Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to have" 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 have, to own, (slang) to have sex

Pronunciation: [ee-MYEHT']

Part of speech: verb (This verb is rarely used to express possession in spoken Russian. It is more common in formal Russian and idioms.)

Rank: #127 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Она́ име́ет пра́во быть счастли́вой.
  • She has the right to be happy.
  • Ка́ждый стомато́лог должен име́ть медици́нскую лице́нзию.
  • Every dentist must have a medical license.
  • Росси́я име́ет большу́ю а́рмию.
  • Russia has a large army.
  • Похо́жая ситуа́ция име́ла ме́сто в про́шлом году́.
  • A similar situation took place last year.
  • Что вы имее́те в виду́?
  • What do you mean?
  •  literal  What do you have in view?
  • Ка́ждый челове́к име́ет како́й-ли́бо недоста́ток.
  • Every person has some drawbacks.
  • Я не хочу́ име́ть с ним никако́го де́ла.
  • I don't want to have anything to do with him.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • иметь место = to take place
  • иметь значение = to matter
  • иметь в виду = to mean; to have in mind; to intend
  • иметь большое значение = to be of great importance
  • иметь существенное значение = to be essential
  • не иметь значения = to be of no importance
  • иметь вкус = to have a taste
  • иметь запах = to smell
  • иметь успех = to have success, be successful
  • ничего не иметь против = to have nothing against
  • иметь дело с кем-либо = to deal with smb.
  • иметь важный вид = to have an air of importance; to lump large
  • иметь физическую близость с кем-либо = to be intimately close with smb.; to make love
  • не иметь права = to have no right; to be not allowed to
  • иметь счёты с кем-либо = to have a crow to pick with smb.
  • иметь голову на плечах = to have a good head on one's shoulders
  • иметь зуб на кого-либо = to bear a grudge against smb.
  • иметь кислый вид = to have acid looks; to pull a long face
  • иметь козыри на руках = to have the game in one's own hands
  • иметь нюх на что-либо = to have a flair for smth.
  • иметь твёрдую почву под ногами = to stand on solid ground
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
  • A faithful friend is better than gold.
  •  literal  Don't have hundred rubles, rather have hundred friends.
  • Волков бояться -- дров не иметь.
  • Being afraid of wolfs do not go to the forest.
  • Голодное брюхо ушей не имеет.
  • Hungry bellies have no ears.
  • Чем больше имеешь, тем большего хочется.
  • The more you have, the more you want.
  • Что имеем, не храним, потерявши -- плачем.
  • We do not care of what we have, but we cry when it is lost.
  • Щедрость не имеет пределов.
  • Generosity has no bounds.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

The perfective verb иметь is not used in the Present Tense. Use the imperfective verb иметь instead.

Past Tense

Future Simple Tense

The imperfective verb иметь is not used in the Future Simple Tense.

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

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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Meaning: new, novel, modern
Pronunciation: [NOH-viy]
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Russian: Свежее пиво в кегах
English: Fresh beer in kegs


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