Guide to Russian Punctuation

25 June, 2020

There is a ton of information on the internet about Russian punctuation, and it can be overwhelming, to say the least. Thankfully, when I was scouring the web, reading up on all the rules, I found a great video that summarizes the major ones and used it as a basis for this article. I hope this summary helps you in your learning journey!

Rule #1: Lists

We use commas when we are listing items.

_______ и _______

_______ ,  _______ и _______

Rule #2: Multiple subject + verb

We use a comma when we have a subject and a verb followed by another subject and verb.

Example #1: The girl is reading, and the boy is listening. Девочка читает, мальчик слушает.

Example #2: I prayed, that my dog would get better. Я молилась, чтобы моей собаке стало лучше. 

Subject + verb , (и) subject + verb

Rule #3: Side comments

We use commas when we are adding additional information to the sentence. 

Example: The man, born in 1963, was a poet. Мужчина, родившийся в 1963, был поэтом. 

Rule #4: Participles or gerund

We use a comma when we have a participle or gerund in the sentence.

Example: Standing in line, I thought about everything I have to do today. Стоя в очереди, я думал обо всем, что я должен сделать сегодня. 

Rule #5: Common word

We use a colon when we have a common word followed by specifics.

Example #1: My mom responded: “I’m not home right now.” Моя мама ответила: “Я сейчас не дома.”

Example #2: I like many fruits: apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, etc. Я люблю фрукты: яблоки, бананы, грейпфруты, клубнику и другие. 

Common word: particular, particular, …


Watch this video for a more in-depth guide to Russian Punctuation Rules.

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