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 3


Russian grammar and vocabulary. Unit 1
Grammar Lesson 1
Gender of Nouns: Hard Stem. Personal pronouns он (he), она (she), оно (it). "The" and "a"."To be" in the Present tense
Grammar Lesson 2
Gender of Nouns: Hard and Soft Stems. Exceptions
Grammar Lesson 3
Nominative Plural of Nouns
Grammar Lesson 4
Personal Pronouns я, ты, он, она, оно, мы, вы, они. Ты vs. Вы
Phrasebook Topic 3
Phrasebook Topic 4
Learn Russian Names: Last Name, First Name and Patronimic
Quiz 5
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 1-4 and Phrasebook Topics 3-4 with this 20 minute quiz.
Test 1
Check what you have learned from Russian Letters and Sound System section and Grammar Lessons 1-4

 Лексика                                                       Professions - Профессии

Talking about one's profession/occupation


When people meet each other, they often mention their profession, occupation. In Russian language there is no such a question as "What do you do?". Russians ask: "What is your profession/occupation" instead. So your new Russian friend may ask you:

Кто ты по-профессии?

literally: What is your profession? - informal  (ты is used )

Кто вы по-профессии?

Кто он (она) по-профессии?

What is your profession? - formal and plural  (вы is used )

What does he (she) do?

Remember to use вы when speaking to more than one person, or as a formal way of addressing one person.

To answer this question (to tell what do you do, what is your profession/occupation), you can simply say:

Я студент.

I am a student.

Я врач.

I am an doctor.
This Nominative case structure is also used to explain what someone else does, what is his/her profession. 

Listen and repeat:

Мой друг журналист.

 My friend is a journalist.

Иван Сергеевич инженер.

 Ivan Sergeyevich is an engineer.
  • This structure has no verb in the present tense.
Word Building. Suffix -к-
Some words for professions have masculine and feminine forms. The suffix -к- (plus the ending ) is used to form feminine nouns from masculine. Here are some examples of masculine and feminine forms.

Click each pair of words below to listen, repeat the words, imitating their pronunciation.



 Professions (male and female forms)

артист - артистка

actor -actress  


студент - студентка

university student

аспирант - аспирантка

post-graduate student

журналист - журналистка


спортсмен - спортсменка

Read the following sentences aloud:


Павел студент и Лена студентка.

Иван Петрович журналист.

Анна Петровна журналистка.


Word Building. Suffix -иц- (-ниц-)
The suffix -иц- (-ниц-) (plus the ending ) is also used to form feminine nouns from masculine. 

Click each pair of words below to listen, repeat the words, imitating their pronunciation.



 Professions (male and female forms)

певец - певица



писатель - писательница


преподаватель - преподавательница

university instructor

учитель - учительница

grade school teacher

школьник - школьница

grade school student
Read the following sentences aloud:


Андрей школьник и Ира школьница.

Мой брат писатель.

Моя сестра певица.

Павел Антонович учитель.

Татьяна Сергеевна учительница.


  • The possessive pronouns мой and моя mean "my". Мой is used for a male person and моя for a female person. Possessive pronouns will be discussed in detail later on.
Words which are used for male and female persons
For many professions one word is used for both male and female person. 

Click the words to listen, repeat the words, imitating their pronunciation.



 Professions (one word for both male and female)
















builder, constructor
  • Russians would rather say бизнес-леди about a woman instead of бизнесмен, though the word бизнесмен may be used for both men and women.

Listen to the words for professions introduced above as many times as you need, read them aloud at least three times each and memorize.

Reading and Writing: I'm a businessman - Я бизнесмен

1. Read the following sentences aloud. Write them down on paper or type on your computer. Translate the sentences.


1. Игорь бизнесмен.

2. Татьяна Викторовна врач.

3. Сергей повар и Алла повар.

4. Я студент.

5. Я студентка.

6. Михаил, Антон и Ольга студенты.


2. Tell what you do, what is your profession/occupation in Russian. Tell what your mom and dad (brother, sister, friend) do, what is their profession. Use your English - Russian dictionary if necessary.

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

4. Keep the written story for future reference.



1. Tell your story without looking at what you have written.

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