Verb Groups I and II

Russian verbs are listed in the dictionary in their infinitive forms. Verbs in their infinitive forms have two parts, a stem and a suffix. Infinitive verbs usually end in –Tb.

In Russian, each verb has two stems: the infinitive stem derived by chopping of the –Tb ending from the infinitive form of the verb and the present tense stem found by cutting off the conjugation ending from any of the conjugation forms of the verb in the present tense.

Infinitive verbs are not meant to show the tense, person, or number of the verb. All of that must be accomplished through conjugation. In this chapter, we will focus on conjugating verbs in the present tense.

Russian verbs are usually classified into two large groups, each following a distinctive pattern in their conjugations. The groups are known as Group I, or the E Group, and Group II, or the .

The secret to forming correct conjugations of Russian verbs in the present tense is to remember that conjugation endings are added to the present tense stem of the verb, not to its infinitive stem. Whenever these stems are different (which happens often), you must memorize the forms of both stems.

The following charts provide conjugations for the verb endings are known as Group I or Group II Model 1 verbs. Verbs that have the endings -y and -yT or -aT are known as Group I or Group II Model 2 verbs.

Table 8-1Group I:

Note that the endings “-y” and “-yT” are less common.

Verbs that follow Group I pattern include verbs with the present tense stem ending in vowels. The following are examples of Group I Model 1 verbs. Note that infinitive stems and present tense stems for these verbs are identical.

to understand to work to play to rest, to be on vacation to swim to do to think to walk, to take a stroll to know how to do something to count

Now let's examine the conjugation pattern for Group II verbs.

Table 8-2Group II:

Note that the endings “-y” and “-aT” are less common.

Verbs that follow Group II pattern include verbs with the present tense stem ending in a consonant with the endings in the infinitive form, for example:

to watch to pay

Beware that in some verbs stress patterns change in different conjugations. For example, take the verb In these cases, you must memorize the stress patterns in addition to the conjugation endings.

form is reserved for formal address or to refer to several people.

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