Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "life" 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: life, living, existence

Pronunciation: [zhizn']

Part of speech: noun

Rank: #79 (see frequency list)

 Example sentences:
  • Хорошая жизнь - это когда ты занимаешься тем, что тебе нравится.
  • Good life is when you do what you like.
  • Чем вы зарабатываете на жизнь?
  • What do you do for living?
  • Он любит семейную жизнь.
  • He loves family life.
  • Максим ведет здоровый образ жизни.
  • Maxim leads a healthy lifestyle (way of living).
  • На это уйдёт целая жизнь.
  • This will take lifetime (whole life).
  • Он никогда в жизни не врал.
  • He has never lied in his whole life.
  • Как жизнь?
  • How are things? (literally: How's life?)
  • Это лето я не забуду никогда в жизни!
  • I won't forget this summer ever in my life!

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • вопрос жизни и смерти = the question of life and death
  • при жизни = when someone is still alive
  • ни в жизнь = under no circumstances
  • жизнь бьёт ключом = life is in full swing
  • биться не на жизнь, а на смерть = fight to the death
  • вопрос жизни и смерти = matter of life and death
  • Как жизнь? = How are things? How's life?
  • Он жизни не рад. = He wishes he were dead.
  • лишить себя жизни = to commit suicide
  • устроить весёлую жизнь = to cook one's goose for someone
  • холостая жизнь = bachelorhood
  • растительная жизнь = vegetation
  • узнать жизнь = to get a look at the elephant
  • Вести двойную жизнь. = To live a double life.
  • Покончить счёты с жизнью. = To shut one's lights out.
  • Нить жизни. = The thread of life
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Жизнь прожить -- не поле перейти.
  • Life is not a bed of roses. (Living through one's life is not like going through a field.)
  • Жизнь -- малина.
  • Life is good. (lit: Life is raspberry)
  • Жизнь бьёт ключом.
  • Life is in full swing.
  • Борьба не на жизнь, а на смерть.
  • A wrestle for life or death.
  • Начать новую жизнь.
  • To make a new life.
  • Кого жизнь ласкает, тот и горя не знает.
  • He dances well to whom fortune pipes.
  • Кошелёк или жизнь!
  • Your money or your life!
  • На всю оставшуюся жизнь.
  • To the end of one's life.
  • Не жизнь, а малина.
  • Life is just a bowl of cherries.
  • Плыть по реке жизни.
  • To trip up the river of life.
  • Такова жизнь.
  • C'est la vie. (Such is life.)
 Other forms of the word (declensions):
Case Singular Plural
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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