Lesson 076

Russian adverbs

In today’s lesson we are getting familiar with the Russian adverbs. The adverbs are the parts of speech which tell how, when, where and why something happens or happened. They can describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

Common Russian adverbs

Here are some examples of the Russian adverbs:

хорошо́good, well
пло́хоbad (badly)
мно́гоmany, much
ма́лоa few

Use of Russian adverbs

To learn more Russian adverbs with examples and audio, visit this link.

The most important thing you need to know about the Russian adverbs is that the Russians use them in the sentences where the subject has no evident gender or number, while English speakers use the adjectives in these cases. For example:

Занима́ться спо́ртом – э́то поле́зно для здоро́вья.
It’s healthy to do sports.

Кури́ть вре́дно для ва́шего здоро́вья.
To smoke is bad for your health.


Заня́тия спо́ртом поле́зны.
Sport activities are useful. (занятия is plural, полезны is a short form of adjective)

Сигаре́ты вредны́.
Cigarettes are harmful. (сигареты is plural, вредны is a short form of adjective)

Russian Pod 101

Russian adverbs are also often used to describe physical and emotional states:

Мне пло́хо.
I’m not feeling well.

Нам ве́село.
We have fun.

Ей хорошо́.
She feels good.

Вам гру́стно?
Are you sad?

Forming Russian adverbs

From adjectives

In most cases you can form Russian adverbs from the adjectives. But there are some cases when the adverbs are derived from other parts of speech.

By replacing the endings -ЫЙ/-ИЙ of adjectives with -О/-Е you can get many Russian adverbs:

хоро́ший -> хорошо́ (well)
высо́кий -> высоко́ (high)
шу́мный -> шу́мно (noisy)
горя́чий -> горячо́ (hot)
я́сный -> я́сно (clear)

Russian Pod 101

If the adjective ends in -НИЙ, the -ИЙ must be replaced with .

кра́йний -> кра́йне (extreme, ultimate, last)
сре́дний -> сре́дне (average, middle)

Remember these exceptions:

по́здний -> по́здно (late)
ра́нний -> ра́но (early)

Adjectives ending in -СКАЙ/-ЦКИЙ take the adverbial ending :

ва́рварский – ва́рварски (barbarian, barbarous, uncivilized)

But some adverbs can’t be formed this way (for example, the adverbs of nationality). In these cases Russians use the prefix ПО-:

ру́сский -> по-ру́сски (Russian)
де́тский -> по-де́тски (child)
взро́слый -> по-взро́слому (adult)


From other parts of the speech

Many other adverbs are derived from other parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, numerals, prepositions + nouns/pronouns. Examples:

у́тро (morning) -> у́тром (in the morning)
о́сень (autumn) -> о́сенью (in autumn)
мой (my) -> по-мо́ему (in my opinion)
с + нача́ло (from + beginning) -> снача́ла (at first)
один (one) -> одна́жды (once)

Sometimes from one adjective you can form two adverbs with slightly different meanings:

хоро́шийgood (adjective)
хорошо́well (adverb)
по-хоро́шемуin an amicable / friendly way (adverb)

у́мныйclever, smart (adjective)
умно́cleverly, wisely (adverb)
по-у́мномуin an clever way (adverb)

Practice today’s examples with the audio track and try to memorize all the Russian adverbs of this lesson.

The offline version of this lesson is available here

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