The Russian language has three tenses: present, past and future. Today we want to teach you one of these tenses in Russian language. And now here is a question for you: What is the first tense you should start with? That’s right! It’s Present Tenses in Russian language. It’s quite obvious that every Tense in any language always starts with Present Tense.
It worth to mention that Present tense in Russian equals to Present Simple, Present Continuous, Present Perfect Continuous in English.
Those three sentences can be equally translated in Russian Present tense form.
Present Perfect Continuous
I live in Moscow. – Я живу в Москве.
I am going to Moscow. – Я еду в Москву.
I have been living in Moscow for 10 years already. – Я живу в Москве уже 10 лет.
Please note: Present Perfect in English under its meaning equals to Past Tense in Russian language.
So now, when you see that Present tense in Russian language isn’t hard to understand, we want to teach you the conjugation (or formation) of Russian verbs according to each of the subject pronouns. See the following table:
You probably already read our previous article “The infinitive verb in Russian” and you know that Russian infinitive verbs end with: -ать | -ять | -еть | -уть | -оть | -ыть | -ти | -чь | -зть | -сть | -ить. If you are still confused with Infinitive Verb in Russian then we highly suggest you to read that article now.
Most Russian verbs fall into two conjugation types: first conjugation and second conjugation.
# First conjugation type
If you have ending “–ать” or “–ять” in infinitive form of the verb then it is the first conjugation type. To form the Present tense in Russian of first conjugation verbs remove the ending –ть from infinitive form of Russian verb and add the appropriate Present tense ending such as: -ю (-у ); -ешь; -ете; -ем; -ют (- ут) and -ет.
Example with “–ать” – читать – to read:
or another example with “–ять” ending in infinitive form of the verb.
Now we have to mention that the First conjugation type has some irregulars from the general rule. And it’s better explained in #19th Video lesson of Russian Basic Course available on our website. We promise you if you enroll that course you won’t regret it. It has all necessary explanations (with quizzes and descriptions to each video or the course) enough to understand Russian language up to Upper-Intermediate level.
# Second conjugation type
If you have ending “–ить” or “–еть” in infinitive form of the verb then it is the second conjugation type. To form the present tense in Russian of second conjugation verbs remove three final letters (–ить or –еть) from infinitive and replace them by the appropriate present tense ending such as: -ю (-у); -ишь; -ите; -им; -ят (-ат) and -ит.
Example with “–ить” – говорить – to speak:
or another example with “–еть” ending in infinitive form of the verb.
And please keep in mind important note! There is a spelling rule when adding endings to verbs, i.e. after к, г, х, ж, ш, щ, ч, ц write у and а. Never write ю and я instead.
For example: To learn (memorize) – учить
And advice for you: Always learn both the infinitive and the conjugation forms of each verb!!!
If you still find it difficult to study and start considering of finding someone who can teach you Russian language, then don’t hesitate to take our Private Skype lessons with Russian native speakers.