100 common words in Russian

While studying a foreign language, you will master various skills, including vocabulary expansion. Each topic is usually built on an integrated approach: certain grammatical rules are studied along with new and learned vocabulary. If you want to expand your vocabulary, this article will be useful for you.

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курсы русского языка как иностранного

Five Russian words that are known all over the world

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Some Russian words are known everywhere. You do not need to translate them. Either because the word is simply unrenderable, or because the translation is redundant — this phenomenon is well known.

  • Матрешка / Matryoshka. Though matryoshka itself is not a Russian invention but a Japanese one, it is the Russian matryoshka that has become a world famous brand, and the word itself does not need a translation.
  • Водка / Vodka. Everyone in the world can understand this word. Its origin is still controversial. According to one version, it comes from the Polish wodka, which goes back to the common Slavic word woda.
  • Борщ / Borsch. Russian cuisine is known and loved all over the world, and its specialties such as блины (bliny), пироги (pirogi), пельмени (pelmeni), каша (kasha), квас (kvas) and сметана (smetana) can be found on the menus of many foreign restaurants.
  • Бабушка / Babushka. If you look into the English-Russian dictionary, you can see the word babushka (meaning: a usually triangularly folded kerchief for the head). The second meaning of this word is “an elderly Russian woman.”
  • Самовар / Samovar. This is a Russian thing in itself. Though the first samovars appeared in China, they became an object of national pride in Russia.

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курсы русского языка для иностранцев

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курсы русского языка как иностранного

Top 100 Russian words

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These words will come in handy in your everyday life at the first stage of learning Russian.

Word Pronunciation Translation
Nouns
Вид [вит / vit] A view, appearance
Вопрос [вапро́с / vaprós] A question
Время [вр’э́м’а / vremya] The time
Глаз [глас / glas] An eye
Год [гот / got] A year
Голова [галава́ / galava] A head
Дело [д’эла́ / dela] Business
День [д’эн’ / den’] A day
Дом [дом / dom] A house
Друг [друк / druk] A friend
Жизнь [жызн’ / zhyzn’] Life
Конец [кан’э́ц / kaǹets] The end
Лицо [лицо́ / litsó] A face
Место [м’э́ста / m̀esta] A place
Мир [мир / mir] Peace, a world
Работа [рабо́та / rabóta] Work
Раз [рас / ras] A time
Ребенок [риб’о́нак / ribyónak] A child
Рука [рука́ / ruka] A hand
Сила [си́ла / síla] A force, strength
Слово [сло́ва / slóva] A word
Случай [слу́чай / slúchay] A case
Сторона [старана́ / starana] A side
Страна [страна́  strana] A country
Человек [чилав’э́к / chilav̀ek] A human
Verbs
Быть [быт’ /byt’] To be
Взять [вз’ат’ / vzyat’] To take
Видеть [ви́дит’ / vídit’] To see
Говорить [гавари́т’  gavarít’] To speak
Дать [дат’ / dat’] To give
Думать [ду́мат’ / dúmat’] To think
Жить [жыт’  zhyt’] To live
Знать [знат’  znat’] To know
Идти [ити́ / ití] To go
Иметь [им’э́т’ / imyet’] To have
Мочь [моч’ / moch’] To be able to
Оказаться [аказа́т’с’а / akazat’sya] To turn out
Получить [палучи́т’ / paluchít’] To receive
Понять [пан’а́т’ / pfnyat’] To understand
Работать [рабо́тат’ / rabótat’] To work
Сделать [сде́лат’ / sdelat’] To make
Сидеть [сиде́т’ / sidet’] To sit
Сказать [сказа́т’ / skazat’] To tell
Смотреть [сматре́т’ / smatr̀et’] To look
Спросить [спраси́т’ / sprasít’] To ask
Стать [стат’ / stat’] To become
Хотеть [хат’э́т’ / hatet’] To want
Adverbs
Больше [бо́л’ш’э / ból’she] More
Вдруг [вдрук / vdruk] Suddenly
Вместе [вм’э́ст’э  vm̀este] Together
Вообще [вапщ’э́ / vapshch̀e] At all
Еще [ищ’о́ / ishchyó] Yet
Меньше [мэ́н’ш’э / m̀en’she] Less
Особенно [асо́бина / as̀obina] Specially
Очень [о́ч’ин / óchin’] Very
Почти [пачти́ / pachtí] Nearly
Снова [сно́ва / snóva] Again
Совсем [сафс’э́м / safsỳem] At all
Сразу [сра́зу / srazu] Immediately
Уже [уж’э́ / uzh̀e] Already
Хорошо [харашо́ / harashó] Well
Adjectives
Белый [б’э́лый / belyj] White
Большой [бал’шо́й / bal’shóy] Large
Высокий [высо́кий / vysókiy] Tall
Главный [гла́вный / glavnyj] Main
Государственный [гасуда́рств’эный / gasudarstvinyj] State
Далекий [дал’о́кий / dalyókiy] Far
Маленький [ма́л’ин’кий / malin’kiy] Small
Молодой [маладо́й / maladóy] Young
Настоящий [настайа́щий / nastayashchiy] Present, real
Новый [но́вый / nóvyj] New
Нужный [ну́жный / nýzhnyj] Needed
Общий [о́бщий / ̀obshchiy] General
Основной [аснавно́й / asnavnóy] Main
Полный [по́лный / pólnyj] Full
Последний [пасл’э́дний / pasl̀edniy] Last
Разный [ра́зный / raznyj] Different
Российский [раси́йский / rasíyskiy] Russian
Русский [ру́ский / rúskiy] Russian
Собственный [собствиный / sobstvinyj] Own
Старый [ста́рый / staryj] Old
Хороший [харо́ший / haróshiy] Good
Черный [ч’о́рный / chyórnyj] Black
Pronouns
Все [фсе / fse] Everybody
Всё [фс’о / fsyo] Everything
Где [гд’э / gde] Where
Его [йиво / yivo] His
Который [каторый / katoryj] Which
Мы [мы / my] We
Наш [наш / nash] Our
Он / она / они [он / on] He / she / they
Сам [сам / sam] Itself (myself, yourself…)
Свой [свой / svoy] Own
Себя [сиб’а / sibya] Itself (myself, yourself…)
Столько [стол’ка / stol’ka] So many/much
Такой [такой / takoy] Such
Ты [ты / ty] You
Что [што / shto] What
Это / этот [эта / eta] This
Я [йа / ya] I

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What words are worth learning first?

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To the above words, you can add the following list of categories which will help you to be more fluent:

  • numbers so that unscrupulous sellers and taxi drivers do not charge you more than they should;
  • idioms and slang so that some phrases do not seem particularly weird to you;
  • words such as “молоко”, “кефир”, “ряженка” and “снежок” as experienced foreigners claim that these dairy products are sold in similar packages, which are easy to confuse;
  • words that indicate the direction: “вверх”, “налево”, “туда”, “здесь” and others. They will help you explain where you need to go and understand when someone will explain the way.

However, just learning the words is not enough. You need constant practice to understand how to use them correctly. It is better to practice with other students in a group or with a teacher alone. Sign up for courses in the School of Russian Language “Leader” and soon you will notice progress in learning Russian!

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