Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "small" 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.

маленький

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Meaning: small, little, insignificant, young, short, diminutive

Pronunciation: [MAH-leen'-kiy]

Part of speech: adjective

Rank: #224 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Когда́ я был ма́леньким, я люби́л ходи́ть в лес за гриба́ми.
  • When I was little, I liked to go to the forest to pick mushrooms.
  • Ты ещё ма́ленькая, что́бы гуля́ть по́здно ве́чером.
  • You are not old enough to walk late at night.
  •  literal  You are still little to walk late in the evening.
  • У меня́ для тебя́ есть ма́ленький пода́рок.
  • I've got a small present for you.
  • В э́той ма́ленькой ко́мнате нам бу́дет те́сно.
  • We'll be cramped in this small room.
  • У де́вушки бы́ли изя́щные ма́ленькие ру́ки.
  • The girl had small elegant hands.
  • Бори́с не лю́бит ма́леньких дете́й.
  • Boris doesn't like small children.
  • Я уве́рен, тебе́ о́чень понра́вится в э́том ти́хом ма́леньком го́роде.
  • I'm sure you'll like it very much in this small quiet town.
  • У меня́ к тебе́ ма́ленькая про́сьба: помоги́ мне реши́ть э́ту зада́чу, пожа́луйста.
  • I've got a small request to you: can you help me solve this mathematical problem?
  • На День рожде́ния Са́ше подари́ли ма́ленькую лоша́дку.
  • Sasha was given a small horse for his birthday.
  • Когда́ её муж у́мер, она́ оста́лась одна́ с двумя́ ма́ленькими детьми́ на рука́х.
  • When her husband died, she was left with two little children on her hands.


 Idioms and set expressions:
  • ма́ленькие лю́ди (pl.) / ма́ленький челове́к (sg.) = humble folk, common run of people
  • с ма́ленькой бу́квы = with a small letter
  • игра́ть по ма́ленькой = to play for small stakes
 Related words:
  • мале́нько (col.) = a little, a bit
  • небольшо́й = small, short, little
  • незначи́тельный = insignificant
  • кро́шечный (col.) = tiny, diminutive
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Моё де́ло ма́ленькое.
  • It is no concern of mine. / It is none of my business.
  •  literal  My affair is small.
  • Ма́ленький, да уда́ленький.
  • Little pigeons can carry great messages. / Small rain lays great dust.
  •  literal  Small, but daring.
  • Ма́ленькие де́тки – ма́ленькие бе́дки(, а вы́растут велики́ – бу́дут больши́е).
  • Small children – small worries(, big children – big worries).

Vocabulary lesson: By RT: Learn Russian exclusively for MasterRussian

Phrase recordings: Copyright(c) 2011 MasterRussian.com. 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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