Russian video course by Red Kalinka
Russian course - Lesson 4

Russian course
Basic Russian for beginners

Lesson 4: What does it mean?

In this lesson you will learn:

  • that in Russian articles do not exist.
  • the full conjugation of a new Russian verb in the present
  • two question words: "what" and "how"
Useful phrase in Russian

Useful phrase in Russian

Listen and repeat the following sentence:

Что э́то зна́чит?
shto é-ta zná-chit?
What does this/it mean?

Что э́то?: This is another useful question. It means "what is this? / what is that?". So now you know how to ask two important questions: what is this? and what does it mean?

Russian vocabulary

Russian vocabulary

Read, listen and repeat the basic vocabulary of this lesson:







This / that/ it



Excuse me / sorry (informal)



Excuse me / sorry (formal)



Of course



To know






How do you say...?

Как сказа́ть...?

kak ska-zát'

Russian dialogues

Dialogues in Russian

These dialogues will help you memorise this lesson's vocabulary:

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Russian grammar

Russian grammar

Read the following grammar explanations for this lesson:

The articles in Russian

In Russian articles (a, an, the) do not exist. That is why a word like "кни́га" could mean either "a book" or "the book". Usually the context will help us know which is the right translation.

  • Э́то кни́га = This/it is a book.
  • Э́то кни́га = This/it is the book.

How to say "it" in Russian

In English "it" is used very often. In most cases "it" will be translated in Russian with the word "э́то" (which also means "this" and "that").

Above you have seen the example of "э́то кни́га". In future lessons you will have the chance to see more ways to say "it" in Russian.

Russian conjugations: the verb знать

In the previous lesson you have seen the present tense of the verb говори́ть. In this lesson you will learn the verb знать (to know).

Compare the endings of both verbs. As you can see, they have similarities and differences. In Russian there are two different "conjugations", that is, two different ways to build the present tense of a Russian verb.

  • Verb: знать
  • Я зна́ю
  • Ты зна́ешь
  • Он/она́/оно́ зна́ет
  • Мы зна́ем
  • Вы зна́ете
  • Они́ зна́ют
  • Verb: говори́ть
  • Я говорю́
  • Ты говори́шь
  • Он/она́/оно́ говори́т
  • Мы говори́м
  • Вы говори́те
  • Они́ говоря́т


Check how much you have learnt in this lesson:

1. Complete the sentence: Что это ............ по-русски?          знать      говорить      значит     знаю

2. Complete the sentence: Как .......... "Internet" по-русски?  сказать    знать       говорить   очень

3. How do you say "excuse me" in a formal way?              извините   знаете    извини   знать

4. How do you say "What is this?" in Russian?                            что?         ты знаешь?       что это?   

5. How many articles are there in Russian? 3 0 as many as in English   only the article "the"

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