Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to smile" 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 smile

Pronunciation: [oo-lib-NOO-tsuh]   IPA: [ʊɫɨbˈnuʦə]

Part of speech: verb (perfective aspect)

Rank: #605 (see frequency list)

She gave me a smile.
Photo by whologwhy CC-BY-2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Онá улыбну́лась мне.
  • She gave me a smile.
  •  literal  She smiled to me.
  • Алëша улыбну́лся гру́стной улы́бкой.
  • Alyosha smiled a sad smile.
  • Улыбни́сь мне на прощáние.
  • Give me a farewell smile, please.
  •  literal  Smile me for farewell.
  • Мáма улыбну́лась одни́ми глазáми.
  • Mum smiled with her eyes only.
  • Судьбá наконéц улыбну́лась мне.
  • Fortune finally smiled upon me.
  •  literal  Destiny finally smiled to me.
  • Хоть бы улыбну́лся!
  • He could have smiled at least!
  • Улыбни́тесь же, не всë так плóхо!
  • Come on, smile, everything is not so bad! (plural of formal)
  • Роди́тели дáже не улыбну́лись!
  • Parents didn't even smile!
  • Cначáла он улыбну́лся, а потóм рассмея́лся.
  • First he smiled and then burst out laughing.
  • Жизнь ему́ я́вно улыбну́лась.
  • It's quite clear that life smiled upon him.
  •  literal  It's quite clear that life smiled to him.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • улыбну́ться на прощáние = smile farewell
      literal  smile for farewell
  • жизнь (ему́) улыбну́лась = life smiled upon (him)
  • удáча (ему́) улыбну́лась = fortune smiled upon (him)
  • судьбá (ему́) улыбну́лась = fortune smiled upon (him)
      literal  destiny smiled upon (him)
 Related words:
  • улыбáться = to smile
  • улы́бка = a smile
  • cмея́ться = to laugh
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

The perfective verb улыбнуться is not used in the Present Tense. Use the imperfective verb улыбаться instead.

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he улыбну́лся
she улыбну́лась
it улыбну́лось
we, you (plural), they улыбну́лись

Future Simple Tense

I улыбну́сь
you (singular) улыбнёшься
he, she, it улыбнётся
we улыбнёмся
you (plural) улыбнётесь
they улыбну́тся

Future Compound Tense

The perfective verb улыбнуться is not used in the Future Compound Tense. Use the imperfective verb улыбаться instead.

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) улыбни́сь
you (plural) улыбни́тесь

View full conjugation table for the verb pair улыбаться/улыбнуться

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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