Verbs. Introduction

  1. Conjugation in grammar refers to changes in the verb form that depend on the subject. The subject in a sentence is the 'actor'.
  2. The subject can be one of six persons:
    personsingularplural
    1st personIwe
    2nd personyouyou
    3rd personhe, she, itthey
  3. In Russian, as in many other languages, the form of the verb changes depending on the subject. In English this happens with the verb 'to be': am, are, is.
  4. In most other verbs in English we see this change only in the third person singular form, where we add -s, or -es.
  5. In the present tense, Russian has a different ending for each person.
  6. Russian verbs may be looked at as falling into two basic categories, depending on the type of endings they will take: Class I and Class II. You may also see them referred to as conjugation I and conjugation II.
  7. Verb conjugation refers to the endings a verb will take with each of the subject pronouns: I, you (one), he, she, it, we, you (all), they.
  8. Except for the third person singular (he, she, it), verbs in English don't change much when they are used with other persons.
  9. In many other languages, however, you may see a different ending on the verb with each person. Russian is one of these languages. Russian has a different verb form for each pronoun.
  10. Verb endings in Russian are added to the stem of a verb. When we do this, quite often changes take place in the stem. For example, if the last letter of the stem is a consonant, it may disappear, or it may be replaced by another consonant.

Related topics
First conjugation (-е-/-ё- verbs)
Second conjugation (-и- verbs)