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Commonly Used Russian Verbs

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In learning any language, understanding and using verbs is crucial because they describe actions and states of being. Russian, with its rich and complex grammar, is no different. Here is a list of common Russian verbs that one is likely to encounter in everyday conversation, with definitions and example sentences.

Быть (byt’) – To be
This is the verb used to describe existence or a state of being.
Она была очень умной студенткой.
(She was a very smart student.)

Иметь (imet’) – To have
This verb is used to indicate possession.
У меня есть кот.
(I have a cat.)

Делать (delat’) – To do, to make
This versatile verb can mean both “to do” and “to make.”
Он делает домашнее задание.
(He is doing homework.)

Говорить (govorit’) – To speak, to say
A fundamental verb for communication.
Мы говорим по-русски.
(We speak Russian.)

Понимать (ponimat’) – To understand
It is crucial in language learning to convey or ask for understanding.
Ты понимаешь, что я говорю?
(Do you understand what I am saying?)

Хотеть (khotet’) – To want
Expressing desires and wishes often involves this verb.
Я хочу увидеть этот фильм.
(I want to see this movie.)

Мочь (mozh’) – To be able to, can
This modal verb is used to express ability.
Он может плавать очень хорошо.
(He can swim very well.)

Нуждаться (nuzhdat’sya) – To need
When you require something, this verb comes into play.
Я нуждаюсь в вашей помощи.
(I need your help.)

Идти (idti) – To go (on foot)
Used to describe the action of moving by foot.
Дети идут в школу.
(The children are going to school.)

Есть (est’) – To eat
This verb describes the action of consuming food.
Она ест завтрак.
(She is eating breakfast.)

Пить (pit’) – To drink
It refers to the action of consuming liquids.
Мы пьем чай каждое утро.
(We drink tea every morning.)

Любить (lyubit’) – To love
An important verb describing deep affection.
Я люблю тебя.
(I love you.)

Смотреть (smotret’) – To watch, to look
Refers to the action of viewing with attention.
Он смотрит телевизор.
(He is watching TV.)

Играть (igrat’) – To play
Describes the action of engaging in a game or sport.
Дети играют в футбол на улице.
(The children play soccer in the street.)

Работать (rabotat’) – To work
This verb is about performing a job or task.
Я работаю в офисе.
(I work in an office.)

In summary, these commonly used Russian verbs form the core of many conversations and are a great starting point for those learning the language. Incorporating them into your vocabulary will significantly improve your capacity to communicate in Russian. Remember, practice is key to mastering these verbs and other aspects of the Russian language.

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