The Voice is a grammatical category of the verb denoting relations between the Subject (Action perforner) and

Object of an action (to which the action is applied). Just like in English there are Active and Passive Voices.

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The Active Voice shows a Subject the action of which is applied to an object: Мастер ремонтирует

машину. The mechanic is repairing a car.

The Passive Voice shows that the Subject is an object to which the action is applied:

Дом строится строителями. The house is being built by construction workers.


Active Voice Passive Voice

may not have a corresponding counterpart in the passive voice:

лизнуть(to lick), уверить(to persuade), напомнить(to remind),благодарить(to thank),запомнить(to remember)

Always have an Active Voice counterpart: раздеваться- раздевать
Could have or not have postfix -ся, -сь : прибраться в комнате (to make the room) Always have postfix -ся, -сь : план составляется (the plan is being made)
Found in all grammatical forms of the verb Cannot be used with 1st and 2nd person, the imperative: читаюсь, читаешься,читайся. читаясь
All transitive verbs belong to Active Voice.


Transitive verbs denote actions directed at specific objects помыть (посуду), убрать(мусор).The action

denoted by the transitive verb need an object and can't do without it. The object could be:

  • Nouns and pronouns in the Accusative case without a preposition: выпить вина (drink wine), рубить дрова(cut logs)
  • Genitive case when a part of the whole meant: налить вина (pour wine)
  • Genitive case in negation: нет слышал птиц (didn't hear any birds), не давал словарь(didn't give the dictionary)

Transitive verbs can form passive participles: одеть - одетый, распилить - распиленный

(to dress -dressed, to saw -sawn)

Intransitive verbs denote actions not directed at any objects: поздороветь - become bigger

(when speaking of a person), кричит - screams. They cannot be used in the Accusative without a preposition.

Reflective verbs could be froms of both transitive and intransitive verbs.


Reflective verbs
formed from transitive verbs formed from intransitive verbs
  1. self-reflective: бриться, мыться, одеваться (to shave, to take a shower, to get dressed). Postfix -ся is close in meaning to себя: бриться - брить себя
  2. mutual-reflective, 2 or more people involved : целоваться (to kiss), соревноваться -compete Postfix -ся here is close in meaning to друг с дугом, друг друга
  3. all-reflective, inner state of the subject is changed: обижаться -get offended Postfix -ся here is close in meaning to сам: я веселился (сам)
  4. indirectly-reflective, seeking benefits for itself, persuing their own interests: запасаться, прибираться Postfix -ся here is close in meaning to для себя
  5. reflective with no object, reflecting some permanet quality: собака кусается, планета вертиться (a dog bites, the planet is spinning)
  1. undergoing state of a person without participation of their will:не спиться, не работается, неможется (can't sleep, can't work, can't do )
  2. more intense action with a persuit of person's own interest: дереться, ругается, стучиться (fights,quarells, knocks)
  3. shows an outer quality: чернеется, краснеется (becomes black, becomes red)


Verbs that don't have a corresponding non-reflective counterpart do not have Voice category: кланяться (to bow),

боятся (to be scared),стремиться(to intend),надеятся(to hope), смеяться( to laugh) etc