Russian Language Blog

Give or Take: Russian Verbs with -давать Posted by on Nov 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

It may be useful to learn words in related “families,” so let us look at several verbs that share their root with дава́ть [dɐˈvatʲ], to give. I will include the imperfective and perfective forms of the verb and any related nouns for each verb. This post does not cover every verb or every possible meaning. Feel free to add to the list in the comments. I will be using the International Phonetic Alphabet for transcriptions.


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The basic verb means “to give” and has the following forms:

  • дава́ть [dɐˈvatʲ], imperfective
  • дать [datʲ], perfective.
Дай мне сто рубле́й (Give me 100 rubles).


To give away; to give back

  • отдава́ть [ɐdːɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • отда́ть [ɐˈdːatʲ], perf.
Отдай мою́ кни́гу! (Give my book back!)


This verb can mean “to assign” but can also go together with such words as вопро́с [vɐˈpros], “question,” to form задавать вопрос, “to ask a question.”

  • задава́ть [zədɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • зада́ть [zəˈdatʲ], perf.
  • зада́ние [zɐˈdanʲɪje], noun: assignment, homework
Ты сде́лал дома́шнее зада́ние? А нам ничего́ не задали! (Did you do your homework? We didn’t get any!)

Photo by John T on Unsplash


To sell

  • продава́ть [prədɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • прода́ть [prəˈdatʲ], perf.
  • прода́жа [prɐˈdaʐə], noun: sale
Мы продаём кварти́ру в Соко́льниках (We are selling a flat in the Sokolniki area).


This verb has several meanings. It can mean “to give something away,” as in your position or information. It can also mean to rent something to someone. Finally, combined with экза́мен [ɪɡˈzamʲɪn] it сдавать means to take an exam, and сдать to pass an exam—the perfective here signals successful completion.

  • сдава́ть [zdɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • сдать [zˈdatʲ], perf.
  • сда́ча [ˈzdat͡ɕə], noun: change (from a sum of money)
Студе́нты сдали се́ссию на “отли́чно” (The students got excellent marks on their exams).


to transfer; to transmit; to pass along (a message)

  • передава́ть [pʲɪrʲɪdɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • переда́ть [pʲɪrʲɪˈdatʲ], perf.
  • переда́ча [pʲɪrʲɪˈdat͡ɕə], noun: a TV or radio show
Передава́й приве́т ма́ме (Tell Mom I said hi.)

Мне пе́редали запи́ску (A note was passed along to me.)


Photo by John Michael Thomson on Unsplash


This verb can mean “to publish” (in print) or “to issue” (a decree or law).

  • издава́ть [ɪzdɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • изда́ть [ɪzˈdatʲ], perf.
  • изда́ние [ɪzˈdanʲɪje], noun: edition
  • изда́тельство [ɪzˈdatʲɪlʲstvə], noun: publishing house
Университе́т издаёт не́сколько нау́чных журна́лов (The university publishes several scientific journals).


This verbs primarily means “to betray,” but it can also mean “to subject to something,” like “преда́ть огла́ске,” “to make public.”

  • предава́ть [prʲɪdɐˈvatʲ], imperf.
  • преда́ть [prʲɪˈdatʲ], perf.
  • преда́тельство [prʲɪˈdatʲɪlʲstvə], noun: treason
Он не смог пережи́ть преда́тельства дру́га (He couldn’t get over his friend’s treason).

What would you add to this list?

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.


  1. Mark S:

    And of course now knowing издать (publish), we can add сам (self) and get самиздат from the banned books series…

    • Maria:

      @Mark S Right, and тамиздат refers to books snuck out of the USSR and published abroad.