023 – Russian verbs – the Infinitive

We have learned the basics of Russian nouns and pronouns. Now the only thing we are missing to start composing real sentences is the verbs. Today we start learning Russian verbs and cover the initial form of the verb in many languages – the infinitive.

All Russian verbs are divided into two groups according to the type of ending which they take in their conjugation. They are generally called the first and second conjugations.

The first conjugation of Russian verbs

These verbs end in ТЬ (excepting ИТЬ) and ТИ. For example:

быть [byt’]to be

знать [znat’]to know

ви́деть [veé-deet’]to see

де́лать [dyé-lat’]to do

идти́ [eed-tée]to go

The second conjugation of Russian verbs

These verbs end in ИТЬ plus some exceptions. For example:

проси́ть [pra-séet’]to ask

говори́ть [ga-va-réet’]to speak

держа́ть [deer-zhát’]to hold


There is number of exceptions in this system.

For example, the verbs
– бежа́ть [bee-zhát’]to run
– хоте́ть [ha-tyét’]to want
belong to ‘mixed’ type of conjugation.

Now, practice all the verbs you learned today with the audio track.

Learn more Russian verbs with the Russian Word of the Day.

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