Learn how to say ‘to put’ in Russian correctly

Students often ask me how to say ‘put’ in Russian. How ставить – класть and cтоять – лежать are different? Learn how and do the exercise below!

Transitive and intransitive verbs in Russian

Many English verbs function as either transitive or intransitive forms, while in Russian they are rendered in different ways depending on whether or not they have a direct object.

This distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs may be constructed by the use of non-reflexive and reflexive forms respectively, which applies to a very big number of common verbs.

However, other English verbs must be rendered in Russian by different verbs depending on whether they are used transitively or intransitively. One of them is “to put”, which actually has many possible translations in Russian.

The following verbs are transitive and imply direction. When used with a noun, the noun requires the accusative case.

клaсть (imperf.) – положить (perf.) – to put in lying position

стaвить (imperf.) – постaвить (perf.) – to put in standing position

Я кладу книгу на стол. – I’m putting the book on the desk.

Мы поставили вазу на полку. – We’ve put the vase on the shelf.

Conjugation of ‘put’ in Russian

Here is the conjugation of the transitive verbs for “put”:

класть положить conjugation
ставить поставить conjugation

NB! The following verbs are intransitive and imply location. When they are used in combination with В or НА prepositions, they require the prepositional case.

лежать – to lie

стоять – to stand

The difference between класть (положить) – лежать, ставить (поставить) – стоять

put положить lie лежать in russian
put ставить stand стоять in russian


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