Giving, receiving gifts and congratulations in Russian

receiving gifts and congratulations

Winter is a busy holiday season in Russia. New Year, Christmas, Tatiana’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Defenders of the Fatherland Day – there are many reasons to give and receive gifts. The gift itself is already a joy, and if we choose the right words and greeting when giving it to someone, it will be doubly pleasant. Today is useful vocabulary a selection for giving and receiving gifts and greetings in Russian.

What to say when giving a gift in Russian

You don’t need to memorise long speeches to give a gift. Polite and warm phrases a couple are enough:

  • У меня есть для тебя подарок. — I have a present for you.
  • Я не был(а) уверен с выбором подарка, но надеюсь, тебе понравится. — I wasn’t sure about the gift, but I hope you enjoy it.
  • Это просто мелочь, но я думаю, тебе понравится. — It’s just a little thing, but I think you’ll like it.
  • Это тебе. — This is for you.


These phrases are neutral and will work in any situation, whether as a gift for a loved one or a colleague. If you need to give a gift in a formal setting, choose the following options one:

receiving gifts and congratulations
  • Позвольте вам вручить этот небольшой презент. — Let me give you this little present.
  • У меня для вас есть подарок. Надеюсь, он придется вам по вкусу. — I have a present for you. Hope you enjoy it.
  • Примите, пожалуйста, этот подарок по случаю вашего Дня рождения / Нового года. — Please, accept this gift for your Birthday / New Year.


You can add a congratulatory message to the words accompanying the gift-giving, or you can set aside a congratulatory speech for later.

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How to respond when receiving a gift

Accepting gifts also requires skill. Usually the giver chooses, tries and may worry about how the recipient will receive the gift. So it is a good idea to thank them and say a few nice words:

  • Спасибо! — Thanks!
  • Мне очень приятно! — I’m very pleased!
  • Это так мило с твоей (вашей) стороны! — That’s so sweet of you!
  • Я именно это и хотел(а). — This is exactly what I wanted.
  • Так здорово! Большое спасибо! — So great! Thanks a lot!
  • Спасибо большое за подарок! Это было неожиданно! — Thank you very much for the gift! It was unexpected!
  • Even if the gift is not to your liking, it is still worth thanking politely by saying at least “Спасибо!“

Greeting words in Russian

The most common way to congratulate on any holiday is to say “Поздравляю!” Congratulations! If you are alone, or “Поздравляем!” Congratulations! If these are wishes from people, a group.

More options for general greetings that are suitable for any occasion:

  • С наилучшими пожеланиями! — Best wishes!
  • Поздравляю (поздравляем) от всей души! — My heartiest congratulations!
  • Всего тебе (вам) хорошего! — All the best!
  • Прими(те) мои поздравления! — Accept my congratulations!
  • Позвольте вас поздравить! — Let me congratulate you!


In addition to general greetings, you can also use variants of wishes in Russian for specific occasions.

Grammar a little bit

To give a gift, you need to understand what the giver wants. To do this, you can ask them, and if they ask you, you will need to tell them what you want.

To talk about your wishes and ask about other people’s wishes, you need the verbs “дарить” (present, give), “хотеть” (wish, want), “мечтать” (dream), “получить” (get).

To tell what you want, use the verb “to get” in combination with “to want” or “to dream”. “To dream” Что ты хочешь получить на Новый год? — What do you want to get for the New Year?

  • Я хочу получить новую сумку. — I want to get a new bag.
  • Я хочу мягкую игрушку. — I want a fluffy toy.
  • Я мечтаю об удобном кресле. — I dream of a comfortable armchair.


Note that the verb ‘хотеть’ is immediately followed by the object, the verb ‘мечтать’ requires the preposition о/об after itself. The verb ‘получить’ is perfect, so it is not used in the present tense, only in the future and past.

Asking about the other person’s wishes is helped by the verb “дарить” (imperfect form) and its variant with the prefix “подарить” (perfect form). Use it in the infinitive form in the question and in the answer in the imperative form.

  • Что тебе подарить на День рождения? — What can I present you?
  • Подари мне что-нибудь полезное. — Give me something useful.


There are many holidays ahead and now you can definitely ask the right questions about the gift and present it with warm wishes in Russian.

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