023 – Russian verbs: Introduction – The Infinitive

We have already learned the basics of Russian nouns and pronouns. The only thing that we are lacking to start composing the real life sentences is the verbs.

Today we start learning the Russian verbs and cover the initial form of the verb – the infinitive.

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

The first conjugation of Russian verbs

These verbs end in ТЬ (except 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

Russian Pod 101

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 the ‘mixed’ type of conjugation.

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

Make sure you’ve memorized the conjugation types as you will need them in the following lessons.

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