понимать / понять conjugation in Russian – to Understand

By Ari Helderman
May 3, 2022

Down below you find the table of conjugations for the verbs понимать / понять. In English the translation means ‘to understand’.

Read this article on Russian verb conjugation if you want to learn how to conjugate other Russian verbs.

понимать / понять conjugation in Russian

The stress of each word is on the bolded parts. Try saying the words out loud while you read to make sure they ‘stick’ in your memory.

Infinitive Formпониматьпонять
Present Tense
я – 1st Person Singularпонимаю
ты – 2nd Person Singularпонимаешь
он/она/оно – 3rd Person Singularпонимает
мы – 1st Person Pluralпонимаем
вы – 2nd Person Pluralпонимаете
они – 3rd Person Pluralпонимают
Past Tense
он – Masculineпонималпонял
она – Feminineпонималапоняла
оно – Neuterпонималопоняло
они/мы/вы – Pluralпонималипоняли
Future Tense
я– 1st Person Singularбуду пониматьпойму
ты – 2nd Person Singularбудешь пониматьпоймёшь
он/она/оно – 3rd Person Singularбудет пониматьпоймёт
мы – 1st Person Pluralбудем пониматьпоймём
вы – 2nd Person Pluralбудете пониматьпоймёте
они – 3rd Person Pluralбудут пониматьпоймут
Imperative Form
ты – Informalпонимайпойми
вы – Politeпонимайтепоймите

How to use понимать in Russian?

The verb понимать is used the same as it is in English. You will see that in the examples below. As a foreigner, it’s best to learn the past tense perfective aspect, as you’ll be saying it often. E.g. я не понял(а) – I didn’t get it.

Examples of понимать / понять conjugation

While reading the examples below, try saying them out loud. That will do wonders for your ability to speak Russian well. If you’re in a public place and it would be a little awkward to say Russian words, try to pronounce the sentences in your head.

If you make this into a habit to always pronounce Russian words while you read them, your speaking skills will improve 5 times faster than if you would not do this. It’s a small action that brings big results.

Russian exampleEnglish translation
Я не понимаю что ты говоришьI don’t understand what you’re saying
Я не пойму, почему люди не любят друг другаI won’t understand why people aren’t just nice to each other
В отношениях важно понимать друг друга.In relationships it’s important to understand each other.
Я просто не мог понять эту математическую задачу на сегодняшнем урокеI just couldn’t understand this math problem in today’s class
Мужчина понимает женщинуThe man understands the woman
Ты понимаешь, что я говорю?Do you understand what I’m saying?
Когда ты поймешь, что нельзя пить за рулем?When will you understand you shouldn’t drink and drive?
Будет темно, прежде чем он поймет, что больше не найдет свои ключи в рекеIt’s going to be dark before he gets that he’s not going to find his keys anymore in the river
Мы понимаем, что денег нет, а пенсии повышать не можемWe understand that there’s no money, but we can’t raise pensions
Вы никогда не поймете, почему я не сказал вам раньшеYou will never understand why I didn’t tell you earlier
Дети поняли учителяThe kids understood the teacher
Женщина поняла мужчинуThe woman understood the man
Я никогда не понимал, почему он не пригласил ее на свиданиеI was never understanding why he didn’t ask her out
Пожалуйста, поймите, почему я спрашиваю Вас об этомPlease understand why I’m asking you this
Никогда не поздно понять его мотивыIt’s never too late to understand his motives
Они понимают, почему мы не можем их сейчас посетитьThey understand why we can’t visit them now
Пойми меня пожалуйстаUnderstand me please
Watch this video where I tell you in Russian (with English subtitles) 9 reasons why Russian is actually easy to learn.

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.

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.

About the Author

My name is Ari Helderman and I help people learn Russian through videos and blog posts where I share my experience.   I have been learning Russian since 2016. I often get mistaken for a native speaker these days, so I've learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't if you want to speak Russian well.

Ari Helderman