Lesson 7: Introduction to Russian adjectives

Welcome to the seventh lesson in our beginner’s course. Hopefully at this stage you’re starting to feel like you have a solid understanding of most of the core grammar concepts you need to understand and communicate in basic Russian. As you’ve seen, there are a lot of declension tables and the like to eventually memorize. For now, though, don’t worry about remembering everything. You’ll find it most valuable to make sure you understand these different grammar concepts we’ve covered, picking up vocab on the way.

In this lesson, we’re going to introduce ourselves to Russian adjectives. We’ll cover how to use them and how they decline.

Go here for full declension tables of Russian adjectives.

How to use adjectives in Russian

Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns. They agree with the gender, number, and case of the nouns or pronouns they are describing. When you see an adjective listed in a dictionary or on this site, it’ll be in the masculine nominate singular form.

Technically, there are two forms of each adjective: the long form and short form. In this lesson we’ll only be covering the much more common long form. We’ll also go through how to decline long form adjectives along with corresponding nouns.

Here are some examples of adjectives in action in Russian:

  • История России содержит много героических побед. = Russian history contains lots of heroic victories.
  • У нас есть небольшая, но хорошая квартира. = We have a small, but nice apartment.
  • Эта девушка – моя молодая сестра. = This girl is my little sister.
  • Вставай, страна огромная на смертный бой с фашистской силой тёмною, с проклятою ордой. = Arise, vast country for a deadly fight with the dark fascist force, with the cursed horde.
  • Чужие губы тебя ласкают, чужие губы шепчут тебе. = Other lips caress you, other lips lips whisper to you.
  • Очи чёрные, очи страстные, очи жгучие и прекрасные! = Black eyes, passionate eyes, burning and beautiful eyes!

How adjectives decline in Russian

Just like we did with Russian nouns, have a look at our page that has the full declension tables of Russian adjectives. Again, don’t worry about memorizing all the endings just yet. Still, do familiarize yourself with the adjectival endings across genders and cases.

Examples of how nouns and adjectives decline together

большой дом = big house

CaseSingularPlural
Nomбольшой домбольшие дома
Accбольшой домбольшие дома
Genбольшого домабольших домов
Datбольшому домубольшим домам
Instrбольшим домомбольшими домами
Prepбольшом домебольших домах

интересная книга = interesting book

CaseSingularPlural
Nomинтересная книгаинтересные книги
Accинтересную книгуинтересные книги
Genинтересной книгиинтересных книг
Datинтересной книгеинтересным книгам
Instrинтересной книгойинтересными книгами
Prepинтересной книгеинтересных книгах

красивое здание = beautiful building

CaseSingularPlural
Nomкрасивое зданиекрасивые здания
Accкрасивое зданиекрасивые здания
Genкрасивого зданиякрасивых зданий
Datкрасивому зданиюкрасивым зданиям
Instrкрасивым зданиемкрасивыми зданиями
Prepкрасивом зданиикрасивых зданиях

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