Russian grammar references

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These pages are meant to be helpful references for first-year Russian students, not comprehensive explanations of the whole of Russian grammar. Even advanced students, however, may find them helpful.

Noun declension

Overview of noun declension

Spelling rules that affect noun declension

Noun declension summary sheet (pdf)

Feeling out the cases (notes for heritage-speakers of Russian, nouns only)
Feeling out the cases (notes for heritage-speakers of Russian, adjectives and nouns)

Standard patterns

How to form individual cases

How to form nominative plural
How to form accusative singular
How to form accusative plural
How to form genitive singular
How to form genitive plural
How to form prepositional singular
How to form prepositional plural
How to form dative singular
How to form dative plural
How to form instrumental singular
How to form instrumental plural

Complete declensions by class of noun

First declension

Masculine
Hard stems (default endings)
Guttural stems
Sibilant stems
Soft stems
Stems in й
Stems in ий
Neuter
Hard stems (default endings)
Guttural stems
Sibilant stems
Soft stems
Stems in й
Stems in ий

Second declension

Hard stems (default endings)
Guttural stems
Sibilant stems
Soft stems
Stems in й
Stems in ий

Third declension

Feminine (default endings)
Neuter (nouns in мя)
Masculine

Common variations

Fleeting vowels

Overview of fleeting vowels

Fleeting vowels in к stems

Overview of к stems

First declension: masculine
Second declension

Fleeting vowels in ц stems

First declension: masculine

Other variations

First declension masculine: nominative plural in а́/я́

Common irregularities

Irregular instrumental plurals

Very common irregular nouns: бра́т сестра́ оте́ц мать дочь челове́к и́мя сын друг муж жена́ ребёнок время сосед церковь семья

Surnames

Surnames in -ин, -ын, -ов, -ев, -ёв

Adjective declension

Regular adjective endings | old version of chart

Soft adjective endings in html or MS Word

Pronoun declension

Negative pronouns

Common negative pronouns and adverbs
Negative existential pronouns and adverbs

Verb conjugation

Introduction to Russian Verbs for Heritage Speakers of Russian

Approach #2 to Russian Verbs for Heritage Speakers of Russian

Formation

Infinitives
Past tense
First conjugation
Second conjugation
The four most irregular verb stems in the Russian language
Imperatives
Present verbal adverb (imperfective verbal adverb)
Past verbal adverb (imperfective and perfective past verbal adverb)
Present active participle
Past active participle
Present passive participle
Past passive participle
Short forms of the participles

Atypical verb pairs

reflexive imperfective, non-reflexive perfective
differing stems in imperfective and perfective

Verb triplets

ходить/идти-пойти
ездить/ехать-поехать
бродить/брести-побрести
бегать/бежать-побежать
летать/лететь-полететь
плавать/плыть-поплыть
лазать/лезть-полезть and alternative лазить/лезть-полезть
ползать/ползти-поползти

кататься/катиться-покатиться

водить/вести-повести
носить/нести-понести
возить/везти-повезти
таскать/тащить-потащить
гонять/гнать-погнать
катать/катить-покатить

How to use verbs of motion

Number system

Cardinal numbers

Listing of numbers 1 - 1000
Spelling practice for numbers 1 - 1000
Declension of cardinal numbers

Ordinal numbers

Listing of numbers 1 - 1,000,000,000
Spelling practice for numbers 1 - 1000

Collective numbers

Listing

How words combine (syntax)

Grammatical terminology

Tutorial on subjects and objects
Tutorial on question words with subjects and objects

Review of case usage

This review is aimed at students starting their second year of Russian.

Nominative
Accusative
Genitive
Prepositional
Dative
Instrumental

Sentence types

Active vs. Passive sentences
The two types of это
Impersonal sentences

Cardinal number phrases

How to use the number one
How to use the numbers two, three and four
How to use the number five and similar numbers
How to use the numbers 200, 300 and 400
How to use the numbers 1000 and above
How to use compound numbers (numbers made up of more than one number)

Time phrases

Russian time phrases are tricky in that it is not always clear to a foreigner what preposition or case to use.

Time by the clock

What time is it?

What time is it: on the hour (12 hour clock)
What time is it: during the hour (12 hour clock)
What time is it: half past the hour (12 hour clock)
What time is it: a quarter and half past the hour (combined) (12 hour clock)
What time is it: a quarter to the hour (12 hour clock)
What time is it: minutes in the first half of the hour (12 hour clock)
What time is it: minutes in the second half of the hour (12 hour clock)
What time is it: 24 hour clock

When does it happen?

When does it happen: on the hour (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: during the hour (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: half past the hour (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: a quarter and half past the hour (combined) (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: a quarter to the hour (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: minutes in the first half of the hour (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: minutes in the second half of the hour (12 hour clock)
When does it happen: 24 hour clock

Time by days of the week

What day is it?
On what day?

Time by date and month

What is the date?
On what date?

Time by months of the year

What month is it?
In what month?

The weekend

Relative clauses

Introduction to который

Lexicon

E-mail

Friend, boyfriend, girlfriend

Sic 'em, fetch

False cognates

Много vs. многие

Specific phrases

Напомним, что...


Items under development:

Count nouns versus mass nouns

Use of свой

Dative verbs

Time by year

What year is it? In what year?

Time by decade

Time by century

Time: how long does it take?

Time: from and to (hours, minutes, days, dates)

Location and motion phrases

How to say to/from/at/under/behind

на words

Aspect

Overview
Rules of thumb
Two approaches


Things to add