Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "only" 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: only, just, as soon as, no sooner than, so that

Pronunciation: [leesh]

Part of speech: adverb, conjunction

Rank: #198 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Мне нужна́ лишь ты одна́.
  • I need only you.
  • Лишь ты мо́жешь это сде́лать.
  • Only you can do it.
  • Мы говори́ли лишь о на́шей пое́здке, бо́льше ни о чём.
  • We were just talking about our trip, nothing else.
  • Лишь он вы́шёл, зазвони́л телефо́н.
  • No sooner had he left than the telephone rang.
  • Лишь то́лько роди́тели уйду́т на рабо́ту, я ся́ду игра́ть на компью́тере.
  • As soon as my parents leave for work, I'll sit down to play on the computer.
  • Ве́ра гото́ва жить где уго́дно, лишь бы ты был ря́дом с ней.
  • Vera is ready to live anywhere as long as you are with her.
  • Лишь то́лько я пове́сил тру́бку, разда́лся звон́ок в дверь.
  • No sooner had I hung up when the doorbell rang.
  • Дени́с приду́мает любу́ю отгово́рку, лишь бы ниче́го не де́лать.
  • Denis will come up with any excuse to not do anything.
  • Лишь бы мы не опозда́ли!
  • If only we weren't late!
  • Оста́лось ждать лишь два дня. Они прие́дут, и ты всё узна́ешь.
  • Just two days left. They'll come, and you'll learn everything.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • лишь то́лько = as soon as
  • лишь бы = if only, as long as
 Related words:
  • как то́лько = as soon as
  • то́лько = only
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Чем бы дитя́ не те́шилось, лишь бы не пла́кало.
  • Anything for a quiet life.
  •  literal  Whatever a baby amuses himself/herself with, if only he/she wouldn't cry.

Vocabulary lesson: By RT: Learn Russian 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: скорый
Meaning: fast, quick, speedy
Pronunciation: [SKOH-riy]
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