011 – The verb ‘to be’ in Russian
The verb ‘to be’ is the basic building brick in any language. Today we’ll learn the Russian verb ‘to be’.
‘To be’ in Russian is БЫТЬ [byt’].
It’s an irregular verb and changes completely in the Present tense.
БЫТЬ in the Present tense is ЕСТЬ [yest’] (yes, it’s 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 barely use it in the Present Tense. In oral speech it’s not pronounced at all, and in writing Russians use the hyphen instead of it. Have a look at some examples:
Я – студе́нт. – I am a student.
Ты – учи́тель. – You are a teacher.
Он – до́ктор. – He is a doctor.
Listen to the audio to hear these example phrases.
For your homework, learn the conjugation of the Russian verb ‘быть’ with examples and audio.
Further in our lessons we’ll have more information about the Russian verbs.