Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to say" 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 say, to tell

Pronunciation: [skah-ZAHT']

Part of speech: verb (perfective aspect)

Rank: #29 (see frequency list)

A woman is about to say something.
Photo by Yodel Anecdotal CC-BY-GA-2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Что ты мо́жешь сказа́ть о свое́й семье́?
  • What can you say about your family? (informal)
  • Он сказа́л, что живёт в го́роде.
  • He said that he lived in the city.
  • Скажи́те, пожа́луйста, ско́лько вре́мени?
  • Could you tell me the time, please? (polite)
  • Легко́ сказа́ть!
  • It's easy to say! (Easier said than done.)
  • Не мо́жешь сказа́ть – напиши́!
  • If you can’t say, write down! (informal)
  • По пра́вде сказа́ть, мне она́ не нра́вится.
  • To tell the truth, I don't like her.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • так сказа́ть = so to say
  • Легко́ сказа́ть! = It's only easy to say!; Easier said than done!
  • Ска́жем, ... = Let's say ...
 Related words:
  • ска́зка = a tale
  • ска́зочник = a tale-teller
  • расска́з = a story
  • сказу́емое = a predicate (in grammar)
  • ска́зочный = fairy-tale (adjective); fantastic
  • неска́занный = unspeakable, untold
  • сказа́ться / ска́зываться = to tell; to affect
  • вы́сказать = to manifest
  • заказа́ть = to order
  • показа́ть = to show
  • приказа́ть = to order
  • рассказа́ть = to tell, to narrate
  • указа́ть = to show, point
  • неска́занно = unspeakably
  • ска́зочно = as in a fairy-tale; improbably
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Бабушка надвое сказала.
  • We shall see what we shall see.
  •  literal  A grandmother said twice.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

The perfective verb сказать is not used in the Present Tense. Use the imperfective verb говорить instead.

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he сказа́л
she сказа́ла
it сказа́ло
we, you (plural), they сказа́ли

Future Simple Tense

I скажу́
you (singular) ска́жешь
he, she, it ска́жет
we ска́жем
you (plural) ска́жете
they ска́жут

Future Compound Tense

The perfective verb сказать is not used in the Future Compound Tense. Use the imperfective verb говорить instead.

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) скажи́
you (plural) скажи́те

View full conjugation table for the verb pair говорить/сказать

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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Meaning: any, each, every
Pronunciation: [lyoo-BOY]
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