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Verbs in Russian Language - Part II (Present Tense)
Present tense is used when you talk about the action taking place now or when the action is ongoing. You must use verb with imperfective aspect for present tense. All that you read here about present tense applies to verbs in perfective aspect, too. But they are used for simple form of future tense.
Verbs in Russian are conjugated. That means that the verbs changes it's form depending on the subject. The same change happens in English language in third person singular when in present tens suffix 's' is appended to the verb.
There are two different conjugations of verbs in Russian language, but there are also exceptions. Some verbs don't follow all the rules and therefore, conjugations of these verbs must be learned separately.
In next examples you will see different endings appended to the verb stem. Verb stem is a part of the verb that remains when you remove the suffix for infinitive form of the word. For example, in the verb ПРОДАВАТЬ, ПРОДАВ is the verb stem, while АТЬ is standard infinitive extension.
There is not really a rule when to use which conjugation, but most of the verbs that end in АТЬ are conjugated using 1st conjugation, while most of the verbs that end in ИТЬ will use second conjugation.
If the verb stem ends on a vowel, use -Ю, -ЕШЬ, -ЕТ, -ЕМ, -ЕТЕ, -ЮТ as endings.
If the verb stem ends on a consonant, use -У, -ЕШЬ, -ЕТ, -ЕМ, -ЕТЕ, -УТ as endings.
In some cases the E in appended ending is the vowel that is accented. In that case E changes to Ё.
If the verb stem ends on Ч, Ж, Ш or Щ, use -У, -ИШЬ, -ИТ, -ИМ, -ИТЕ, -АТ as endings.
Some rules for changing verb stem
Take a look at the conjugations for the verbs in the following table.
If the verb stem ends on -Б, -П, -В or -М, in the first person singular, add Л before the standard conjugation ending.
In the next table you can see the conjugation of the verb ПРОБОВА
When you see the ОВА part at the end of the infinitive version of the verb, when conjugating this verb change ОВА to У and then append standard conjugation endings. There are many verbs of this type.
Conjugation of reflexive verbs is very simple. Just use the appropriate conjugation for the infinitive part of the verb and then add appropriate ending.
Look at the conjugation for the verb КОНЧАТЬСЯ. The infinitive part of the verb is КОНЧАТЬ and we use the rules for 1st conjugation. Then we add the reflexive ending.
If the conjugated infinitive part of the verb ends on a consonant (even if consonant if followed by the soft sign - Ь), add СЯ as ending.
If the conjugated infinitive part of the verb ends on a vowel, add СЬ as ending.