If you want to know how to say "Hello, how are you" in Russian and you are looking for Basic Russian phrases, you've got to the right page. Before we start teaching you on how to say the most common greetings like “hello” , “hi” and “how are you?” in Russian, please note that for better memorization of those phrases, this lesson requires you to know the Russian letters and ability to read in Cyrillic. If you think you may have issues with reading Russian, please visit our page where you can get a free video lesson teaching you how to read Russian in 24 min. Believe it or not, but if you are a total beginner and you don’t know any Russian phrases or letters you will read Russian after watching that video.
Basic Russian: Formal and Informal language
Russian language has two ways of speaking: “formal” and “informal”.
Formal way shows respect to people you don’t know well or people you’ve just met. It can also be used for people older than you or people who take higher position at your work such as your boss, manager, CEO etc.
Russian informal way shows friendly language. You may use it when you already know the person you are conversing and you can definitely say that he or she is your friend. You can also use this language to people with the same age or those younger than you.
But in some of the situation, you will need to use Russian formal language even with your friend. For example, when you speak with few or more friends at the same time. When it has a plural meaning, you need to use the Russian formal language.
Russian Greetings ( Приветствия ) - How to say “Hi”, “Hello” in Russian?
Learn how to say the most common greetings in Russian and say “hi”, “hello” in Russian comfortably. Find the best phrase you can use for the time of the day, the formality of the situation and the gender of the speaker. Also, you can watch the video on how to say hello in Russian below:
Привет! –It’s rather informal way to say “Hello” or “Hi”. And it has tint of friendly behavior. We use this greeting with friends and colleagues at work and people we know well enough.
Здравствуйте! – This variant of greeting means formal “Hello” and we used more often with people that we want to keep a distance with, it can be boss or manager at work or anybody who has higher status at your work. You can use this to your business partner as it shows respect and business-like method of communication. This is also ideal to use when you probably don’t want to make bad impression and appear like a rude person. Note: we don’t pronounce the 5th letter “в” in the word: Здравствуйте! if you want to sound like a Russian native speaker.
A small remark: If you say Здравствуй! –which is a short version of Russian formal Greeting “Hello” then meaning of it will be informal!
How to say “how are you” in Russian
Usually, after we say our “hi” and “hello”, we then ask the question “How are you?” in Russian:
Как дела? – How are you? Which is also informal and it matches very well with Привет.
So together it will be: Привет! Как дела?
For our formal “Hello” – Здравствуйте! We use quite similar question to informal way but we use genitive case form of personal pronoun in Russian language “your” – у вас. For more information about Genitive case and its rules, we highly recommend you to take our special video course that you can find on our website.
So together it will be: Здравствуйте! Как у вас дела?
There are few ways of How to say “Hello, how are you?”or “Hi, how are you?” in Russian. And I go over them in this short-and-sweet video:
The second way on how to say “How are you?” or “How do you do?” in Russian
The second type of question “How are you?” we can offer is Как поживаешь? And it also has meaning: “How do you do?”
Как поживаешь? – How are you? – and it’s informal way to ask this question.
For Russian formal language we would use Как поживаете?
Здравствуйте! Как поживаете? – Hello! How are you? (formal)
Здравствуй! Как поживаешь?– Hello! How are you? (informal)
The third way on how to say “How are you?” in Russian
The third type to ask “How are you?” is the question “what’s new?” – Что нового?
Russians usually use it instead of asking “How are you?” all the time. But it’s better to use it only with friends. Because it’s rather informal than formal. Don’t use it with your boss! You may seem to be rude or not polite.
The most common greetings in Russian
In case you use common Russian greetings and you want to specify time period such as morning, afternoon or evening, then you can use one of the following depending on the situation:
Доброе утро - Good morning.
Добрый день -Good afternoon.
Добрый вечер -Goodevening.
Доброй ночи– Good night – Russians usually use it as a “wish”but not like a greeting.
Example: “I wish you a good night” – Я желаю тебе доброй ночи!
We offer you our logical determination of time periods for Night, Morning, Day (afternoon) and Evening.
00:00 - 06:00 - ночь - Night
06:00 - 12:00 - утро - Morning
12:00 - 18:00 - день – Day (afternoon)
18:00 - 0:00 - вечер– Evening
The most common answers for Russian greetings
To answer a greeting in Russian, you can choose one of the following variants:
Спасибо, хорошо! Literally it means “Good, thank you”. - Спасибо, хорошо! Or very simple you can use separately the word Good for answer: Хорошо!
Так себе. Literally it means - So so. –You can say Так себе when you don’t want to say “good” or “bad”. This type of answer is excellent for both, formal and informal responses.
Or other options:
Не плохо – which means –Not so bad.
Плохо – means – bad. We hope you don’t use this often in your life.
Как обычно.– As usual.
You can also show your politeness and say something like this:
Рад тебя видеть. – I am glad to see you. – The meaning of it is the same like in English, but it is informal way of saying that. Because it has Informal Persona Pronoun in Accusative case “тебя” (you).
Рад вас видеть. – I am glad to see you. This sentence has Formal Personal pronoun in Accusative case “вас” (you). So that’s why it’s formal language.
A small remark: those sentences were said by male. If female would say that then the letter “а” would be added in the end of the main verb:
Рада тебя видеть.
Рада вас видеть.
Simple Russian Dialogues
Now let’s read some simple dialogues with those examples and hear them by click the audio button.
Привет Вова. – Hello Vova.
Привет Настя. – Hello Nastya.
Как у тебя дела? – How are you?
Не плохо. Спасибо. А у тебя? – Not bad. Thank you. And you?
Спасибо, хорошо! - Thank you, good!
Здравствуйте! – Hello!
Добрый день! – Good afternoon!
Как поживаете? – How are you?
Спасибо, хорошо. А вы? – Good, thank you. And you?
Как обычно! – As usual!
We hope you find common Russian greetings lesson easy and comprehensible. And hope now you know how to say hello in Russian and how are you in Russian.