How to talk about food in Russian

Having dinner will be обедать [a-BYE-dat'] in Russian. Source: Lori / Legion media

Having dinner will be обедать [a-BYE-dat'] in Russian. Source: Lori / Legion media

Everyone’s got to eat, right? Whether you cook or not, you still like to eat, and I bet you would like to learn a few yummy words in Russian. Let’s start with a few phrases that you can use to say that you are hungry in Russian.

The Many Ways to Say I’m Hungry in Russian

If you are starving and want to tell the whole world about it, you can say that in several different ways in Russian:

Я хочу есть [ya ha-CHOO YEST’] I’m hungry

Я хочу кушать [ya ha-CHOO KOO-shat’] I’m hungry

Я проголодался  [ya pra-ga-la-DAL-sya] I’m hungry (masculine form)

Я проголодалась [ya pra-ga-la-DA-las’] I’m hungry (feminine form)

Я такой голодный [ya ta-KOY ga-LOD-niy] I’m so hungry (masculine form)

Я такая голодная [ya ta-KA-ya ga-LOD-na-ya]  I’m so hungry (feminine form)

A couple more expressions:

Я голоден [ya GO-la-dyen] I’m hungry (masculine form)

Я голодна [ya ga-lad-NA] I’m hungry (feminine form)

The last two expressions, although they do exist in the Russian language, they are rearly used in spoken Russian.

At the end of the meal you can say:

Я наелся [ya na-YEL-sya] I’m full

Я наелась [ya na-YE-las’] I’m full

Verb наедаться [na-yee-DAT’-sya] means to be satisfied after your meal or be full.

You might also hear these two phrases, but they are much less popular:

Я сыт [ya SIT] I’m full (masculine form)

Я сыта [ya si-TA] I’m full (feminine form)

Here is how you can say that you are thirsty in Russian:

Я хочу пить [ya ha-CHOO PEET’] I’m thirsty

And a few more words:

Есть [YEST’] eat

Кушать  [KOO-shat’] eat

Пить [PEET’] drink

Яичница [ya-EESH-nee-tsa] fried eggs

Суп[SOOP] soup

Бутерброд [boo-tyer-BROТ] sandwich, bread and butter

Салат [sa-LAT] salad

Verb есть is an irregular Russian verb, but it’s conjugation is easy to remember. Here it is:

Я ем

Ты ешь

Он/она ест

Мы едим

Вы едите

Они едят

Verb пить is also an interesting verb. Although it is a regular first-conjugation verb, it conjugates from a stem that is not readily evident from the infinitive form. Let me conjugate it for you:

Я пью

Ты пьёшь

Он/она пьёт

Мы пьём

Вы пьёте

Они пьют

Having Meals at Different Times of the Day

In Russian, as well as in English, you will use different words to talk about a meal at a different time of the day:

Завтрак [ZAF-trak] breakfast (learn more breakfast words in Russian in the article – Breakfast in Russian

Завтракать [ZAF-tra-kat’] have breakfast

Обед [a-BYED] lunch

Обедать [a-BYE-dat’] have lunch

Ужин [OO-zheen] dinner

Ужинать [OO-zhee-nat’] have dinner

Еда [ee-DA] food

Напиток [na-PEE-tak] drink

Вода [va-DA] water

Чай [CHAY] tea

Кофе [KO-fye] coffee

Here is an example of a conversation in Russian using the words above:

-       Саша, что ты обычно ешь на завтрак?

-       Я ем яичницу и пью кофе. А ты?

-       А я обычно не завтракаю. Только пью чай. Зато обязательно обедаю.

-       А что ты ешь на обед?

-       На обед обычно я ем суп и бутерброд. А ты?

-       Я тоже ем бутерброд. А что ты ешь на ужин?

-       На ужин я обычно ем что-нибудь лёгкое, например, салат.

The same dialogue in English:

-          Sasha, what do you usually have for breakfast?

-          I have fried eggs and a coffee. And you?

-          I don’t usually have breakfast. I just drink tea. But I do have lunch.

-          What do you eat for lunch?

-          For lunch I usually eat soup and a sandwich. And you?

-          I too usually have a sandwich. What do you have for dinner?

-          For dinner I usually eat something light, a salad, for example. 

This is all for today. In our next lesson, we will talk about the food in Russian, and you will learn how to say what food and drinks you like in Russian.

 If you have any questions or suggestions you can leave a comment below this article and I’ll be happy to help you. Also, make sure to check out my weekly Russian grammar video lessons.  

Talk to you very soon

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