Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "to wait (for)" 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.


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Meaning: to wait (for), expect, await, abide, stay

Pronunciation: [zhdaht']

Part of speech: verb (imperfective aspect)

Rank: #206 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Мы жда́ли отве́т це́лую неде́лю.
  • We waited a whole week for the answer.
  • Я бу́ду ждать тебя́ на авто́бусной остано́вке.
  • I’ll wait for you at the bus stop.
  • Чего́ ты ждёшь? Хо́чешь, что́бы я сама́ сде́лала э́ту рабо́ту?
  • What are you waiting for? Do you want me to do this work myself?
  • Мы ждём ещё де́сять мину́т и ухо́дим.
  • We’ll wait for ten minutes more and then we’ll go.
  • Дире́ктор ждёт отчёт в сле́дующую сре́ду.
  • The director is waiting for the report by next Wednesday.
  • Поторопи́сь! Нас ждут в го́сти к семи́ часа́м ве́чера.
  • Hurry up! We are expected to come around by 7 o’clock in the evening.
  • Че́стно говоря́, я не ждал, что ты придёшь.
  • To tell the truth, I didn’t expect you to come.
  • Вы ждёте от Ива́на по́мощи? Это бесполе́зно.
  • Are you looking to Ivan for help? It’s useless.
  • Закро́й глаза́. Тебя́ ждёт сюрпри́з!
  • Close your eyes. There is a surprise for you!
  •  literal  Close eyes. The surprise is waiting for you!
  • Жди меня́, и я верну́сь… (К. Симонов)
  • Wait for me, and I’ll be back… (K.Simonov)

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • заставля́ть / заста́вить кого́-то ждать = to make someone wait, to keep someone waiting
  • не заста́вить себя́ (до́лго) ждать = not to take long to appear
      literal  not to make oneself wait (for long)
  • (кто) ждёт не дождётся (col.) = (somebody) can't wait (+ inf, for); (somebody) can't live to see
  • ждать у мо́ря пого́ды = to let the grass grow under one's feet
      literal  to wait for the weather near the sea
  • ждать как ма́нны небе́сной = to await with impatience
  • ждать до второ́го прише́ствия = to wait till doomsday
  • того́ и жди (col.) = (at) any moment
  • И не жди! (col.) = Don't get your hopes up!; I wouldn't bet / count on it (if I were you)
      literal  And don’t wait!
 Related words:
  • ожида́ние = waiting; expectation
  • поджида́ть (col.) = to lie in wait (for)
  • дожда́ться = to live to see, get at last; end up (by)
  • пережда́ть = to wait till (smth) is over
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Се́меро одного́ не ждут.
  • Seven don't wait for one. / For one that is missing there's no spoiling a wedding.
  •  literal  Seven don't wait for one.
  • Обе́щанного три го́да ждут.
  • Promises are either broken or kept. / It is never long that comes at last. / Promises are like piecrust, made to be broken.
  •  literal  They wait three years for (something) promised.
  • Ждать да догоня́ть ху́же всего́.
  • A watched pot never boils.
  •  literal  To wait and to catch up is worst of all.
  • Вре́мя не ждёт.
  • Time presses. / There's no time to lose.
  •  literal  Time doesn’t wait.
  • Кто зна́ет, что ждёт впереди́.
  • Who knows what the future may hold.
  •  literal  Who knows what waits ahead.
 Verb conjugation:

Present Tense

I жду́
you (singular) ждёшь
he, she, it ждёт
we ждём
you (plural) ждёте
they жду́т

Past Tense

I, you (singular), he жда́л
she ждала́
it жда́ло
we, you (plural), they жда́ли

Future Simple Tense

The imperfective verb ждать is not used in the Future Simple Tense. Use the perfective verb подождать instead.

Future Compound Tense

I буду жда́ть
you (singular) будешь жда́ть
he, she, it будет жда́ть
we будем жда́ть
you (plural) будете жда́ть
they будут жда́ть

Imperative Mood (Command Form)

you (singular) жди́
you (plural) жди́те

View full conjugation table for the verb pair ждать/подождать

Vocabulary lesson: By RT: Learn Russian 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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Meaning: to leave, go out, appear
Pronunciation: [vi-khuh-DEET']

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