Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to eat" in Russian

This Russian word is one of the top 1000 words in Russian. The complete list of most common Russian words is available here.


Meaning: to eat, to sting, irritate, to nag, torment

Pronunciation: [yehst']

Part of speech: verb (imperfective aspect)

Rank: #71 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Мы не бу́дем есть э́тот суп.
  • We will not eat this soup.
  • Челове́к до́лжен есть, что́бы жить.
  • A man must eat in order to live.
  • Андре́й съел два я́блока. (perfective verb)
  • Andrey has eaten two apples.
  • Я тако́й голо́дный, что съел бы це́лого телёнка. (perfective verb)
  • I'm so hungry that I would eat a whole calf.
  • Вы бу́дете есть?
  • Would you like to eat? (lit: Will you eat?)
  • Я хочу́ есть.
  • I want to eat. (I am hungry)
  • Дым от костра́ ест глаза́.
  • The smoke from the fire makes the eyes smart. (irritates the eyes)
  • Страх ест меня́ и тебя́.
  • Fear torments me and you.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • есть чужой хлеб = to live on other people
      literal  to eat another's bread
  • есть кого-либо глазами = to devour somebody with one’s eyes
      literal  to eat smb. with eyes
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Хо́чется ры́бку съесть, да не хо́чется в во́ду ле́зть.
  • He who would catch fish must not mind getting wet.
  •  literal  One wants to eat a fish, but doesn't want to get to water.
  • Хочешь есть калачи, не лежи на печи.
  • No song, no supper.
  •  literal  If you want to eat buns, do not lie on the stove.
  • Нужно есть, чтобы жить, а не жить, чтобы есть.
  • Live not to eat, but eat to live.
  •  literal  One needs to eat to live, but not to live to eat.
  • Ешь вволю, пей в меру.
  • Eat with pleasure, drink with measure.
  • Ешь пирог с грибами, да язык держи за зубами.
  • The more you know, the less you should talk.
  •  literal  Eat a pie with mushrooms and keep your tongue behind your teeth.
  • Кто не работает, тот не ест.
  • He who does not work, neither should he eat.
  • Собака на сене лежит, сама не ест и другим не дает.
  • A dog in the manger.
  •  literal  A dog on the hay: will neither eat it himself, nor let others eat it.
  • Все на солнце ровно глядим -- неровно пьём и едим.
  • We all see the same sun, but we don't all have the same fun.
  • Деревья скоро садят, да не скоро с них плоды едят.
  • One generation plants the trees, another gets the shade.
  • Хлеб-соль ешь, а правду режь.
  • Honesty is the best policy.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

I е́м
you (singular) е́шь
he, she, it е́ст
we еди́м
you (plural) еди́те
they едя́т

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he е́л
she е́ла
it е́ло
we, you (plural), they е́ли

Future Simple Tense

The imperfective verb есть is not used in the Future Simple Tense. Use the perfective verb съесть instead.

Future Compound Tense

I буду е́сть
you (singular) будешь е́сть
he, she, it будет е́сть
we будем е́сть
you (plural) будете е́сть
they будут е́сть

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) е́шь
you (plural) е́шьте

View full conjugation table for the verb pair есть/съесть

Phrase recordings: Copyright(c) 2011 All rights reserved.
Word recordings: Copyright(c) 2006 Streit Goulnara, Streit Eric, Vion Nicolas. Copyright(c) 2007 S. Sakhno, N. Vion. Distributed under CC-BY.

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