The Explanation of Russian Infinitive Verbs

In this website, there are some topics talking about verbs. One of them is Figurative Meanings in Russian Verbs of Motion. For now, we will talk about verbs again, it is  Russian infinitive verbs. What is that?

In Russian language, there is an immutable indefinite form of verb (неизменяемая неопределлённая форма глагола) or mostly called Infinitive. This form only marks action or situation, but it does not define time, person or number.

Infinitive – initial form of the verb, as well as form of nominative case – the original form of noun, adjective, etc.  In this form, all verbs in dictionaries are given. In infinitive form, it is used all remaining forms of verb.


(After Vowels)


(After Consonants)


(After Vowels)


































Infinitive verbs usually end in ТЬ, ТИ, and ЧЬ. In the so-called reflexive verbs, reflexive particle СЯ (after consonants) or  СЬ (after vowels) is added to the infinitive verbs.

The Use of Infinitive

Infinitive verbs are used:

In the formation of future tense imperfective aspect.

For examples:

Я буду                   читать.                       ‘I will              read.’

Ты будешь            рисовать.                   ‘You will         draw.’

Он будет              играть.                       ‘He will           play.’

Мы будем             работать.                 ‘We will          work.’

Note : For denotation of desire, proficiency, possibility, impossibility, intention, advice, command, permit, requests combined with verbs: хотеть ‘want’, уметь ‘be able to’, любить ‘love/like’, собираться ‘ready’, советовать ‘suggest’, просить ‘ask’, etc.

For examples:

Я хочу                   танцевать.                ‘I want to                    dance.’

Я умею                  рисовать.                   ‘I am able to                draw.’

Я (не) могу           плавать                      ‘I can(not)                   swim.’

Я люблю               читать.                       ‘I love                          reading.’

Я собираюсь        учиться.                      ‘I am ready                  to study.’

Я советую вам    отдохнуть.               ‘I suggest you             to rest.’

Я прошу вас         заниматься.              ‘I ask you                    to study.’

Pay Attention! Infinitive is not used with verb Знать ‘know’.

For denotation of the beginning, continuation and an end of action: начать ‘start’, стать ‘become’, продолжать ‘continue’, перестать ‘stop’, кончить ‘to finish’, etc.

For examples:

Я начал (стал)     работать.                 ‘I started                     working.’

Ты продолжал     работать.                 ‘You continued           working.’

Он перестал        работать.                 ‘He stopped                working.’

Она кончила        читать.                     ‘She finished               reading.

For indication of the purpose of motion verbs: идти ‘go’, ходить ‘walk’, ехать ‘drive/travel’, ездить ‘drive/travel (back and forth)’, пойти ‘go’, прийти ‘come’, поехать ‘depart’, etc.

For examples:

Я иду                     обедать.                       ‘I go                to have lunch.’

Он поехал             отдыхать.                 ‘He went         to have a vacation.’

Она уехала           учиться.                     ‘She left          to study.’

Они пошли           купаться.                   ‘They went      to take a bath.’

Read Also: 11 Hypnotizing Metro Stations in St. Petersburg

For indication of necessity, possibility, impossibility or prohibition which is doing action in combination with words: надо ‘must’, нужно ‘must’, необходимо ‘necessary’, можно ‘possible’, нельзя ‘must not’, пора ‘it is time’, and many more, in impersonal sentences.

For examples:

Ему надо                работать.                 ‘He has to                    work.’

Ей необходимо     отдохнуть.                ‘She needs to              take a rest.’

Нам можно           купаться.                   ‘We may                      take a bath’.

Вам нельзя            курить.                       ‘You must not             smoke.’

Им пора                 уходить.                     ‘It is time for them      to leave.’

For indicating (physical or mental) condition of people in combination with adverbs on –O, derived from qualitative adjectives: приятно ‘pleased’, полезно ‘advisable’, вредно ‘bad’, and many more, in impersonal sentences.

For examples:

Нам приятно       гулять.                      ‘We are pleased                       to walk.’

Детям полезно     бегать.                      ‘It is advisable for children     to run.’

Вам вредно           курить.                       ‘It is bad for you                     to smoke.’

For the expression of impossibility committing action due to absences of object, place, time, and many more, in combination with negative pronoun and adverbs: некого ‘nobody’, нечего ‘nothing’, некуда ‘nowhere’, некогда ‘once’, and many more, in impersonal sentences.

For examples:

Мне некого           спросить.                    ‘I have no one             to ask.’

Ему не с кем         поговорить.               ‘He has no one            to talk to.’

Им некуда             пойти.                          ‘They have nowhere    to go

Нам некогда        разговаривать.          ‘We once                     have a conversation.’

For indication of intention, responsibility, readiness, and many more, with some short adjectives: должен ‘must’, обязан ‘must’, намерен ‘intend to’, готов ‘prepared’, рад ‘glad’, and many more.

For examples:

Он должен сейчас прийти.        ‘He must go now.’

Она всегда готова помочь.        ‘She is always ready to help.’

Я рад познакомиться с вами.    ‘I am glad to get acquainted with you.’

Мы готовы заниматься.            ‘We are ready to study.’

Those are the explanations about infinitive verbs in Russian language. For other lessons or other Russian topics, you could check some of them: 5 Most Interesting Winter Festival in Russia and Wedding Congratulations in Russian Language That You Must Know. By practicing more and more, we will get used to Russian language bit by bit. So, have fun with Russian! See you!

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