Past Tense in Russian Language (singular and plural)

If we talk about past tense, absolutely it is related to verbs. In Russian language, there are three periods. That is past tense, present tense and future tense. In this lesson, we are going to talk about the forming of past tense in all gender, singular, and plural.

The conjugation for Russian verbs in past tense are different with the conjugation in present tense. In the present tense, the verbs are changed based on person and number. For example, я пишу ‘I wrote’, ты пишесь ‘you wrote’, он пишет ‘he wrote’, etc. The similar topic about conjugation of present tense verbs in this page: Conjugation in Russian Language.

Meanwhile, the verbs of past tense are changed based on gender and number.

PersonInfinitive VerbPast Tense Form
Он, Я, ТыЧитатьЧитал
Она, Я, ТыЧитатьЧитала
PersonInfinitive VerbPast Tense
** Читать – Read

Pay Attention!

The form of  past tense could not be used without personal pronouns or nouns. For example, it must be like this: я писала ‘I wrote’, он писал ‘he wrote’, мы псали ‘we wrote’, etc.  Examples:

  • Где ты был? Я был на море.
    (gjye ty byl? Ya byl na morye)
    “Where were you? I was at sea.”
  • Что ты там делала? Я ходила на пляж.
    (chto ty tam delala? Ya khodila na plyazh)
    “What did you do there? I went to the shore.”
  • А где были Нина и Виктор? Они тоже были на море, ходили пляж, и плавали.
    (a gjye byli Nina i Viktor? Oni tozhe byli na morye, khodili plyazhm, i plavali)
    “And where were Nina and Viktor? They were also at sea, went to the shore, and swam.”

Exception in Past Tense Verbs!

There are some verbs that differently changed in past tense form. Here they are:

Infinitive VerbsPresent Tense or Future Tense FormPast Tense Form



Я несу

Я везу

Я Расту

Он нёс

Он вёз

Он Рос

Она несла

Она везла

Она Росла

Они несли

Они везли

Они росли



Я могу

Я лягу

Он мог

Он лёг

Она могла

Она легла

Они могли

Они легли



Я ведуОн вёл

Он цвёл

Она вела

Она цвела

Они вели

Они цвели



Я достигну

Я мёрзну

Он достиг

Он мёрз

Она достигла

Она мёрзла

Они достигли

Они мёрзли

ЗаперетьЯ запруОн заперОна заперлаОни заперли



Я ем

Я сяду

Я иду

Он ел

Он сел

Он шёл

Она ела

Она села

Она шла

Они ели

Они сели

Они шли

Those are some explanations about past tense form in Russian language. If you are still a beginner, you could start the lesson with these articles: How to Learn Russian for Beginners, and Basic Russian Words for Beginners. By learning these, you would know some basics of Russian language. Have fun with Russian language and keep fighting!

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