Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "beginning" 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: beginning, start, origin, source, principle, basis

Pronunciation: [nah-CHAH-luh]

Part of speech: noun (neuter noun)

Rank: #184 (see frequency list)

I can't see the beginning of the street on the map.
Photo by MelvinSchlubman, licensed under CC GA 2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Это тóлько начáло.
  • This is only the beginning.
  • Я не ви́жу на кáрте начáла у́лицы.
  • I can't see the beginning of the street on the map.
  • Пéрвое сентября́ в Росси́и - начáло учéбного гóда.
  • The school year starts 1st September in Russia.
  •  literal  The 1st September in Russia is the beginning of the school year.
  • Неплóхо для начáла!
  • It's not bad for a start!
  • Онá прочитáла статью́ с начáла до концá.
  • She read the article from beginning to end.
  • В начáлe мáя у нас óтпуск.
  • We're on holidays in early May.
  • В начáле вторóго нам позвони́ли в дверь.
  • Soon after two there was a ring at the door.
  • Проéкт дóлжен быть готóв к начáлу слéдующей недéли.
  • The project should be finished by the beginning of the next week.
  • Компью́тер сломáлся, и ему́ пришлócь печáтать текст с сáмого начáла.
  • The computer broke down and he had to type the text from the very beginning.
  • C начáлом ócени онá погрустнéла.
  • At the beginning of autumn she became sad.
  • В тебé óчень сильнó поэти́ческое начáло.
  • You have a strong poetic talent.
  •  literal  There's a strong poetic source in you.
  • Парк был сóздан на коллекти́вных начáлах.
  • This park was created on a collective basis.
  • В шкóле мы изучáeм начáла фи́зики.
  • We study the basics of physics at school.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • c сáмого начáла = from the very beginning
  • с начáла своегó существовáния = from the very first days of its existence
  • брать начáло = to originate
  • организу́ющее начáло = organizing principle
  • для начáла = for a start
  • положи́ть начáло = to mark the beginning of smth
  • быть под начáлом = to be under smb's command
 Related words:
  • начáльник = a boss
  • начáльный = initial, first, elementary
  • начáть = to start, begin
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Лихá бедá начáло.
  • The first step is the hardest.
  •  literal  There's great trouble at the beginning.
  • Дóброе начáло полдéла откачáло.
  • A good beginning is half the battle.
  •  literal  A good beginning takes away half of a work.
  • Где нé было начáла, не бу́дет и концá.
  • If there's no beginning, there will be no end.
  • Каковó начáло, такóв и конéц.
  • The end will be the same as the beginning was.
 Other forms of the word (declensions):
Case Singular Plural

Vocabulary lesson: By Russificate blog 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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