Russian grammar

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

Russian grammar (Russian: грамматика русского языка; IPA: [ɡrɐˈmatʲɪkə ˈruskəvə jɪzɨˈka]; also русская грамматика; IPA: [ˈruskəjə ɡrɐˈmatʲɪkə]) encompasses:

The Russian language has preserved an Indo-European inflexional structure, although considerable adaption has taken place.

The spoken language has been influenced by the literary one, but it continues to preserve some characteristic forms. Russian dialects show various non-standard grammatical features, some of which are archaisms or descendants of old forms discarded by the literary language.

NOTE: In the discussion below, various terms are used in the meaning they have in standard Russian discussions of historical grammar. In particular, aorist, imperfect, etc. are considered verbal tenses rather than aspects, because ancient examples of them are attested for both perfective and imperfective verbs.



Nominal declension is subject to six casesnominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, and prepositional – in two numbers (singular and plural), and absolutely obeying grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, and neuter). Up to ten additional cases are identified in linguistics textbooks,[1][2][3] although all of them are either incomplete (do not apply to all nouns) or degenerate (appear identical to one of the six simple cases). The most recognized additional cases are locative (в лесу, в крови, в слезах), partitive (чаю, сахару, коньяку), and several forms of vocative (Господи, Боже, отче). The adjectives, pronouns, and the first two cardinal numbers further vary by gender. Old Russian also had a third number, the dual, but it has been lost except for its use in the nominative and accusative cases with the numbers two, three and four (e.g. два стула [dvɐ ˈstulə], "two chairs", now reanalyzed as genitive singular).

Russian noun cases often replace the usage of prepositions in Indo-European languages.[4] Their usage can be summarised as:

  • Nominative – the "subject" case
  • Accusative – the "object" case
  • Genitive – corresponding to the possessive case or "of + (noun)"
  • Dative – corresponding to "to + (noun)"
  • Instrumental – denoting an instrument used in an action
  • Prepositional – used with many common prepositions, such as "in", "on" etc.

There are no definite or indefinite articles (such as the, a, an in English) in the Russian language. The sense of a noun is determined from the context in which it appears. That said, there are some means of expressing whether a noun is definite or indefinite. They are:

  • The use of a direct object in the genitive instead of the accusative in negation signifies that the noun is indefinite, compare: "Я не ви́жу кни́ги" ("I don't see a book" or "I don't see any books") and "Я не ви́жу кни́гу" ("I don't see the book").
  • The use of the numeral one sometimes signifies that the noun is indefinite, e.g.: "Почему́ ты так до́лго?" - "Да так, встре́тил одного́ дру́га, пришло́сь поговори́ть" ("Why did it take you so long?" - "Well, I met one [=a] friend and had to talk").
  • Word order may also be used for this purpose, compare "В ко́мнату вбежа́л ма́льчик" ("Into the room rushed a boy") and "Ма́льчик вбежа́л в ко́мнату" ("The boy rushed into the room").
  • The plural form may signify indefiniteness: "Вы мо́жете купи́ть э́то в магази́нах" ("You can buy this in shops") vs. "Вы мо́жете купи́ть э́то в магази́не" ("You can buy this in the shop").

The category of animacy is relevant in Russian nominal and adjectival declension.[5] Specifically, the accusative has two possible forms in many paradigms, depending on the animacy of the referent. For animate referents (people and animals), the accusative form is generally identical to the genitive form. For inanimate referents, the accusative form is identical to the nominative form. This principle is relevant for masculine singular nouns of the second declension (see below) and adjectives, and for all plural paradigms (with no gender distinction). In the tables below, this behavior is indicated by the abbreviation N or G in the row corresponding to the accusative case.

In Russian there are three declensions:

  • The first declension is used for feminine nouns ending with -а/-я and some masculine nouns having the same form as those of feminine gender, such as па́па papa or дя́дя uncle; also there are common-gender nouns like зади́ра tease which are masculine or feminine depending on the person they refer.
  • The second declension is used for most masculine and neuter nouns.
  • The third declension is used for feminine nouns ending in ь.

There are also a group of several irregular "different-declension nouns" (Russian: разносклоняемые существительные), consisting of a few neuter nouns ending in -мя (e.g. время "time") and one masculine noun путь "way". However, these nouns and their forms have sufficient similarity with feminine third declension nouns that some scholars such as Litnevskaya[6] consider them to be non-feminine forms of this declension, as written in the tables below.

Nouns ending with -ий, -ия, -ие (not to be confused with substantivated adjectives) are written with -ии instead of -ие in Prepositional (as this ending is never stressed, there is no difference in pronunciation): тече́ние - в ни́жнем тече́нии реки́ "streaming - in lower streaming of a river". But if words в течение and в продолжение are representing compound preposition meaning "while, during the time of", they are written with -е: в тече́ние ча́са "in a time of an hour". For nouns ending in -ья, -ье, or -ьё, using -ьи in the Prepositional (where endings of some of them are stressed) is usually erroneous, but in poetic speech it may be acceptable (as we replace -ии with -ьи for metric or rhyming purposes): Весь день она́ лежа́ла в забытьи́ (F. Tyutchev).

First declension

Feminine nouns with a small set of masculine nouns

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -а  -я/-ия -ы  -и/-ии
Genitive -ы  -и/-ии Ø  --ь/-ий
Dative -е  -е/-ии -ам  --ям/-иям
Accusative -у  -ю/-ию N or G
Instrumental -ой  -ей/-ией -ами  -ями/-иями
Prepositional -е  -е/-ии -ах  -ях/-иях

Second declension - masculine nouns

Masculine nouns

Case Singular Plural
Nominative Ø - ь,й,ий и,и,ии
Genitive я,я,ия -ов -ей,ев,иев
Dative -ю,ю,ию -ам ям,ям,иям
Accusative N or G
Instrumental -ом -ем,-ем,-ием -ами ями,ями,иями
Prepositional е,е,ии -ах -ях,ях,иях

Neuter nouns

Singular Plural
Genitive Ø-й,-ей
Dative -ам -ям
Accusative N or G
Instrumental -ом -ем -ами -ями
Prepositional -ах -ях

Third declension

The Third declension is mostly for feminine nouns with some masculine and neuter.

Feminine and some masculine nouns

Singular Plural
Genitive ей
Dative -ям
Accusative N or G
Instrumental -ью -ём -я́ми -ями
Prepositional -ах

A small set of neutral nouns

Singular Plural
Nominative -ена
Genitive -ени -ён
Dative -ени -енам
Accusative -ена
Instrumental -енем -енaми
Prepositional -ени -енах

Undeclined nouns

Some nouns (such as borrowings from other languages, abbreviations, etc.) are not modified when they change number and case. This appears mostly when their gender appears to have no ending in any declension which suits the final part of the word.


A Russian adjective ([имя] прилагательное) is usually placed before the noun it qualifies, and it agrees with the noun in case, gender, and number. With the exception of a few invariant forms borrowed from other languages, such as беж 'beige' or хаки 'khaki',[7] most adjectives follow one of a small number of regular declension patterns, except for some which provide difficulty in forming the short form. In modern Russian, the short form appears only in the nominative and is used when the adjective is in a predicative role; formerly (as in the bylinas) short adjectives appeared in all other forms and roles, which are not used in modern language, but are nonetheless understandable to Russian speakers as they are declined exactly like nouns of the corresponding gender.[8]

Adjectives may be divided into three general groups:

  • Qualitative (ка́чественные) — denote quality of the object; only they are usual to have degrees of comparison.
  • Relational (относи́тельные) — denote some sort of relationship; unlikely to act as a predicate or have a short form.
  • Possessive (притяжа́тельные) — denote belonging to a specific subject; have some declensional peculiarities.

Adjectival declension

The pattern described below suits for full forms of most adjectives, except possessive ones; it is also used for substantivated adjectives as учёный and for adjectival participles.

Singular Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.
Nominative -ый -ая -ое -ые
Genitive -ого -ой -ого -ых
Dative -ому -ой -ому -ым
Accusative N or G -ую -ое N or G
Instrumental -ым -ой -ым -ыми
Prepositional -ом -ой -ом -ых
  1. After a sibilant or velar consonant, и, instead of ы, is written.
  2. When a masculine adjective ends in -ой, the -ой is stressed.
  3. After a sibilant consonant, neuter adjectives end in ее. It is sometimes called the хорошее rule.
  4. Accusative in the masculine gender and in plural depends on animacy, as for nouns.
  5. Instrumental feminine ending -ой/ей has alternative form -ою/ею for all adjectives, which has only stylistical difference.

Russian differentiates between hard-stem (as above) and soft-stem adjectives. Note the following:

  • Masculine adjectives ending in the nominative in ий and neuters in ее are declined as follows: его (read: ево), ему, им, and ем.
  • Feminine adjectives in яя are declined ей and юю.
  • Plural adjectives in ие are declined их, им, ими and их.
  • Case endings -ого/-его are to be read as -ово/ево.

Comparison of adjectives

Comparison forms are usual only for qualitative adjectives and adverbs. Comparative and superlative synthetic forms are not part of the paradigm of original adjective but are different lexical items, since not all qualitative adjectives have them. A few adjectives have irregular forms which are declined as usual adjectives: большой 'big' — больший 'bigger', хороший 'good' — лучший 'better'. Most synthetically derived comparative forms are derived by adding -ее or -ей to adjective stem: красный 'red' — краснее 'more red'; these forms are difficult to distinguish from adverbs, and probably they are adverbs.[8] Superlative synthetic forms are derived by adding suffix -ейш- or -айш- and additionally sometimes prefix наи-, or using special comparative form with наи-: добрый 'kind' — добрейший 'the kindest', большой 'big' — наибольший 'the biggest'.

Another way of comparison are analytical forms with adverbs более 'more' / менее 'less' and самый 'most' / наиболее 'most' / наименее 'least': добрый 'kind' — более добрый 'kinder' — самый добрый 'the kindest'. This way is rarely used if special comparative forms exists.

Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used in Russian to a lesser extent than in most other Slavic languages,[9] but are still in use. They answer on the questions чей? чья? чьё? чьи? (whose?) and denote only animated possessors.


Personal pronouns

Singular Plural Reflexive
1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
Neut. Masc. Fem.
(English) I / me you it he / him she / her we / us you they / them -self
Nominative я ты оно́ он она́ мы вы они́
Accusative меня́ тебя́ его́ её нас вас их себя́
Dative мне тебе́ ему́ ей нам вам им себе́
Prepositional обо мне о тебе́ о нём о ней о наc о вас о них о себе́
Instrumental мной
им ей
на́ми ва́ми и́ми собо́й
  • Russian is subject to T-V distinction. The respectful form of the singular you is the same as the plural form. It begins with a capital letter: Вы, Вас, Вам etc. in following situations: personal letters and official papers (addressee is definite), and questionnaires (addressee is indefinite), otherwise it begins with minuscule. Compare the distinction between du and Sie in German or tu and vous in French.
  • When a preposition is used directly before a 3rd-person pronoun, н- is prefixed: у него (read: у нево), с неё, etc. Because the prepositional case always occurs after a preposition, the third person prepositional always starts with an н-.
  • Like adjectives and numerals, letter "г" (g) in genitive and accusative form is pronounced as "в" (v) его/него ево/нево.

Demonstrative pronouns

этот ('this') and тот ('that')
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur. Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative э́тот э́то э́та э́ти тот то та те
Genitive э́того э́того э́той э́тих того́ того́ той тех
Dative э́тому э́тому э́той э́тим тому́ тому́ той тем
Accusative N or G э́то э́ту N or G N or G то ту N or G
Instrumental э́тим э́тим э́той э́тими тем тем той те́ми
Prepositional об э́том об э́том об э́той об э́тих о том о том о той о тех

Possessive adjectives and pronouns

Unlike English, Russian uses the same form for a possessive adjective and the corresponding possessive pronoun. In Russian grammar they are called possessive pronouns притяжательные местоимения (compare with possessive adjectives like Peter's = петин above). The following rules apply:

  • Possessive pronouns agree with the noun of the possessed in case, gender, and number.
  • The reflexive pronoun свой is used when the possessor is the subject of the clause, whatever the person, gender, and number of that subject.
  • No non-reflexive exists for the 3rd person: the genitive of the personal pronoun is instead, i.e. его for a masc./neut. sing. possessor, её for a fem. sing. possessor and их for a plural possessor. But unlike other genitives used with a possessive meaning, in modern Russian these words are usually placed before the object of possession.
  • Example of the difference between reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns:
    • "Он лю́бит свою́ жену́ = He loves his (own) wife"   while   "Он лю́бит его́ жену́ = He loves his (someone else's) wife".
  • Unlike Latin where a similar rule applies for the third person only, Russian accepts using reflexives for all persons:
    • "Люблю́ свою́ жену́ = I love my wife"
    • "Люблю́ себя́ = I love myself"
мой (my, mine)
твой (your, yours) for a singular possessor
свой (my, mine, your, yours, one's, his, her, its, our, ours, your, yours, their) for a subject possessor
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur. Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur. Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative мой моё моя́ мои́ твой твоё твоя́ твои́ свой своё своя́ свои́
Genitive моего́ моего́ мое́й мои́х твоего́ твоего́ твое́й твои́х своего́ своего́ свое́й свои́х
Dative моему́ моему́ мое́й мои́м твоему́ твоему́ твое́й твои́м своему́ своему́ свое́й свои́м
Accusative N or G моё мою́ N or G N or G твоё твою́ N or G N or G своё свою́ N or G
Instrumental мои́м мои́м мое́й мои́ми твои́м твои́м твое́й твои́ми свои́м свои́м свое́й свои́ми
Prepositional о моём о моём о мое́й о мои́х о твоём о твоём о твое́й о твои́х о своём о своём о свое́й о свои́х
  • The ending -его is pronounced as -ево.
наш (our, ours)
ваш (your, yours) for a plural possessor
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur. Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative наш на́ше на́ша на́ши ваш ва́ше ва́ша ва́ши
Genitive на́шего на́шего на́шей на́ших ва́шего ва́шего ва́шей ва́ших
Dative на́шему на́шему на́шей на́шим ва́шему ва́шему ва́шей ва́шим
Accusative N or G на́ше на́шу N or G N or G ва́ше ва́шу N or G
Instrumental на́шим на́шим на́шей на́шими ва́шим ва́шим ва́шей ва́шими
Prepositional о на́шем о на́шем о на́шей о на́ших о ва́шем о ва́шем о ва́шей о ва́ших
  • The ending -его is pronounced as -ево́.

Interrogative pronouns

кто ('who') and что ('what')
кто что
Nominative кто что (read: што)
Genitive кого́ (read: каво́) чего́ (read: чиво́)
Dative кому́ чему́
Accusative кого́ (read: каво́) что (read: што)
Instrumental кем чем
Prepositional о ком о чём
чей ('whose')
masculine neuter feminine plural
Nominative чей чьё чья чьи
Genitive чьего́ чьего́ чьей чьих
Dative чьему́ чьему́ чьей чьим
Accusative N or G чьё чью N or G
Instrumental чьим чьим чьей чьи́ми
Prepositional о чьём о чьём о чьей о чьих
  • The ending ’’-его’’ is pronounced as ‘’-ево’’.


Nouns are used in the nominative case after "one" (один рубль, 'one ruble').
After certain other numbers (following Grammatical number rules in Russian) nouns must be declined to genitive plural (десять рублей, 'ten rubles').

Russian has several classes of numerals ([имена] числительные): cardinal, ordinal, collective, and also fractional constructions; also it has other types of words, relative to numbers: collective adverbial forms (вдвоём), multiplicative (двойной) and counting-system (двоичный) adjectives, some numeric-pronominal and indefinite quantity words (сколько, много, несколько). Here are the numerals from 0 to 10:

Cardinal Numbers Ordinal Numbers
(Nominative case, masculine)
Collective Numbers
0 ноль or нуль нулево́й
1 оди́н (m.), одна́ (f.), одно́ (n.), одни́ (pl.) (раз is used when counting) пе́рвый
2 два (m., n.), две (f.) второ́й дво́е
3 три тре́тий тро́е
4 четы́ре четвёртый че́тверо
5 пять пя́тый пя́теро
6 шесть шесто́й ше́стеро
7 семь седьмо́й се́меро
8 во́семь восьмо́й (во́сьмеро)[10]
9 де́вять девя́тый (де́вятеро)
10 де́сять деся́тый (де́сятеро)

Declension of cardinals and fractions

<templatestyles src="Module:Hatnote/styles.css"></templatestyles>


Grammatical conjugation is subject to three persons in two numbers and two simple tenses (present/future and past), with periphrastic forms for the future and subjunctive, as well as imperative forms and present/past participles, distinguished by adjectival and adverbial usage (see adjectival participle and adverbial participle). Verbs and participles can be reflexive, i.e. have reflexive suffix -ся/-сь appended after ending.

An interesting feature is that the past tense is actually made to agree in gender with the subject, for it is the participle in an originally periphrastic perfect formed (like the perfect passive tense in Latin) with the present tense of the verb "to be" быть [bɨtʲ], which is now omitted except for rare archaic effect, usually in set phrases (откуда есть пошла земля русская [ɐˈtkudə jesʲtʲ pɐˈʂla zʲɪˈmlʲa ˈruskəjə], "whence is come the Russian land", the opening of the Primary Chronicle in modern spelling). The participle nature of past tense forms is exposed also in that they often have extra suffix vowel which is absent in present/future; the same vowel appears in infinitive form which is considered by few scholars not to be verbal (and in the past it surely used to be a noun) but in which verbs appear in most dictionaries: ходить "to walk" - ходил "(he) walked" - хожу "I walk".

Verbal inflection today is considerably simpler than in Old Russian. The ancient aorist, imperfect, and (periphrastic) pluperfect have been lost, though the aorist sporadically occurs in secular literature as late as the second half of the eighteenth century, and survives as an odd form in direct narration (а он пойди да скажи [ɐ on pɐjˈdʲi də skɐˈʐɨ], etc., exactly equivalent to the English colloquial "so he goes and says"), recategorized as a usage of the imperative. The loss of three of the former six tenses has been offset by the development, as in other Slavic languages, of verbal aspect (вид). Most verbs come in pairs, one with imperfective (несовершенный вид) or continuous, the other with perfective (совершенный вид) or completed aspect, usually formed with a (prepositional) prefix, but occasionally using a different root. E.g., спать [spatʲ] ('to sleep') is imperfective; поспать [pɐˈspatʲ] ('to take a nap') is perfective.

The present tense of the verb быть is today normally used only in the third-person singular form есть, which is often used for all the persons and numbers.[11] As late as the nineteenth century, the full conjugation, which today is extremely archaic, was somewhat more natural: forms occur in the Synodal Bible, in Dostoevsky and in the bylinas (былины [bɨˈlʲinɨ]) or oral folk-epics, which were transcribed at that time. The paradigm shows as well as anything else the Indo-European affinity of Russian:

English Russian Transliteration IPA Latin Classical Greek Sanskrit
"I am" (есмь) jesḿ [jesʲmʲ] sum eimi ásmi
"you are" (sing.) (еси́) jesi [jɪˈsʲɪ] es ei ási
"he, she, it is" есть jest́ [jesʲtʲ] est esti(n) ásti
"we are" (есмы́) jesmy [jɪsˈmɨ] sumus esmen smaḥ
"you are" (plur.) (есте́) jestie [jɪsʲˈtʲɛ] estis este staḥ
"they are" (суть) sut́ [ˈsutʲ] sunt eisi(n) sánti


The Infinitive in Russian has the suffix -ть or -ти, or ends with -чь (but -чь is not a suffix of a verb) (-ся/сь/ся respectively is added after it). It is the basic form of a verb for most purposes of study.

Present-future tense

<templatestyles src="Col-float/styles.css" />

First conjugation
Person Ending
1st singular -у or -ю
2nd singular -ешь
3rd singular -ет
1st plural -ем
2nd plural -ете
3rd plural -ут or -ют

<templatestyles src="Col-float/styles.css" />

Second conjugation
Person Ending
1st singular -у or -ю
2nd singular -ишь
3rd singular -ит
1st plural -им
2nd plural -ите
3rd plural -ат or ят
  • -у/-ут,-ат is used after a hard consonant or ж, ш, щ or ч; otherwise -ю/-ют,-ят is used.
  • A mutating final consonant may entail a change in the ending.
  • е becomes ё when stressed.

There are two forms used to conjugate the present tense of imperfective verbs and the future tense of perfective verbs.

The first conjugation (I) is used in verb stems ending in:

  • a consonant,
  • -у, or -о,
  • in -а not preceded by a hush (ж, ш, щ or ч):

The second conjugation (II) involves verb stems ending in:

  • -и or -е,
  • in -а preceded by a hush (ж, ш, щ or ч):

Example: попро-с-ить – попро-ш-у, попро-с-ят [pəprɐˈsʲitʲ, pəprɐˈʂu, pɐˈprosʲɪt] (to have solicited – [I, they] will have solicited).


First conjugation
чита́ть ('to read', stem: чита–)
я чита́ю I read (am reading, do read)
ты чита́ешь you read (are reading, do read)
он/она́/оно́ чита́ет he/she/it reads (is reading, does read)
мы чита́ем we read (are reading, do read)
вы чита́ете you (plural/formal) read (are reading, do read)
они чита́ют they read (are reading, do read)
First conjugation: verbs ending in -нуть
верну́ть ('to return [something]', stem: верн–)
я верну́ I will return
ты вернёшь you will return
он/она́/оно́ вернёт he/she/it will return
мы вернём we will return
вы вернёте you will return
они верну́т they will return
First conjugation: verbs ending in -овать, -евать
рисова́ть ('to draw', stem: рису-) плева́ть ('to spit', stem: плю-) танцева́ть ('to dance', stem: танцу-)
я рису́ю я плюю́ я танцу́ю
ты рису́ешь ты плюёшь ты танцу́ешь
он/она́/оно́ рису́ет он/она́/оно́ плюёт он/она́/оно́ танцу́ет
мы рису́ем мы плюём мы танцу́ем
вы рису́ете вы плюёте вы танцу́ете
они́ рису́ют они́ плюю́т они́ танцу́ют
First conjugation: verbs ending in -чь
мочь (‘can’, stem: мог-/мож-) печь (‘to bake’, stem: пек-/печ-)
я могу́ I can я пеку́ I bake
ты мо́жешь you can ты печёшь you bake
он/она́/оно́ мо́жет he/she/it can он/она́/оно́ печёт he/she/it bakes
мы мо́жем we can мы печём we bake
вы мо́жете you (all) can вы печёте you (all) bake
они́ мо́гут they can они́ пеку́т they bake
First conjugation (verbs ending in -сти, -сть)
нести́ (, stem: нес-) вести́ (, stem: вед-) мести́ (, stem: мет-) грести́ (, stem: греб-) красть (, stem: крад-)
я несу́ я веду́ я мету́ я гребу́ я краду́
ты несёшь ты ведёшь ты метёшь ты гребёшь ты крадёшь
он/она́/оно́ несёт он/она́/оно́ ведёт он/она́/оно́ метёт он/она́/оно́ гребёт он/она́/оно́ крадёт
мы несём мы ведём мы метём мы гребём мы крадём
вы несёте вы ведёте вы метёте вы гребёте вы крадёте
они́ несу́т они́ веду́т они́ мету́т они́ гребу́т они́ краду́т
First conjugation (verbs ending in -зти, -зть)
везти́ (, stem: вез-) лезть (, stem: лез-)
я везу́ я ле́зу
ты везёшь ты ле́зешь
он/она́/оно́ везёт он/она́/оно́ ле́зет
мы везём мы ле́зем
вы везёте вы ле́зете
они́ везу́т они́ ле́зут
First conjugation: verbs ending in -ыть
мыть (‘to wash, stem: мо-)
я мо́ю I wash
ты мо́ешь you wash
он/она́/оно́ мо́ет he/she/it washes
мы мо́ем we wash
вы мо́ете you (all) wash
они́ мо́ют they wash
First conjugation (verbs бить, вить, лить, пить, шить)
бить (, stem: бь-) вить (, stem: вь-) лить (, stem: ль-) пить ('to drink', stem: пь-) шить(, stem: шь-)
я бью я вью я лью я пью I drink я шью  
ты бьёшь ты вьёшь ты льёшь ты пьёшь you drink ты шьёшь  
он/она́/оно́ бьёт он/она́/оно́ вьёт он/она́/оно́ льёт он/она́/оно́ пьёт he/she/it drinks он/она́/оно́ шьёт  
мы бьём мы вьём мы льём мы пьём we drink мы шьём  
вы бьёте вы вьёте вы льёте вы пьёте you (all) drink вы шьёте  
они́ бьют они́ вьют они́ льют они́ пьют they drink они шьют  
First conjugation (verbs жить, плыть, слыть)
жить ('to live', stem: жив-) плыть (, stem: плыв-) слыть (, stem: слыв-)
я живу́ I live я плыву́ я слыву́
ты живёшь you live ты плывёшь ты слывёшь
он/она́/оно́ живёт he/she/it lives он/она́/оно́ плывёт он/она́/оно́ слывёт
мы живём we live мы плывём мы слывём
вы живёте you (all) live вы плывёте вы слывёте
они́ живу́т they live они́ плыву́т они́ слыву́т
Second conjugation
говори́ть ('to speak', stem: говор-)
я говорю́ I speak (am speaking, do speak)
ты говори́шь you speak (are speaking, do speak)
он/она́/оно́ говори́т he/she/it speaks (is speaking, does speak)
мы говори́м we speak (are speaking, do speak)
вы говори́те you (plural/formal) speak (are speaking, do speak)
они говоря́т they speak (are speaking, do speak)
Second conjugation (verbs ending in -бить, -вить, -пить, -мить)
люби́ть ('to love', stem: люб-) лови́ть ('to catch', stem: лов-) топи́ть ('to heat, stem: топ-) корми́ть ('to feed', stem: корм-)
я люблю́ I love я ловлю́ я топлю́ я кормлю́
ты лю́бишь you love ты ло́вишь ты то́пишь ты ко́рмишь
он́/она́/оно́ лю́бит he/she/it loves он́/она́/оно́ ло́вит он́/она́/оно́ то́пит он́/она́/оно́ ко́рмит
мы лю́бим we love мы ло́вим мы то́пим мы ко́рмим
вы лю́бите you (all) love вы ло́вите вы то́пите вы ко́рмите
они́ лю́бят they love они́ ло́вят они́ то́пят они́ ко́рмят
Second conjugation (verbs ending in -сить, -зить, -тить, -дить, -стить)
проси́ть (, stem: прос-) вози́ть (, stem: воз-) плати́ть ('to pay', stem: плат-) ходи́ть ('to go [to walk]', stem: ход-) прости́ть (, stem: прост-)
я прошу́ я вожу́ я плачу́ I pay я хожу́ я прощу́
ты про́сишь ты во́зишь ты пла́тишь you pay ты хо́дишь ты прости́шь
он/она́/оно́ про́сит он/она́/оно́ во́зит он/она́/оно́ пла́тит he/she/it pays он/она́/оно́ хо́дит он/она́/оно́ прости́т
мы про́сим мы во́зим мы пла́тим we pay мы хо́дим мы прости́м
вы про́сите вы во́зите вы пла́тите you (all) pay вы хо́дите вы прости́те
они́ про́сят они́ во́зят они́ пла́тят they pay они́ хо́дят они́ простя́т

Past tense

The Russian past tense is gender specific: –л for masculine singular subjects, –ла for feminine singular subjects, –ло for neuter singular subjects, and –ли for plural subjects. This gender specificity applies to all persons; thus, to say "I slept", a male speaker would say я спал, while a female speaker would say я спалá.


the verbs де́лать (‘to do’, ‘to make’)
Masculine Past Form Feminine Past Form Neuter Past Form Plural Past Form
я де́лал I made (says a man) я де́лала I made (says a woman) мы де́лали we made
ты де́лал you made (is said to a man) ты де́лала you made (is said to a woman) вы де́лали you (all) made
он де́лал he made она́ де́лала she made оно́ де́лало it made они́ де́лали they made


Verbs ending in -сти, -сть, -зти, -зть
Infinitive Present Stem Past Forms
ле́зть лез- лез, ле́зла, ле́зло, ле́зли
нести́ нес- нёс, несла́, несло́, несли́
везти́ вез- вёз, везла́, везло́, везли́
вести́ вед- вёл, вела́, вело́, вели́
мести́ мет- мёл, мела́, мело́, мели́
грести́ греб- грёб, гребла́, гребло́, гребли́
расти́ раст- рос, росла́, росло́, росли́
Verbs ending in -чь
Infinitive Present Stem Past Forms
мочь мог-/мож- мог, могла́, могло́, могли́
печь пек-/печ- пёк, пекла́, пекло́, пекли́
Verbs ending in -ереть
Infinitive Past Forms
умере́ть у́мер, умерла́, у́мерло, у́мерли
The verb ‘идти́’ (to go, to walk) and verbs ending in -йти
Infinitive Past Forms
идти́ (to go) шёл, шла, шло, шли
уйти́ (to go away) ушёл, ушла́, ушло́, ушли́
найти́ (to find) нашёл, нашла́, нашло́, нашли́
пройти́ (to pass) прошёл, прошла́, прошло́, прошли́
прийти́ (to come) пришёл, пришла́, пришло́ пришли́
вы́йти (to go out) вы́шел, вы́шла, вы́шло, вы́шли
The verb ‘есть’ (to eat)
Infinitive Past Forms
есть ел, е́ла, е́ло, е́ли


Russian verbs can form three moods (наклонения): indicative (изъявительное), conditional (сослагательное) and imperative (повелительное).[12]

Imperative Mood

The imperative mood second person singular is formed from future-present base of most verbs by adding -и (stressed ending in present-future or if base ends on more than one consonant), -ь (unstressed ending, base on one consonant) or -й (unstressed ending, base on vowel). Plural (including polite на вы) second-person form is made by adding -те to singular one: говорю 'I speak' - говори - говорите, забуду 'I shall forget' - забудь - забудьте, клею 'I glue' - клей - клейте. Some verbs have first-person plural imperative form with -те added to similar simple future or present tense form: пойдёмте 'let us go'. There are other ways of expressing command in Russian; for third person, for example, пусть particle with future can be used: Пусть они замолчат! 'Let them shut up!'.[13]

Infinitive Present Stem Imperative (2 pers. sing) Imperative (2 pers. plur)
де́лать де́ла- де́лай де́лайте
рисова́ть рису- рису́й рису́йте
тро́нуть трон- тро́нь тро́ньте
верну́ть верн- верни́ верни́те
ве́рить вер- верь ве́рьте
люби́ть люб- люби́ люби́те
услы́шать услыш- услы́шь услы́шьте
смотре́ть смотр- смотри́ смотри́те
пла́кать плач- плачь пла́чьте
писа́ть пиш- пиши́ пиши́те
лезть ле́з- лезь ле́зьте
везти́ вез- вези́ вези́те
нести́ нес- неси́ неси́те
вести́ вед- веди́ веди́те
мести́ мет- мети́ мети́те
грести́ греб- греби́ греби́те
расти́ раст- расти́ расти́те

Conditional Mood

The conditional mood in Russian is formed by adding the particle бы after the word which marks the supposed subject into a sentence formed like in the past tense. Thus, to say "I would (hypothetically) sleep" or "I would like to sleep", a male speaker would say я спал бы (or я бы поспа́л), while a female speaker would say я спалá бы (or я бы поспала́).

The verb 'сказа́ть' (‘to say’)
Masculine Past Form Feminine Past Form Neuter Past Form Plural Past Form
я бы сказа́л I would say (says a male speaker) я бы сказа́ла I would say (says a female speaker) мы бы сказа́ли we would say
ты бы сказа́л you would say (is said to a male speaker) ты бы сказа́ла you would say (is said to a female speaker) вы бы сказа́ли you (all) would say
он бы сказа́л he would say она́ бы сказа́ла she would say оно́ бы сказа́ло it would say они́ бы сказа́ли they would say
Negative Forms
Masculine Past Form Feminine Past Form Neuter Past Form Plural Past Form
я бы не сказа́л I wouldn't say (says a male speaker) я бы не сказа́ла I wouldn't say (says a female speaker) мы бы не сказа́ли we wouldn't say
ты бы не сказа́л you wouldn't say (is said to a male speaker) ты бы не сказа́ла you wouldn't say (is said to a female speaker) вы бы не сказа́ли you (all) wouldn't say
он бы не сказа́л he wouldn't say она́ бы не сказа́ла she wouldn't say оно́ бы не сказа́ло it wouldn't say они́ бы не сказа́ли they wouldn't say

Verbs of Motion

Verbs of motion (also referred to as VoM) are a distinct class of verbs found in several Slavic languages. Due to the extensive semantic information they contain, Russian verbs of motion pose difficulties for non-native learners at all levels of study.[14] Unprefixed verbs of motion, which are all imperfective, divide into pairs based on the direction of the movement (uni- or multidirectional—sometimes called determinate/indeterminate or definite/indefinite). As opposed to a verb-framed language, in which path is encoded in the verb, but manner of motion typically is expressed with complements, Russian is a satellite language, meaning that these concepts are encoded in both the root of the verb and the particles associated with it, satellites.[15] Thus, the roots of motion verbs convey the lexical information of manner of movement, e.g. walking, crawling, running, whereas prefixes denote path, e.g. motion in and out of space.[16][note 1] The roots also distinguish between means of conveyance, e.g. by transport or by one’s own power, and, in transitive verbs, the object or person being transported.[17] The information below provides an outline of the formation and basic usage of unprefixed and prefixed verbs of motion.

Unprefixed Verbs of Motion

This table contains 14 commonly-accepted pairs of Russian verbs of motion, adapted from Muravyova.[17][note 2]

English Unidirectional Multidirectional
'to run' бежа́ть бе́гать
'to wander' брести́ броди́ть
'to convey, transport' везти́ вози́ть
'to lead' вести́ води́ть
'to drive, chase' гна́ть гоня́ть
'to go by vehicle, ride' е́хать е́здить
'to go, walk' идти́ ходи́ть
'to roll' кати́ть ката́ть
'to climb' ле́зть ла́зить (ла́зать)
'to fly' лете́ть лета́ть
'to carry' нести́ носи́ть
'to swim, float' плы́ть пла́вать
'to crawl' ползти́ по́лзать
'to drag' тащи́ть таска́ть


  1. Unidirectional verbs of motion describe motion in progress in one direction, e.g:
    1. We are headed to the library.

      Мы идём в библиотеку.
    2. I was on my way to work.

      Я шла на работу.
    3. Birds fly south in autumn.

      Птицы летят на юг осенью.
  2. Multidirectional verbs of motion describe:
    1. General motion, referring to ability or habitual motion, without reference to direction or destination, e.g.:
      1. The child has been walking for six months.

        Ребёнок ходит шесть месяцев.
      2. Birds fly, fish swim, and dogs walk.

        Птицы летают, рыбы плавают, а собаки ходят.
    2. Movement in various directions, e.g.:
      1. We walked around the city all day.

        Мы ходили по городу весь день.
    3. Repetition of completed trips, e.g.:
      1. She goes the supermarket every week.

        Она ходит в супермаркет каждую неделю.
    4. In the past tense, a single completed round trip, e.g.:
      1. I went to Russia (and returned) last year.

        В прошлом году я ездил в Россию.

Unidirectional Perfectives with ПО-

The addition of the prefix по- to a unidirectional verb of motion makes the verb perfective, denoting the beginning of a movement, i.e. 'setting out'. These perfectives imply that the agent has not yet returned at the moment of speech, e.g.,[18]

  1. He went to a friend's place (and has not returned).
    Он пошёл к другу.
    Compare with:
  2. He went to a friend's place (and has returned).
    Он ходил к другу.
  3. He was on his way to a friend’s place.
    Он шёл к другу.

Going vs. Taking

Three pairs of motion verbs generally refer to ‘taking’, ‘leading’ with additional lexical information on manner of motion and object of transport encoded in the verb stem. These are нести/носить, вести/водить, and везти/возить. See below for the specific information on manner and object of transport:[18]

  1. нести/носить – ‘to take (on foot), carry’
    1. He carries a briefcase.

      Он носит портфель.
    2. She is taking her assignment to class.

      Она несёт домашнее задание на занятия.
  2. вести/водить – ‘to take, lead (people or animals)’; ‘to drive (a vehicle)’
    1. The teacher was taking the children to a field trip.

      Учитель вёл школьников на экскурсию
    2. She took her friend to the theatre.

      Она водила свою подругу в театр.
    3. She knows how to drive a car.

      Она умеет водить машину.
  3. везти/возить – ‘to take, drive, convey by vehicle’
    1. She is wheeling her grandmother in a wheelchair.

      Она везёт бабушку в инвалидном кресле.
    2. The train took the passengers to England (and back).

      Поезд возил пассажиров в Англию.

Prefixed Verbs of Motion

Verbs of motion combine with prefixes to form new aspectual pairs, which lose the distinction of directionality, but gain spatial or temporal meanings. The unidirectional verb serves as the base for the perfective, and the multidirectional as the base for the imperfective. In addition to the meanings conveyed by the prefix and the simplex motion verb, prepositional phrases also contribute to the expression of path in Russian.[19] Thus, it is important to consider the whole verb phrase when examining verbs of motion.

In some verbs of motion, adding a prefix requires a different stem shape:[20]

  1. идти → -йти ‘go (on foot)’
    1. For prefixes ending in a consonant, an -o- is added in all forms, e.g.: войти.
    2. Й is lost in the non-past conjugated forms of прийти, e.g.: приду ‘I come’.
  2. ездить → -езжать ‘go (by conveyance)’ For prefixes ending in a consonant, a hard sign (ъ) is added before –ехать and –езжать, e.g.: въезжать ‘enter (by conveyance)’.
  3. бéгать → бегáть ‘run’ The formation of the verb remains the same, but stress shifts from the stem to the endings, e.g.: убегáть ‘run away’.
  4. плáвать → плывáть ‘swim’ The vowel in the root changes to -ы- and the stress shifts to the endings.
  5. In perfective verbs with the prefix вы-, the prefix is stressed in all forms, e.g. вы́йдешь ‘go out’.

See below for a table the prefixes, their primary meanings, and the prepositions that accompany them, adapted from Muravyova.[17] Several examples are taken directly or modified from Muravyova.

Prefixed Verbs of Motion
Prefix / Primary Meanings Examples / Additional Meanings Prepositional Phrases
В- (ВО-)

Movement inwards across a threshold, entering
Antonym: вы-
The tram stopped and the girl entered.
Трамвай остановился, и девушка вошла.
в / на + acc.

Movement out of something across a threshold, exiting
Antonym: в-
She exited the office.
Она вышла из кабинета.


  1. Step out for a short period of time, e.g.:
    The secretary left for ten minutes.
    Секретарь вышел на десять минут.
  2. Leave at a specific time frame, e.g.:
    They left early in the morning to catch their train/plain .
    Они выехали рано утром, чтобы успеть на поезд/самолёт.
из / с / от + gen.
в / на + acc.
к + dat.

Intended arrival, signals presence of the agent at a location as a result of motion
Antonym: у-

He arrived in Moscow a week ago.
Он приехал в Москву неделю назад.
в / на + acc.
к + dat.
из / с / от + gen.
Intended departure, signals absence
Antonym: при-
They will leave Vladivostok in a month.
Они улетят из Владивостока через месяц.

Where is Igor? He already left.
Где Игорь? Он уже ушёл.

в / на + acc.
к + dat.
из / с / от + gen.
Antonym: от-
He approached the girl to ask for her number.
Он подошёл к девушке, чтобы спросить её номер.


Подвезти – give someone a lift, e.g.:
He took me (as far as) downtown.
Он подвёз меня до центра.
к + dat.
до + gen.
ОТ- (ОТО-)
Withdrawal a short distance away
Antonym: под-
The boy stepped back from the stranger who had offered him candy.
Мальчик отошёл от незнакомца, который предложил ему конфеты.


  1. With transitive verbs, delivering or dropping something off (agent does not remain), e.g.:
    I'll drop the book off at the library, then come.
    Я отнесу книги в библиотеку, потом приду.
от + gen.
Reaching a limit or destination
The passengers reached the last station and exited the bus.
Пассажиры доехали до последней остановки и вышли из автобуса.


Characterizing the duration of a journey, especially when it is long, e.g.:
We finally reached the dacha.
Мы наконец доехали до дачи.
до + gen.
Movement behind an object; stopping off on the way<
The old woman walked behind the corner and disappeared.
Старушка зашла за угол и исчезла.


  1. Action performed on the way to a destination, e.g.:
    On the way home I stopped at the store for bread.
    По дороге домой я зашла в магазин за хлебом
  2. A short visit, e.g.:
    The young man often stops by his mother’s place.
    Молодой человек часто заходит к маме.
  3. Movement deep into something, at a great distance (inside, upwards or downwards), e.g.:
    The ball flew onto the roof of the house.
    Мяч залетел на крышу дома.
в / на / за + acc.
к + dat.
за + inst.
Movement across, through, or past something
We drove through the city.
Мы проехали через город.

We passed the metro station.
Мы прошли мимо станции метро.


  1. Movement beyond one's destination (possibly unintentional), e.g.:
    I'm afraid we already passed the store.
    Я боюсь, что мы уже прошли магазин.
  2. Movement forward with the distance covered specified, e.g.:
    You'll go three stops and get off the tram.
    Вы проедете три остановки и выйдете из трамвая.
сквозь / через / в + acc.
мимо + gen.
without preposition
Movement across, from one point to another; through
The ducks swam across the river.
Утки переплыли реку.


Changing residence, e.g.:
I moved to another city.
Я переехала в другой город.
через + acc
without preposition + acc.
ВЗ- (ВС-, ВЗО-)
Movement upwards
Antonym: с-
The mountain climber walked up the mountain.
Альпинист взошёл на гору.
в / на + acc.
Movement downwards
Antonym: вз-
After the performance, the actor got off the stage.
После представления актёр сойдёт со сцены.
c + gen.
на + acc.
к + dat.
за + inst.
О- (ОБ-, ОБО-)
Movement around an object or involving a consecutive number of objects, circling, covering a whole place
The little girl walked around the puddle.
Девочка обошла лужу.

I'm going around to all the stores in the mall.
Я обхожу все магазины в центре.

вокруг + gen.
without preposition + acc.
Movement involving the entire area concerned and carried out in all directions
*only formed from multidirectional VoM
I traveled over the whole world.
Я изъездил весь мир.
without preposition + acc.
Movement onto the surface of an object
*only formed from multidirectional VoM
A cloud creeped onto the sun.
Туча наползла на солнце.


Quantified movement, e.g.:
The driver went 50 kilometers.
Водитель наездил 50 километров.

I had 2500 flight hours in Boeing 737.
Я налетал 2500 часов на Боинге 737.
в/на + acc.
without preposition + acc.
С- (СЯ)
Convergent movement from various directions towards one center
Antonym: раз- (ся)
In order to study, the student brought all her textbooks from other rooms to her desk.
Чтобы заниматься, студентка снесла все учебники из других комнат на письменный стол.

The children ran (from all directions) to the playground.
Дети сбежались на детскую площадь

в / на + acc.
к + dat.
Divergent movement in various directions from one center

Antonym: с- (ся)

Grandfather Frost brought the gifts to the (various) houses.
Дед Мороз разнёс подарки по домам.

After dinner, we went to our separate homes.
После ужина, мы разошлись по домам.

по + dat. pl.
в + асс. pl.
Beginning of unidirectional movement
*with unidirectional VoM
I went to the university.
Я пошла в университет.


  1. Intention to carry out a movement in the future, e.g.:
    In the winter I plan to go to Florida.
    Зимой я собираюсь поехать во Флориду.
  2. Approximate location of the agent at moment of speech, e.g.:
    Where’s Dad? He went to (is at) work.
    Где папа? Он пошёл на работу.
в / на + acc.
к + dat.
из / с / от + gen.
по + dat.
without prep. + inst.
Beginning of multidirectional movement
*With multidirection VoM
She started running around the room.
Она забегала по комнате.
по + dat.
Prolonged multidirectional movement
*with multidirectional VoM
We walked around the woods all day.
Мы проходили по лесу весь день.
without prep + acc.
Slow and measured multidirectional movement
*with multidirectional VoM
She walked around the apartment pensively and finally decided to leave.
Она задумчиво походила по квартире и наконец решила уйти.
Completed semelfactive movement in opposite directions, there and back.
*only formed with multidirectional VoM
I went to the pharmacy for medicine and went to bed.
Я сходил в аптеку за лекарством и лёг спать.
в / на + acc.
к + dat.
Idiomatic Uses

The uni- and multidirectional distinction rarely figures into the metaphorical and idiomatic use of motion verbs, because such phrases typically call for one or the other verb. See below for examples:[18]

Idiomatic Uses of Motion Verbs
Verb Example
  1. It’s not raining, but it is snowing.
    Идёт не дождь, а снег.
  2. The clock is going.
    Часы идут.
  3. A film is on.
    Идёт фильм.
  4. That dress suits you.
    Это платье тебе идёт.
  5. The government is moving towards democracy.
    Правительство идёт к демократии.
  6. The president is going against the will of the people.
    Президент идёт против воли народа.
  1. The country is waging a war.
    Страна ведёт войну.
  2. The girl keeps a diary.
    Девочка ведёт дневник.
  3. The friends carried on a correspondence for a long time.
    Друзья долго ведут переписку.
  4. The road leads to the city.
    Дорога ведёт в город.
  5. No good comes from lying.
    Ложь к добру не ведёт
  1. The woman bears the responsibility of her children.
    Женщина несёт ответственность за детей.
  2. The farmer bore the losses from the drought.
    Фермер нёс потери от засухи.
  3. The criminal undergoes severe punishment.
    Преступник несёт тяжёлое наказание.
  1. Time flies.
    Время летит.
  2. Shares are plummeting because of the economic crisis.
    Акции летят от экономического кризиса.
The hooligans got into a brawl.
Хулиганы лезли в драку.
She is lucky/got lucky.
Ей везёт / повезло.
  1. Blood flows from the wound.
    Кровь бежит из раны.
  2. The days fly past.
    Дни бегут.
  1. Ivan Ivanovich bears the name of his father.
    Иван Иванович носит имя отца.
  2. The clothes bore the imprint of old age.
    Одежда носила отпечаток ветхости.
  3. She wears pretty clothing.
    Она носит красивую одежду.
Rumor has it that she left her husband.
Ходит слух, что она бросила мужа
He fooled me for a long time when he said that everything was fine in our firm.
Он долго водил меня за нос, когда говорил, что в нашей фирме всё хорошо.
I like to ski, skate, cycle, and row.
Мне нравится кататься на лыжах, на коньках, на велосипеде и на лодке.

Adjectival participle

Russian adjectival participles can be active or passive; have perfective or imperfective mood; imperfective participles can have present or past tense, while perfective ones in classical language can be only past.[21] As adjectives, they are declined by case, number and gender. If adjectival participles are derived from reciprocal verbs, they have suffix -ся appended after the adjectival ending; this suffix in participles never takes the short form. Participles are often difficult to distinguish from deverbal adjectives (this is important for some cases of orthography).

Active Present Participle

Лю́ди, живу́щие в э́том го́роде, о́чень до́брые и отве́тственные – The people living in this city are very kind and responsible.

In order to form the Active Present Participle you should replace the "т" of the 3-rd pers. plur. of the Present Tense by "щ" and add a necessary adjective ending:

де́лать (to do, to make) – де́лают (they do/make) – де́лающий (doing, making)
Masculine form де́лающий
Feminine form де́лающая
Neuter form де́лающее
Plural form де́лающие

Note: Only imperfective verbs can have an Active Present Participle.

Infinitive 3-rd person plur.
(Present Tense)
Active Pres. Part.
First conjugation
име́ть (to have) име́ют име́ющий
писа́ть (to write) пи́шут пи́шущий
пря́тать (to conceal) пря́чут пря́чущий
рисова́ть (to draw) рису́ют рису́ющий
вести́ (to lead) веду́т веду́щий
печь (to bake) пеку́т пеку́щий
жить (to live) живу́т живу́щий
люби́ть (to love) лю́бят лю́бящий
коло́ть (to break) ко́лют ко́лющий
идти́ (to go) иду́т иду́щий
пить (to drink) пьют пью́щий
мыть (to wash) мо́ют мо́ющий
брить (to shave) бре́ют бре́ющий
петь (to sing) пою́т пою́щий
дава́ть (to give) даю́т даю́щий
жать (to press) жмут жмущий
тону́ть (to sink) то́нут то́нущий
Second conjugation
слы́шать (to hear) слы́шат слы́шащий
сто́ить (to cost) сто́ят сто́ящий
стоя́ть (to stand) стоя́т стоя́щий
хоте́ть (to want) хотя́т хотя́щий
Other verbs
бежа́ть (to run) бегу́т бегу́щий
есть (to eat) едя́т едя́щий
быть (to be) *суть *су́щий

(*) Note: These forms are obsolete in modern Russian and they aren't used in the spoken language as forms of the verb 'to be'.

Active Present Participle Declension
де́лающий - doing/making
Singular Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.
Nominative де́лающий де́лающая де́лающее де́лающие
Genitive де́лающего де́лающей де́лающего де́лающих
Dative де́лающему де́лающей де́лающему де́лающим
Accusative N or G де́лающую де́лающее N or G
Instrumental де́лающим де́лающей де́лающим де́лающими
Prepositional де́лающем де́лающей де́лающем де́лающих
Reflexive Verbs Paradigm
де́лающийся - being done/being made
Singular Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.
Nominative де́лающийся де́лающаяся де́лающееся де́лающиеся
Genitive де́лающегося де́лающейся де́лающегося де́лающихся
Dative де́лающемуся де́лающейся де́лающемуся де́лающимся
Accusative N or G де́лающуюся де́лающееся N or G
Instrumental де́лающимся де́лающейся де́лающимся де́лающимися
Prepositional де́лающемся де́лающейся де́лающемся де́лающихся

The participle agrees in gender, case and number with the word it refers to:
Я посвяща́ю э́ту пе́сню лю́дям, живу́щим в на́шем го́роде – I dedicate this song to the people living in our city.
Я горжу́сь людьми́, живу́щими в на́шем го́роде – I’m proud of the people living in our city.

Active Past Participle

Active Past Participle is used in order to indicate actions that happened in the past: Де́вушка, чита́вшая тут кни́гу, забы́ла свой телефо́н – The girl, that read this book here, forgot her phone (the girl read the book in the past).

Compare: Де́вушка, чита́ющая тут кни́гу, – моя́ сестра́ – The girl reading this book here is my sister (she is reading the book now, in the present).

In order to form the Active Past Participle you should replace the infinitive ending '-ть' by the suffix '-вш-' and add an adjective ending:

де́лать (to do, to make) – де́лавший
Masculine form де́лавший
Feminine form де́лавшая
Neuter form де́лавшее
Plural form де́лавшие
Infinitive Active Past Part.
име́ть '(to have)' име́вший
рисова́ть '(to draw)' рисова́вший
тону́ть '(to drown)' тону́вший
люби́ть '(to love)' люби́вший
писа́ть '(to write)' писа́вший
коло́ть '(to poke through with a needle)' коло́вший
бить '(to hit)' би́вший
мыть '(to wash)' мы́вший
дава́ть '(to give)' дава́вший
жать '(to squeeze/compress)' жа́вший
стать '(to become)' ста́вший
жить '(to live)' жи́вший
Infinitive Past Tense
(masc. form)
Active Past Part.
Some verbs ending in ‘consonant + нуть’
со́хнуть (to dry) сох сохший
проту́хнуть (to become rancid) проту́х проту́хший
сдо́хнуть (to die ("croak")) сдох сдо́хший
Verbs ending in ‘-зть’
лезть (to climb) лез ле́зший
Verbs ending in ‘-ти’
везти́ (to carry) вёз вёзший
вести́ (to lead) вёл ве́дший
нести́ (to carry) нёс нёсший
мести́ (to sweep) мёл мётший
грести́ (to row) грёб грёбший
расти́ (to grow) рос ро́сший
Verbs ending in ‘-чь’
помо́чь (to help) помог помо́гший
печь (to bake) пёк пёкший
Verbs ending in ‘-ереть’
умере́ть (to die) у́мер у́мерший
запере́ть (to lock) за́пер за́перший
стере́ть (to erase) стёр стёрший
The verb ‘красть’
красть (to steal) крал кра́вший
The verb ‘идти́’
идти́ (to go) шёл шедший
Active Past Participle Declension
Singular Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.
Nominative де́лавший де́лавшая де́лавшее де́лавшие
Genitive де́лавшего де́лавшей де́лавшего де́лавших
Dative де́лавшему де́лавшей де́лавшему де́лавшим
Accusative N or G де́лавшую де́лавшее N or G
Instrumental де́лавшим де́лавшей де́лавшим де́лавшими
Prepositional де́лавшем де́лавшей де́лавшем де́лавших
Reflexive Verbs Paradigm
де́лавшийся - being done/being made
Singular Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.
Nominative де́лавшийся де́лавшаяся де́лавшееся де́лавшиеся
Genitive де́лавшегося де́лавшейся де́лавшегося де́лавшихся
Dative де́лавшемуся де́лавшейся де́лавшемуся де́лавшимся
Accusative N or G де́лавшуюся де́лавшееся N or G
Instrumental де́лавшимся де́лавшейся де́лавшимся де́лавшимися
Prepositional де́лавшемся де́лавшейся де́лавшемся де́лавшихся

Passive Present Participle

обсуждать – to discuss обсужда́емый – being discussed

In order to form the Passive Present Participle it’s necessary to add an adjective ending to the 1-st plural of the Present Tense:

оставля́ть (to leave) – оставля́ем (we leave) – оставля́емый
Masculine form оставля́емый
Feminine form оставля́емая
Neuter form оставля́емое
Plural form оставля́емые
Infinitive 1-st person plur.
(Present Tense)
Passive Pres. Part.
поздравля́ть (to congratulate) поздравля́ем поздравля́емый
рисова́ть (to draw [a picture]) рису́ем рису́емый
люби́ть (to love) лю́бим лю́бимый
гнать (to race) го́ним го́нимый
мыть (to wash) мо́ем мо́емый
Infinitive Present stem Passive Past Part.
Verbs ending in -авать
узнава́ть (to discover) узнава́емый
Verbs ending in -зть, -зти, -сть, -сти
везти́ (to carry [by cart or vehicle]) вез- везо́мый
вести́ (to lead) вед- ведо́мый
нести́ (to carry [by hand]) нес- несо́мый
мести́ (to sweep) мет- мето́мый
грести́ (to row) греб- гребо́мый
красть (to steal) крад- крадо́мый

These participles are hardly ever used in modern Russian. Normally, they are replaced by reflexive active present participles:
‘рису́ющийся’ instead of ‘рису́емый’ – being drawn, drawable
‘мо́ющийся’ instead of ‘мо́емый’ – being washed

The forms ending in ‘-омый’ are mostly obsolete. Only the forms ‘ведо́мый’ (from ‘вести́’ – to lead) and ‘иско́мый’ (from ‘иска́ть’ – to search, to look for) are used in spoken language as adjectives:
ведо́мый челове́к – a slave man
иско́мая величина́ – the unknown quantity

Passive Past Participle

сде́лать – to do/to make (perfective verb) сдела́нный – done/made

Passive Past Participles are formed by means of the suffixes ‘-нн-’ or ‘-т-’ from the infinitive stem of perfective verbs. Besides that, this kind of participle can have short forms formed by means of the suffixes ‘-н-’ or ‘-т-’:

написа́ть (to write) – напи́санный (written) / напи́сан (short form)
уби́ть (to kill) – уби́тый (killed) / уби́т (short form)
Full form Short form
Masculine напи́санный напи́сан
Feminine напи́санная напи́сана
Neuter напи́санное напи́сано
Plural напи́санные напи́саны
Full form Short form
Masculine уби́тый уби́т
Feminine уби́тая уби́та
Neuter уби́тое уби́то
Plural уби́тые уби́ты
написа́ть (to write) – напи́санный (written) / напи́сан (short form)
уби́ть (to kill) – уби́тый (killed) / уби́т (short form)
Full form Short form
Masculine напи́санный напи́сан
Feminine напи́санная напи́сана
Neuter напи́санное напи́сано
Plural напи́санные напи́саны
Full form Short form
Masculine уби́тый уби́т
Feminine уби́тая уби́та
Neuter уби́тое уби́то
Plural уби́тые уби́ты
Participle Forming Models
Infinitive Participle Short forms
Verbs in -ать, -ять, -еть with a Present stem ending in a vowel
сде́лать (to do, do make) сде́ланный сде́лан
поменя́ть (to change) поме́нянный поме́нян
нарисова́ть (to draw) нарисо́ванный нарисо́ван
услы́шать (to hear) услы́шанный услы́шан
написа́ть (to write) напи́санный напи́сан
Verbs ending in ‘-ить’ and ‘-еть’ referred to the second conjugation
пожа́рить () пожа́ренный пожа́рен
уви́деть (to see) уви́денный уви́ден
оби́деть () оби́женный оби́жен
оплати́ть (to pay) опла́ченный опла́чен
порази́ть () поражённый поражён, поражена́, поражено́, поражены́
спроси́ть (to ask) спро́шенный спро́шен
прости́ть (to forgive) прощённый прощён, прощена́, прощено́, прощены́
проломи́ть () проло́мленный проло́млен
установи́ть (to install, to set up) устано́вленный устано́влен
истреби́ть () истреблённый истреблён, истреблена́, истреблено́, истреблены́
купи́ть (to buy) ку́пленный ку́плен
Verbs ending in ‘-зть’, ‘-сть’, ‘-зти’ or ‘-сти’
сгрызть () сгры́зенный сгры́зен
укра́сть () укра́денный укра́ден
проче́сть (to read) прочтённый прочтён, прочтена́, прочтено́, прочтены́
увезти́ () увезённый увезён, увезена́, увезено́, увезены́
увести́ () уведённый уведён, уведена́, уведено́, уведены́
подмести́ () подметённый подметён, подметена́, подметено́, подметены́
унести́ () унесённый унесён, унесена́, унесено́, унесены́
погрести́ () погребённый погребён, погребена́, погребено́, погребены́
Verbs ending in ‘-чь’
испе́чь (to bake) испечённый испечён, испечена́, испечено́, испечены́
сбере́чь () сбережённый сбережён, сбережена́, сбережено́, сбережены́
Verbs ending in ‘-йти’
найти́ (ro find) на́йденный на́йден
Verbs ending in ‘-нуть’
согну́ть () со́гнутый со́гнут
Verbs ending in ‘-оть’
уколо́ть () уко́лотый уко́лот
Verbs ending in ‘-ыть’
намы́ть (to wash) намы́тый намы́т
забы́ть (to forget) забы́тый забы́т
Verbs ending in ‘бить’, ‘вить’, ‘лить’, ‘пить’, ‘шить’
уби́ть (to kill) уби́тый уби́т

Adverbial participle

Adverbial participles (деепричастия) are not declined, quite like usual adverbs. They inherit the aspect of their verb; imperfective ones are usually present, while perfective ones can be only past (since they denote action performed by the subject, the tense corresponds to time of action denoted by verb). Almost all Russian adverbial participles are active; to form passive constructions, adverbial participle forms of verb быть (past бывши, present будучи) may be used with either adjectival participle in instrumental case (Будучи раненным, боец оставался в строю — Combatant, being wounded, remained in the row), or short adjective in nominative (Бывши один раз наказан, он больше так не делал — Having been punished once, he didn't do it any more).

Present adverbial participles are formed by adding suffix -а/-я (sometimes -учи/-ючи which is usually deprecated) to present tense stem. Few of past participles (mainly of intransitive verbs of motion) are formed in similar manner. Most past adverbial participles are formed with suffix -в (alternative form -вши, always used before -сь), some with stem ending on consonant – with -ши. Reciprocal ones have suffix -сь at their very end (in poetry can appear as -ся).[22][23]

Adverbial participles in standard Russian are believed to be feature of bookish speech; in colloquial language they are usually replaced with single adjectival participles or constructions with verbs: Пообедав, я пошёл гулять → Я пообедал и пошёл гулять (I had dinner and went for a walk). But in some dialects adverbial and adjectival participles are common to produce perfect forms which are not distinguished in literary Russian; e.g. "I haven't eaten today" will be "Я сегодня не евши" instead of "Я сегодня не ела".

Adverbial participles
Infinitive Present tense verb Present adverbial participle Past adverbial participle
думать (to think, impf.) думаю думая (думав)[tavp 1]
сказать (to say, pf.) сказав (сказавши)
учиться (to be learning, impf.) учусь учась (учившись)[tavp 1]
научиться (to learn, pf.) научившись
войти (to enter, pf.) войдя (вошед,[tavp 2] вошедши)
сплести (to weave, pf.) сплётши (сплетя)
ехать (to ride/to drive, impf.) еду (ехав, ехавши)[tavp 1] (едучи)[tavp 3]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rare but existing forms; they appear e. g. in negative sentences: как Он знает Писания, не учившись? (John 7:15).
  2. Deprecated irregular form.
  3. Mentioned by explorers other than Zaliznyak as still alive and neutral -учи form.[24]

Irregular verbs

Russian verb paradigm
брать1 ви́деть2 дава́ть1 дать3 есть3 жить1 звать1 идти́1 писа́ть2
take see give give (pf.) eat live call go write
1st sg беру́ ви́жу даю́ дам ем живу́ зову́ иду́ пишу́
2nd sg берёшь ви́дишь даёшь дашь ешь живёшь зовёшь идёшь пи́шешь
3rd sg берёт ви́дит даёт даст ест живёт зовёт идёт пи́шет
1st pl берём ви́дим даём дади́м еди́м живём зовём идём пи́шем
2nd pl берёте ви́дите даёте дади́те еди́те живёте зовёте идёте пи́шете
3rd pl беру́т ви́дят даю́т даду́т едя́т живу́т зову́т иду́т пи́шут
Past брал
Imperative бери́ видь дава́й дай ешь живи́ зови́ иди́ пиши́
Present Active Participle беру́щий ви́дящий даю́щий - едя́щий живу́щий зову́щий иду́щий пи́шущий
Past Active Participle бра́вший ви́девший дава́вший да́вший е́вший жи́вший зва́вший ше́дший писа́вший
Past Passive Participle за́бранный уви́денный - да́нный съе́денный - по́званный - напи́санный
Past Passive Participle (Short Forms) за́бран
- дан
- по́зван
- напи́сан
Present Adverbial Participle беря́ ви́дя дава́я - едя́ живя́ зовя́ идя́ -
Past Adverbial Participle брав ви́дев дава́в дав ев жив звав ше́дши писа́в

1These verbs all have a stem change.
2These verbs are palatalised in certain cases, namely сш for all the present forms of "писа́ть", and дж in the first person singular of the other verbs.
3These verbs do not conform to either the first or second conjugations.

Agglutinating Compounds

Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

Word formation

Russian has on hand a set of prefixes, prepositional and adverbial in nature, as well as diminutive, augmentative, and frequentative suffixes and infixes. All of these can be stacked one upon the other, to produce multiple derivatives of a given word. Participles and other inflectional forms may also have a special connotation. For example:

мысль [mɨsʲlʲ] "thought"
мыслишка [mɨˈsʲlʲiʂkə] "a petty, cute or a silly thought"
мыслища [mɨˈsʲlʲiɕːə] "a thought of fundamental import"
мышление [mɨˈʂlʲenʲɪjə] "thought; abstract thinking, rationalization"
мыслить [ˈmɨsʲlʲitʲ] "to think (as to cogitate)"
смысл [smɨsl] "meaning"
осмыслить [ɐˈsmɨsʲlʲɪtʲ] "to comprehend; to rationalize"
осмысливать [ɐˈsmɨsʲlʲivətʲ] "to be in the process of comprehending"
переосмыслить [pʲɪrʲɪɐˈsmɨsʲlʲɪtʲ] "to reassess"
переосмысливать [pʲɪrʲɪɐˈsmɨsʲlʲɪvətʲ] "to be in the process of reassessing (something)"
переосмысливаемый [pʲɪrʲɪɐˈsmɨsʲlʲɪvəjɪmɨj] "(something) in the process of being considered in a new light"
бессмыслица [bʲɪˈsmɨsʲlʲɪtsə] "nonsense"
обессмыслить [əbʲɪˈsmɨsʲlʲɪtʲ] "to render meaningless"
бессмысленный [bʲɪˈsmɨsʲlʲɪnːɨj] "meaningless"
обессмысленный [əbʲɪˈsmɨsʲlʲɪnːɨj] "rendered meaningless"
необессмысленный [nʲɪəbʲɪˈsmɨsʲlʲɪnːɨj] "not rendered meaningless"

Russian has also proven friendly to agglutinative compounds. As an extreme case:

металлоломообеспечение [mʲɪtəlɐˌlomɐɐbʲɪˈsʲpʲetɕɪnʲjɪ] "provision of scrap iron"
металлоломообеспеченный [mʲɪtəlɐˌlomɐɐbʲɪˈsʲpʲetɕɪnːɨj] "well supplied with scrap iron"

Purists (as Dmitry Ushakov in the preface to his dictionary) frown on such words. But here is the name of a street in St. Petersburg:

Каменноостровский проспект [ˌkamʲɪnːɐɐˈstrovskʲɪj prɐˈsʲpʲekt] "Stone Island Avenue"

Some linguists have suggested that Russian agglutination stems from Church Slavonic. In the twentieth century, abbreviated components appeared in the compound:

управдом [uprɐˈvdom] = управляющий домом [uprɐˈvlʲӕjuɕːɪj ˈdoməm] "residence manager"


The basic word order, both in conversation and the written language, is subject–verb–object in transitive clauses, and free word order in intransitive clauses. However, because the relations are marked by inflection, considerable latitude in word order is allowed even in transitive clauses, and all the permutations can be used. For example, the words in the phrase "я пошёл в магазин" ('I went to the shop') can be arranged

  • Я пошёл в магазин. (I went to the shop; I went to the shop.)
  • Я в магазин пошёл. (I to the shop went; approx. I am going out, my destination is the shop.)
  • Пошёл я в магазин. (Went I to the shop; two meanings: can be treated as a beginning of a narrated story: "Went I to the shop, and something happened." or a decision made by someone after a long contemplation: "OK, I think I will go the shop.")
  • Пошёл в магазин я. (Went to the shop I; rarely used, can be treated as a beginning of a line of a poem written in amphibrach due to uncommon word order.)
  • В магазин я пошёл. (To the shop I went; two meanings: can be used as a response: "I went to the shop." — "Sorry, where did you go?" — "To the shop—that’s where I went." or an emphasis on the way of transportation: I went to the shop on foot.)
  • В магазин пошёл я. (To the shop went I; It was me who went to the shop.)

while maintaining grammatical correctness. Note, however, that the order of the phrase "в магазин" ("to the shop") is kept constant.

The word order can express the logical stress, and the degree of definiteness. Primary emphasis tends to be initial, with a slightly weaker emphasis at the end. Note that some of these arrangements can describe present actions, not only past (despite the fact that the verb пошёл is in the past).

Impersonal sentences

Russian is null-subject language — it allows constructing sentences without subject (Russian: безличные предложения). Some of them are disputed not to be really impersonal but to have oblique subject. One possible classification of such sentences distinguishes:[25]

Subjectless impersonals
Such ones where no element could pretend to be a subject:
Смеркалось. 'It got dusky.'
В Москве полночь. 'It's midnight in Moscow.'
They contain an impersonal verb (which is in form of single third-person or single neutral).
Dative impersonals
Usually express personal feelings, where experiencer in dative case can possibly be considered as subject:
Мнеdat. скучно. 'I'm bored.'
Other impersonals
They have nominal element which is neither nominative nor dative, but also is a nominal verb argument:
Меняacc. тошнит. 'I feel sick.'
Васюacc. дёрнуло токомinstr.. 'Vasya had an electrical shock.'


Multiple negatives

Unlike in standard English, multiple negatives are compulsory in Russian, as in "никто никогда никому ничего не прощает" [nʲɪkˈto nʲɪkɐɡˈda nʲɪkɐˈmu nʲɪtɕɪˈvo nʲɪ prɐɕˈɕæjɪt] ('No-one ever forgives anyone for anything' literally, "no one never to no-one nothing does not forgive"). Usually, only one word in a sentence has negative particle or prefix "не" or belongs to negative word "нет", while another words have negation-affirmative particle or prefix "ни"; but this word can often be easily omitted, and thus ни becomes the signal of negation: вокруг никого нет and вокруг никого both mean "there is nobody around".

Adverbial answers

As a one-word answer to an affirmative sentence, yes translates да and no does нет, as shown by the table below.[citation needed]

Answer to an affirmative sentence
English Russian
It’s raining Идёт дождь
Agreeing with
speaker (rain is falling)
= it’s raining
= идёт дождь
Disagreeing with
speaker (rain is not falling)
= it’s not raining
= дождь не идёт

There is no simple rule for giving an adverbial answer to a negative sentence. B. Comrie[26] says that in Russian answer да or нет is determined not so much by the negative form of the question as by the questioner's intent of using negation, or whether the response is in agreement with his presupposition. In many cases that means that adverbial answer should be extended for avoiding ambiguity; in spoken language, intonation of saying нет can also be significant on if it is affirmation of negation or negation of negation.

Answer to a negative question
Question Interpretation Positive answer
what was negated is declared
Negative answer
what was negated is refused
Не желаете ли печенья?
Would you like to have some cookies?
Negation is used only for more politeness Да, пожалуйста.
Yes, please.
Нет, спасибо.
No, thank you.
Не задумывались ли вы над этим?
Haven't you ever concerned this?
Presence of a negative particle is conditioned by expectation of a positive answer Да, задумывался.
Yes, I have.
Нет, не задумывался.
No, I haven't.
Так что, не берёте?
So, you definitely won't buy it?
Negation is forced by presumption of negative answer Нет, берём.
No, but we buy it.
Да, не берём (less common). / Нет, не берём.
No, we won't buy it.
Ты ведь не сердишься на меня?
But you are not angry with me, are you?
Negation is only hoped for, rather than expected Нет, я на тебя сержусь. / Да, сержусь.
Yes, I am angry with you.
Нет, не сержусь. / Да, не сержусь (less common).
No, I am not angry.

Note that while expressing an affirmation of negation by extending "да" with a negated verb is grammatically acceptable, in practice it is more common to answer "нет" and subsequently extend with a negated verb paralleling the usage in English. Also, when answering a negative sentence with a non-extended "нет" it is usually interpreted as an affirmation of negation again in a way similar to English.

Alternatively, both positive and negative simple questions easily can be answered by simply repeating the predicate with or without не, especially if да/нет is ambiguous: in the latest example, "Сержусь." or "Не сержусь."


The most common types of coordination expressed by compound sentences in Russian are conjoining, oppositional, and separative. Additionally, the Russian grammar considers comparative, complemental, and clarifying. Other flavors of the meanings may also be distinguished.

Conjoining coordinations are formed with the help of the conjunctions "и", "да", "ни...ни" (simultaneous negation), также, тоже (the latter two have complementary flavors). Most commonly the conjoining coordination expresses enumeration, simultaneity or immediate sequence. They may also have a cause-effect flavor.

Oppositional coordinations are formed with the help of the oppositional conjunctions а, но, да, однако, зато, же, etc. They express the semantic relations of opposition, comparison, incompatibility, restriction, or compensation.

Separative coordinations are formed with the help of the separative conjunctions или, либо, ли...ли, то...то, etc., and are used to express alternation or incompatibility of things expressed in the coordinated sentences.

Complemental and clarifying coordination expresses additional, but not subordinated, information related to the first sentence.

Comparative coordination is a semantical flavor of the oppositional one.

Common coordinating conjunctions include:

  • и [i] "and", enumerative, complemental;
  • а [a] "and", comparative, tending to "but";
  • но [no] "but", oppositional;
  • ибо [ˈibə] (bookish, archaic) "for", clarifying.

The distinction between и and а is important. И implies a following complemental state that does not oppose the antecedent. А implies a following state that acts in opposition to the antecedent, but more weakly than но "but".

File:Song of Igor Catherine Manuscript.GIF
The Catherine manuscript of the Song of Igor, 1790s
они уехали,
и мы уезжаем
[ɐˈnʲi uˈjexəlʲɪ]
[ɪ ˈmɨ ujɪˈʑʑ ӕjɪm]
they have departed
and we are departing
они уехали,
а мы уезжаем
[ɐˈnʲi uˈjexəlʲɪ]
[ɐ ˈmɨ ujɪˈʑʑ ӕjɪm]
they have departed,
while (but) we are (still) departing
они уехали,
но мы приезжаем
[ɐˈnʲi uˈjexəlʲɪ]
[no ˈmɨ prʲɪjɪˈʑʑ ӕjɪm]
they have departed,
but we are arriving

The distinction between и and а developed after medieval times. Originally, и and а were closer in meaning. The unpunctuated ending of the Song of Igor illustrates the potential confusion. The final five words in modern spelling, князьям слава а дружине аминь [knʲɪˈzʲjam ˈslavə ə druˈʐɨnʲɪ ɐˈmʲinʲ] can be understood either as "Glory to the princes and to their host! Amen." or "Glory to the princes, and amen (R.I.P.) to their troops". Although the majority opinion is definitely with the first interpretation, there is no full consensus. The psychological difference between the two is quite obvious.


Complementizers (subordinating conjunctions, adverbs, or adverbial phrases) include:

  • если [ˈjesʲlʲɪ] 'if' (meaning 'in case where' not meaning 'whether');
  • потому что [pətɐˈmu ʂtə], так как [tak kak] 'because'
  • чтобы [ˈʂtobɨ], дабы [ˈdabɨ] (bookish, archaic) 'so that'
  • после того, как [ˈposʲlʲɪ tɐˈvo kək] 'after'
  • хотя [xɐˈtʲ ӕ] 'although'

In general, there are fewer subordinate clauses than in English, because the participles and adverbial participles often take the place of a relative pronoun/verb combination. For example:

Вот человек,
потерявший надежду.
[vot tɕɪlɐˈvʲek]
[pətʲɪˈrʲ ӕvʂɨj nɐˈdʲeʐdu]
Here (is) a man
who has lost (all) hope.
[lit. having lost hope]
Гуляя по городу, всегда
останавливаюсь у Ростральных колонн.
[ɡuˈlʲ ӕjɪ pɐ ˈɡorədu vsʲɪɡˈda]
[əstɐˈnavlʲɪvəjusʲ u rɐˈstralʲnɨx kɐˈlon]
When I go for a walk in the city, I always
pause by the Rostral Columns.
[lit. Walking in the city, I...]

Absolute construction

Despite the inflectional nature of Russian, there is no equivalent in the modern language to the English nominative absolute or the Latin ablative absolute construction. The old language had an absolute construction, with the noun put into the dative. Like so many other archaisms, it is retained in Church Slavonic. Among the last known examples in literary Russian occurs in Radishchev's Journey from Petersburg to Moscow (Путешествие из Петербурга в Москву [putʲɪˈʂɛstvʲɪjɪ ɪs pʲɪtʲɪrˈburɡə v mɐˈskvu]), 1790:

  • Едущу мне из Едрова, Анюта из мысли моей не выходила. [ˈjeduɕːʉ mnʲe ɪzʲ jɪˈdrovə, ɐˈnʲʉtə ɪz ˈmɨsʲlʲɪ mɐˈjej nʲɪ vɨxɐˈdʲilə] "As I was leaving Yedrovo village, I could not stop thinking about Aniuta."

See also


  1. Nesset (2008) applied Leonard Talmy’s (1985, 2000) terms "manner" and "path" to her image schema for Russian verbs of motion.
  2. Researchers have also included the reflexive verbs катиться/кататься, гнаться/гоняться, нестись/носиться, and тащиться/таскаться (Gagarina 2009: 451–452).


  1. (Russian) Zaliznyak A. A. "Русское именное словоизменение." Moscow.: Science, 1967
  2. (Russian) Uspenskij V. A. "К определению падежа по А. Н. Колмогорову // Бюллетень объединения по проблемам машинного перевода." Issue. 5. Moscow., 1957 online copy
  3. (Russian) Klobukov E. V. "Семантика падежных форм в современном русском литературном языке. (Введение в методику позиционного анализа)" Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 1986.
  4. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  6. Е. И. Литневская. Русский язык. Краткий теоретический курс для школьников БСМП "ЭЛЕКС-Альфа", 2000
  7. These are adjectives and not adverbs, since they can't modify verbs.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Современный русский язык / Под ред. В. А. Белошапковой.
  9. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  10. Collective numerals for more than 7 are seldom used.
  11. In very bookish speech also can appear plural third-person form суть; it's often misused by some native Russian writers who don't know what this word really is.
  12. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  13. Russian verbs: How to form the imperative
  14. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  15. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  16. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Wade2011" defined multiple times with different content
  19. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  20. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  21. Classification of participles
  22. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  23. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  24. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  25. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  26. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

External links