Basic phrases

Here are some basic Russian phrases which you can use in everyday conversation, as well as some common words you will see on signs.

даyes
нетno
может быть or возможноmaybe
пожалуйстаplease
спасибоthanks
большое спасибоthanks very much

The following are some polite ways you can reply to someone who thanks you:

пожалуйстаyou're welcome
не за чтоdon't mention it
не стоит благодарностиnot at all

Saying hello and goodbye

Here are some different ways to greet people:

приветhi
здравствуйтеhello
доброе утроgood morning (used before noon)
добрый деньgood afternoon (used from noon until around 5pm)
добрый вечерgood evening (used from around 5pm)

The following expressions, on the other hand, are some different things you can say when saying goodbye:

покаbye
до свиданияgoodbye
спокойной ночиgoodnight
увидимся!see you!
до скорого!see you soon!
хорошего дня!have a nice day!
хороших выходных!have a good weekend!

Getting someone's attention and apologising

простите or извинитеexcuse me (can be used to get someone's attention, to get past someone, or to apologise)
извинитеSorry

If someone apologises to you, you can reply using one of the following expressions:

ничего страшногоNo problem
все в порядкеIt's OK
не стоит беспокойстваDon't worry about it

Making yourself understood

Вы говорите по-русски?Do you speak Russian?
Я не говорю по-русскиI don't speak Russian
Я не очень хорошо говорю по-русскиI don't speak Russian very well
Я только чуть-чуть говорю по-русскиI only speak very little Russian
Я немного говорю по-русскиI speak a little Russian
пожалуйста, говорите медленнееplease speak more slowly
пожалуйста, напишите этоplease write it down
не могли бы вы повторить?could you please repeat that?
я понимаюI understand
я не понимаюI don't understand

Other basic phrases

я знаюI know
я не знаюI don't know
Извините, где здесь туалет?excuse me, where's the toilet?

Things you might see

ВходEntrance
ВыходExit
Запасной выходEmergency exit
От себяPush
На себяPull
ТуалетWC
ТуалетыToilets
М (abbreviation of Мужчины)Gentlemen
Ж (abbreviation of Женщины)Ladies
СвободноVacant
ЗанятоOccupied
Не работаетOut of order
Не куритьNo smoking
Частная собственностьPrivate
Вход воспрещенNo entry
sound

Sound is available for all the Russian phrases on this page — simply click on any phrase to hear it.