It is believed that the verb aspect is one of the most complicated grammar topics. Today, I will have to try to prove the opposite.

Verbal aspects in the Russian language – Виды глаголов в русском языке

We start with the Present tense. Here, everything is pretty simple. Regardless we talk about the action that happens right now or habitually, on a regular basis, there is only one option – Imperfective aspect. Words-helpers for regularity: обычно – usually, всегда – always, часто – often, редко – rarely, иногда – sometimes, никогда не – never.

Я каждый день покупаю круассан в этом киоске.Every day I buy a croissant on that stall.
Я тебе перезвоню через 5 минут, я сейчас на кассе покупаю продукты.I will call you back in 5 minutes, I’m at the cashier desk buying some food.

Now let’s have a look at the Past tense. Here there are 4 cases when we use Imperfective and 5 for Perfective. 


1. The fact happened in the past, you remember doing it but either you can’t memorize details or don’t want to talk about it, even if you know the exact date.

Я смотрела этот фильм лет 5 назад, но совершенно не помню, чем он закончился. I saw that film around 5 years ago, but I really don’t remember the end.

2. We talk about the process, how long it took, for how long you were doing it. Words-helpers: весь – whole, целый – entire.

Вчера он целый вечер играл на планшете.Yesterday he was playing on his tablet the entire evening.

3. There are 2 or more parallel actions.

Он слушал музыку и завтракал.He was listening to music and eating his breakfast.

4. Regularity in the past.

Раньше они часто встречались, а сейчас у них слишком много работы.They used to meet a lot, and now they have lots of work.


1. Result, completed action. It has happened and you remember the details, are ready to talk about it, still excited/disappointed/astonished by it.

Ещё в детстве я посмотрела этот его, и он остаётся моим любимым фильмом.I saw it in my childhood and it’s still my favourite film.

2. We mention the concrete amount of something.

Он сделал 5 упражнений.He has done 5 exercises.

3. The action happened once. Words-helpers: вдруг – suddenly, точно – definitely, наконец – finally.

Мы наконец нашли этот дом.Finally, we have found that building.

4. Chain of events.

Он послушал музыку и решил позавтракать.He finished listening to music and decided to have breakfast.

5. Time period as a result. Here the word-helper is a preposition за within + period of time.

Я сделала домашнее задание за 45 минут. I have done my homework within 45 minutes.

The Future tense has 3 cases for Imperfective, and 2 for Perfective.


1. Regularity in the future.

Зимой я буду каждый вечер смотреть интересные сериалы.In winter I will watch interesting TV series every evening.

2. Process.

Через 5 недель у него будут соревнования, поэтому все следующие 4 недели он будет тренироваться.In 5 weeks he is having a competition, that’s why the next 4 weeks he will be working out.

3. Parallel actions.

Мы будем лежать на пляже и загорать.We will be laying on the beach and sunbathing.


1. Result/action will be completed once. Words-helpers: обязательно/точно – definitely, наконец – finally.

Мы точно посмотрим эту передачу к субботе.We will have definitely watched this TV program by Saturday.

2. Chain of events.

Они приготовят обед и пойдут с детьми в парк.They will cook lunch and go to the park with their kids.

You may also know more about Participles.

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