Lesson 002

Hello! and How are you? in Russian

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This is another vocabulary lesson and today we’ll learn some useful Russian phrases. From one of our previous lessons you have already learned a couple of Russian greetings. Today we’ll cover them in details and learn the most common ways to say hello in Russian in formal and informal situations.

In most languages, the standard hello formula usually includes not only hello itself, but also how are you?. To return the greeting you usually say I’m fine, thank you, how are you?.

In Russian, unlike in English, these phrases depend on who you talk to (whether your greeting is formal or informal).

Listen to the audio and repeat after it.

Informal Russian greetings

Russian Pod 101

The most simple and straightforward way to say hello in Russian is приве́т. It is an informal greeting and you can also use it as hi or hey:

Приве́т.
[pree-vyét]
Hi. / Hey. / Hello.

How are you? in Russian is:

Как дела́?
[kak dee-lá]
How are you? How are you doing? (lit. – How are the things?)

The phrase above can be used both in formal and informal situations.

And the next phrase is only appropriate for informal situations as it includes the informal pronoun ты (in the Genitive case):

Как твои́ дела́?
[kak tva-ée dee-lá]
How are you? (lit. – How are your things?)

There are also other way to ask how are you? in Russian:

Как жизнь?
[kak zheezn’]
How are you? (lit. – How is the life?)

Что но́венького?
[chto nó-veen’-ka-va]
What’s new? What’s up?

To reply and to return the question, use the following phrases:

Отли́чно, как у тебя́?
[at-léech-na, kak u tee-byá]
Excellent, how are you?

А ты как?
[a ty kak]
And you?

А твои́ как?
[a tva-ée kak]
And you?

А как у тебя́?
[a kak u tee-byá]
And you?

Formal Russian greetings

Now let’s look at the formal situations. Formal hello in Russian is:

Здра́вствуйте.
[zdrást-vuî-tye]
Good morning (afternoon, evening).

You can always replace hello with wishing people a good time of the day:

До́брое у́тро.
[dób-ra-ye út-ra]
Good morning.

До́брый день.
[dób-ryî dyen’]
Good day / afternoon.

До́брый ве́чер.
[dób-ryî vyé-chyer]
Good evening.

To ask how are you? and to return the question in formal situations use these phrases:

Как ва́ши дела́?
[kak vá-shee dee-lá]
How are you?

Спаси́бо, хорошо́. Как у вас?
[spa-sée-ba, ha-ra-shó. kak u vas?]
Fine, thank you. How about you?

А как ва́ши (дела)?
[a kak vá-shee]
And how about you?

А вы как?
[a vy kak]
And you?

Рад вас ви́деть.
[rat vas vée-deet’]
Nice to see you. (said by a man)

Ра́да вас ви́деть.
[rá-da vas vée-deet’]
Nice to see you. (said by a woman)

Good for both cases

Regardless of who you are talking to, you answer to how are you? can be one of these:

Спаси́бо, хорошо́.
[spa-sée-ba ha-ra-shó]
Fine, thank you.

Спаси́бо, непло́хо.
[spa-sée-ba nee-pló-ha]
Not bad, thank you.

Норма́льно.
[nar-mál’-na]
Okay.

Как обы́чно.
[kak a-bých-na]
As usual.

Всё в поря́дке, спаси́бо.
[fsyó v pa-ryát-kye, spa-sée-ba]
Everything is good, thank you.

Ничего́ осо́бенного.
[nee-chee-vó a-só-been-na-va]
Nothing special.

Так себе́.
[tak see-byé]
So so.

Не о́чень.
[nee o-cheen’]
Not very well.

Пло́хо.
[pló-ha]
Bad.

Отли́чно.
[at-léech-na]
Great.

Замеча́тельно.
[za-mee-chá-teel’-na]
Great. Perfect.

Прекра́сно.
[pree-krás-na]
Great. Perfect. Wondeful.

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Now you are familiar with the basic Russian greetings and know how to say hi, hello, and how are you? in Russian and to respond to a greeting.

We hope you enjoy our lessons. Stick with us and we will gladly help you on your way to learn the Russian language!

The offline version of this lesson is available here

Start the quiz
  • Question # 1
    Translate what you hear
    • bye
    • hello (formal)
    • hi
    • how are you?
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 2
    Translate what you hear
    • Good morning.
    • Good afternoon.
    • Good everning.
    • Good night.
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 3
    Translate to English:
    Все хорошо, спасибо.
    • Fine, thank you.
    • How about you?
    • Hello, how are you?
    • Everything is good, thank you.
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 4
    Say it in Russian:
    Good evening
    • до́брый день
    • до́брый ве́чер
    • до́брое ве́чер
    • до́брое у́тро
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 5
    What does it literally mean: как жизнь?
    • How is your life?
    • What's up?
    • And you?
    • How is your day?
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 6
    Translate to English:
    so-so
    • так себе́
    • там себе́
    • не о́чень
    • отли́чно
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 7
    Which option is incorrect?
    • А как у тебя́?
    • А твои́ как?
    • А как у ты?
    • А ты как?
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 8
    Which greeting is not appropriate for formal situations?
    • До́брый ве́чер.
    • Как жизнь?
    • Как ва́ши дела́?
    • Здра́вствуйте.
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 9
    Translate what you hear
    • Fine, thank you.
    • Not bad, thank you.
    • Everything is good, thank you.
    • Great, thank you.
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 10
    Translate what you hear
    • As usual.
    • Nothing special.
    • Not bad.
    • Not very well.
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
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11 comments on “002 – Hello! and How are you? in Russian”

  1. virginia hotchkiss says:

    What does a word that sounds like doshvadanya mean?

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Virginia,

      До свидания means “goodbye” in Russian. You can learn more about it here: https://learnrussianstepbystep.com/en/how-to-say-goodbye-in-russian/

  2. Bill Watters says:

    Okay must be my hearing then 🙂

  3. Bill Watters says:

    I heard a Russian saying Hi more like Breevat than pree-vyat.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Bill,

      I’ve been speaking Russian all my life. “Hi” in Russian is привет [pree-vyét]. There is no word that sounds like “breevat” in Russian.

  4. Bhoopendra says:

    very nice, I like this…

  5. Kirk says:

    Thanks, I’m enjoying this and becoming really enthused about the fact that I’m actually learning Russian! I like the new look too.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Kirk,

      Thanks for the feedback. We are glad to help.

  6. Krishna Prasanna says:

    Preevyet.zdrastvuytee.
    atleechna.
    Spaseeba.

  7. spartc says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmm

    very nice

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