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The Russian present tense form is very simple. When compared to English, the numerous variations like "I am working", "I do work" and "I have been working" do not exist in Russian. Instead, there is only one form similar to the English simple present tense (Subject + Main verb).
I do work.
I am working.
I have been working.
The Russian present tense is used to express:
Она едет на работу.
(She is driving to work.)
Земля вращается вокруг солнца.
(The earth revolves around the sun.)
Каждое утро я встаю в 8 часов.
(I get up at 8 o'clock every morning.)
Я живу в Москве уже целый год.
(I have been living in Moscow for a whole year.)
The endings of the present tense verbs (like "работаю" in the above example) change depending on person and number. In order to find the correct ending for a Russian verb you need to perform the following steps.
Determine the verb's conjugation class. There are two conjugations in Russian:
The First Conjugation includes verbs that have the following suffixes before the infinitive form ending in -ть:
The Second Conjugation includes verbs that have the suffix и before the infinitive ending -ть:
Determine the stem of the verb. First remove the last letter from the first-person singular (я) form of the verb, for example:
Second, remove the last three letters from the second-person singular (ты) form of the verb which is also known as the familiar you (thou), for example:
Finally, compare both remainders. If they are the same, this is the stem you need. If they are different, use as the stem that remained from the familiar you form.
Note that you can look up the first-person and second-person forms of the Russian verbs in our verb conjugation dictionary.
Determine the ending to be added to the stem of the verb using this table.
|Person||First Conjugation||Second Conjugation|
|Я||-ю (-у)||-ю (-у)|
|Он / Она /Оно||-ет||-ит|
|Они||-ют (-ут)||-ят (-ат)|
Let's assume that your want to use the verbs "to work" and "to love" in the present tense when speaking Russian. The verb работать (to work) is the first conjugation verb, while the verb любить (to love) is the second conjugation verb. We already know that the stem of the verb работать is работа. The stem of the verb любить will be люб. Now you need to look in the table and add the proper ending to the stem of the verb. Depending on the grammatical person associated with the action (I, he, she, they, etc.) the resulting present tense forms will be:
You might be wondering why the word люблю has the letter л in it when the stem was only люб. The answer is that sometimes the final consonant in the stem of the verb changes. There are certain rules which guide the alteration of the stem-final consonants. Let's take a look at them:
|г, д, з||ж||реЗать - реЖу|
|т, ст, ск||щ||чиСТить - чиЩу|
|с, х||ш||пиСать - пиШу|
|к, т||ч||плаКать - плаЧу|
|б||бл||люБить - люБЛю|
|в||вл||готоВить - готоВЛю|
|м||мл||корМить - корМЛю|
|п||пл||терПеть - терПЛю|
Please, pay attention to the fact that these consonant change rules only apply to certain forms of the verbs. More specifically, the consonants undergo changes in the following verbs:
Ask them in the Russian Questions and Answers — a place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.
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