Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to begin to" 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 begin to, to take to, to become, to get, to grow, to pass away, to happen

Pronunciation: [staht']

Part of speech: verb (perfective aspect)

Rank: #61 (see frequency list)

It's got cold at night.
Photo by Vironevaeh, licensed under CC SA 2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Он стал читáть кни́гу.
  • He started reading the book.
  • Онá cтáла си́льно пи́ть.
  • She started drinking heavily.
  • Я не стáну тебя́ упрекáть.
  • I'm not going to reproach you.
  • Он стáл программи́стом, как и хотéл.
  • He became a computer programmer as he wanted.
  • Они́ стáли учителя́ми.
  • They became teachers.
  • Она хóчет стать хорóшим специали́стом по маркéтингу.
  • She wants to become a good specialist in marketing.
  • Егó лицó стáло злым.
  • His face became angry.
  • Свéта стáла хорóшей медсестрóй.
  • Sveta became a good nurse.
  • Вдруг нам стáло стрáшно
  • Suddenly we got scared.
  • Нóчью стáло хóлодно.
  • It's got cold at night.
  • Вы стали пессими́cтом?
  • Have you become a pessimist?
  • Он дóлго болéл, и ócенью егó не стáло.
  • He was ill for a long time, and he passed away in autumn.
  • Что с ним стáло?
  • What happened to him?
  • Я не стал бы тебя беспокóить, если бы не проблéмы с деньгáми.
  • I wouldn't have disturbed you but for money problems.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • стáло быть = therefore
  • во чтó бы то ни стáло = at all costs
  • ему́ стáло не по себé = he became ill at ease
  • мóчи не стáло = no more forces, patience left
 Related words:
  • станови́ться = become, get
  • cтать = stature
  • стáнция = station, stop
  • станóк = lathe, machine
  • начать = start, begin
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Ворóна и зá море летáла, а умнá не стáла
  • You can travel a lot, but you won't necessary become cleverer because of that.
  •  literal  A crow crossed the sea, but it didn't become cleverer because of that.
  • Когдá cтáла любóвь сознавáть, тогдá cтал и ми́лый отставáть.
  • Don't wait too long to discover your feelings when you're in love.
  •  literal  When I started feeling love, my fiancé stopped loving me.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

The perfective verb стать is not used in the Present Tense. Use the imperfective verb становиться instead.

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he ста́л
she ста́ла
it ста́ло
we, you (plural), they ста́ли

Future Simple Tense

I ста́ну
you (singular) ста́нешь
he, she, it ста́нет
we ста́нем
you (plural) ста́нете
they ста́нут

Future Compound Tense

The perfective verb стать is not used in the Future Compound Tense. Use the imperfective verb становиться instead.

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) ста́нь
you (plural) ста́ньте

View full conjugation table for the verb pair становиться/стать

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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Pronunciation: [NOH-viy]
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