Russian Language Blog

Tag Archives: verb conjugations

Top 10 Russian Verbs — Part II Posted by on Dec 24, 2019


We are continuing our list of the most common verbs in Russian. Make sure you read Part I, too! 6. Cтать — to become, to start Стать is a perfective verb and refers to the result of becoming something or someone. Think of the game “Кто хочет стать миллионером?” (literal translation, “Who wants to become…

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Top 10 Russian Verbs — Part I Posted by on Dec 16, 2019

two younger women

If you find yourself struggling to come up with the right verb, you may want to learn the conjugation of the most common Russian verbs. They come up frequently in conversation, so being able to recognize and use them will help you with your fluency. 1. Быть – to be Present tense For all intents…

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Verb Forms That Don’t Exist in Russian Posted by on Aug 29, 2016

man in woods

Quite naturally, most of the time, we talk about what can be said in Russian on this blog.  However, surprisingly, there are also things you cannot say. Here are a few missing verb forms and ways to work around them, where possible. Победить Ask any Russian what you cannot say in Russian, and, chances are, they will…

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Time for a little spring cleaning (Emphasis on “a little”) Posted by on Apr 19, 2013

Here in the Washington DC area, весна немного опоздала в этом году (spring was a little late this year) — I mean, we were still having a steady spell of ненастье (chilly wet weather) right through the end of March, followed by several unpleasantly знойныe ночи (sultry hot) nights in April. А теперь на дворе…

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“So the lady says to the talking margarine…” (Participles and dumb TV ads) Posted by on Jan 16, 2013

The title of the post is drawn from a list of “Stupid TV Commercial Cliches” that I found on a Russian humor site. I got a kick out of it because “idiotic advertising” has been a staple of English-language humor for generations, but in Russian, poking fun at consumerism is mostly a post-Soviet development. Apart…

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“I am the very model of a conjugation paradigm…” Posted by on Nov 20, 2012

As every student of Russian knows, learning verb conjugations can be a bit daunting. Grammarians claim that Russian has only a горсточка неправильных глаголов (“a handful of irregular verbs”) — but for a foreigner, there are countless verbs that might as well be irregular because of their conjugational oddities, even if a linguist would insist…

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“Sit down, stand up, lie, lay, lain!” (Verbs of Position) Posted by on Oct 3, 2012

[Note: My original post made a few errors with prepositions and noun cases that have now been fixed!] I think I’ve mentioned that my first-year college Russian textbook illuminated the verb лежать included the grimly Dostoyevskian example sentence: Труп лежит на полу. The corpse is lying on the floor.   Well, that’s one verb I’ll…

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