The verb "to be" in Russian
The verb “to be” is the basic building block in any language. Today we will learn the Russian verb “to be”.
“To be” in Russian is БЫТЬ [byt’].
It is an irregular verb and it changes completely in the Present tense.
БЫТЬ in the Present tense is ЕСТЬ [yest’] (it looks and sounds absolutely the same as the verb “to eat”, but don’t confuse them).
What makes the Russian verb “to be” even more irregular is that Russians do not really use it in the Present Tense except for rare cases. Have a look at these examples:
Я студе́нт. – I am a student.
Ты учи́тель. – You are a teacher.
Он до́ктор. – He is a doctor.
Она́ краси́вая. – She is beautiful.
Вы до́брые. – You are kind.
Они́ у́мные. – They are smart.
As you might have noticed, there are no articles in these sentences either. It’s because they do not exist in the Russian language.
Practice the examples of this lesson with the audio recording (at the bottom of the screen under the blue button).
Congratulations on learning your first Russian verb! Stick with us, and we will help you with your journey to learn Russian! 🙂
For your homework, practice the conjugation of the Russian verb “быть” with examples and audio.
More lessons on the Russian verbs
- The verb "to be" in Russian (#011)
- Russian verbs: Introduction - The Infinitive (#023)
- The Present tense of the Russian verbs (#024)
- Practice Russian Present Tense with questions (#028)
- The Past tense of Russian verbs (#039)
- Aspects of Russian verbs (#068)
- Perfective and imperfective verbs - Practice (#069)
- Use of the verb 'быть' in the Past tense (#073)
- Future tense with imperfective verbs (#095)
- Future tense with perfective verbs (#096)
- To go in Russian - Идти and ехать (#097)
- Past, Present, and Future of Russian verbs - Practice (#098)
- Imperative mood (Command form) of Russian verbs (#099)
- Commands for the 1st and 3d persons (#100)
- Reflexive verbs (#113)
- Russian verbs of motion (unprefixed) (#159)
- Prefixed verbs of motion (#160)
- Verbs of motion: practice (#161)
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