Present Tense in Russian

The Russian language has three tenses: present, past and future. Today we want to teach you one of these tenses in Russian language. And now here is a question for you: What is the first tense you should start with? That’s right! It’s Present Tenses in Russian language. It’s quite obvious that every Tense in any language always starts with Present Tense.

It worth to mention that Present tense in Russian equals to Present Simple, Present Continuous, Present Perfect Continuous in English.

For example: 

Those three sentences can be equally translated in Russian Present tense form.

Present Simple

Present Continuous

Present Perfect Continuous

I live in Moscow. – Я живу в Москве.

I am going to Moscow. – Я еду в Москву.

I have been living in Moscow for 10 years already. – Я живу в Москве уже 10 лет.

Please note: Present Perfect in English under its meaning equals to Past Tense in Russian language.

So now, when you see that Present tense in Russian language isn’t hard to understand, we want to teach you the conjugation (or formation) of Russian verbs according to each of the subject pronouns. See the following table:

 

Singular

Plural

 

English

Russian

English

Russian

1st person

I

Я

We

Мы

2nd person

You

Ты

You

Вы

3rd person

He

She

It

Он

Она

Это

They

Они

You probably already read our previous article “The infinitive verb in Russian” and you know that Russian infinitive verbs end with: -ать | -ять | -еть | -уть | -оть | -ыть | -ти | -чь | -зть | -сть | -ить. If you are still confused with Infinitive Verb in Russian then we highly suggest you to read that article now.

Most Russian verbs fall into two conjugation types: first conjugation and second conjugation.

# First conjugation type

If you have ending “-ать” or “-ять” in infinitive form of the verb then it is the first conjugation type. To form the Present tense in Russian of first conjugation verbs remove the ending –ть from infinitive form of Russian verb and add the appropriate Present tense ending such as: -ю (-у ); -ешь; -ете; -ем; -ют (- ут) and -ет.

Example with “-ать” – читать – to read: 

 

Singular

Plural

 

English

Russian

English

Russian

1st person

I read

Я читаю

We read

Мы читаем

2nd person

You read

Ты читаешь

You read

Вы читаете

3rd person

He reads

She reads

It reads

Он читает

Она читает

Это читает

They read

Они читают

or another example with “-ять” ending in infinitive form of the verb. 

 

Singular

Plural

 

English

Russian

English

Russian

1st person

I walk

Я гуляю

We walk

Мы гуляем

2nd person

You walk

Ты гуляешь

You walk

Вы гуляете

3rd person

He walks

She walks

It walks

Он гуляет

Она гуляет

Это гуляет

They walk

Они гуляют

Now we have to mention that the First conjugation type has some irregulars from the general rule. And it’s better explained in #19th Video lesson of Russian Basic Course available on our website. We promise you if you enroll that course you won’t regret it. It has all necessary explanations (with quizzes and descriptions to each video or the course) enough to understand Russian language up to Upper-Intermediate level.


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# Second conjugation type

If you have ending “-ить” or “-еть” in infinitive form of the verb then it is the second conjugation type. To form the present tense in Russian of second conjugation verbs remove three final letters (-ить or –еть) from infinitive and replace them by the appropriate present tense ending such as: -ю (-у); -ишь; -ите; -им; -ят (-ат) and -ит.

Example with “-ить” – говорить – to speak:

 

Singular

Plural

 

English

Russian

English

Russian

1st person

I speak

Я говорю

We speak

Мы говорим

2nd person

You speak

Ты говоришь

You speak

Вы говорите

3rd person

He speaks

She speaks

It speaks

Он говорит

Она говорит

Это говорит

They speak

Они говорят

or another example with “-еть” ending in infinitive form of the verb. 

 

Singular

Plural

 

English

Russian

English

Russian

1st person

I watch

Я смотрю

We watch

Мы смотрим

2nd person

You watch

Ты смотришь

You watch

Вы смотрите

3rd person

He watches

She watches

It watches

Он смотрит

Она смотрит

Это смотрит

They watch

Они смотрят

And please keep in mind important note! There is a spelling rule when adding endings to verbs, i.e. after к, г, х, ж, ш, щ, ч, ц write у and а. Never write ю and я instead.

For example: To learn (memorize) – учить

 

Singular

Plural

 

English

Russian

English

Russian

1st person

I learn

Я учу

We learn

Мы учим

2nd person

You learn

Ты учишь

You learn

Вы учите

3rd person

He learns

She learns

It learns

Он учит

Она учит

Это учит

They learn

Они учат

And advice for you: Always learn both the infinitive and the conjugation forms of each verb!!!

If you still find it difficult to study and start considering of finding someone who can teach you Russian language, then don’t hesitate to take our Private Skype lessons with Russian native speakers. 


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