while зачем refers 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 purpose?)

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 round?

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. In general, который means which (in a sequence). But it's quite rarely used in speech. There is one phrase you might be familiar with: "Который час?" (What time is it?). However, it's somewhat formal and we don't use it in everyday speaking that much.

Now let's look at some examples of sentences with these 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?

Какой у неё голос? - What kind of voice does she have?

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?

Question words in Russian

How to ask for help in Russian

There are many situations where we may need someone's help. Today we're going to learn some important Russian words and expressions to ask for help in any situation. I really hope it will be useful for you and you will learn how to use these words and expressions correctly.

Two important words to ask for help in any situation

Let's start with the common word "help!", which is помогите [pa-ma-gee-te] in Russian. It literally means "help me". It is a very common word, you can use it whenever you're in trouble. For example, you've been just robbed by someone on the street. So, the phrase "Помогите! У меня украли сумку!" (Help me! They stole my bag!) will be suitable for this situation. Another example, "Помогите мне, пожалуйста, обменять валюту." (Hlep me, please, to exchange my money.). So, you can use помогите in every situation when you need someone's help. Well, if you need a help from your friend you use informal word помоги [pa-ma-gee]. It would sound weird if you say "помогите" to your friend.

Another word you can use to ask for someone's help is спасите [spa-see-te] (literally: rescue me!). It is used when you're in danger. For example, you fell in the river but you are not able to swim. You are sinking and screaming спасите, so that people could hear and rescue you.

Asking for help in a polite way 

Now let's talk about less dangerous situations, where you can adress someone in a polite way to ask for help. For example, you're lost in Russian city and want to find a way to the hotel (or to another place). You can ask for help using these phrases:

Извините, пожалуйста. Я потерялся. Как мне попасть в (the name of the place)?
Excuse me, please. I'm lost. How can I get...? 

Простите, не могли бы вы мне помочь? Мне нужно в (the name of the place). Как мне туда попасть? 
Excuse me. May you help me? I need to get to... How can I get there?

Помогите мне, пожалуйста, найти дорогу... 
Help me, please to find a way... 

Phrases to appreciate someone's help

If someone helped you and you want to show gratitude, you can simply use спасибо (thank you) or большое спасибо (thank you very much). There are some other ways to appreciate someone's help:

Вы мне очень помогли. Спасибо.
You helped me a lot. Thank you.

Спасибо за помощь.
Thank you for your help.

Что бы я без вас делал!
What would I do without you!

10 Easy Russian Tongue Twisters to improve your pronunciation

Speaking Russian can be very hard for English speakers, so you need to practice as much as possible to achieve a good result. In this article I've collected 10 easy Russian tongue twisters for practicing your pronunciation. There are some short and quite long tongue twisters. But they all are not so hard to pronunce. These tongue twisters will help you to practice and improve the pronunciation of к, б, п, р, ж, ш, щ, ч, с and also vowel sounds. Gathering together these sounds makes the practice more effective, cause they create many troubles for non-Russian speakers.

Don't try to speed it up from the beginning. At first, you should pronounce every letter clearly and correctly. When you'll get the point, you can increase the speed of speech.

So, good luck!

Don't forget to post a comment of how you managed this. Was it hard for you? What sounds do you find the most difficult to pronounce? 

Telling the time in Russian: how to do it right

This post is about a basic topic - asking and telling the time. Imagine, you are alone in some Russian city and you don't have a watch or a mobile phone (I know it's hard to imagine but who knows what can happen) and you need to be in a particular place at a particular time. You'll probably need to ask people around what time it is. But this is not the only case, of course. When talking to a friend you can  also need tot ask or tell the time. Just while walking the street, someone may ask you about time.

Anyway, if you don't really want to lose your time, watch the video first. It will help you understand some basic conceptions. If it is to difficult for you, go back to the text version below.

Asking the time in Russian: two simple questions

There are two ways of asking time in Russian. The most common is "Сколько времени?" [skol'ka vremeni]. Uneducated people may say "Сколько время?" [skol'ka vremya], it is very common in everyday speaking but not grammatically correct because the word время (time) should be used in the genitive case - времени. We literally ask "how much", when asking the time.

The second question is "Который час?" [katoriy chas], which sounds more formal to me. I rarely hear people saying this. Usually they use the first phrase.

If you want to ask passers-by what time is it, you can use following patterns:

Извините, пожалуйста, вы не подскажете, который час?
[izvinite pazhalusta vi ne padskazhete katoriy chas]
Excuse me, please, can you tell me what time is it?

Простите, вы подскажете, сколько сейчас времени?
[prastite vi ne padskazhete skol'ka sechas vremeni]
Excuse me, can you tell me what time is it now?

How to tell the time in Russian 

Well, this will be much harder than asking the time. First of all, you need to be familiar with Russian cardinal and ordinal numerals. If you're not, just follow the link.

So, if it's one, two, three, etc. o'clock (sharp), it's very easy:

- Сколько времени? (What time is it?)

Час. (It's one o'clock)
Два часа. (It's two o'clock)
Три часа. (It's three o'clock)
Четыре часа. (It's four o'clock)
Пять часов. (It's five o'clock)
Шесть часов. (It's six o'clock)
Семь часов. (It's seven o'clock)
Восемь часов. (It's eight o'clock)
Девять часов. (It's nine o'clock)
Десять часов. (It's 10 o'clock)
Одиннадцать часов. (It's 11 o'clock)
Двенадцать часов. (It's 12 o'clock)

We can also tell the time exactly as we see it on the clock. In this case it's also easy if you are familiar with the Russian numbers:

- Сколько времени?- Шесть сорок пять. (6:45) or восемнадцать сорок пять (18:45).

In the first case (шесть сорок пять) we can mean both 6:45 and 18:45. We don't need to clarify this if the part of the day is obvious.

In the following situations the part of the day is essential:

- Когда будет трансляция? (When will it be broadcasted?)
- В 11 вечера. (At 11 pm).
- Когда мне позвонить? (When should I call?)
- В девять утра. (At nine am.)
Not that hard, right? Until now it was. Let's get to the most dificult part.

How to deal with halves, quarters and minutes

When it's half past something, we use the word половина and put an ordinal number after it.

Половина второго
. - It's half past one. (Note that we use the genitive form here.)
Половина третьего. - It's half past two.
Половина десятого. - It's half past nine.

Have you noticed something weird? The russian numbers seem to be one less than the english ones. Yeah, it's one crazy thing you should remember. 

When we talk about minutes past and to something, it gets even more comlicated. Look at the examples:

Двадцать минут второго. - It's 20 minutes past one.
Пятнадцать минут шестого. - It's 15 past five.
Пять минут десятого. - It's 5 past ten.

Again, the first numbers in this case are equal in both english and russian sentences, but the second ones are diferent. Why it happens? We talk about time from other perspectives. But in the next situation we are thinking the same way.

Без десяти восемь. - It's 10 to eight.
Без пятнадцати двенадцать. - It's 15 to 12.
Без пяти шесть. - It's 10 to six.

Now we finally match. The preposition без means without. So, it's almost eight (in the first example), only without 10.

That's it. If you have any questions, just leave a comment.

How to start a conversation in Russian

When you meet the person for the first time, you need to get acquainted before you start talking. We already learned how to get acquainted in Russian in one of my previous posts. But what about you've already met this person? Maybe you are friends or collegues.

How to start a conversation with a friend

Imagine you suddenly met your friend in the shop. The dialogue may follow this way:

- О, Настя, привет! А ты что здесь делаешь? (Oh, Nastya, hi! What are you doing here?)
- Привет! Не ожидала тебя встретить! Я тут выбираю одежду для сына. Он завтра выступает. (Hi! Didn't expect to meet you here! I'm looking for (choosing) the clothes for my son. He's perfoming tomorrow.)

If you and your friend haven't seen each other for a long time, you can start a conversation with the phrase Давно не виделись (Long time no see). And, of course you'd probably like to know what is happening or happend in your friend's life.

- Здорово, Серега! (Hi, Seryoga!)
- О, привет, давно не виделись! Как поживаешь? (Oh, hi, long time no see! How are you doing?)
-  Да неплохо. Ты-то давай рассказывай, какие новости у тебя! Я слышал, ты из Европы вернулся. Ну и как оно? (Well, not bad. You tell me what news do you have! I've heard you're back from the Europe. So, how's it?)

The second dialog is very informal. In this case it is between two old friends, which are males. Notice that I used the word "здорово" as a greeting. It is common among men. In the article about Russian greeting words and phrases I already gave you explanation of each of them.

How to start a conversation with a person you don't know so well

Now imagine you're at work and your collegue is not your friend but you want to have a little conversation with him. You know that he had some troubles with the boss and you want to know more about it (you've just arrived at work):

- Привет! Как все прошло вчера? (Hey! How was it yesterday?)
- Привет. Нормально. Мы поговорили, и меня не будут увольнять. (Hi. It was OK. We had a conversation and they won't dismiss me.)

Another case. You met your neighbor which is older than you. You want to ask something important but before asking you make some polite questions:

- Здравствуйте, Иван Петрович. Как поживаете? (Hello, Ivan Petrovich. How are you doing?)
- Здравствуй, Миша. Да ничего. (Hello, Misha. Well, I'm doing OK [literally:nothing bad is happening to me])
- Я слышал, у нас в доме будут проводить ремонтные работы. Вы не знаете точную дату? (I heard, our house would be renovated. Do you know the exact date of it?)

There are many ways to start a conversation in different situations. Usually we follow the same pattern: greeting + "how are you". But it's not necessary to ask a person how he or she is. It usually means that you really want to know what happend or is happening to this person. We don't use it just as a polite way of talking. Well, maybe we do, but not all the time. 

Demonstratives in Russian: how to say "this", these", "that", and "those"

We use demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives all the time. It's hard to imagine how we could live without them. They really make our life easier. When we want to point something specific, demonstrarives are essential.

Demonstrative adjectives

We use demonstrative adjectives in same situations as we do in English. But, unfortunatelly, like all

Russian adjectives they change their endings depending on the gender of a noun they're describing.

this: этот (masculine), эта (feminine), это (neuter)

these: for all genders is эти

Demostratives in Russian: this, these, that, those


Case singular plural
masculne feminine neuter
Nom. этот эта это эти
Gen. этого этой этого этих
Dat. этому этой этому этим
Acc. этот (inanimate),
этого (animate)
эту это (inanimate),
этого (animate)
эти (inanimate),
этих (animate)
Inst. этим этой этим этими
Prep. (об) этом (об) этой (об) этом (об) этих


Этот дом слишком маленький для нас. - This house is too small for us.

Я хочу эту машину. - I want this car.

Это яблоко неспелое. - This apple is not ripe.

Что мне делать с этими деньгами? - What should I do with these money? (Деньги (money) is used in the plural in Russian).

Я смотрю на этого мальчика (animate). - I'm looking at this boy.

Я смотрю на этот дом (inanimate). - I'm looking at this house.

Тот (that) refers to something further removed (as it is in English). It also has many forms:

that: тот (masculine), та (feminine), то (neuter)

those (for all genders) - те

Та книга интереснее, чем эта. - That book is more interesting, that this one. 

Case singular plural
masculne feminine neuter
Nom. тот та то те
Gen. того той того тех
Dat. тому той тому тем
Acc. тот (inanimate),
того (animate)
ту то (inanimate),
того (animate)
те (inanimate),
тех (animate)
Inst. тем той тем теми
Prep. (о) том (о) той (о) том (о) тех

Watch my video about demonstratives in Russia for better understanding. You can also listen to the pronunciation of each word.

Demonstrative pronouns

The difference between demonstrative adjectives and pronouns in Russian is that we don't use them all in the second case (as pronouns).

For example:

Это наши дети. - These are our children.

You might wonder why we used это but not эти. Well, this is the Russian language.

For any situation we just use это or то. But actually just "это". I would not dare to say "То мои дети". It sound a little weird and old-fashioned. And I would say it's used for other purpose rather than for pointing at something/someone who's far from you (there).

Чья это сумка? - Whose bag is this?

Это моя сумка. - This is my bag.

Чьи это часы? - Whose watch is this?

Это мои часы. - This is my watch?

Чьи это туфли? - Whose shoes are these?

Это мои туфли. - These are my shoes.

How to say "this is" in Russian

We use это (this) in every situation. Even when it should be то (that). But when we have both that and this in one sentence (one situation), we can use "то", as well.

Эта кровать моя, а та - его. - This bed is mine, and that is his.

Чьи это перчатки? (Whose gloves are these?)

Мои. (Mine.)

А те? (And those?)

Моего сына. (My son's.)

Saying yes and no: Russian for beginners

We've already started to learn Russian but there is one thing we missed: two easiest but essential words - yes and no. In Russian these words are also very short and easy to pronounce.

да [duh]- yes
нет [n'et] - no

Pretty easy, isn't it? But you should keep in mind that нет doesn't sound like English word "net". The letter "e" in Russian is always pronounced softly, that's why I put the apostrophe before it. And the "d" sound differs from the English "d", and you can feel this difference in the audio below.

Now practice the pronunciation of these two words. Just listen to the audio and repeat.

While in English we use the short answers like "Yes, I did." or "No. I don't.", in Russian it is enough to say just yes or no. But we can also use verbs in short answers:

- Ты видела его? (Have you seen him?)
A) Нет.
B) Нет, не видела.
C) Не видела.

We don't have the auxiliary verb "do" in Russian, so we use the main verb and the particle не (which means "not") in answers.

- Он звонил? (Did he call?)
- Нет, не звонил. (No, he didn't)
- Да, звонил. (Yes, he did.)

Like in English, we can add some certainty by saying "of course", which is конечно in Russian.

Конечно, нет. (Of course. yes)
Конечно, да. (Of course, not)

- Ты сделал уроки? (Have you done your homework?)
- Нет, конечно. (Not, of course.)

There are many other words we can use instead of yes and no in some situations. For example, непременно, естественно, несомненно (certainly), обязательно (necessarily) and so forth. 

How to say "friend" in Russian: friendship vocabulary

There are some ways to say "friend" in Russian language. The most common word for it is "друг".

The word "друг" is a masculine form, and the feminine form is подруга. Note the last word ends in "a". It usually shows that a noun is feminine.


Он мой друг.
He is my friend.

Она моя подруга.
She is my friend.

These words have different ending depending on the case.

Я знаю его друга. - I know his friend.

Я могу быть твоим другом. - I can be your friend.

Он рассказал мне о своем друге. - He told me about his friend.

Она отправила письмо своему другу. - She sent her friend a letter.

Я иду в кино с подругой. - I'm going to the cinema with my friend (female).

The plural form of the word друг is друзья. For the word подруга is подруги. But when you are talking about a circle of friends wich include both male and female ones you should use the word друзья (for male). Just like in Spanish, for example.

Мы можем быть друзьями. - We can be friends.
У меня много друзей. - I have many friends.

There are some other ways to say "friend" in Russian but they are not so common. The word "дружище" is a slang form of a noun "друг" and means a really good friend. When talking to a friend you can call him that way.

Как дела, дружище? - How are you doing, friend?

Note that this word is more for men. Women don't normally use this word.

Another slang word for friend is "кореш". But it's quite ourdated and was more popular in 90s.

"Товарищ" - a word which was very common in Soviet Russia. People still use it but in more formal situations.

Talking about friends and friendship in Russian

Let's look at some other examples of using the words related to friends and friendship in Russian (and also some collocations):

friendship - дружба
a true (real) friend - настоящий друг
a close friend - близкий друг

to make friends - подружиться

to be friends (with) - дружить (с)

We are good friends. - Мы хорошие друзья.
He's my old friend. - Он мой старый друг.
John is his best friend. - Джон его лучший друг. 
We have been friends for five years. - Мы дружим пять лет. 

If you need a translation of some word or sentence about friends and friendship in Russian just post a comment here. I'll be glad to help you!

30 Russian adjectives to describe someone's personality

Our personality makes us unique. There are different people around with different characters. Someone is always cheerful and friendly. Someone is too shy to talk to people. Someone doesn't like to smile and looks very ungracious. Now we will try to describe someone's personality in Russian.

Character traits can be both positive and negative. Some traits are neutral and can't be called good or bad. So, there will be three lists of adjectives you should learn.

Positive personality adjectives

добрый - kind
смелый - brave
дружелюбный - friendly
приветливый - affable
вежливый - polite
любознательный - inquisitive
умный - clever, intelligent
честный - honest
ответственный - responsible
милый - nice
мудрый - wise
щедрый - generous
работящий - hard-working

Don't forget that this is a masculine form of adjectives. Here are some examples of describing someone's personality in Russian:

Моя подруга очень добрая. - My friend (female) is very kind.
Он всегда очень приветливый. - He's always very affable.
Твоя сестра такая любознательная. Она постоянно чему-то учится. - Your sister is so inquisitive. She's constantly learning something. 

Negative personality adjectives

злой - mean
ненадежный - unreliable
мстительный - revengeful
трусливый - cowardly
ленивый - lazy
неприятный - unpleasant
завистливый - envious
грубый - rude
глупый - dull, silly
ворчливый - grumbling
нервный - nervous

Neutral personality adjectives 

скромный - shy, timid
разговорчивый - chatty
забавный/смешной - funny
непостоянный - changeable, inconstant
амбициозный - ambitious
требовательный - exacting

What are your personality traits? How would you describe yourself in Russian? Or maybe your friend and someone you know.

25 Most Common Russian Verbs You Should Know

Today we're going to learn some basic Russian verbs everyone should know for starters. There will be a short list but also a lot of work, because you need to learn all the forms of these verbs to use them correctly in different situations.

So, the essential Russian verbs are:

Most common Russian verbs

Let's take a closer look at each verb in the list.

Быть [bit'] - to be

The verb быть in the Russian language has many different forms but it's rarely used in the Present Tense. For example, we don't say "I am", "he is" and so on.  If you want to say "I am a student", you just say "Я студент" (literally: I sudent).

But it is important to know the future forms of this verb - will be.

the verb to be in Russian

It can be both will and will be. For example:

Я буду врачом. - I will be a doctor.
Он будет спать. - He will sleep/ He's going to sleep.

The past tense form of the verb быть is more simple. It doen't change so much:

Я был. - I was.
Ты был. - You were.
Он был. - He was.
Она была. - She was.
Оно было. - It was.
Они были. - They were.
Мы были. - We were.
Вы были. - You were.
Они были. - They were.

Делать [dyelat'] - to do/to make

Luckily there's just one verb for both of these actions. Here's the conjugation of this verb:

Я делаю домашнюю работу. - I'm doing my homework.
Она делает серьги из полимерной глины. -  She makes earrings out of polymer clay.

Ходить [hadit'] - go on foot, walk (undefinite, multidirectional)

You'll probably hate it but it's not easy to choose the right verb to express the movement in Russian. We have four options. Ходить means go on foot, walk. Usually it doesn't mean you're going somewhere right now. It expresses walking in general, so it is used to describe repeated return journeys.

Я хожу на работу каждый день. - I go to work (on foot) every day. (I go there and return home in the evening).
Она ходит на работу пешком. - I go to work on foot.

This verb also denotes the walking in general or the ability:

Он не может ходить. - He can't walk.

verb hodit

Идти [idti] - go on foot, walk (definite, unidirectional)

We use this verb when we talk about going somewhere right now. And usually it's a one-way journey.

Я иду в магазин. - I'm going to a store. (I'm on my way there or intent to go soon)
Завтра я иду (=пойду) на концерт. - Tomorrow I'm going to a concert.

verb idti

Ездить [yezdit'] - go by transport (indefinite, multidirectional)

It's the same as ходить, but we use it ONLY when we talk about going by any means of transport.

Я езжу на работу на метро. - I go to work by underground.

verb ezdit'

Ехать [yekhat'] - go by transport (definite, unidirectional)

Similar to идти, but again, we ONLY use it when talk about going by transport.

Я еду домой с работы. - I'm going home from work.

verb ehat' conjugation

стоять [stayat'] - to stand


Просто больше не стой здесь. - Just don't be (stand) there any more.
Дома стоят близко друг к другу. - The houses stand near to each other.

verb stoyat' conjugation

сидеть [sidyet'] - to sit


Ты будешь сидеть здесь и ждать меня. - And you will be staying here and waiting for me.

лежать [lezhat'] - lie


Во втором ящике лежит блокнот. - There's a pad in that second drawer.
Ей не нравится лежать на пляже. - She doesn't like lying on the beach.

есть [yest'] - eat

Он не ест ничего, кроме фруктов. - He eats nothing else but fruit.

пить [pit'] - drink


Он посреди пустыни и очень хочет пить. - He's out in the desert, and he's thirsty.

спать [spat'] - sleep


Я всегда сплю на середине кровати. - I always sleep in the middle of the bed.

работать [rabotat'] - work


Глубоко в туннелях телефоны не работают. - The phones won't work this deep in the tunnel system.
Я работаю учителем. - I work as a teacher (= I'm a teacher).

видеть [vidyet'] - see

Ты видишь меня в последний раз. - This is the last time you have to see me.

смотреть [smatryet'] - look, watch


Мы здесь смотрим фильмы по субботам. - We watch movies in here on Saturday nights.
Кажется, на тебя кто-то смотрит. - I think you've caught someone's eye.

слышать [slishat'] - hear


Я слышу его голос. - I hear his voice.

слушать [slushat'] - listen

Они никого не слушают, даже собственных матерей. - They don't listen to anybody, not even their own mothers.

говорить [gavarit'] - speak, tell

Она плохо говорит по-английски, но всё понимает. - She speaks hardly any English, but she understands enough.

читать [chitat'] - read


Тебе не обязательно читать это вслух. - You don't have to read it out loud.
Мой сын умеет читать. - My son can read.

писать [pisat'] - write


Я пишу левой рукой. - I write with my left hand.
Он очень талантливый музыкант, пишет изумительную музыку.He's a very talented musician, writes such beautiful music.

учить [uchit'] - teach, study, memorize


Она учит детей не мусорить. - She teaches kids not to litter.
Я буду учить это как Библию. - I will study this thing like it's the Bible.
Мы учим английский уже три года. - We have been studying English for three years now.

понимать [panimat'] - understand

Она не понимает, что несёт (=говорит). - She doesn't know what she's saying.

хотеть [khatyet'] - want

Я просто хочу отдохнуть. - I just want to rest.

знать [znat'] - know

Ты даже не знаешь о чем говоришь. - You've no idea what are you talking about.

думать [dumat'] - to think

Я думаю, он придёт. - I think he will come.
Она думает, что никогда не выйдет замуж. - She thinks she will never get married. 

If you're not sure you've remembered all these verbs, watch this video to refresh your memory. It contains more examples and pronunciation of each word.