Tips for memorizing verbs

For some reason I have difficulty learning Russian verbs compared to nouns and adjectives. Conjugating them isn't hard although I can make mistakes and I mix up verbs that sound similar.

March 10, 2018


Hi! Hmm, if you are a native English speaker, I think it may be the prefixes that trip you.

In English, it's very common to use phrasal verbs (eg. mix up, go away, come on, etc.) where a preposition or adverb brings more meaning to the main verb. Russian, though, is very prolific with verbs because it uses prefixes. You could try concentrating on those more.

Just like the "away" in go away, take away and run away means the same thing, many Russian verbs have prefixes whose meaning you can learn. For example, the при in прийти means "movement in a direction approaching the speaker" while the про in пройти means roughly "execute an action until completion." When you add them to the root идти, you get "come here" and "pass through," respectively. I hope this could help!

March 11, 2018

I think that's a good tip! I'm a native Greek speaker and although I find Russian quite similar to Greek in many ways, it's unfortunately not easier for me and I'm struggling particularly will verbs like the OP. They just don't stick!

March 12, 2018

in languages there's always going to be something that trips you up. verbs are very hard for me in russian too but there's not much you can do! just practise practise practise and be as precise with them as you can. if you're talking with a native speaker and you make mistakes i'm sure they'll be happy to help! so until then just try and use them as much as possible to get used to them. there's really no trick to language learning and no way to get past this :(( but any progress is good progress :))

March 11, 2018

I think I've observed something similar for me. I did a verb-focused flashcard deck on Memrise. It just took forever to get things to stick. I think at the end of the day it's probably best to just learn them in context, just like most other things.

Personally I find LingQ a good place to work on the getting to the next level in Russian.

March 11, 2018

Can you share your verb-focused flashcard deck on Memrise here, please?

March 12, 2018

No representation that the verbs that happen to be included have any particular usefulness over any other set of verbs:

Like all user-created Memrise courses there can be random quality-control issues, like ordinarily you can answer with either the perfective or imperfective infinitive. But there are probably a few cases where you can't.

March 12, 2018

I see. Thanks anyway

March 18, 2018
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