Saying 'I feel good' in Russian

Russians have a very peculiar way of saying certain things. If you want to say 'I'm cold' for example you never say 'Ya holodny' (Я холо́дный). Rather, you say 'Mne holodno' (Мне хо́лодно). This sentence structure is often used when speaking about one's feelings:

Мне ве́село!
Mne veselo!
I'm having fun!
Мне смешно́.
Mne smeshno.
I find it funny.
Мне прия́тно вас ви́деть.
Mne priyatno vas videt.
It is a pleasure to see you.
Мне хорошо́ с тобо́й.
Mne horosho s toboy.
I feel good with you.
Мне гру́стно без тебя́.
Mne grustno bez tebya.
I feel sad without you.
Мне бо́льно.
Mne bolno.
It hurts me.
Мне стра́шно.
Mne strashno.
I'm scared.

Мне means 'to me' so literally you're saying 'To me it's funny' or 'To me it's good' or 'To me it's scary'.

And it doesn't have to be 'mne' all the time. You can say the same of other people:

Тебе́ хо́лодно?
Tebe ne holodno?
Are you cold?
Тебе́ ве́село?
Tebe veselo?
Are you having fun?
Ей стра́шно.
Yey strashno.
She is scared.
Ему́ смешно́.
Yemoo smeshno.
He finds it funny.

Or you can drop the first word completely and simply say:

It's cold.
It's funny!
О́чень прия́тно!
Ochen priyatno!
Very pleased (to meet you)!

Now try saying:

  • She is having fun.
  • He is hurt.
  • He feels good when it's cold. (when=когда kogda)
  • She is scared but he finds it funny. (but=а ah)

Use the table below to find the correct word:

я ya 'I' мне mne 'to me'
ты ty 'you' тебе́ tebe 'to you'
он on 'he' ему́ yemoo 'to him'
она́ ona 'she' ей yey 'to her'

Starting your sentences with 'mne' is not the only way of speaking of your feelings. Using Я Ya (I'm) also works, just like in English:

Я горд.
Ya gord.
I'm proud.
Я сча́стлив!
Ya schastliv!
I'm happy.
Я зол.
Ya zol.
I'm angry.

So how do you know if to use 'ya' or 'mne'? It depends on what you want to say really:

Он прия́тный.
On priyatny.
He is pleasant.
Ему́ прия́тно.
Yemoo priyatno.
He is pleased.
Он стра́шный.
On strashny.
He is scary.
Ему́ стра́шно.
Yemoo strashno.
He is scared.
Он смешно́й.
On smeshnoy.
He is funny.
Ему́ смешно́.
Yemoo smeshno.
He is amused.
Он хоро́ший.
On horoshy.
He is a good person.
Ему́ хорошо́.
Yemoo horosho.
He feels good.

Hopefully this is enough examples for you to work out the pattern. Let's have a look at one more:

Он холо́дный.
On holodny.
He is cold (to touch).
Ему́ хо́лодно.
Yemoo holodno.
He feels cold.

This one's a bit tricky. In English, when somebody says I'm cold what they really mean is: I feel cold. When you open a window and hear someone say: Can you please close it? I'm cold, you don't really think their body temperature has dropped significantly, do you? Thus I'm cold is just an English expression to say that you feel cold which doesn't translate well to Russian. In Russian in this case you would say Мне хо́лодно Mne holodno.

To me it's pleasant that you've read this far. Hopefully you've learnt something new. Any questions? Share them with the group:

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