Russian Verb Conjugation

What is the verb conjugation in Russian language? Basically, the conjugation of verb in the Russian language is a verb change by person and number accordingly (for example: I speak – Я говорю – VS – they speak – Они говорят). In this case the personal pronoun “I – Я” and personal pronoun “They – Они” make personal and quantitative change to the verb so ending of the same Russian verb gets changed. That is what is called: “Russian verb conjugation”.

In modern Russian language, verbs have two conjugations form: the 1st and 2nd conjugations. There is the knowledge necessity of correctly identifying the letters “Е” or “И” in unstressed endings.

The rule states that the First conjugation refers to the verbs with the following endings

(example with the verb “to knit – вязать”):

Number

Person / Personal pronoun

Conjugation ending

Conjugated Verb

Singular

Я –I

-у (-ю)

вяжу

Ты – You

-ешь (-ёшь)

вяжешь

Он, Она, Оно / He, She, It

ет (-ёт)

вяжет

Plural

Вы – You

-ете (-ёте)

вяжете

Мы – We

-ем (-ём)

вяжем

Они – They

-ут (-ют)

вяжут

The Second conjugation includes verbs with the following endings

(example with the verb “to hear – слышать”): 

Number

Person / Personal pronoun

Conjugation ending

Conjugated Verb

Singular

Я –I

-у (-ю)

слышу

Ты – You

-ишь

слышишь

Он, Она, Оно / He, She, It

-ит

слишит

Plural

Вы – You

-ите

слышите

Мы – We

-им

слышим

Они – They

-ат (-ят)

слышат

To the Second conjugation we also can include verbs with unstressed personal endings:

–       –ить (except for: брить – to shave, стелить – to spread (lay), зиждиться – to be based / founded (on);

–       7 verbs with ending –еть (обидеть – to offend, терпеть – to suffer, зависеть – to depend on, вертеть – to spin, видеть – to see, смотреть – to look, ненавидеть – to hate);

–       4 verbs with ending –ать (слышать – to hear, гнать – to urge (on), дышать to breath, держать – to keep (hold).


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The First conjugation includes all other verbs with unstressed personal endings -еть, -ать, -ять, -оть, -уть, -ыть (таять – to melt, копать – to dig, мокнуть – to get wet. The personal ending of the mentioned examples in unstressed position have the Russian letter “е” – это тает – It melts; это копает – It digs; это мокнет – it gets wet. It is worth to pay attention to the fact that verbs with prefixes refer to the same conjugation as non-prefixes from which they are formed.

So, in order to determine which conjugation, the verb belongs to, and what vowel letter should be written in its end, it is necessary to find out where the stress falls in the word. If the vowel letter is under the stress, then it is in a strong position. However, if the verb ending is in an unstressed position, the verb must be put in an indefinite (infinitive verb) form.

In purpose to determine the verb conjugation with an unstressed personal ending, you should do the following:

– Put the verb in an indefinite form (Он мечтает – мечтать (he is dreaming – to dream) to determine which vowel stands before –ть (in this case it’s “a”).

– Now, you look in the information above, where you see that for the Second conjugation the ending “-ать” is not a case (it’s not one of the 4 exceptions from the rule). That means it is the First conjugation. 

If you feel like you have questions to be asked or you want to practice Verb Conjugation in Russian, please, click the button below to schedule an appointment with a professional tutor. Our professional Russian native speakers will help you to study everything about the Russian language.


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Russian Grammar

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