Russian Language Blog

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

We are continuing our list of the most common verbs in Russian. Make sure you read Part I, too!

dollar and yuan bills

Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

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 a millionaire”). As such, стать does not have any present-tense forms. Its imperfective counterpart, which describes the process of becoming, is становиться.

Past tense

  • Он стал ча́сто прогу́ливать уро́ки (He began skipping classes often).
  • Мы так и не ста́ли бога́тыми (We never got rich).

Future tense

1st personста́нуста́нем
2nd personста́нешьста́нете
3rd personста́нетста́нут
  • Ско́ро тебе́ ста́нет лу́чше (You’ll start feeling better soon; literally “Soon, to you, it will become better”).
  • Че́рез де́сять лет я ста́ну дире́ктором фирмы (In ten years, I’ll become the firm’s director).

7. Хотеть — to want

Хотеть is an imperfective verb that refers to wanting something. The corresponding perfective verb is захотеть.

Present tense

1st personхочу́хоти́м
2nd personхо́чешьхоти́те
3rd personхо́четхотя́т

Note that the present conjugation is irregular, popular song by Grechka notwithstanding. You’ll see -е- endings and the stress on the root for ты and он/она/оно but -и- endings and stress on the ending for мы and вы.

  • Я не хочу́ рабо́тать по выходны́м (I don’t want to work weekends).

Past tense


In addition to “wanted to,” past forms of хотеть can refer to “meant to.”

  • Он не хоте́л тебя́ оби́деть (He didn’t mean to hurt your feelings).

Future tense

Future tense forms consist of the conjugated future form of быть + хоте́ть. This usage is pretty rare because it is close to “will be wanting something.” It’s more common to use the perfective counterpart, захоте́ть, to talk about specific desires in the future.

boy walking by a wall

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

8. Идти́ — to go, to walk

This verb refers to going somewhere on foot. Идти is a verb of motion, meaning that there are 2 imperfective forms: идти́ for movement in one direction and ходи́ть for repeated movement or going there and back. One possible perfective counterpart is пойти́.

Present tense

1st personиду́идём
2nd personидёшьидёте
3rd personидётиду́т
  • Мы идём в кино́ (We’re going to the cinema — on this specific occasion).
  • Compare this to: Мы ча́сто хо́дим в кино́ (We often go to the cinema).

Past tense


Again, this refers to a specific trip or a one-way trip in the past.

  • Мы шли на рабо́ту и встре́тили знако́мого (We were walking to work and ran into an acquaintance).

Future tense

Быть (future congujated form) + идти́ for an action in progress. Use conjugated forms of пойти for one-time planned trips, like За́втра мы пойдём в парк (We’ll go to the park tomorrow).

  • Пешко́м ты бу́дешь идти́ до ры́нка 3 часа́ (It will take you 3 hours to walk to the market; literally, “On foot, you will be walking to the market for 3 hours”).

9. Име́ть — to have

Note that, in most cases, you will use constructions like “У меня́ есть…” to say “I have.” See the conjugation of the verb быть, to be, in Part I of this post. However, име́ть is used in several fixed expressions like име́ть в виду́ (to mean) or поня́тия не име́ть (to have no idea). Иметь is an imperfective verb.

Present tense

1st personиме́юиме́ем
2nd personиме́ешьиме́ете
3rd personиме́етиме́ют
  • Поня́тия не име́ю, о чём говори́т преподава́тель (I have no idea what the instructor is on about).

Past tense

  • Что вы име́ли в виду́? (What did you mean?)

Future tense

Быть (future conjugated form) + име́ть. Note that constructions with быть like “У меня́ бу́дет…” etc. are much more common.


Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

10. Видеть — to see

This is an imperfective verb; its perfective counterpart is уви́деть.

Present tense

1st personви́жуви́дем
2nd personви́дешьви́дете
3rd personви́детви́дят
  • Я не ви́жу, что напи́сано на доске́ (I can’t see what’s written on the board).

Past tense

  • Мы уже́ ви́дели э́тот фильм (We’ve already seen this film).

Future tense

Быть (future congujated form) + видеть

  • По́сле опера́ции я бу́ду лу́чше ви́деть (I’ll be able to see better after the surgery).

So this is it for the top 10 most common verbs in Russian! Knowing their forms will make speaking and understanding Russian much easier for you.

As we near the end of the year, I would like to wish our readers happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah and Yalda, and Happy Kwanzaa and New Year! You can read more about Christmas and New Year’s traditions on this blog.

Tags: , ,
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. Simon Beattie:

    Are the stress marks correct on the past tense of Хотеть?

    • Maria:

      @Simon Beattie Thank you for pointing it out! I have fixed it now.