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How to deal with the stress in Russian verbs. Past tense

Hello, dear student!
Today I would like to talk about the stress because it gives a lot of problems to many foreigners studying the Russian language - they just cannot put the stress correctly. Let's analyze the rules based on the example of verbs in the past tense.

The fact that the stress in the verbs in the past tense is often the same as in the infinitive form of verbs or indefinite form given in Russian dictionaries is very convenient for all Russian language learners.

РисовА΄ть - рисовА΄л (что делал?) - рисовА΄ла (что делала?) [RisavAt' -risavAl -risavAla] - to draw- he was drawing, she was drawing.

That's why, if you have any doubts or you just don't know where the stress in a word should be, just look it up in a dictionary. But if you don't have any dictionaries close at hand and you see the verbs which have another stress rather than in indefinite form, you should learn the following rule:

Verbs of feminine gender have the stress in endings in the past tense, for example:

ВзЯть - взЯл, but in feminine gender - взялА [VzYAt' - vzYAl, vzyalA] - to take - he took, she took

СолгАть - солгАл, but in feminine gender - солгалА [SalgAt' - salgAl, salgalA] - to lie - he lied, she lied

There are some verbs of feminine gender that always have the stress in endings in the past tense, so you should learn them:

БрАть [BrAt'] - to take
СпАть [SpAt'] - to sleep
ГнАть [GnAt'] - to chase
ВзорвАть [VzarvAt'] - to explode
ЛИть [LIt'] - to pour
ПлЫть [PlYt'] - to swim
ПИть [PIt'] - to drink
ЖИть [ZhIt'] - to live
ЗвАть [ZvAt'] - to call

Nevertheless, there are usually some exceptions - there is a range of verbs where the stress moves fr om one vowel to another depending on their gender. You should learn them or turn to a dictionary. There are also a lot of online resources wh ere you can check the stress of verbs:

ПринЯть (indefinite form) -прИнял (past tense, masculine) - принялА (past tense, feminine) - [prinYAt' - prInyal - prinyalA] - to receive

This example proves that the stress is quite difficult topic in the Russian language. To put the stress correctly, you should practise on a regular basis a lot and work with a dictionary.

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Translation (ru-en)
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