Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to play" 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.


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Meaning: to play, act, gamble

Pronunciation: [eeg-RAHT']

Part of speech: verb (imperfective aspect)

Rank: #390 (see frequency list)

Do you play soccer?
Photo by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, licensed under CC-BY-2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Ты игрáeшь в футбóл?
  • Do you play soccer?
  • Мáма игрáeт на скри́пке, а я – на пиани́но.
  • My mum plays the violin and I play the piano.
  • Дéти вécело игрáли во дворé.
  • Children played merrily in the yard.
  • Когдá я был молоды́м, я игрáл в шáхматы по выходны́м.
  • When I was young I used to play chess on weekends.
  • Зáвтра Фрáнция игрáeт прóтив Брази́лии.
  • France is playing Brazil tomorrow.
  • В кварти́ре грóмко игрáла му́зыка.
  • There was music was playing loudly in the flat.
  • Как он хорошó играл шпиóна!
  • How well did he play a spy!
  • Сергéй игрáeт на би́рже.
  • Sergey speculates at the stock exchange.
  •  literal  Sergey plays at the stock exchange.
  • Игрáй чécтно! Не обмáнывай!
  • Play fair! Don't cheat!
  • Ты бу́дешь игрáть c нáми в "Монопóлию"?
  • Will you play "Monopoly" with us?
  • Шампáнское игрáло в бокáле.
  • Champagne sparkled in the glass.
  •  literal  Champagne played in the glass.
  • Он постоя́нно игрáл словáми.
  • He played on words all the time.
  • Каку́ю роль ты игрáешь в спектáкле?
  • What role do you have in the play?
  •  literal  What role do you play in the play?
  • Когдá они́ игрáют свáдьбу?
  • When do they celebrate their wedding?
  • Спортсмéн игрáл му́скулами.
  • The sportsman flexed his muscles.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • Игрáть нá руку = Act in smb's favour
      literal  Play into smb's hand
  • Игрáть с огнëм = Play with fire
  • Игрáть глазáми = Flirt with one's eyes
      literal  Play with one's eyes
  • Игрáть роль = Matter
      literal  Play a role
  • Игрáть в бирю́льки = Trifle away one's time
      literal  Play with spillikins
  • Игрáть на нéрвах = Fray smb's nerves
      literal  Play on smb's nerves
 Related words:
  • сыгрáть = to play (perfective aspect)
  • проигрáть = to lose
  • вы́играть = to win
  • игрá = a game
  • игру́шка = a toy
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Ху́до в кáрты игрáть, а ни мастéй, ни кóзырей не знать.
  • Don't start doing anything if you don't know the rules.
  •  literal  It is bad to play cards without knowing suits and trumps.
  • Игрáл в дуду́ – не скáчут. Рыдáл в пиру́ – не плáчут.
  • Everything I did was useless.
  •  literal  I played the pipe, they didn't dance. I wept at a feast, and they didn't cry.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

I игра́ю
you (singular) игра́ешь
he, she, it игра́ет
we игра́ем
you (plural) игра́ете
they игра́ют

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he игра́л
she игра́ла
it игра́ло
we, you (plural), they игра́ли

Future Simple Tense

The imperfective verb играть is not used in the Future Simple Tense. Use the perfective verb сыграть instead.

Future Compound Tense

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

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) игра́й
you (plural) игра́йте

View full conjugation table for the verb pair играть/сыграть

Vocabulary lesson: By Russificate blog exclusively for MasterRussian

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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Word: бояться
Meaning: to be afraid, to fear, worry
Pronunciation: [buh-YAH-tsuh]

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Russian: Закрыто
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