Expressing likes and dislikes in Russian

In today’s lesson we’re going to learn how to express likes and dislikes in Russian. I’m going to show you some patterns that you can use in any situation when you need to say that you love, like or dislike something.

Here’s the video version first:

Talking about likes

If you want to say that you like something, just start the sentence with this phrase “мне нравится” (I like). You won’t probably understand this construction cause it’s not like a typical subject+object thing. It’s something different. Мне literally means “me” or “to me” and нравится is a reflexive verb… Alright, I don’t want to scare you. Just remember this combination, it’s really useful.


So, how do I say that I like something in Russian:

Мне нравится + a verb (the infinitive)/a noun (singular)/a phrase.


Мне нравится петь/танцевать/рисовать/спать/есть/смотреть телевизор.
I like to sing/dance/draw/sleep/eat/watch TV.

Мне нравится эта машина. – I like this car.
Мне нравится мой компьютер. – I like my computer.
Мне нравится парень в синей рубашке. – I like the guy in the blue shirt.

Note: If you are going to say you like something in plural, use “мне нравятся”.

Мне нравятся твои родители.
I like your parents.

Мне нравятся эти носки.
I like these socks.

Мне нравятся умные дети.
I like smart kids.

For a stronger feeling like love we use the verb любить. I love is “я люблю” in Russian. This is how we use it in a sentence:

Я люблю мороженное.
I love ice-cream.

Я люблю детей.
I love kids.

Я люблю тебя.
I love you.

Я люблю ходить в кино.
I love to go to the cinema.

So, the pattern is a little different here. It’s the same only with verbs. When we use “любить” with a noun, we need to change the form of this noun – put it in the accusative case. So, for inanimate nouns (exept for feminine nouns ending in -a or -я) there’s no any change. We just take a word from a dictionary:

Я люблю солнце.
I love the sun.

Я люблю свой свитер.
I like my sweater.

Я люблю этот город.
I love this city (town).

Я люблю свою машину (we changed the ending of the word машина).
I love my car.

If we talk about plural nouns, the verb doesn’t change, but the noun does:

Я люблю эту книгу. (I love this book).

Я люблю книги. (I love books).

If you want to talk about something that you really really love, a verb обожать (adore) is just what the doctor ordered.

Я обожаю читать.
I adore to read.

Я обожаю маленьких котят.
I adore little kittens.

The pattern here is the same as with the verb любить. You just switch “я люблю” to “я обожаю” and leave all the rest the same.

Expressing dislikes

Now it’s time for hating. The first way of saying you don’t like something is to take our first construction мне нравится and add the particle не into the middle of it. So, we have the phrase мне не нравится (I don’t like).

It’s used in the same way as “мне нравится”, just with the opposite meaning. You can take the previous examples and make a little change:

Мне не нравится петь/танцевать/рисовать/спать/есть/смотреть телевизор.
I don’t like to sing/dance/draw/sleep/eat/watch TV.

Another strong phrase to express dislikes is я ненавижу (I hate) or я терпеть не могу (I can’t stand):

Я ненавижу ждать.
I hate to wait. 

Я ненавижу его.
I hate him.

Я ненавижу этот город.
I hate this city.

In everyday speaking we elliminate the personal pronoun я (same with the verb любить):

Ненавижу рано вставать.
I hate to wake up early.

Ненавижу, когда отвечают вопросом на вопрос.
I hate it when someone answers a question with another question.

Терпеть не могу его мать.
I can’t stand his mother.

Терпеть не могу, когда мой сын плачет.
I can’t stand it when my son cries.

And, again, we make sentences following the same rule as we did with the verb любить (to love).

Talking About Likes and Dislikes in Russian

We finish here. Now tell me what you like or dislike. In Russian, of course. Would be great to know 😉

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