How to Say “How Are You” in Russian: 12 Common Phrases (2022)

If you want to learn Russian, knowing how to say “how are you” in Russian is essential.

Imagine a Russian friend is coming over. He knows that you are practicing Russian. When he enters he says:

Как дела?

And you just stare at him and say “Ehh, I didn’t get it. What does that mean?”


You want to be able to reply right away:

Хорошо! А у тебя?

So if you want to become fluent in Russian, knowing how to say this basic phrase is a good start.

“How are you” in Russian at a glance

Look, Russian is a poetic language. There are many ways to say the same thing. So don’t take every single phrase on this list as ‘must know Russian vocabulary’.

If you’re in a hurry, just learn the main one: как дела.

That’s enough. You can just say this after hearing any of the basic Russian greetings.

If you want to continue, you can learn 1 or 2 more to switch things up.

Как дела?

How are you in Russian (simple) – как дела? (kak dela)

This is the simplest way to ask how someone is doing. 2 words:


  • как – how
  • дела – things

In the Russian language, you can skip the verb “to be”. So if you say “how things”, in Russian you say “how are things”.

The great thing about these 2 words is that you can say them in literally any situation. It’s both formal and informal. You can say it to your friends and family. But you can also say it to your boss, or to someone who’s obviously in a higher societal position than you.

Verdict: by far the easiest way to say “how are you” in Russian. It’s easy to pronounce and you can use it in any formal or informal situation. So make sure you say this often.

Как у Вас дела?

How are you in Russian (formal) – как у Вас дела? (kak u vas dela?)

If you want to be a bit more formal, you can change the sentence a bit:

  • как – how
  • у Вас – with you (formal)
  • дела – things

You can say this if you want to emphasize that you know you’re in a formal situation. Though as a foreigner learning Russian, this would be overkill.

You can also change it to the more informal version:

  • как – how
  • у тебя – with you (informal)
  • дела – things

Verdict: This is something you can say to friends or family. And you can emphasize that you want to know how things are specifically with your conversation partner.

Как делишки?

How are you (funny) – как делишки? (kak delishki?)

A very informal – almost childish – way of asking how are you in Russian is to say:

  • как – how
  • делишки – things (a diminutive form of дела)

In Russian, you can make words smaller, by playing around with the ending. There’s no hard rule here, and you can sometimes even create new words. Most of the time people will understand what you mean if the stem of the word remains the same.

But for делишки, it’s better to simply use this form.

Be aware that it’s a very informal formal. Don’t say this to anyone that you would usually say Вы to. And it would even sound a little weird to say it to other adults.

(Video) (Russian for beginner) 3. Basic phrases - How are you?

Verdict: As a foreigner, who’s learning Russian, I wouldn’t say this word. Unless you’ve been learning for a while, and say it to a close friend.

Как Вы поживаете?

How’s it going (little old fashioned) – как Вы поживаете? (kak vi pozhivaete)

If you haven’t seen someone for a while, and are curious how they’re living now, you can use this. There is also an informal way of saying this:

  • как ты поживаешь? – informal
  • как Вы поживаете? – formal

Verdict: it’s a little too old fashioned for foreigners to say this. It has a lot of subtle connotations, and it’s way easier to just say как дела. Also, some Russians nowadays started saying this with some slang, half-joking manner.

Как ты?

How are you (super casual) – как ты? (kak ti)

This is the literal translation of how are you in Russian.

  • как – how
  • ты – you

Remember that in Russian you can skip the verb “to be”? That’s also what’s going on here.

It’s a very informal way of asking how someone is doing. So only say it to those you know well.

If you want to make it more formal (but still relatively informal), you can ask: как Вы?

This would be a good thing to ask your grandparents for example. You know them well, but you still want to add some politeness.

Verdict: I’d probably skip this until I would be intermediate in Russian. Though you won’t get weird looks if you say it.

Как Ваши дела?

How are things in Russian – как Ваши дела? (kak vashi dela)

If you want to emphasize that you’re specifically asking how the other person is doing, you can add a modifier:

(Video) #5 Russian - Как дела? How are you?

  • как – how
  • Ваши – your (formal)
  • дела – things

This makes the question a bit more personal, and formal. This would be more suitable for a business meeting.

You can change the word for you to address several persons or someone you have a closer relationship with:

  • как ваши дела – how are YOUR things (plural)
  • как твои дела – how are YOUR things (informal)

Verdict: you can say this as a foreigner. It can be used interchangeably with как дела. Just add “your” and you’re good to go.

Как настроение?

How’s your mood in Russian – как настроение? (kak nastroyeniye)

Another way to ask how are you in Russian is to ask how someone’s mood is:

  • как – how
  • настроение – mood

This is something that you usually ask after someone has done something or just went through an experience.

For example, if you know that someone had a bad day at work, and they came home, you can ask them how their mood is now.

It’s a more informal way to ask how it’s going.

Verdict: you can say this as a foreigner, but more to close friends or family.

Что нового?

What’s new in Russian – что нового? (chto novogo)

If you haven’t seen someone for a while, and want to catch up, you can ask что нового? It literally means “what is new?”, and you can use this exactly how you would in English.

Вы как?

How are you (plural) – вы как? (vi kak)

If you want to ask a group of people at the same time how they are doing, you can ask вы как? Just like как ты and как Вы, it implies that you already have a relationship with the people you’re asking.

(Video) HOW ARE YOU FEELING? 20 Russian expressions to answer this common question

Как живется?

How’s your life going – как живется? (kak zhivyotsya)

With как живется, you ask how someone’s life is going. Since the verb живется implies the passive tense, this is more being used to ask the circumstances of how your life is going. A normal response here would be “хорошо”.

Как жизнь?

How’s life – как жизнь? (kak zhizn)

Another way to ask how someone’s life is going is to ask как жизнь. It’s quite informal, so be sure to say it to people you have a good relationship with.

Хау а ю?

How are you (Englified) – хау а ю? (khow a yu)

In the last few years, Russians started to Englify more words. This is usually said in a joking manner. For example, “hello, how are you” becomes: “хэлло, хау а ю?”

Please, as a foreigner who speaks English, don’t try to say this with a Russian accent. You’ll sound as if you’re trying to make fun of their English pronunciation skills 😉

What to do next if you want to learn the Russian language?

I hope you enjoyed this Russian lesson. The main thing I want you to take away from this lesson is that it’s good to keep things simple.

If you’re just starting to learn Russian, it’s best to keep it to a simple “how are you?”. Only later, once you gain more experience, and have spoken with more native speakers, can you start incorporating other ways.

What should you do next?

Learning Russian does NOT need to be difficult. All you need is a solid plan that helps you improve the following things daily:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • listening skills
  • speaking skills

That's ALL you need. If you can do this for a couple of weeks, you’ll already be making great progress in your Russian skills.

And the best part? If you improve a little bit every day, soon these practices will become daily habits.

(Video) Learn Russian - How to Greet People in Russian

And then you will start making progress on autopilot.

This means that learning Russian is now a part of your daily routine. So you won’t even need discipline anymore to get yourself to practice.

If you like the idea of this, but don’t know where to start, go here for more information.


How do you answer how are you doing in Russian? ›

Well, I guess that you have probably already heard the most simple way to ask it in Russian - "Как дела?" And the most frequent reply is "Хорошо".

Do Russians say how are you? ›

Как дела? (Kak dela?), meaning “How are you?” is one of the most important questions to ask a Russian. Как (kak) is an adverb, and дела (dela) is the plural form of the noun дело (delo), meaning “matter.”

How do you respond to Spasiba? ›

A universal answer to “Spasibo” is “Пожалуйста!” (Pozhaluysta!). This word has four syllables when written, but as the stress falls on the second one, the remaining two lose their full vowels in speech: Po-zhA-lsta!

What to reply How are you now? ›

Here are some example responses:
  • I'm fine, thanks. How about you?
  • Good, thanks. And you?
  • I'm good. And yourself?
  • Not bad. How are you?
  • Fine, and you?
  • I'm doing well, and you?
  • Good, how about you?

What does Pajalusta mean? ›

Updated on June 30, 2019. The most common way to say "you're welcome" in Russian is Пожалуйста (paZHAlusta), which originally meant "be merciful" or "be kind" and can also be used to mean "please" in modern Russian. However, there are several other ways of saying "you're welcome" in Russian.

How you say stop in Russian? ›

If you want to say “Stop” in Russian, say: СТОП!

How do Russians flirt phrases? ›

16 Top Phrases Used When Flirting In Russian
Ты согреваешь мою душуYou warm my soulTy sogrevayesh' moyu dushu
Ты красиваяYou are beautifulTy krasivaja
У тебя красивые глазаYou have beautiful eyesU tebya krasivye glaza
Я скучаю по тебеI miss youJa skuchaju po tebe
10 more rows
16 Jan 2021

How can I learn Russian fast? ›

  1. Use Authentic Media.
  2. Immerse Yourself with a Good Program.
  3. Take the Time to Learn Cyrillic.
  4. Learn Common Words First.
  5. Learn Cognates and Loanwords.
  6. Immerse Yourself in Russian, at Home or Abroad.
  7. Practice Your Skills Daily. Microlearning sessions. Language sprints.
  8. Find a Native Speaker to Interact With.
13 Jun 2022

What does da da da mean in Russian? ›

volume_up. папа {m} dada (also: dad, daddy, father, pa, papa, da)

Do Russians say yes? ›

The most common way to say yes in Russian is Да ("dah"). It is very flexible and can be used in a wide variety of situations, just like the English yes. However, there are many other ways to say yes in Russian.

What is a Russian yes? ›

The Russian word for Yes is Да (da).

What does KK mean in Russian? ›

Кек (Kek) ultimately comes from Korean ㅋㅋ (kk) and means “LOL.” This is less used than the other ones, but may be appreciated by younger Russians who enjoy fresh ways of expressing laughter in texting.

What does PaZHALsta mean? ›

PaZHALsta. That's fine / okay / great.

How do you respond to Desolee? ›

Let's say someone told you “Pardon”, “Excuse-moi” or “Je suis désolé.” How can you react? What should you say? Well, the easiest answer is Ça ne fait rien (= that's nothing).

How are you reply to a girl? ›

Flirty Ways for How to Respond to How Are You (To Your Crush)
  • 01Well, I am good, but I've been even better in the last 2-3 seconds. ...
  • 02It all depends on how I'm willing to feel, really. ...
  • 03I might not have been so great, but it's not going to stop me from ending this day on a great note.
8 May 2019

What are you good answers? ›

What am I good at? 17+ Surprising Answers
  • Communication: how good are you at passing your message?
  • Social skills: are you good at making friends and having people like you?
  • Creativity: do you have great ideas?
  • Persuasion: can you influence people?
  • Time management: how good are you at planning your available time?

What do you answer to you OK? ›

You can say whatever you like - such as: “Great!” “O.K.” “Good” “Yep” “No complaints” “All O.K. You?” “Could be better” “Couldn't be better.” “Oh, man, things couldn't be worse!”
  • “Fine, thanks.”
  • “Yeah, I'm fine.”
  • “Yeah, okay.”

What does Ekran mean in Russian? ›

Ekran (Russian: "Экран", meaning "Screen") was a Soviet-Russian type of geostationary satellite, developed for a national system of Direct-To-Home television.

What does Bulat mean in Russian? ›

Bulat is a type of steel alloy known in Russia from medieval times; it was regularly mentioned in Russian legends as the material of choice for cold steel. The name булат is a Russian transliteration of the Persian word fulad, meaning steel. This type of steel was used by the armies of nomadic peoples.

What is Krasavitsa? ›

Syringa vulgaris 'Krasavitsa Moskvy'

This cultivar has double opalescent pink flower buds that open to white in midseason. The flowers are very fragrant. It forms a shrub 12 feet high by 8 feet wide. Noteworthy CharacteristicsDouble white blooms, very fragrant.

What does V and Z mean in Russian? ›

The Latin-script letter Z (Russian: зет, tr. zet, IPA: [zɛt]) is one of several symbols (including "V" and "O") painted on military vehicles of the Russian Armed Forces involved in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is speculated that the Z helps task forces distinguish themselves from other forces.

Is there a Russian Please word? ›

The best and most popular way to say please in Russian is пожалуйста, which literally translates as "have mercy, Sir" or "grant/give, Sir".

What do Russians call their lover? ›

Любимый/любимая Another term of endearment that is only used when talking to or about one's partner or loved one, любимый is a very common way to express affection.

What do Russians call their girlfriend? ›

Russian has a lot of words and phrases for girlfriend. These words include podruga, devushka, paren', molodoi chelovek, and moia. Podruga, in British, means “girlfriend”; however , the meaning of 'girlfriend' is less charming than 'devushka'. In fact , some females refer to the female close friends as moia podruga.

Do Russians kiss friends? ›


Russian usually shake hands when greeting one another. The famous bear hugs and kisses are usually reserved for good friends and family members after a long time without seeing one another.

What is your name Russian? ›

What's your name? Как Вас зовут? (Kak Vas zovut?) what is your name? как тебя зовут?

Can you learn Russian in 3 years? ›

The Foreign Service Institute has determined it takes around 1100 hours for native English speakers to reach fluency in Russian. If you spend 60 minutes per day studying Russian, it will take you 3 years. If you spend 6 hours per day, you will reach an upper intermediate level in half a year.

Can I learn Russian in 3 months? ›

If you're willing to study 3 hours every day, it could take you a year to reach that level. What is this? If you follow my method, I can guarantee it's possible to speak Russian fluently within 3 to 4 months. By spending time in Russian-speaking countries such as Kyrgyzstan, you'll learn the language a lot quicker…

What is Davay? ›

Updated on October 28, 2019. Davai (давай) literally means "give" in Russian. However, the word is used in many expressions with different meanings, the most popular of which is "come on." In this article, we look at ten different ways to use давай.

What does Blat mean in Russian? ›

In Russian, blat (Russian: блат) is a form of corruption, which is a system of informal agreements, exchanges of services, connections, Party contacts, or black market deals to achieve results or get ahead. A similar term, "protektsiya", literally means protection, but with more incline to patronage.

What is Kiska in Russian? ›

киска • (kiska) dog.

Why do Russians say V instead of W? ›

Since there's no /w/ in Russian, whenever a /w/ appears in English it is sometimes replaced with a /v/ consonant sound – that does exist in Russian.

Do Russians say sorry? ›

There are two more phrases people use in formal situations to say “I'm sorry” in Russian. They are “прошу прощения” (prashu proscheniya) and “приношу свои извинения” (prinoshu svoì izvineniya). The phrase “прошу прощения” is a synonym of “извини” (“прости”).

Why do Russians say blind? ›

Usage in modern Russian

Aside from referring to pancakes, the word blin (блин) is used as a linguistic signal in communications. It is used when a person talks to others and is searching for the right words, or to express their dissatisfaction as a euphemism for "damn".

What does SAR mean in Russian? ›

Pepeliaev Group is ready to provide the following legal services to a foreign company in connection with redomiciliation to Russian special administrative regions (abbreviated as 'SARs') (specifically, to Oktyabrsky and Russky islands located in Kaliningrad Region and in Primorye Territory, respectively).

Why do Russians say good luck? ›

This saying comes from superstition. In fact, it derives from a famous saying among hunters. In a hunters' environment you couldn't directly wish ”Good luck”, they considered it as a misfortune. Therefore, haunters used to say ''не пуха, не пера!

How do you say LMAO in Russian? ›

"Под столом" (от смеха). I think that "ору" is very close to "lmao". "Lol" doesn't change, just say "лол" too.

What does ROFL mean in Russian? ›

volume_up. 1. " rolling on floor laughing", colloquial. кататься на полу от смеха [exp.] ROFL.

What does :)) mean in text? ›

:) means "Happy."

What is veilig? ›

adjective. safe [adjective] (opposite unsafe) protected, or free (from danger etc) secure [adjective] (often with against or from) safe; free from danger, loss etc. safe [adjective] providing good protection.

What does Opa mean in Russian? ›

An exclamation that can mean "watch this", "gotcha", "wow", "oops" and a myriad of other things.

What is Wie bitte? ›

English translation:Pardon?/I beg your pardon?/Excuse me?

Is Excusez moi rude? ›

Just make sure that you say Bonjour before “Excusez-moi,” as it is seen as impolite if you do not start a conversation with Bonjour. One of the most versatile ways to quickly apologize in daily life, pardon is often used to get past someone or to get their attention.

How do you respond to Excuseme? ›

If someone says "excuse me" to get your attention, the response is "I'm sorry, yes?" or something to that effect. If they say "excuse me" because you are in their way, then the response is to move out of the way and say "I'm sorry" or "sorry".

How do you respond to Imsorry? ›

5 English Phrases to Respond to an Apology
  1. That's OK.
  2. It happens.
  3. No problem.
  4. Don't worry about it.
  5. I forgive you. (for serious problems)

What is the meaning of Kak dela? ›

Как дела? (Kak dela?) —“How are you doing?” in Russian.

What does Nazdarovya mean? ›

Meanings for Nazdarovya

Cheers/to your health.

How do you greet in Russian? ›

1. How to say “hello” in Russian
  1. Hello in Russian – Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte)
  2. Hi in Russian – Привет (Privyet)
  3. Goodbye in Russian – До свидания (Do svidaniya)
  4. Have a good day in Russian – Ну тогда до свидания (Nu togda do svidaniya)
28 Nov 2018

What is a Quigg? ›

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Quigg originally appeared in Gaelic as O Coigligh, which may be derived from "coigeal," which denotes "unkempt hair."

What does Kaka mean in Russian? ›

Noun. ка́ка • (káka) m. older sister.

What does Prevet mean in Russian? ›

Informal Ways To Say Hello In Russian

We don't really have diminutive greetings in English (“hiya” or “hi hi” come close), but Приветик (Privetik) is a cute way to say hello in Russian, and Приветики (Privetiki) sounds even cuter.

What is OI in Russian? ›

In Russian, oy (ой) is often used as an expression of various degrees of surprise. In the Scandinavian languages, Oi! or the Swedish variant, Oj!, is commonly used as an exclamation of surprise, like "Oh" or "Whoops".

What is zdrowie? ›

Interjection. na zdrowie. cheers (said before sharing a drink) bless you (said after someone sneezes)

What does Ladna mean in Russian? ›

ла́дно • (ládno) well, all right, okay.

What does Dobre mean in Russian? ›

добре́ • (dobré) OK, all right.

What is my name is in Russia? ›

The most popular way to say "my name is" in Russian is меня зовут (meNYA zaVOOT).


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