024 – The Present tense of Russian verbs

In the previous lesson we’ve learned that all Russian verbs are divided into two groups called the first and second conjugations.

Today we will learn to conjugate the Russian verbs in the Present tense.

Unlike in English, there is only one Present tense in Russian language. It means that the phrase я де́лаю can be translated both as “I do” and “I’m doing”.

In order to form the Present tense from an infinitive, you need to drop the ending and to add one of the following endings depending on the subject of the sentence.

The Present tense of the verbs of first conjugation

я – …ю
ты – …ешь
он/она/оно – …ет
мы – …ем
вы – …ете
они – …ют

For example:

знатьto know

я зна́ю
ты зна́ешь
он зна́ет
мы зна́ем
вы зна́ете
они́ зна́ют

понима́тьto understand

я понима́ю
ты понима́ешь
он понима́ет
мы понима́ем
вы понима́ете
они понима́ют

The Present tense of the verbs of second conjugation

Russian Pod 101

я – …у/ю
ты – …ишь
он/она/оно – …ит
мы – …им
вы – …ите
они – …ат/ят

For example:

говори́тьto speak

я говорю́
ты говори́шь
он говори́т
мы говори́м
вы говори́те
они говоря́т

ходи́тьto walk

я хожу́ *
ты хо́дишь
он хо́дит
мы хо́дим
вы хо́дите
они хо́дят

* Note that this verb has a changing stem.

Soon you will notice that because the form of the verb already tells us who is the subject of the sentence (I, you, them, etc.), Russians often omit the personal pronouns all together (as they d it in Spanish).

Practice all today’s Russian verbs with the audio track.

Present tense memo chart

Person 1st. conjugation 2d. conjugation
он / она / оно

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