Russian Language Lesson 9

In our next Russian lesson will introduce words and phrases associated with families. This will allow you to talk about your family, which is a very popular topic of conversation in Russia. One of the important concepts that we will introduce in this lesson is possessive pronouns. Possesive pronouns are words such as: my, your, his, her, and our. Personal pronouns are normally used to indicate the ownership of an object. The other method to indicate ownership is to use the genative case.

Russian Family Words

Here are the words Russians commonly use to refer to members of their family:

Мать - mother

Отец - father

Мама - mum

Папа - dad

Сестра - sister

Брат - brother

Дочь - daughter

Сын - son

бабушка - grandmother

Дедушка - grandfather

Жена - wife

Муж - husband

Тётя - auntie

Дядя - uncle

Родители - parents

Дети - children

Внучка - granddaughter

Внук - grandson

Семья - family

Just like English, in Russian there are two ways to refer to your mother and father. For example we use the words mum and dad. Most commonly Russians use the words Mama and Papa to refer to their parents.

Basic russian phrases

Quite often you want to tell people how many brothers and sisters you have. Here are some Russian phrases you could use.

PlayУ меня есть сестра - I have a sister.

PlayУ меня есть брат - I have a brother.

PlayУ тебя есть дети? - Do you have children?.

PlayУ меня есть сын и дочь - I have a son and a daughter.

PlayУ меня нет детей - I don't have any children.

Note: This grammar explained in lesson 10.

Possesive Pronouns

In order to talk about your family you normally need to use possesive pronouns so we will introduce them now. You should always choose the possesive pronoun that matches the gender of the item it owns.

Мой (m), Моя (f), Моё (n), Мои (pl) - my

Твой (m), Твоя (f), Твоё (n), Твои (pl) - your

Его (m n) ("yevo"), Её (f) - his, her

Наш (m), Наша (f), Наше (n), Наши (pl) - our

Ваш (m), Ваша (f), Ваше (n), Ваши (pl) - your

Их - their

Now you will be able to combine Russian words and phrases that your learnt in earlier lessons to talk about your family. Here are some Russian phrases and sentences you could say with words you already know.

PlayМоя мама любит музыку - My mother loves music

PlayМоя сестра читает газету - My sister is reading a newspaper

PlayМой брат любит спорт - My brother loves sport

PlayТвой брат любит спорт - Your brother loves sport

PlayНаш брат любит спорт - Our brother loves sport

When you introduce members of your family you will need to adapt one of the phrases we learnt in lesson 3. For example, you may wish to say her name is Anna. However, the only problem is that this particular phrase is unusual. The pronouns need to be used in the genative case, which we have not learnt yet. So here are two examples that you can use for now:

PlayМеня зовут Анна - my name is Anna

PlayЕё зовут Анна - her name is Anna

PlayЕго зовут Иван - his name is Ivan.

This is...

The Russian word Это means 'this is'. Here is how you can use it with some possesive pronouns.

PlayЭто мой дом - This is my house

PlayЭто моя квартира - This is my apartment

PlayЭто твоя квартира? - Is this your apartment?

Common greetings

Finally, we will introduce some common greeting phrases that you may wish to use every now and again.

PlayДоброе утро - good morning

PlayДобрый день - good afternoon

PlayДобрый вечер - good evening

PlayСпокойной ночи - goodnight (when going to bed)

More Words

Click Here to visit our vocabulary section to find more Russian words related to families.


Use this video to help you learn some words about family: Take me to YouTube.


In this lesson we have learnt the basic Russian words and phrases for talking about your family. And possibly more importantly you can use possesive pronouns. For some practice it would be good idea to try and describe members of your family, perhaps you could try writing a paragraph about each member of your family discussing their names, hobbies, where they live and which languages they can speak. When you get the chance to talk to Russian people in Russia, you will find that this is often a popular topic of conversation, in particular when you're having conversations with people you don't know in times such as travelling on a train.


Recommended Books For Learning Russian

The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners - Probably the best course in a book.

Russian-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary - A visual dictionary with lots of illustrated examples.

A Comprehensive Russian Grammar - A great reference on Russian grammar.

The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs - A great reference book of conjugated Russian verbs.

Russian Learners' Dictionary: 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order - A simple but powerful concept. Expand your vocabulary by learning the most used words first.