Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "simple" 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: simple, easy, common

Pronunciation: [pruhs-TOY]

Part of speech: adjective (this word is spelled same as the noun "простой" meaning "downtime")

Rank: #444 (see frequency list)

I think this dress is too simple.
Photo by Laineys Repertoire CC-BY-2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Задáча совcéм простáя.
  • The problem is really easy.
  • У тако́й ситуа́ции просто́е объясне́ние.
  • This kind of situation has a simple explanation.
  • От кри́зиса страда́ют просты́е лю́ди.
  • Ordinary people suffer from the crisis.
  • Я предпочита́ю простую во́ду.
  • I prefer plain water.
  • По-мо́ему, э́то пла́тье сли́шком просто́е.
  • I think this dress is too simple.
  • Он вёл просто́й о́браз жи́зни.
  • He was leading a simple life.
  • До чего́ люблю обща́ться с просты́ми людьми́!
  • I really love chatting with homely people!
  •  literal  I really love chatting with simple people!
  • Де́ти, что тако́е просто́е предложе́ние?
  • Children, what is a simple sentence?
  • Он люби́л рисова́ть просты́м карандашо́м.
  • He liked drawing with a lead pencil.
  •  literal  He iked drawing with a simple pencil.
  • Ну́жно всегда́ идти́ от просто́го к сло́жному.
  • One has to prgress from the simple to the complex.
  • Он не так прост, как ка́жется.
  • He's not that simple as he seems.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • простáя вода́ = plain water, tap water
  • просты́е лю́ди = simple folk, homely people
      literal  simple people
  • простáя пи́ща = simple food
  • просто́е любопы́тство = mere curiosity
      literal  simple curiosity
  • просто́е вещество́ = elementary substance
      literal  simple substance
  • просто́е предложе́ние = simple sentence (grammar)
  • просто́й сме́ртный = mere mortal
      literal  simple mortal
  • просто́й каранда́ш = lead pencil
      literal  simple pencil
  • просто́е число́ = prime number (math)
      literal  simple number
  • по той просто́й причи́не, что... = for the simple reason that...
  • просто́й как пра́вда = simplicity itself
      literal  simple as truth
  • просты́м гла́зом ви́дно = it can be seen with the naked eye
      literal  it can be seen with the simple eye
 Related words:
  • лëгкий = light, easy
  • прócто = simply
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • За неиме́нием ге́рбовой пи́шут и на просто́й.
  • Write in a simple mask for seal.
  •  literal  If there's no officially stamped paper, one has to use the normal one.
  • В родню́ толст, да не в родню́ прост.
  • He's as fat as his relatives, but unlike them, he's simple.
  • В просты́х сердца́х Бог почива́ет.
  • God sleeps in simple hearts.

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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Word: бывать
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