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Russian course - Lesson 13

Russian course
Basic Russian for beginners

Lesson 13: I will be reading the novel, but I will not finish reading it


In this lesson you will learn:

  • the future tense in Russian
  • the future of imperfective and perfective verbs
Useful phrase in Russian

Useful phrase in Russian

Listen and repeat the following sentence:

Я бу́ду чита́ть рома́н, но не прочита́ю его́
ya bú-du chi-tát' ro-mán, no nye pra-chi-tá-yu ye-vó
I will be reading the novel, but I will not finish reading it

The verbal aspect and the future of Russian verbs: In lesson 11 you have seen the verbal aspect, that is, you have learnt the imperfective and perfective verbs. Now we are going to see how to form the future of these verbs.

During the lesson you will see the concept of "finished action" (=perfective) and "action in progress" (=imperfective).

Russian vocabulary

Russian vocabulary

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

English

Russian

guest / guests

гость / го́сти

by the way

кста́ти

afterwards

пото́м

again

сно́ва

ok, alright

ла́дно

tomorrow, see you tomorrow

за́втра, до за́втра

Sunday

воскресе́нье

homework

дома́шнее зада́ние

exercise

упражне́ние

quickly, fast

бы́стро

birthday

день рожде́ния

party

вечери́нка

soup, meat, dessert

суп, мя́со, десе́рт

yummy, tasty, delicious

вкусно

Russian verbs that you will see on this lesson

These are the new verbs that you will learn in the dialogues.

English

Russian (imperfective verb / perfective verb)

to have lunch

обе́дать / пообе́дать

to call, to phone

звони́ть / позвони́ть

to work

рабо́тать (imperfective)

Russian dialogues

Dialogues in Russian

With extra help for verbs!

Now you are going to see three dialogues with perfective and imperfective verbs in the future tense. In the grammar section (after these dialogues) you will learn more about these Russian verbs.

We are going to help you:

  • Perfective verbs in the future tense will be highlighted
  • Imperfective verbs in the future tense will be highlighted

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Russian grammar

Russian grammar

Read the following grammar explanations for this lesson:

The future tense in Russian

Step 1: The future of the very "to be" (быть)

As you have seen in lesson 11 for each English verb, in Russian exist two verbs: a perfective and an imperfective one. Now we will see how to form their future tense.

We will start with the future of the verb "to be" (бить).

The verb быть is used as an auxiliary verb in order to form the future. It has a similar function as "will" in English.

Russian

Я бу́ду

Ты бу́дешь

Он / она́ бу́дет

Мы бу́дем

Вы бýдете

Они́ бу́дут

English

I will be

You will be

He / she will be

We will be

You will be

They will be

Step 2: How form the future tense in Russian

In lesson 11 you have seen that the past tense in Russian is formed the same way for both imperfective and perfective verbs. In the case of the future tense, we have these two ways.

This is the way to form the future tense in Russian of imperfective verbs:

  • Verb быть conjugated in the future tense + infinitive of the imperfective verb

As you will see below, this is similar to the way to form the future tense in English.

This is the way to form the future tense in Russian of perfective verbs:

  • stem of the perfective verb + endings of the present tense

as you will see below, this future looks like the present tense of imperfective verbs. It is important not to mix both tenses.

We can now see an example with the verb "to read". Pay attention: for the verb "to read" there are two Russian verbs:

чита́ть (imperfective) and прочита́ть (perfective). We will see below how to form the the future tense for each verb:

чита́ть = to read

imperfective

Я бу́ду чи́тать = I will read / I'm going to read

Ты бу́дешь чи́тать = You will read / You're going to read

Он/Она́ будет чи́тать = He / she will read / He's going to read

Мы бу́дем чи́тать = We will read / We're going to read

Вы бу́дете чи́тать = You will read / You're going to read

Они́ бу́дут чи́тать = They will read /They're going to read

прочитать = to read

perfective

Я прочита́ю = I will read / I'm going to read

Ты прочита́ешь = You will read / You're going to read

Он/Она́ прочита́ет = He / she will read / He's going to read

Мы прочита́ем = We will read / We're going to read

Вы прочита́ете = You will read / You're going to read

Они́ прочита́ют = They will read /They're going to read

The perfective verbs do not exist in the present tense

this is a difficult concept, but it is important to understand it. we will explain it with an example:

In English we can use the construction "finish + verb + -ing" in the present, but with a future meaning:

  • Today I finish reading the book - In 5 minutes I finish cooking - Tomorrow I finish painting

Something similar happens with the perfective verbs in Russian:

You already know that perfective verbs convey the idea of "finished action". The future of these verbs are formed adding the endings of the present, but (as it happens with "finish + verb + -ing) they have a future meaning.

In other words: The verbs that form the future with the endings of the present (that is, the perfective verbs) don't have any "present tense". They can only be used to express past and future.

Step 3: Examples of Russian verbs in the future tense

Have a look at these examples to understand better the use of imperfective and perfective Russian verbs in the future.

Russian verbs give more information that English verbs. That's why below you will see three columns:

  • a sentence in Russian
  • the English translation
  • a longer translation where you can see the extra information given by the Russian verb.

Russian

За́втра я бу́ду гото́вить суп / гото́вить (imperfective): to cook

За́втра я пригото́влю суп / пригото́вить (perfective): to cook

English translation

"Tomorrow I'm going to cook soup" or "Tomorrow I'll cook soup"

"Tomorrow I'm going to cook soup" or "Tomorrow I'll cook soup"

Information given by the Russian verb, not given by the English one

Tomorrow I will be performing the action of cooking soup, but I don't say if I'll finish cooking it or not.

Tomorrow I will cook soup and I will finish cooking it.

Ива́н бу́дет чита́ть рома́н / чита́ть (imperfective): to read

Ива́н прочита́ет рома́н / прочита́ть (perfective): to read

"Ivan is going to read a novel" or "Ivan will read a novel"

"Ivan is going to read a novel" or "Ivan will read a novel"

Ivan will be performing the action of reading a novel, but doesn't tell if he'll finish it or not.

Ivan is going to be reading the novel until he finishes it.

Сего́дня мы бу́дем де́лать всё / де́лать (imperfective): to do

Сего́дня мы всё сде́лаем / сде́лать (perfective): to do

"Today we're going to do everything" or "Today we'll do everything"

"Today we're going to do everything" or "Today we'll do everything"

Today we are going to be performing the action of doing everything, but we don't say if we'll finish or not.

Today we will be doing everything until we finish it.

Have you noticed it? When you read the English translation (that is, the second column in the examples above) you can't tell if the Russian sentence used a perfective or an imperfective verb. In real situations you won't see a sentence alone: you will see a whole context to help you know if the action finished or not.

But as you can see, Russian verbs give more information that English verbs.

Russian test

Test

Check how much you have learnt in this lesson:

1. Which verbs don't exist in the future?       perfective         imperfective   both have future  

2. Which of these verbs is in the future?       я буду читать    я читаю            читай

3. Translate: tomorrow I'll be cooking soup? завтра я приготовлю суп   завтра я буду готовить суп

4. Which verbs don't exist in the present?     perfective   imperfective  both 

5. Which verbs form the future with "быть"? no one           perfective      imperfective



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