DEFINITION: A Russian tense indicates the relationship between the time when and action takes places and the verb that one must use to structure a sentence.

Russian language has different times to express sentences. These times are known as Tenses, it is important to learn about this topic in order to be able to conjugate Russian verbs. The conjugation of tense have a gender and person as you can see to below.

Past Tense

For form the past tense in Russian language, you should remove the word ть and put the word л, this for all the persons and for the gender you should put лa in gender feminine, лo in gender neuter and ли in plural.

Person Verb Russian Russian Past Pronunciation
I / я write написать написал napisal
He / он play играть играл igral
She / она dance танцевать танцевала tantsevala
It / оно work работать Работало Rabotalo
They / они cook готовить готовили gotovili

Present Tense

The present tense in Russian language is different to English, because in English the present tense have many forms and the Russian have only one form, that contain all forms of English.


I work.
I do work.
I am working.
I have been working.

All these forms in Russian are: Я работаю.

Verb Russian Pronunciation
write написать napisatʹ
play играть igratʹ
dance танцевать tantsevatʹ
work работать rabotatʹ
cook готовить gotovitʹ

  • He plays soccer all Saturdays.
  • Он играет в футбол все субботам.
  • On igraet v futbol vse subbotam.

  • He is playing soccer
  • Он играет в футбол.
  • On igraet v futbol

  • He is to play soccer.
  • Он должен играть в футбол.
  • On dolzhen igratʹ v futbol.

Future Tense

In Russian language exists two forms of future tenses, the simple and compound future tense.
  1. Future Simple
    It is formed by a Russian verb perfective more a personal ending.

    • She will read.
    • Она прочитают.
    • Ona prochitayut.

    • She will cook.
    • Она приготовит.
    • Ona budet gotovitʹ.

    • She will play.
    • Она сыграет.
    • Ona budet igratʹ.

    • She will drink.
    • Она выпьете.
    • Ona vypʹete.

  2. Future Compound
    It is formed by Russian verb imperfective more the verb to be in Russian быть.

    • She will read.
    • Она будет читать.
    • Ona budet chitatʹ.

    • She will cook.
    • Она будет готовить.
    • Ona budet gotovitʹ.

    • She will play.
    • Она будет играть.
    • Ona budet igratʹ.

    • She will drink.
    • Она будет пить.
    • Ona budet pitʹ.

    Note: The verb to be in Russian быть varies with the person.

Tenses in Russian videos

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