Russian For Everyone Learn Russian Language Online

Self study guide for elementary level learners of Russian
and for intermediate level students who wish to review basic grammar and vocabulary

Phrasebook Topic 16

About My Friends

Russian grammar and vocabulary. Unit 5
Grammar Lesson 18
Irregular Plurals of Nouns
Grammar Lesson 19
The -ова- Stem Verbs. The verb любить - to love
Phrasebook Topic 15
Countries and Nationalities
Quiz 12
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 18-19 and Phrasebook Topics 15 with this 15 minute quiz.
Grammar Lesson 20
The Prepositional Case of Adjectives. Uses and Forms
Grammar Lesson 21
The Prepositional Case of Possessive and Demonstrative Pronouns. Uses. Singular and Plural Forms
Phrasebook Topic 16
About My Friends
Quiz 13
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 20-21 and Phrasebook Topics 16 with this 15 minute quiz.
Test 5
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 18-21 and Phrasebook Topics 15-16.

 Лексика                                                   About My Friends - О моих друзьях

Talking about friends
Russian has many words for "friend". Which one to use depends on the gender of a friend (male or female), how well and how long you know each other (if it's an acquaintance or a good friend of yours).

  • First, there are two different words for a male friend - друг and a female friend - подруга. These two words are used for a very good, close friend (could be your boyfriend or girlfriend, but not necessarily). 
  • For an acquaintance, a person you have met just recently, the words знакомый (male acquaintance) and знакомая (female acquaintance) are used. These words have adjectival endings in all cases (i.e. they decline like adjectives, but used as nouns).
  • For a person you know for quite a while but cannot call your "best friend" the proper Russian words to use would be приятель (male person) and приятельница (female person). Dictionaries translate these two words as "friend" or "buddy", but remember that they are not used for a close, best friend (Russian has друг and подруга for that).
  • For a class mate at elementary, middle and high school the words одноклассник (male person) and одноклассница (female person) are used.
  • For a class mate at university use two other words: одногруппник (for male person) and одногруппница (for a female person). Literally it can be translated as "group mate".
Listen to the words discussed above. Repeat the words after speaker:

 друг - подруга

 знакомый - знакомая

 приятель - приятельница

 одноклассник - одноклассница

 одногруппник - одногруппница


Talking about year at university/school

You already know how to say what is your faculty, major at university:
  • Я учусь на лингвистическом факультете. - I'm in the Linguistics department.
  • Мой друг учится на историческом факультете. - I'm in the History department.
From this topic you will learn how to say what year you are in. The combination of an ordinal numeral (первый - first, второй - second, etc.) and the word курс is used to describe the year of study. The whole combination must be in the prepositional case:


1. Я учусь на первом курсе.

I'm in my first year.

2. Мой друг учится на втором курсе.

My friend is in his second year.

3. Мой брат учится на третьем курсе.

My brother is in his third year.

4. Они учатся на четвёртом курсе.

They are in their forth year.

5. Она учится на пятом курсе.

She is in her fifth year.


  • The word курс  "course"  with the preposition на is used  for a year at university or college only. For a year at school (elementary, middle, high) the word класс with the preposition в is used. Compare:
  • Моя младшая сестра учится в третьем классе. - My youngest sister is in her third year (at elementary school).

    Моя старшая сестра учится на третьем курсе. - My oldest sister is in her third year (at university).


  • Note that ordinal numerals have the adjectival ending -ом in the prepositional case. The only exception is the word третий - на третьем курсе, which has the soft variant of the ending -ем.

  • A different sentence structure is used for a graduate school student. Listen and repeat:

6. Я учусь в аспирантуре.

I'm in graduate school.
Now listen to the story about a friend of mine and find the answers to the questions below. You may listen to the story as many times as you need. Read and translate the questions before you start listening.

1. Где живёт Катя?

2. Где она учится?

3. На каком факультете она учится?

4. На каком курсе она учится?

5. Что она изучает в университете?

6. На каком языке она очень хорошо говорит?

7. На каких языках она читает?


Click the speaker to listen to the story, then answer the questions.


 Reading and writing: About My friend - О моём друге / О моей подруге


1. Use the texts below as the model for you own story. Read these texts aloud at least three times.



А.    Я хочу рассказать о моём русском друге Сергее. Сергей живёт в России, во Владивостоке. Он преподаватель, работает в университете на химическом факультете. Сергей преподаёт химию и биологию на первом курсе. Его родной язык русский. Он хорошо говорит по-английски. 




Б.      Я хочу рассказать о моей русской подруге Кате. Она живёт в России, в Москве. Катя студентка. Она учится в нашем университете на лингвистическом факультете. Её *родной язык русский. Она очень хорошо говорит по-английски, читает по-немецки и по-испански. Сейчас  Катя на четвёртом курсе. Она изучает лингвистику, педагогику, историю и немецкий язык.


*родной язык -  native(first) language


2. Make up your own story. Tell about a friend of yours (could be your друг/подруга, знакомый/знакомая, приятель/приятельница, etc.): what his/her name is, where he/she lives now, what he/she does, where he/she works or studies, what he/she is studying, what languages he/she speaks. 

3. Write down your story on paper or type it on your computer, then read it aloud at least three times. 

4.  Keep your written story for future reference.

 Speaking: About My friend - О моём друге / О моей подруге

Memorize your story and retell it without looking at the paper or computer.


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