Who to say ¨I like it¨

The phrase´I like it´ in Russian sounds : Мне нравится. [ mnyee nravitzaa]

To use it correctly, you need to understand what it consists of.

To say i like it in Russian, you need to twist your mind a little bit. You will meet similar structures quite often if you study Russian with full power, not just superficially.

´Мне нравится´ ,actually, works exactly in the same way like ´me gusta´ in Spanish. It says basically “to me pleasant”.

So the main subject in this sentence is what you like, and this person or thing that makes you pleased. Not who likes it. What do I mean?

 

Lets look:

Мне нравится твой толстый кот. I like your fat cat.

Мне нравится твой голос. I like your voice.

Мне нравится этот бар. I like this bar.

Мне нравится погода сегодня.I like the weather today.

 

If you noticed, there is now word¨ I, you etc¨ there is ẗo me, to him¨ and so on

If what we like, the object, is plural, we change the ending of verb.

 

Мне нравится твой толстый кот. I like your fat cat.

Мне нравятся твои толстые коты. I like your fat cats.

Мне нравится вон та рыжая девушка. I like that gingy girl.

Мне нравятся рыжие девушки. I like gingy girls.

 

So you noticed, that the verb  нравится is changing because of the object(what\whom we like) and because who is doing this action, who is the main person in the sentence(Me or fat cats?)

Probably you are confused already as it is something different from ¨i like it¨ in your language. So what do we need to remember? That there are 2 forms of нравится – singular and plural. This is not how all the verbs in russian are functioning but how this structure is working.

First we think of what we like, for example  ´this dress¨ , if it is a singular or plural form.  dress vc dreasses.

Then we choose the verb (dress) платье нравится – (dresses) нравятся

after that we need the correct pronoun, who actually likes it. me/you/they/Mr.Brown etc and we use the form of  dative case (дательный падеж).

Oh yes, we change the pronoun but because it is not a basic form of pronoun (я, ты, вы, мы,он,она,они), if we translate it directly, the pronoun will sound like ¨to me¨ (something is pleasant to me\for me) . Each pronoun has a certain form for dative case. And we should memorize next:

Tо me мне 

To you тебе 

To him ему 

To her ей 

To us нам 

To you вам 

To them им 

 

Now we take the last word – who likes it. for example, she –  ей.

so it is coming to :

she likes the dress ей нравится платье .

she likes the dresses ей нравятся платья.

And we get 2 options – for singular and plural.

 

 

To make a negation, I don´t like it, we just add particle НЕ before the verb:

Мне не нравятся твои толстые коты. I don´t like your fat cats.

Мне не нравится вон та рыжая девушка. I don´t like that gingy girl.

Мне не нравятся рыжие девушки. I don´t like gingy girls.

 

If we want to ask a question, we just change the intonation, we don´t need to change a place of verb.

Тебе нравятся рыжие девушки? Do you like gingy girls?

Тебе нравится мой кот? Do you like my cat?

 

Tips:

It might be frustrating in the beginning of studies. Probably, first couple of years. But it is not that difficult, when you have a continuous practice. Like you would say it is not difficult to remember pronouns in english such as @me, you, him, her etc. Right?

So choose the most common pronouns you are going to use, for example – me, us, you. And start with them. Later on add others.

Drop me an email if you are still confused about how to say I like this and that, I will be happy to asnwer. And discover other materials available on this website for example, podcast, where you can learn words natives are saying vs teacherbooks or read&listen section where you can read a text together with a native speaker, first slowly and then faster and faster until you reach the same speed of pronunciation as native speakers.