"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’].
Be careful, as it looks and sounds absolutely the same as the infinitive of 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 (plural).
Они́ у́мные. – They are smart.
As you might have noticed, there are no articles in these sentences either. It’s because articles do not exist in the Russian language.
Practice the examples of this lesson with the audio recording.
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
- "To be" in Russian
- The infinitive of the Russian verbs
- Russian Present tense
- Russian verb aspects
- Russian Past tense
- "To be" in the Past tense
- Reflexive verbs
- Future tense in Russian
- To go in Russian - Идти and ехать
- Russian Imperative mood (Command form)
- Russian verbs of motion (unprefixed)
- Prefixed verbs of motion
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