Russian Greetings and Goodbyes

Source: PhotoXpress

Source: PhotoXpress

Do you know how to say “hello” and “good-bye” in Russian? In this first lesson I’ll share with you some of the most interesting and popular Russian greetings. Let’s start with the basics.

Most Popular Russian Greetings

Здравствуй [ZDRAST-vooy] hello
Здравствуйте [ZDRAST-vooy-tye] – hello

“Здравствуй” and здравствуйте” are formal greeting. “Здравствуй” is used with  someone you know very well, or anyone whom you can address in “ты”. “Здравствуйте” is used when saying “hello” to several people or someone whom you would address in “вы” in Russian.

Привет [pree-VYET] hi

 “Привет” is informal greeting, and is primarily used in spoken Russian. You would usually say “Привет” to someone you know very well, and someone you address in “ты” in Russian. There are some of the most popular variations of the “Привет in Russian:

Приветик [pree-VYE-teek] hi (diminutive form)

You will notice I often say “приветик ” in my video lessons.
Приветики [pree-VYE-tee-kee] hi (diminutive form)

You can also greet someone you know very well by saying:

Здорово! [zda-RO-va] hello, hi

During the different times of the day, you can use these greetings
Доброе утро [DOB-ra-ye OOT-ra] good morning
Добрый день [DOB-riy DYEN’] good afternoon
Добрый вечер [DOB-reey VYE-chyer] good evening

If you like to wish “good night” in Russian you can say:
Доброй ночи [DOB-ray NO-chee] good night
Спокойной ночи [spa-KOY-nay NO-chee] good night

How to Say Good-Bye in Russian

Some of the most popular ways to say “good-bye” in Russian is

 До свидания [da svee-DA-nee-ya] good-bye

До свидания is a formal good-bye, and you would use it with a person or people whom address in “вы”.

Пока! [pa-KA] bye

Пока is informal, and is used spoken Russian with someone you can address in “ты”.

The “good-byes” below are informal, but sometimes they can be used in formal situations. This would depend on the context and on whom you are speaking with.  If you are at a workplace, and you are unsure you can always say “до свидания” until you get to know people you work with a little better.

До завтра! [da ZAF-tra] See you tomorrow!

До послезавтра! [da pas-lee-ZAV-tra] see you the day after tomorrow!

До встречи! [da FSTRYE-chee] See you later!

До вечера! [da VYE-chi-ra] See you tonight!

Прощай! [pra-SHAY] Good-bye

“Прощай” is rarely used in spoken Russian, but you might see it in Russian literature. “Прощай” conveys dramatic mood and usually, you would say “прощай!” if you think that you will never see that person again.

On the contrary, if you know exactly when you will see your friend, you can use any of the “good-byes” below

До пятницы! [da PYAT-nee-tsi] till Friday

If you know you will see your friend on Friday, or you can always substitute Friday with another day of the week.

До апреля! [da ap-RYE-lya] till April

You can substitute April with a different month.

Увидимся в воскресенье! [oo-VEE-deem-sya v vask-ri-SYEN’-ye] see on Sunday!

Of course, in all examples above you can substitute days of the week or months above with any other day of the week a month, or a date.

These two “good-byes” are variations of “пока”.

Покедово! [pa-KYE-da-va] bye (informal)

“Покедово!” comes from of “Пока!” and is also used in informal speech.

Пока! Пока! [pa-KA pa-KA] bye

Давай! [da-VAY] bye

“Давай!” means “Give!” or “Let’s…” literally, but in this case it’s used as a slang word and is used as “bye” in Russian.

“See you” in Russian is:

Увидимся! [oo-VEE-deem-sya] See you!

If you would like to learn more interesting Russian greetings and “good-byes” you can read my article Greetings in Russian that you Won’t Find in Textbooks.

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