Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "behind" 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: behind, over, at, after, for

Pronunciation: [zah]

Part of speech: preposition

Rank: #24 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Олег сел за руль "Во́лги".
  • Oleg sat behind the wheel of the Volga.
  • Гость напра́вился за́ город.
  • The guest headed out of town (i.e. into the country).
  • Мне уже за сорок, а я еще не женат.
  • I'm over forty already, but I'm still not married.
  • Концерт слышно за километр от парка.
  • The concert is heard (at a distance of) one kilometer away from the park.
  • Я хочу выучить русский за год.
  • I want to learn Russian in one year.
  • Мы сели в поезд за минуту до отправления.
  • We boarded the train a minute before departure.
  • Мы вошли в комнату и сели за стол.
  • We entered the room and sat at the table.
  • Она́ схвати́ла меня́ за́ руку и потащи́ла к авто́бусной остано́вке.
  • She grabbed my arm and dragged me to the bus stop.
  • Я потяну́л её за́ руку.
  • I pulled her by the hand.
  • Мэр при́нял реше́ние боро́ться за президе́нтское кре́сло.
  • The mayor has decided to fight for the presidency.
  • Я руча́юсь вам за него́ как за себя́.
  • I vouch (pledge my word) for him just like for myself.
  • Он работал за двоих.
  • He worked for two.
  • Они нас считают за простаков, что ли?
  • They consider us to be simpletons, don't they?
  • За за́втраком они́ всегда́ разводят полити́ческие бесе́ды.
  • They always carry on political debates during breakfast.
  • Моя до́чь не хо́чет следи́ть за поря́дком в свое́й ко́мнате.
  • My daughter doesn't want to keep order in her room.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • за городом (за город) = in the country; out of town
  • за рубежом (за рубеж) = abroad
  • быть замужем за... = be married to... (said of a woman)
  • за ним долг... = he owes...
  • за ним сто рублей = he owes one hundred roubles
  • за и против = pros and cons
  • ему за сорок = he's over forty
  • за полночь = past midnight
  • за месяц до... = a month before... ("за" is not translated)
  • зуб за зуб = tit for tat
  • око за око = eye for eye
  • из-за = because of
  • за глаза = in somebody's absence; amply, quite enough; behind somebody's back
  • за красивые глаза = for nothing; for chicken feed (lit: for beautiful eyes)
  • за глаза́ и за́ уши = sufficient, with excess
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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Russian: Закрыто
English: Closed


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