Russian Grammar

The past tense of verbs

You know the intial form of the verb already. It’s time now to see how easy it is to change it to the past tense. The past tense is used to talk about actions and situations that took place in the past. To form the past tense of verbs ending in -ТЬ you should take the -ТЬ ending off and add -Л, -ЛА, -ЛО or -ЛИ depending on the gender and number of the noun related to this verb.

Add -Л if the noun is singular masculine, -ЛА if it is singualr feminine, -ЛО if it’s singualr neuter, and -ЛИ if the noun is plural. See the following table for examples.

    Get the past tense form    



(singular masculine)

Он читал.


(singular feminine)

Она читала.



(singular neuter)

Оно читало.



(plural all genders)
Они читали.

If the infinitive ends in -ТЬСЯ then the process is the same as above with the exception that you should add -СЯ after -Л and -СЬ after -ЛА, -ЛО and -ЛИ. Let’s take a look at how it works.

    Get the past tense form    



-Л + СЯ

(singular masculine)

Я учился.

-ЛА + СЬ

(singular feminine)

Она училась.

-ЛО + СЬ


(singular neuter)

Оно училось.

-ЛИ + СЬ


(plural all genders)
Они учились.

Other sites teaching paste tense: Past Tense of Russian Verbs

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