How to Learn Russian Grammar, One Layer at a Time
To learn how to write and speak in real Russian, you need to take the time to learn and play by the rules… the grammatical rules, that is!
If you do, you may find teaching yourself Russian is actually easier than you think.
So there’s everything you need to learn Russian grammar and send your language skills sky-rocketing toward fluency.
- The Importance of Learning Proper Russian Grammar
- Learn Russian Grammar with Websites
- Learn Russian Grammar with Books
- Learn Russian Grammar with YouTube Videos
- Learn Russian Grammar with Blogs
The Importance of Learning Proper Russian Grammar
- Proper grammar improves your credibility. While it’s adorable to hear a toddler figure out how to place words together to explain what they want, adults don’t have as much patience with other adults. In fact, incorrect grammar may lead others to see you as unintelligent and uneducated. If you’re learning Russian in order to pass a Russian language class or for business reasons, learning correct grammar usage is imperative to making you seem like a credible professional.
- Proper grammar improves your communication skills. If you want to be able to express yourself to Russian speakers, you need to learn proper grammar. Grammar not only enhances communication skills, it also helps individuals think more clearly and logically.
- Proper grammar helps you write well. Knowing proper grammar is crucial for learning to write well in Russian. To be able to connect the oral language with the written language, grammar skills are a must! Whether you plan to write a letter to a Russian friend, pen a greeting card for a birthday, write a term paper in Russian or compile a business plan, you need to know the rules for punctuation, sentence structure, verb tenses and all the other elements you need for your writing to be legible and coherent.
Learn Russian Grammar with Websites
This program immerses you in the language through authentic Russian videos like news clips, movie trailers and more so that you can learn grammar naturally from Russian speakers.
Every video includes interactive captions that allow you to hover over any word to see an in-context definition, further examples of the word used, an image, and a pronunciation guide.
More importantly, you’ll be able to see the grammar information—including part of speech, tense, mood, number, gender and any other relevant details you need to know about the word. You can also see other videos using the word in the same way and context for additional practice with it.
If you’re struggling to understand how a certain word is used, you can search for videos using specific words or phrases to see more examples of native speakers using them in various situations.
Cornell’s Russian Grammar Site
This site from Cornell University is basically an extensive and complete directory with links to pages about all the different areas of Russian grammar.
Start with the alphabet to learn how to write and pronounce the Cyrillic letters and understand what their English equivalents are. Move on to learning about vowels and consonants, including the difference between palatalized and unpalatalized consonants, as well as spelling rules for case endings.
Read the discussion on roots of Russian words and then read the sections about parts of speech (such as nouns, verbs and so on), which take up the bulk of the site. Finally, finish up with instructions on how to form proper Russian sentences.
Russian for Free
This grammar resource teaches you how to add correct endings to Russian words, and how to organize them in a sentence to speak proper Russian. Use the handy grammar tables compiled on this site when you want to read a Russian text or write in Russian.
The grammar tables include the six Russian noun cases, different endings for Russian adjectives, possessive and personal Russian pronouns as well as gender endings.
Russian for Free provides different ways for you to utilize your Russian grammar skills after honing them, such as reading Russian comics, playing games and writing in a Russian forum.
Russian Language Lessons
This is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to learn Russian grammar. The authors admit that many foreign language learners don’t even remember the rules of English grammar, so they keep that in mind when creating materials for their Russian lessons. Their grammar basics are not very technical, and consist of simple rules and clearly-explained concepts to help you communicate in Russian in no time.
Use the quick reference guide on the left of the site to choose between the 16 Russian grammar lessons, which focus on spelling rules, nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives.
Learn Russian Grammar with Books
“A Comprehensive Russian Grammar”
The third edition of this text, written by Terence Wade, a Scottish scholar of the Russian language, focuses on teaching the rules of current Russian grammar, with updates as to how the Russian language has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
This book covers one part of speech in every chapter, including a full English translation of every example used throughout the text. The author also notes exceptions for each grammar construction, which is helpful for advanced Russian learners.
“A Russian Grammar Workbook”
Also by Terence Wade, this this workbook is an accompaniment to “A Comprehensive Russian Grammar,” which can also be used as a stand-alone Russian grammar resource for students of all levels. The exercises in this large-format workbook include quizzes, translation exercises, multiple-choice questions and substitution drills.
The workbook includes an answer key for the exercises, as well as recommendations for learning the more complex aspects of grammar.
Learn Russian Grammar with YouTube Videos
Instead of looking up the latest music videos or searching for a DIY tutorial, use YouTube to help you learn Russian Grammar! There’s a multitude of YouTube videos dedicated to doing just that, including:
- The Russian Grammar Channel: Access quick video lessons that focus on the more difficult parts of Russian grammar, explained by a professional Russian teacher in a non-stressful and friendly way.
- Learn Russian – Introduction to Russian Grammar: A five-minute video explaining the basics of Russian grammar.
- Russian Grammar: A video that focuses on the six Russian cases.
- How to Learn Russian Grammar Effectively?: A co-founder of Learning to Know Russian provides his tips on learning Russian grammar for American learners.
Learn Russian Grammar with Blogs
Russian blogs are another important tool for improving your Russian grammar. Their articles can provide a wealth of information in an easy-to-digest format that will not only help you with Russian grammar skills, but also point you in the right direction of other helpful resources for improving your Russian.
Some of our favorite Russian blogs include:
Although this blog hasn’t been updated recently, its archives still include many different Russian lessons, including a grammar page. Learn about nouns, pronouns, verbs, numbers and conjunctions, as well as how to group them together to sound coherent in Russian.
While not exactly a blog, Lingualift offers an online Russian course that’s heavy on clear and thorough written explanations of the language, including grammar concepts. Here, you can feel assured that you’re getting all the right information in the right order, with the added bonus of interactive elements to test your understanding.
Lingualift is great for beginners who are struggling with Russian’s mysterious and unfamiliar grammar because it gives you a gentle walkthrough of the Russian language that takes you through to the advanced level.
Мы любим грамматику! (We Love Grammar!)
Shout it out: “I love grammar! You love grammar! We all love grammar!”
The creators of this blog, the title of which means “We Love Grammar!” surely feel very strongly about this area of Russian studies.
In addition to fun and helpful posts, they provide suggestions for other ways to help you learn the language, such as vocabulary lists and a chance to connect to native Russia speakers via their pen pal program! Follow up with this site on social media, by clicking on their Facebook profile.
If you use these resources to work on each of these four layers of Russian grammar, you’re sure to pick up how to learn Russian grammar in no time.
So don’t delay, improve your Russian grammar today!
Renata Ilitsky is a professional content writer with over 10 years of experience. She specializes in creating unique and engaging content for any industry. To read some of Renata’s other work, please view her writing portfolio.