Russian Adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe nouns:

A beautiful girl – красѝвая дѐвушка,

bad weather – плоха̀я пого̀да,

black coffee – чёрный ко̀фе.

There two types of adjectives in Russian: long form and short form. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the long (more common) form of Russian adjectives.

Adjectives agree in gender, number and case with a noun they refer to.

A question word for an adjective is како̀й?”

Кака̀я сего̀дня пого̀да? – Сего̀дня со̀лнечная пого̀да.

Како̀й changes as any other adjective (but какой itself is a pronounJ)

Како̀й э̀то сад? – Э̀то красѝвый сад.

Кака̀я э̀то дѐвушка? – Э̀то красѝвая дѐвушка.

Како̀е э̀то мо̀ре? – Э̀то красѝвое мо̀ре.

Какѝе э̀то го̀ры? – Э̀то красѝвые го̀ры.


There are two types of adjectives: hard stem adjectives and soft stem adjectives. How can you know what is what? All of them are hard stem adjectives except those that end in –ний, they are soft.

What is “STEM”?

At first, let’s find out what “stem” actually means. A stem is a part of a word without its ending.

Красѝвый has the ending –ый, so красив- is a stem.


Now let’s talk about hard stem adjectives, there are some tricks there as well 🙂

You should remember that the ending ой is always stressed: большо̀й – big, дорого̀й – expensive, голубо̀й – blue.

You also shouldn’t forget about our 7 letters spelling rule: we never write ы after к,г,х ж,ч,ш,щ.

!!! к,г,х ж,ч,ш,щ + и

E.g.: русский, тихий

Unstressed –o is replaced by –e after ж, and ц.

Свѐжий – свѐжее.

Soft stem adjectives include about 40 words which refer to time and location mostly + ка̀рий (hazel)

E.g. ра̀нний – early, по̀здний – late, зѝмний день -winter day, осѐнний вѐчер -autumn evening, весѐнняя пого̀да – spring weather, лѐтняя ночь – summer night.

P.S. Pronunciation tip: the ending –ого is pronounced [ava] when it’s not stressed and [ova] when it’s stressed, -его is pronounced [yevo]

E.g. У меня̀ нет кра̀сного карандаша̀. –[u minya nyet krasnava karandasha] – I haven’t got a red pencil.

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