Grammar 4--Verb Conjugation

The endings of verbs change to match the subject of the sentence. To learn to conjugation a verb you must memorize its stem and the endings for its conjugation.


1st Conjugation2nd ConjugationRemarks
Infinitiveчита́тьговори́ть

dictionary form

Stemчитай-говор-

aid to memorizing conjugations

Imperative (command form)

Ты implied

чита́й (stem+nothing)говори́ (stem+и)

to one person

Вы implied

чита́йте (stem+те)говори́те (stem+ите)

to a group or formal

Present Tense (of imperfective verbs such as these)

Я (I)

чита́ю (stem+у)говорю́ (stem+ю)

Form depends on person:

  • 1st: I/we
  • 2nd: thou/you
  • 3rd: he/they

and number

  • singular
  • plural

Мы (We)

чита́ем (stem+ем)говори́м (stem+им)

Ты (Thou)

чита́ешь (stem+ешь)говори́шь (stem+ишь)

Вы (You)

чита́ете (stem+те)говори́те (stem+ите)

Он/Она/Оно (He/She/It)

чита́ет (stem+ет)говори́т (stem +ит)

Они (They)

чита́ют (stem+ут)говоря́т (stem+ят)
Past Tense

Stem

чита-говори-

Remove -ть from infinitive

Он

чита́л (stem+л)говори́л (stem+л)

Singular form matches gender of grammatical subject. There is only one plural form.


Она

чита́ла (stem+ла)говори́ла (stem+ла)

Оно

чита́ло (stem+ло)говори́ло (stem+ло)

Они

чита́ли (stem+ли)говори́ли (stem+ли)

Consonant Changes

Though it does not happen with either of the verbs shown above, with some verbs the final consonant (or consonant cluster) of the stem changes as endings are added. When this happens it follows this pattern:

Stem Ends WithChanges to

These changes occur:

  • In all persons of first conjugation verbs ending in -ать
  • In the мы, ты, вы, and он/она/оно forms of first conjugation verbs ending in -чь
  • In the я form of second conjugation verbs
г, д, зж
т, ст, скщ
с, хш
к, тч
ббл
ввл
ммл
ппл

Vowel Changes

The first vowel in the ending will sometimes change as described in Alphabet 4--Phonetic Rules.