Seasons in Russian — Time of the Year

Is your city covered in fresh snow in winter? Do you find the parks at their best when leaves change color in autumn? What would you rather do over your summer vacation next year?

In this lesson, you will learn words for the seasons in Russian and what case to use when you want to say that something is going to happen "in" a certain season of the year. Just like in English, Russian seasons are not capitalized unless they are used in the beginning of a sentence.

Audio Russian word   English translation   Pronunciation

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веснаspringvees-NAH

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летоsummerLYEH-tah

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осеньautumn, fallOH-seen'

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зимаwinterzee-MAH

To ask "At what time of the year... ?" use the phrase:
В какое время года... ? [fkah-KOYEH VRYEH-myah GOH-dah]

For example, "At what time of the year were you born?"
В какое время года вы родились? [fkah-KOYEH VRYEH-myah GOH-dah vi rah-DEE-lees']

Using the Instrumental Case with Seasons

In order to say that something is going to happen "in" a certain season, Russians change the word for season into the instrumental case. You don't need to use any prepositions because the instrumental endings (-ой, -ом, -ю) already convey the meaning of "in". The table below gives a few examples:

Audio   Russian word   English translation   Pronunciation

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веснойin springvees-NOY

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летомin summerLYEH-tahm

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осеньюin autumnOH-seen'-yoo

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зимойin winterzee-MOY

Adjectives for the Seasons

Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. You will need to know Russian adjectives for seasons to form phrases like "winter clothing" or "summer time". The table below shows the dictionary form of these adjectives (i.e. singular masculine nominative form).

Audio   Russian word   English translation   Pronunciation

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весенний(adj.) springvee-SYEH-neey

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летний(adj.) summerLYEHT-neey

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осенний(adj.) autumnah-SYEH-neey

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зимний(adj.) winterZEEM-neey

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зимняя одеждаwinter clothingZEEM-nee-ah ah-DYEHZH-dah

If you were to say "winter clothing" in Russian you would have to use the adjective "winter" (зимний). In addition to that, the adjective "winter" (зимний) would have to agree with the noun "clothing" (одежда) in number, gender and case. Thus, the phrase "winter clothing" can be translated as "зимняя одежда". Here, the singular feminine noun "clothing" (одежда) is in the nominative case, and the corresponding form of the adjective "winter" is зимняя.

Furthermore, if you want to say "I wear winter clothing" then the noun "clothing" (одежда) must be changed into the accusative case, and the adjective "winter"(зимний) must be changed into the accusative as well. The correct translation of the sentence will be "Я ношу зимнюю одежду". See the lesson on adjectives in Russian for more information about agreement of adjectives with nouns.

Also, listen to a podcast that teaches Russian words for yesterday, today, tomorrow in Russian.

Audio recordings: Copyright© 2006 Streit Goulnara, Streit Eric, Vion Nicolas. Copyright© 2007 S. Sakhno, N. Vion. Distributed under CC-BY

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