Russian Language Blog

Made by Hand: Russian Verbs with ‑Руч‑ Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

Back by popular demand, this post in our “verbs with prefixes” series will look at several verbs sharing the same root—руч/рук. You probably recognize this root from рука́, hand. All verbs will be given in pairs of imperfective and perfective.

baby hand on top of adult hand

Image via Pixabay


The first verb, руча́ться, means “to vouch for someone” or “to be sure of something” when followed by за + a noun or pronoun in the accusative case. When not followed by a noun, it can mean “to assure” or “to be sure.”

― За тех, кто ря́дом со мной, я руча́юсь!
“I can vouch for those who are next to me!”
[Семен Данилюк. Рублевая зона (2004)]


This verb means “to assign or put someone in charge of a task.” It is normally followed by dative for the person and accusative or infinitive for the task. The task or charge itself may be called поруче́ние.

Я был горд, что мне поручи́ли вести́ э́тот пра́здничный ве́чер.
I was proud that I had been entrusted with hosting that celebration.
[И. Э. Кио. Иллюзии без иллюзий (1995-1999)]

Note that the same sentence may have been worded as “Я был горд, что мне поручили ведение этого праздничного вечера,” although the noun makes the sentence more cumbersome.


Заручи́ться is “to obtain or secure someone’s support, consent, etc.” It is followed by the instrumental case.

К тому́ же Оба́ме ну́жно заручи́ться подде́ржкой Конгре́сса.
In addition, Obama needs to secure congressional support.
[Повестка дня // «Эксперт», 2013]

hands holding a rabbit

Image via Pixabay


Прируча́ть is “to tame (an animal).” Ручно́й is “tame.”

На протяже́нии тысячеле́тий челове́к переде́лывал приро́ду ― выводи́л но́вые продукти́вные сорта́ зла́ков, прируча́л ди́ких живо́тных.
For thousands of years, humans have been transforming nature — cultivating new high-yield grains and taming wild animals.[Александр Грудинкин. Топливо, таблетки, Марс // «Знание – сила», 2011]


Выруча́ть means “to rescue someone, to come to someone’s aid” and is followed by the accusative case. Interestingly, вы́ручка means “proceeds, revenue, or earnings.”

Костик пригото́вился к ху́дшему и отпра́вился выруча́ть ба́бушку из беды́.
Kostik prepared for the worst and went to get his grandmother out of trouble.
[М.C. Аромштам. Мохнатый ребенок (2010)]


Вруча́ть can mean to deliver or hand something to someone; it can also mean “confer” (a degree or certificate) or “award.” This word is a bit more formal, or it can be used ironically in colloquial speech. It is followed by the dative for the recipient and accusative for the thing being given.

Золоту́ю меда́ль и аттеста́т с кру́глыми пятёрками вручи́ли Ива́ну торже́ственно.
With great pomp and circumstance, Ivan was awarded a gold medal and a diploma with straight As.
[Анатолий Азольский. Лопушок // «Новый Мир», 1998]

wedding rings

Image via Pixabay


Last but not least, обруча́ться can mean “to get engaged.”

Па́ра обручи́лась, но официа́льно свои́ отноше́ния так и не офо́рмила.
The couple got engaged but never officially got married.
[Антонова Ирина. ПЛОХИЕ ПАРНИ // Труд-7, 2008.07.10]

An engagement ring is обруча́льное кольцо́; curiously, people keep calling their wedding ring that. I have not encountered separate engagement and wedding rings in Russia. There is normally one ring to rule them all, which is worn on the right hand (at least, for Orthodox Christians—and many non-religious people). Long engagements and an official fiance/e status isn’t something done by every Russian couple, so perhaps that’s why there is no separate “engagement” ring. Readers in other countries, Russian-speaking or otherwise, how does this work where you live?

Keep learning Russian with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

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. samonen:

    Great job, Maria! These posts are so useful in developing a “hunch” for Russian. “Learn basic semantics of prefixation, always look for the root and understand the rest from context” used to be my method of learning to read Russian.

    In Finland, it is customary – at least if you’re Lutheran or adhere to (Lutheran) Finnish tradition – to exchange engagement rings. I don’t know if the fiancé buys both of them nowadays, often it is the future couples parents but I must say this sounds very old-fashioned. Relationships are a very private affair and nobody’s business.

    When you get married, the woman normally gets a wedding ring, so she wears two rings and he wears one. In bygone times, amongst the poor, even a self-made ring made of birch bark would qualify as an engagement ring – I find the idea heart wrenchingly romantic. Today, kids sometimes buy rings and consider themselves “engaged” when they go steady. They would need a reminder that an engagement in Finnish culture used to be and should be a binding agreement to marry someone.

    Of course Finland is Nordic and very liberal when it comes to relationships. Living together without being formally married is very common, almost more like the norm before binding the knot. Some couples never do.

    • Maria:

      @samonen Samonen, thank you for sharing this! I have seen people in the US wear both their wedding and engagement ring, and the two often form a matching set. I never noticed whether men did it, too, but now that you’ve mentioned the Finnish custom, I think the US custom may only apply to women, as well.

  2. samonen:

    Oh, just in case anyone is interested, engagement and wedding rings are worn on the left hand in Finland. I thought wearing it/them on the right hand was an Orthodox or Russian thing until I learned Estonians (who are predominantly Lutheran like us and one of the most irreligious people in Europe) also wear the ring on the right hand. I wonder if this is a Soviet holdover or just local tradition. Gotta find out!