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Russian Verbs Cheat Sheet by

The basics of Russian conjugation including verbal aspect, moods and tenses

Infinitive endings

-ть / -ти / -чь

Verbal Aspect (how the action takes place)

Imperf­ective Aspect
Perfective Aspect
Describes action of a general nature, things in progress, and repetitive or habitual actions
Emphasizes completion of an action or have a restri­cted, focused meaning
Adverbs often used with imperf­ect­ives: всегд́а, каждый день, иногда́, часто́, обы́чно, и т.д.
Adverbs that suggest comple­tion: вдруг, наконе́ц, совсе́м, сра́зу, и т.д.
Note: the perfective aspect does not have a present tense (the present, by defini­tion, cannot be comple­ted).

Mnemonic: the Imperfe­ctive is Infinite (long period of time)

The Subjun­ctive Mood

бы + past tense of the verb
Expresses desire, fervent hope, hypoth­eses, contra­ry-­to-fact statements
Note: the perfective aspect is used for positive statements whereas the imperf­ective aspect is used for negative statem­ents.
N.B. "­бы" is sometimes shortened as "­б"

The Present Tense

Conjug­ation Class I (- е - type)
Conjug­ation Class II (-и- type)
он (она́, оно́)
Spelling rule: after г, к, х, ж and ч, -ю becomes -у and -я becomes -а.
Note: a lot of Russian verbs are irregular.

The Past Tense (for both aspects)

Masculine (я,ты, он)
Stem + л
Feminine (я, ты, она́)
Stem + ла
Neuter (оно́)
Stem + ло
Plural (мы, вы, они́)
Stem + ли

The Imperative Mood

Note: For the first person singular, use "­дав­ай" + infinitive (imper­fec­tiv­e)/or the 1st person singular of the future tense (perfe­ctive).
Note2: For the first person plural, use "­дав­айт­е" + infinitive (imper­fec­tiv­e)/or the 1st person plural of the future tense (perfe­ctive).

The Future Tense

Imperf­ective aspect
Perfective aspect
Used when there is a general statement in the future, an indication of duration or time, for politeness
Expresses the action as a complete event
бу́ду + infinitive
бу́дешь + infinitive
-ешь/-ёшь ; -ишь
он/ она́/оно́
бу́дет + infinitive
-ет/-ёт ; -ит
бу́дем + infinitive
-ем/-ём ; -им
бу́дете + infinitive
-ете/-ёте ; -ите
бу́дут + infinitive
-ют/(-ут) ; -ят/(-ат)
Note: the future tense in the imperf­ective aspect is also known as the compound future

Reflexive Verbs (-ся- verbs)

Add -ся if the conjugated verb ends with a vowel
Add -сь if the conjugated verb ends with a consonant


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