Conjugation of Verbs / Спряжение глаголов


In Russian—like in many other languages—a verb changes its ending for persons. For example, I work, he works. The same thing happens with Russian verbs too. But we have different endings for each person. This changing of endings for verbs is called conjugation (спряжение).

 We replace the infinitive ending -ть or -ти. There are two types of conjugation. The type of conjugation depends on the ending of the verb in the infinitive form.  The 1-st type verbs end in -ать, -ять, -еть or -ти.

The 2-d type verbs end in -ить and also some irregular verbs

Спряжение 1

думать — to think

я думаю
ты думаешь
он думает
мы думаем
вы думаете
они думают

Спряжение 2

говорить — to speak

я говорю
ты говоришь
он говорит
мы говорим
вы говорите
они говорят

Pay attention that for the 2-d conjugation we replace last three letters with the ending. And for the 1st—we do change only last two letters.

It is important to mention is that after 8 letters (к, г, ш, ж, щ, ч, х, ц) we don’t write the endings: -ю, -ют, -ят. We use the endings ,  -ут, -ат instead.


  • Я пишу, они пишут – I write, they write (not пишЮ, пишЮт)
  • Они лежат – they lay (not они лежЯт)

Reflexive Verbs

REFLEXIVE VERBS  are verbs which have the same conjugation like regular verbs, but the difference is only that they have the special suffix -ся (sometimes -сь) at the end.

  • мне нравится – I like
  • я родился – I was born

Reflexive verbs are used:

1. When the subject and the object is the same person. 

Он моет пол — he washes the floor.

Он моется — he washes himself.

2. Reflexives are also used for meaning «each other», when people do something together with each other. 

Он встречает новый день на пляже. – He meets a new day at the beach.

Они встречаются. — They meet.

3. For inanimate things making an action (passive voice.) Compare these two pictures.


Она закрывает окно. – She is closing the window.

Магазин закрывается в 9:00.  The shop is closed at 9:00.

4. Special verbs which never used without the suffix -ся. They should be memorized.

  • нравиться – to like
  • заниматься  – to do, to be busy with smth.
  • надеяться – to hope
  • остаться – to stay
  • родиться – to be born

-СЯ or -СЬ?

If there is a vowel before the suffix, the suffix is -сь. After the consonant the suffix is -ся.

учиться – to study

present tense

  • я учусь
  • ты учишься
  • он учится
  • мы учимся
  • вы учитесь
  • они учатся

past tense

  • он учился
  • она училась
  • оно училось
  • они учились

future tense

  • я буду учиться
  • ты будешь учиться
  • он будет учиться
  • мы будем учиться
  • вы будете учиться
  •  они будут учиться

I think it is much easier to memorize that you have to use the suffix -сь for «я» and «вы» forms in the present tense and all persons except masculine for the past. In all other cases you use the suffix -ся.

Irregular Verbs in Past Tense

The past tense is formed by replacing the infinitive ending -ть with -л/-ла/-ло/-ли (depending who made this action in past). More about past tense. Some verbs are exceptions. You should memorize them.

1. Идти – to go

  • он шёл – he went
  • она шла – she went
  • оно шло – it went
  • они шли – they went

2. Мочь – can, may

  • он мог – he could
  • она могла – she could
  • оно могло – it could
  • они могли – they could

3. Есть – to eat

  • он ел – he ate
  • она ела – she ate
  • оно ело – it ate
  • они ели – they ate

For pronouns Я and Ты the ending depends on the gender. If a male made this action, use он–form. If a female made the action, use она–form.

  • Я мог – I could (if I am a man)
  • Я могла – I could (If I am a woman)
  • Ты шёл – you went (if I am talking to a man)
  • Ты шла – you went (If I am talking to a woman)

For any noun or pronoun in plural use они-form.

  • Мы ели в кафе – We ate in the cafe.
  • Друзья ели дома – Friends ate at their house.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular Verbs

Some Russian Verbs are conjugated in a different way. For example, a verb in the infinitive form ends in -ать which means that it should be the 1-st type of conjugation, but it is changed as the 2-d type. Or some verbs-exceptions have absolutely different endings. You should learn them. You can print out these two pages at the same piece of paper from both sides and make cards to practice the verbs.

irregular verbs






Adjectives / Прилагательные

Adjectives are special words for describing nouns.

  • Хороший человек –  nice person
  • Отличная погода good weather

The same adjective may have 4 variants of  endings. All these 4 words mean «beautiful».

  1. красивый
  2. красивая
  3. красивое
  4. красивые

For choosing the ending of an adjective look at the noun after and find out if it is a masculine, feminine, neuter or a plural noun. More about genders here.

  1. красивый телефон a beautiful phone (he)
  2. красивая машина – a beautiful car (she)
  3. красивое окно – a beautiful window (it)
  4. красивые машины – beautiful cars (they)

окончания прилагательных. рки


Normally the masculine ending is  -ый , but if before the ending there is one of these letters: к, г, ш, щ, ж, ч, х or the soft нthe ending will be -ий. Nouns with the soft -н- you should remember like exceptions. The good news, we don’t have many of them.

If the last syllable is stressed the ending is ой.

For describing feminine nouns, the endings are -ая or -яя . In most cases the ending is -ая, but if the masculine adjective has the soft —н- before -ий, feminine adjective will have the soft ending -яя. The same rule works and for neuter gender nouns and plural nouns (Use the second line in the table for the soft variant). But regarding the plural don’t forget about impossibility of having the letter after one of those seven letters, this is why the ending is -ий.

  • Красивый мужчина – Handsome man
  • Красивая девушка – Beautiful girl
  • Большой тетар – Big theatre
  • Большая улица – Big street
  • Большие города – Big cities
  • Маленький дом – Small house
  • Маленькая собака – Small dog
  • Маленькое кафе – Small cafe
  • Синий костюм – Blue suit
  • Синяя рубашка – Blue shirt
  • Синее море – Blue sea
 Learn more adjectives for practicing here.

Nouns in Plural / Существительные во множественном числе

образование множественного числа

For putting nouns into the plural we have to add the letter . The very important rule you need to know is that we never have the letter ы after these letters:   к, г,  ш, щ, ж, ч, х  (about how to remember them easily read here)

In case if there is one of these letters in the end of a word, the ending is и (not ы):

  • банк – банки (a bank – banks)
  • парк – парки  (a park – parks)
  • гараж – гаражи (a garage – garages)

The same thing happens if there is the soft mark (ь) or й in the end. But the difference is that we are replacing them (not adding after) with the :

  • ночь – ночи (a night — nights)
  • отель – отели (hotel — hotels)
  • музей – музеи (museum — museums)

Regarding the feminine nouns (More about genders here), we are replacing the last vowel with the  or

We replace with the -ы, and we replace with the .

  • машина – машины (машинаы)   (a car — cars)
  • идея – идеи an idea — ideas

And don’t forget that it is impossible to have the letter after к, г, ш, щ, ж, ч, х. So if the last letter -a follows one of those letters, you should replace it with the (not -ы)

  • девушка – девушки (девушкы)  (a girl – girls)
  • собака – собаки (a dog – dogs)

So about masculine and feminine nouns it is clear. We use endings or . But neuter gender nouns make plural in a little different way. For neuter nouns we have to replace the last letter -о with the -а, and if a noun ends with the е, we replace it  with the я.

  • окно  окна (a window – windows)
  • море  – моря (a sea – seas)


We have also some exceptions that make plural in a different way. You just have to remember them.


  • Друг – Друзья (friend — friends)
  • Брат – Братья (brother — brothers)
  • Муж – Мужья (husband — husbands)
  • Жена – Жёны (wife — wifes)
  • Сестра – Сёстры (sister — sisters)
  • Дерево – Деревья (tree — trees)
  • Стул – Стулья (chair — chairs)
  • Город – Города (city — cities)
  • Паспорт – Паспорта (passport — passports)
  • Ребёнок – Дети (child — children)
  • Человек – Люди (person — people)
  • глаз – глаза (eye — eyes)
  • дом – дома (house — houses)
  • доктор – доктора (a doctor – doctors)
  • профессор – профессора (a professor – professors)
  • хозяин – хозяева (owner – owners)
  • мастер – мастера (a master – masters)