Lesson 013

The infinitive of the Russian verbs

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We have already learned a few Russian nouns and pronouns. The only thing that we are missing to start composing Russian sentences is verbs.

In this lesson, we start learning the Russian verbs and cover the initial form of the verb – the infinitive.

You can recognize Russian verbs in their infinitive form by -ТЬ or -ТИ at the end. Some rare Russian verbs also end in -ЧЬ.

All Russian verbs are divided into two groups according to the ending they take when conjugated. These groups are generally called the first and the second conjugations.

The first conjugation of the Russian verbs

The first conjugation group includes most of the verbs ending in -ТЬ (except the verbs ending in -ИТЬ) plus the verbs ending in -ТИ.

For example:

ду́мать [dú-mat’]to think

знать [znat’]to know

де́лать [dyé-lat’]to do

гуля́ть [gu-lyát’]to walk, to be outside

боле́ть [ba-lyét’]to be sick, to hurt

идти́ [eet-tée]to go

The second conjugation of Russian verbs

The second conjugation verbs end in -ИТЬ. This group also include some verbs-exceptions that have other endings. For example:

проси́ть [pra-séet’]to ask

говори́ть [ga-va-réet’]to speak

держа́ть [deer-zhát’]to hold (exception)

Russian Pod 101

Exceptions

There is a 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.

There are also some irregular verbs the conjugation of which doesn’t follow the common rules. These verbs need to be memorized.

In the following lessons, we will learn how to conjugate Russian verbs in different tenses.

Congratulation on getting more familiar with the Russian verbs! If you feel like learning more Russian verbs right away, visit the following link: Russian verbs list.

We hope you enjoy learning Russian with us. If you have any questions, fon’t hesitate to post them in the comments!

The offline version of this lesson is available here

Start the quiz
  • Question # 1
    Say it in Russian:
    to ask
    • знать
    • брать
    • проси́ть
    • бежа́ть
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 2
    Which verb belongs to the second conjugation type?
    • де́лать
    • знать
    • говори́ть
    • хоте́ть
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 3
    Translate to English:
    хоте́ть
    • to hold
    • to run
    • to want
    • to speak
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 4
    Translate to English:
    держать
    • to hold
    • to ask
    • to speak
    • to run
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 5
    What conjugation does the verb that means "to know" belong to?
    • first
    • second
    • third
    • mixed
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 6
    Say it in Russian:
    to do
    • держа́ть
    • де́лать
    • проси́ть
    • бежа́ть
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 7
    What conjugation do the verbs that end in -ти belong to?
    • first
    • second
    • third
    • mixed
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 8
    Say it in Russian:
    to go
    • де́лать
    • бежа́ть
    • хоте́ть
    • идти́
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 9
    Translate to English:
    бежать
    • to run
    • to want
    • to hold
    • to speak
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
    Next
  • Question # 10
    What conjugation does the verb "гулять" belong to?
    • first
    • second
    • third
    • mixed
    Answered 0 out of 10
    Correct answers 0 (0%)
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