Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to keep silence" 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 keep silence, make no complaint, say nothing

Pronunciation: [mahl-CHYAT']

Part of speech: verb (imperfective aspect)

Rank: #402 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Обещай, что будешь молчать.
  • Promise that you will keep silent. (say nothing)
  • Чего́ ты молчи́шь? Ты слы́шишь меня́?
  • Why are you silent? Can you hear me?
  • Он молчи́т и ничего́ мне не отвеча́ет.
  • He keeps silent and doesn't reply a word to me.
  • Не́которое вре́мя он молча́л, но пото́м сно́ва заговори́л.
  • He was silent for some time but then started talking again.
  • Она была очень растроена, но молчала.
  • She was very upset but didn't complaint. (lit: kept silent)

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • Молчать! = Shut up!; Hold your tongue!
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Говорить -- беда, а молчать -- другая.
  • Evil flourishes in silence.
  • Когда говорит оружие, музы молчат.
  • In time of war, muses are silent.
  • Кто не умеет молчать, тот не умеет и говорить.
  • Не cannot speak well that cannot hold his tongue.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

I молчу́
you (singular) молчи́шь
he, she, it молчи́т
we молчи́м
you (plural) молчи́те
they молча́т

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he молча́л
she молча́ла
it молча́ло
we, you (plural), they молча́ли

Future Simple Tense

The imperfective verb молчать is not used in the Future Simple Tense. Use the perfective verb помолчать instead.

Future Compound Tense

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

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) молчи́
you (plural) молчи́те

View full conjugation table for the verb pair молчать/помолчать

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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