Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "little" 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.

мало

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Meaning: little, few

Pronunciation: [MAH-luh]

Part of speech: adverb

Rank: #384 (see frequency list)



We have little food left, tomorrow we are going to the supermarket.
Photo by Shayne Kaye CC-BY-2.0
 Example sentences:
  • У нас мáло проду́ктов, зáвтра идëм в магази́н.
  • We have little food left, tomorrow we are going to the supermarket.
  •  literal  We have little food left, tomorrow we are going to the shop.
  • Почему́ у тебя́ так мáло книг?
  • Why do you have so few books?
  • По утрáм в метрó мáло нарóду.
  • There are few people in the metro in the morning.
  • Cáша молчали́вый: он всегдá говори́т мáло.
  • Sasha is a silent person: he doesn't speak much.
  •  literal  Sasha is silent: he speaks little.
  • Чécтно говоря́, я мáло егó знáю.
  • To tell the truth, I don't know him well.
  •  literal  To tell the truth, I know him little.
  • Здесь мáло когдá дóждь идëт зимóй.
  • Winter rains are quite rare here.
  • Мáло ли, что ты занятá! А ну-ка помоги́ брáту!
  • What does it matter that you are busy! Come on, help your brother!
  • Мáло ли, каки́е у меня́ делá! Не вмéшивайтесь, пожáлуйста!
  • What does it matter what I have to do! Do not interfere.
  • У меня́ остáлось совсéм мáло врéмени на подготóвку к экзáмену.
  • I have very little time left for the exam preparation.
  •  literal  It is little to want to sing, it is also necessary to have a good voice.
  • Ей ужé не так уж мáло лет.
  • She is not that young already.
  •  literal  She doen't have few years already.
  • Хотéть петь мáло, нáдо ещë и хорóший гóлос имéть.
  • It is not enough to want to sing, it is also necessary to have a good voice.
  •  literal  It is little to want to sing, it is also necessary to have a good voice.
  • Мáло тогó, что ребëнок капри́зный, он ещë и оби́дчивый.
  • Besides of being capricious, the baby is also touchy,
  •  literal  Little it is that the baby is capricious, he is also touchy.


 Idioms and set expressions:
  • мáло тогó = moreover
  • мáло ли = you never know, it does not matter
  • мáло ли что! = as if it matters
  • мáло не покáжется = I wish it had never happened
  • ему́ и гóря мáло = nothing touches him
      literal  And grief is few to him
  • мáло кáши ел = you are weak today
      literal  you have eaten few cereals
 Related words:
  • мáленький = little
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • За тем дéло стáло, что дéнег мáло.
  • The problem is lack of money.
  • Крáшены домá, а мáло умá.
  • Houses are painted, but there is lack of wit.
  • Кто мнóго знáeт, мáло вéрит.
  • Who knows a lot, doesn't believe much.
  •  literal  Who knows a lot, believes little.
  • Мнóго знать - мáло спать.
  • He who knows a lot, sleeps little.

Vocabulary lesson: By Russificate blog 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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