Lesson 012

Russian demonstrative pronouns


Continuing with the Russian grammar, today we move to the demonstrative pronouns.

The demonstrative pronouns are the ones that represent things or beings that at the moment you are talking about them are right here or far away. For example “this car” or “those books” (“this” and “those” are demonstrative pronouns).

In Russian, the demonstrative pronouns depend on the gender and number of the subject. Here they are:

э́тот [é-tat]masculine
э́та [é-ta]feminine
э́то [é-ta]neuter
э́ти [é-tee]plural

тот [tot]masculine
та [ta]feminine
то [to]neuter
те [tye]plural

Russian Pod 101

Let’s look at some examples:

э́тот день – this day (day is masculine)
[é-tat dyen’]

э́та кни́га – this book (book is feminine)
[é-ta knée-ga]

э́то письмо́ – this letter (letter is neuter)
[é-ta pees’-mó]

э́ти слова́ – these words (plural)
[é-tee sla-vá]

тот магази́н – that shop (shop is masculine)
[tot ma-ga-zéen]

та су́мка – that bag (bag is feminine)
[ta súm-ka]

то у́тро – that morning (morning is neuter)
[to út-ra]

те дома́ – those houses (plural)
[tye da-má]

How to say “this is something/someone” in Russian

When you introduce a subject for the first time (i.e. when in English you would normally use “is” or “are”), you need to use the neuter pronoun э́то regardless of the gender and number of the subject.

Э́то кни́га.
[é-ta knée-ga]
This (It) is a book.

Э́то пи́сьма.
[é-ta pées’-ma]
These are letters.

Practice the examples of this lesson with the audio recording (at the bottom of the screen under the blue button).

Spotted an error? Let us know please!

4 comments on “012 – Russian demonstrative pronouns”

  1. Sachin says:

    э́та and э́то are pronounced the same irrespective of the gender, whats the difference?

    how do we judge Day as masculine,
    book as feminine,
    letter as neuter,
    shop as masculine,
    bag as feminine,
    morning as neuter,

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Sachin,

      Yes, there is practically no difference in pronouncing это and эта. You can learn more about the pronunciation of the letter О here.

      You can judge if the noun is masculine, feminine of neuter but its ending. There is a lesson about it a bit further. Here we give you the gender of every noun in the examples so you can focus on the demostrative pronouns.

  2. syed salimuddin says:

    its indeed great source of learning russian language

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      We are glad to hear that. Thank you.

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