Here's an overview of Russian adjectives. We explain how to use and decline Russian adjectives. On top of that, we provide full declensions tables for adjectives: hard and soft stems; г, к, х, ж, ш, ч, щ endings; long and short forms.
On separate pages you'll find:
Adjectives describe the nouns and pronouns to which they refer. Russian adjectives agree with the gender, number, and case of the nouns or pronouns they are describing.
Adjectives take three forms: normal, comparative, and superlative. This page covers just the normal form, like "интерестный," which you'll see in a dictionary. Comparatives and superlatives are covered separately on this page.
Additionally, Russian has a separate long-form and short-form for each adjective. Right now, we'll focus on the more common long-form and how it declines. For short-form adjectives, please look further down the page.
Now, without further ado, here are how Russian adjectives decline. More specifically, here's how normal, long-form adjectives decline.
Most Russian adjectives have a stem that ends with a hard consonant. Examples include: белый, красивый, молодой.
If the adjective's stress is positioned on the final syllable, it will have the ending "ой" in the masculine nominate. If the adjective's stress falls on the stem, the masculine nominative ending will be "ый."
Soft-stem adjectives are those whose stem ends in a soft "н." Examples include: синий, ранний, мгновенный.
Most Russian adjectives have a short form, a concept we don't exactly have in English. The short form is used to make a statement about something, generally in a simple sentence without a noun that involves the verb, "to be." It generally replaces "to be" and implies a temporary state. For example:
Short form adjectives must agree with the subject of the sentence on gender and number. However, short form adjectives do not decline - they only exist in the nominative case. As such, they decline fairly easily - for example:
|-||-а||-о||-ы or -и|
Normally, masculine short form adjectives have no endings. However, if the adjective's stem ends in a cluster of two or more consonants, the masculine short form has a vowel inserted between the two final consonants. The rule here is that an "о" is inserted before a "к," and an "е" is inserted before a "н." For example:
Also, it's important to note that some adjectives do not have a short form. Generally, these are adjectives formed from nouns and have the endings:
Finally, please note the short form for маленький is мал, and for большой you should use the short form, велик.