Present Tense of Verbs in Russian Language

In all languages, verb tenses are very important. It has a function to describe the time of action when something happens. When we speak with the wrong tenses, it can change the meaning of the sentence because of the wrong time. Let’s learn Russian step by step. For now, we begin with the present tense of verbs. As in English, we use the present tense to express habits, point out facts, or something that happens when we speak. In studying tenses, it would be great if you had a good understanding of conjugation in Russian language, as well as knowing the difference between the perfective aspect and imperfective aspect of Russian verb.

Conjugation of Present Tense in Russian Verb

Russian verbs are divided into two groups of conjugations, first conjugation and second conjugation.

The first conjugation is a verb that has the letters -a, -я, -ова, -ну, -е before the suffix –ть.

For Example:

  • Читать – to read
  • Слушать – to listen, hear
  • Требовать – to demand
  • Терять – to lose
  • Вздохнуть  – to take breath
  • Уметь – to be able

Mostly, the second conjugation is a verb that has the the suffix ить 

  • Говорить – to say
  • Смотреть – to watch
  • Верить – to believe
  • Звонить – to call
  • Ходить – to walk

The formula of Verbs

To make a sentence using the present tense of verbs, you must know and memorize the conjugation verb formula depending on the pronoun and also the number.

First Conjugation


[tr][th]Pronoun[/th] [th]читать[/th] [th]терять[/th] [th]требовать[/th] [th]жить[/th][/tr]

[tr][td]я [/td] [td]читаю[/td] [td]теряю [/td] [td]требую[/td] [td]живу [/td][/tr]

[tr][td]ты [/td] [td]читаешь[/td] [td]теряешь[/td] [td]требуешь[/td] [td]живёшь[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]он/она  [/td] [td]читает[/td] [td]теряет[/td] [td]требует[/td] [td]живёт[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]мы [/td] [td]читаем[/td] [td]теряем[/td] [td]требуем[/td] [td]живём [/td][/tr]

[tr][td]вы [/td] [td]читаете[/td] [td]теряете[/td] [td]требуете[/td] [td]живёте[/td][/tr]

[tr][td] они [/td] [td]читают[/td] [td]теряют[/td] [td]требуют[/td] [td]живут[/td][/tr]


We can say that the first conjugation has suffixes: -ю/-у, -ешь/-ёшь, ет/-ёт,ем/-ём,-ете/-ёте, and -ют/-ут.

Second Conjugation


[tr][th]Pronoun[/th] [th]ходить[/th] [th]говорить[/th] [th]учить[/th] [th]любить[/th][/tr]

[tr][td]я [/td] [td]хожу[/td] [td]говорю[/td] [td]учу[/td] [td]люблю[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]ты [/td] [td]ходишь[/td] [td]говоришь[/td] [td]учишь[/td] [td]любишь[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]он/она  [/td] [td]ходит[/td] [td]говорит[/td] [td]учит[/td] [td]любит[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]мы [/td] [td]ходим[/td] [td]говорим[/td] [td]учим[/td] [td]любим [/td][/tr]

[tr][td]вы [/td] [td]ходите[/td] [td]говорите[/td] [td]учите[/td] [td]любите[/td][/tr]

[tr][td] они [/td] [td]ходят[/td] [td]говорят[/td] [td]учат[/td] [td]любят[/td][/tr]


We can say that the second conjugation has suffixes: -ю/-у,-ишь,-ит,-им,-ите, and-ят/-ат.

Irregular Verbs

There are some exceptions, sometimes the verb is not formed as usual. You should memorize kind of these verbs.

For example:

  • Писать (to write) – пишу, пишешь, пишет, пишем, пишете, and пишут
  • Плакать (to cry) – плачу, плачешь, плачет, плачем, плачете, and плачут
  • Готовить (to prepare) – готовлю, готовишь, готовит, готовим, готовите, and готовят
  • Ехать (to go) – еду, едешь, едет, едем, едете, and едут

The example of sentences:

  1. Я читаю книгу
    (Ya chitayu knigu)
    I am reading a book.
  2. Он говорит по английски.
    (On govorit po angliyski)
    He speaks English
  3. мы любим смотреть телевизор.
    (My lyubim smotret’ televizor)
    We love to watch TV.

In addition memorize the formula above, you need to exercise makes the conjugation of each pronoun. It’s ok to practice while still looking at the formula. Practice a lot will make your brain understand the conjugation of every personal pronoun in Russian language when you make a sentence. If you still hesitate to learn Russian, this is the reason why learning Russian is important. Good luck!

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