Expressing likes and dislikes The past tense in Russian

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Talking about likes and dislikes

Expressing likes and dislikes

To talk about your likes and dislikes, you can use these expressions.

Expressing likes:

  • I like…
  • I love.
  • I adore…
  • I ‘m crazy about…
  • I’m mad about…
  • I enjoy…
  • I’m keen on…

Expressing dislikes:

  • I don’t like…
  • I dislike.
  • I hate…
  • I abhor…
  • I can’t bear.
  • I can’t stand…
  • I detest.
  • I loathe.

Examples of likes and dislikes :

I’m mad about basketball, but I can’t bear ice hockey.
I adore reading poetry, but I loathe doing the housework.

If you neither like nor dislike something:

«I don’t mind doing the housework.»

Things to remember about likes and dislikes:

1. When these expressions are followed by a verb, the latter is put in the -ing form.

«I like listen ing to music.»
«I hate wear ing sunglasses.»

2. Note that» very much» & » a lot» always come after the things you like.

«I like basketball very much/a lot. NOT» I like very much/a lot basketball

3. Be careful when you use «I don’t mind. »

«Do you mind playing football?»
«No, I don’t mind.»(Although it’s in a negative form, it means that it’s ok for me. I neither love it nor hate it.)


Steve is at home. His girlfriend comes in. Notice how they express their likes and dislikes

Steve: Hello, darling. Do you fancy watching a film tonight?
Girlfriend: Oh, no thanks, I don’t really feel like watching a film tonight. How about going out instead.
Steve: OK. Do you feel like going to the theater?
Girlfriend: Oh, no. I hate it. Do you like eating at the new Chinese restaurant?
Steve: I don’t mind. The Chinese cuisine is alright.
Girlfriend: Well I really love it. Let’s go.

A List of Idiomatic Expressions

What are idioms? And how can idioms help you become a fluent speaker? Discover a list of the most widely used idiomatic expressions!

A list of Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are generally used in spoken English and informal texts. Check out our list of hundreds of phrasal verbs classified in alphabetical order.

A list of figures of speech

Do you want to provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity to your writing? Check out this list of figures of speech!

The Past tense of Russian verbs

The audio for the lesson is available at the bottom of the screen under the blue button.

In one of the previos lessons we have learned how to form the Present tense of Russian verbs. It’s time to learn how to form the Past tense.

Verbs ending in -ть

Fortunately, forming Russian Past tense is pretty easy. All you need to do is to take the Infinitive (initial) form of a verb and replace its ending -ть with one of the following endings depending on gender and number of the subject:

Masculine – replace with л
Feminine – replace with ла
Neutral – replace with ло
Plural – replace with ли

These rules works for both 1st and 2d conjugation types.

Let’s try doing it on some examples:

учи́тьto learn

я, ты, он учи́л
я, ты, она́ учи́ла
оно́ учи́ло
мы, вы, они́ учи́ли

житьto live

я, ты, он жил
я, ты, она́ жила́
оно́ жи́ло
мы, вы, они́ жи́ли

смотретьto look

я, ты, он смотре́л
я, ты, она́ смотре́ла
оно́ смотре́ло
мы, вы, они́ смотре́ли

Verbs ending in -ти, -чь

However, as you might already know, not all Russian verbs end in -ть. Some of them end in -чь, -ти. So the rules for these verbs are slightly different.

For the masculine form of the verbs in -ти, the ending is not used anymore. Most often these verbs lose the ending they had in the Infinitive form. For example:

– ползти́ – полз (to crawl)
– нести́ – нёс (to carry)

But for the feminine, neuter, and plural forms the rules are the same:

– ползти́ – ползла́, ползло́, ползли́
– нести́ – несла́, несло́, несли́

For the verbs ending in -чь, for the masculine form the ending -чь is often replaced with or :

– мочь – мог (to be able)
– печь – пёк (to bake)
– отвле́чь – отвлёк (to distract)

If the preceding vowel is soft (я, ё, ю, и, е), replace -чь with , otherwise with .

The feminine, neuter and plural form of these verbs are formed based on the masculine form:

– мочь – могла́, могло́, могли́
– печь – пекла́, пекло́, пекли́
– отвле́чь – отвлекла́, отвлекло́, отвлекли́

Pay attention, that the letter E in the stem of some verbs is replaced with Ё in the masculine form in the Past tense.

Now you can practice by yourself. Take some Russian verbs and try to put them in the Past tense.

Practice all today’s words and phrases with the audio track.

More lessons on the Russian verbs

  • 011: The verb «to be» in Russian
  • 023: Russian verbs: Introduction — The Infinitive
  • 024: The Present tense of the Russian verbs
  • 028: Practice Russian Present Tense with questions
  • 067: The Past tense of Russian verbs
  • 068: Aspects of Russian verbs
  • 069: Perfective and imperfective verbs — Practice
  • 070: To go in Russian — Идти and ехать
  • 073: Imperative mood (Command form) of Russian verbs
  • 074: Commands for the 1st and 3d persons
  • 095: Future tense with imperfective verbs
  • 096: Future tense with perfective verbs
  • 098: Past, Present, and Future of Russian verbs — Practice
  • 099: Use of the verb ‘быть’ in the Past tense
  • 113: Reflexive verbs
  • 159: Russian verbs of motion (unprefixed)
  • 160: Prefixed verbs of motion
  • 161: Verbs of motion: practice

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Ways of expressing future in English

1.The present tense used as a future tense

Very often, we use a present tense in English to talk about future events: look at this short dialogue:

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“Where are you going next summer?”

2.The future with «will» or «going to»

A “future” with will is used to imply a deliberate predetermined action .

A future form with will is also needed whenever it is necessary to avoid confusion between present and future (for example when there is no adverb of time present)

Will and going to ARE NOT USED.

a) With modal verbs can, could, must, should, would.

b) in time clauses after if, when, as soon as, unless, after, before, while etc.

3.The future with shall

Shall and the negative form shan’t are not often used in modern English; more than just expressing a future action, they express a future obligation or certainty (or in the negative, a forbidding) , and are normally only used in the first person singular (with I), as in.

I shall certainly visit the British Museum when I’m next in London.

Present Continuous. Form

The Present Continuous Tense is formed with the present tense of the auxiliary verb be + the Present Participle (V-ing)

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I am working Am I working I am not working
He he He
She is working Is she working She is not working
It it It
We You are working we are you working We You are not working
They they They

Present Continuous. Using

1.for actions happening now.

It is raining. Take your umbrella.

I’m waiting for my friend. She is having coffee.

2.for an action happening in the present time period but not necessary at the moment of speaking, (often with the words: these days, this week, today, this evening, this month, etc.)

Is Tom working this week? — No, he is on holiday.

3.for changes happening around us.

The population of the world is rising very fast. Your English is getting better.

4.for emotional colouring of actions (annoying habits, praise, blame, impatience, etc.) with the words: always, all the time, constantly.

You are always finding fault with me. She is constantly losing things.

5.for a definite arrangement in the near future, for a future intention or planned actions.

I’m meeting Sarah tonight. We are spending Christmas т Chicago.

We are leaving London next week.

One should remember that we don’t usually use the following verbs in the Continuous Tenses:

likes and dislikes: love, like, hate, care, prefer
wants and needs: want, wish, desire, need, lack
senses: see, hear, feel, notice, smell, taste,
knowledge: know, understand, remember,
forget, realize
opinion: believe, recognize, seem, appear,
think(that), seem
possession: possess, contain, consist of, include, etc.
existence: be, exist

But there are exceptional uses of these verbs (more frequent in spoken English), when we want to give special emphasis to their particular application to this very moment.

/ think it’s too expensive. (=opinion) He is friendly, (appearance) What are you thinking about? (at the moment) He is being friendly. (=behaving) or pretending now.

NOTE: We can use verbs that describe the way we feel physi­cally in a Simple Tense or Continuous.

I feel sick. I ‘m feeling sick.

My legs hurt. My legs are hurting.

When we want to express intention, the form be going to is often used.

He is going to answer his friends’ letters tonight.

Spelling Rules:

— if the infinitive ends in -e, drop it: makemaking;

when a one-syllable verb has one vowel and ends in a con­sonant, double the consonant: sit — sitting;

_ if the verb ends in -ie, change it to y: die — dying, lie — lying;

_ if the infinitive ends in -y, add -ing without any changes: try -trying.

24. Present Continuous and Present Simple compared(сравнение)

Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
repeated actions actions happening at the moment of speaking or around the moment of speaking
fixed arrangements, scheduled events (e.g. timetable) fixed plan in the near future
sequence of actions in the present (first — then, after that) temporary actions
instructions trends
things in general repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker (with always, constantly, forever)
after special verbs

Signal words

Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
always, often, usually, sometimes, seldom, never, every day, every week, every year, on Mondays now, at the moment, Look!, Listen!


Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
infinitive 3rd person singular (he, she, it) infinitive + -s to be (am, are, is) + infinitive + -ing


Simple Present Present Progressive/Continuous
watches(-es after sibilant) sitting(double consonant after short vowel)
goes (-es after -o) writing (leave out one -e at the end)
hurries (-y to -ie after consonant) lying(change -ie to -y)

Past Continuous

The Past Continuous is formed with the past tense of the auxiliary verb be + the Present Participle (V-ing)

I he she it + was+ Ving

We you they + were +Ving

The Past Continuous is used:

to express an activity happening at a particular time in (he past. (It may be used with a point of time: at 7 yesterday or with a verb in the simple past tense in the subordinate clause: when we came . )

What were you doing at 9 last night? -1 was reading a book. When she got home, the children were sleeping and the dog was sitting in front of the door.

to describe an action, event or situation that was in progress at a specified time in the past

In May of last year I was studying hard for my final exam 1 ,.

Helen looked beautiful last night. She was wearing a lovclv velvet dress.

used without a time expression, it can indicate gradual development

It was getting dark and the wind was rising.

used with while the Past Continuous describes two actions that were in progress at the same time.

While he was driving along this morning, he was thinking

about his new job.

The Past Continuous may be used with the following adver-bials: all night, all morning, all day yesterday, the whole eve­ning-

I was watching TV all evening yesterday. The Past Continuous can express incompleteness when con­trasted with the Past Simple.

/ read a book yesterday (and finished it).

I was reading a book yesterday (but didn ‘t finish it).

Future Continuous

The Future Continuous is formed with the Future Indefi­nite of the auxiliary verb to be and Participle I (V-ing) of the notional verb. In the first person will is more usual than shall, except in the interrogative.

The Future Continuous is used:

1. to describe an action or event which will be going on at a definite moment in the future.

/’// be having breakfast at seven o’clock tomorrow. When you come, he will be sleeping.

The definite moment is indicated either by a point of time at 5 o’clock)or by another future action expressed by a verb in the present Indefinite (when you come, when he arrives).

2. to describe an activity or state that covers the whole of a future time period.

I’ll be watching TV all evening.

3. to describe a future event which is a part of regular routine. /7/ be working at home tomorrow. Call me at any time you want.

I am meeting him tomorrow, (with a definite time, and for the near future)

I’ll be meeting him tomorrow/next year/some time, (or with­out a time expression at all for the near or distant future)

4. to express future without intention.

/’// be seeing him at the university. He never misses lec­tures.

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5. Will you be V-ingl Is used to ask about somebody’s plans, especially if you want something or want them to do some­thing.

Will you be using your bicycle this evening? — No, I

-1 wonder if I could borrow it for the afternoon?

Compare: He won’t cut the grass, (means he refuses to cut it) He won’t be cutting the grass, (is a mere state­ment of fact, giving no information about his feel­ings) He isn’t cutting the grass, (implies a planned action)

Will future: expresses intention, belief, hope, and willingness.

Future Continuous: indicates future activity or event but does not express intention or willingness.

Present Perfect Tense

The Present Perfect is formed by means of the auxiliary verb to havein the Present Indefinite and Participle IIof the notional verb.

In the interrogative form the auxiliary verb is placed before the subject: has he done / have you done?

In the negative form not is placed after the auxiliary verb: has not/ have not, hasn’t / haven’t done.

The Present Perfect is usedto show a connection in the speaker’s mind between the past and the present. This occurs in three main ways:

1) the unfinished past:

— by referring to something that started in the past and is continuing now. The Present Perfect is used instead of the Pre­sent Perfect Continuous to denote more permanent states with for and since. The Present Perfect is also used with the verbs not admitting of the continuous form.

I’ve worked here since1985.

I’ve known him for 20 years.

NOTE: The Present Perfect is used instead of the Present Perfect Continuous in negative sentences with the preposi­tion/or.

She hasn ‘t written to me for years.

or describing something that happened, when the period of time that we are referring to has not finished:

I’ve read two books this week.

I’ve seen him twice today.

2) the indefinite past: referring to the past with no definite . time. It is connected to the present in some way, and is often used in the following situation:

a) describing something that happened in the past, when the result can be seen in the present:

He’s painted his house. She’s bought a new car.

b) describing something that happened recently, often when giving «news»:

Two men have escaped from a prison in London. The Prime Minister has arrived in Australia.

c) this tense is frequently used with the certain words: just, yet, already, never, lately, since, for, ever, recently, so far, before, etc.

NOTE: Yet is used in questions and negative sentences. He ‘s just gone out. He hasn’t come yet. She’s already left.

d) describing personal experience: I’ve been to Paris.

He’s never been abroad.

e)describing personal experience with superlatives or ordinals:

She’s the most intelligent person I’ve met. This is the third time we ‘ve complained.

NOTE: The Past Indefinite is used with just now. He came just now.

3) The Present Prefect is used for situations that exist for a long time (especially if we say always) and this situation still exists now.

My father has always worked hard.

John has always lived in London.

The Present Perfect in this case is translated into Russian by the present or sometimes by the past imperfective. / have known him for many years. Я знаю его много лет. I have always been fond of music. Я всегда любил музыку.

4) The Present Perfect is also used in adverbial clauses of time introduced by conjunctions after, when, before, as soon as, till, until, etc. to show that the action of the subordinate clause will be accomplished before the action of the principal clause. The Present Perfect is used to express a future action.

/’// help you with your homework as soon as I have done my own.

Past Perfect

\Ve form the Past Perfect with had + the past participle(gone, opened, written, etc.)

The Past Perfect is used:

to express an action that happened before a certain moment in the past. The moment may be indicated by another past action expressed by a verb in the Past Indefinite or by adverbial phrases, such as by five o’clock, by Sunday, by the end of the year, by that time, etc. With these phrases the Past Perfect does not denote priority but only the completion of action.

/ arrived at midday to give Nick a lift but he had already

left to catch his train.

He did not want to go to the cinema because he had seen

By three o’clock yesterday he had arranged everything for

for the earlier of the two past events in time clauses with con­junctions when, till, until, as soon as, before, after if we need to make a time distinction between two past events.

As soon as (when, after) they had finished breakfast the

children went out to play.

He didn’t leave the house until he had checked that all the

windows were closed.

After he had given the police his name and address, he was

NOTE: The Past Indefinite can be used in the time clause if there is the idea that the second action is the result of the first, and that it happened immediately afterwards.

When I heard the postman I went down to see if there wcis

I sat outside until ti.e sun went down.

The Past Perfect is frequently used (like the Present Perfect) with the adveibs never, already, just, yet, still, before, since, for.

When I last spoke to him he hadn ‘t yet had the result.

He wanted to visit London very much because he had never

been there before.

When he got there the meeting had just started.

The Past Perfect is used in reporting speech.

She said she had sent the telegram. I added that he had acted stupidly.

The Past Perfect is usually used with adverbs hardly (scarcely) . when, no sooner . than. Very often the inverted word-order is used with these adverbs for emphasis.

The train had hardly (scarcely) left the station when there

was an explosion.

Hardly had the train left the station when there was an

I had scarcely entered the room when the telephone rang

Scarcely had I entered the room when the telephone rang.

No sooner had I reached the door than I realized it was

NOTE: hardly (scarcely) . when is translated into Russian -едва . как, No sooner. than — как только, не успел . как.

Future Perfect

The Future Perfect Tense is formed will the auxiliary verbs will / shall + Perfect Infinitivefor the first person, will + Perfect Infinitivefor the other persons.

The Future Perfect is used:

1. to denote an action that will be completed before a definite time in the future. It is normally used with a time expression beginning with by: by that time, by then, by the end of next year, not. till, until, etc.

/’// have written the report by tonight.

I won’t have retired till the year 2020.

Don’t phone after 11.00 because I’ll have gone to bed by

2. instead of the Future Perfect Continuous with verbs not ad­mitting the Continuous form.

By the time you come back, he’ll have been here for the t\>’o

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NOTE: only the Future Perfect is used for a completed action in future when quantity is mentioned.

By the end of my university course I’ll have attended 1.200

Урок 20. Expressing dislikes.

Callum : Hello, I’m Callum Robertson and this is How to …, the series from BBC Learning English dot com that shows you how to do things in English.

In an earlier programme we looked at different ways of saying that you like something. In this programme we’re going to be looking at the other side, talking about things you don’t like.

There are of course a lot of different ways of talking about your dislikes. In this programme we’ll start by looking at a few simple ways to answer a basic question. In the programme on likes we had a situation where someone was inviting a friend to dinner. She asked the question ‘Do you like Chinese food?’

This time we’re going to ask the same question, but in a different way.

How do you feel about Chinese food?

Callum : ‘How do you feel about Chinese food?’ This time though the answers aren’t so positive. Listen to this one.

How do you feel about Chinese food?
To be honest, I don’t really like it.

Callum : ‘To be honest, I don’t really like it.’ Notice that before he answers he uses the phrase, ‘to be honest’. This is an expression to use when you are going to say
something you think is not good news for the person asking. The next thing he said was:

I don’t really like it.

Callum : ‘I don’t really like it.’ We saw in the programme on likes that using the adverb ‘really’ before the verb makes the feeling stronger. But it’s not the same with negatives. Putting ‘really’ before ‘like’ here is actually another way to soften the strength of the statement. Again, like using ‘to be honest’, it’s a way of trying not to disappoint the speaker too much.

To be honest, I don’t really like it.

Callum : But, by moving the adverb ‘really’ to a different part of the sentence you can express a strong dislike. Listen to this example.

How do you feel about Chinese food?
I really don’t like it.

Callum : ‘I really don’t like it.’ This is a strong expression of dislike. The adverb ‘really’ goes before the auxiliary. This is much stronger. Compare the two, and remember that ‘really’ before the auxiliary makes the feeling stronger and ‘really’ before the verb makes the emotion softer.

I don’t really like it.
I really don’t like it.

Callum : Today we’re looking at things you don’t like. We’ve heard this strong expression.

I really don’t like it.

Callum : Here’s another one.

How do you feel about Chinese food?
I can’t stand it!

Callum : ‘I can’t stand it!’ That is a very strong statement! This is a very good expression for things you don’t like. ‘I can’t stand it.’ Notice that, although it has the word can’t which ends in the sound /t/, that sound is not pronounced when you say the expression. Listen again.

I can’t stand it!

Callum : ‘I – can’t – stand – it’ becomes ‘I can’t stand it’

And although this is a very strong statement we can make it even stronger by putting the adverb ‘really’ into the sentence. Where do you think it goes to makes this stronger? Before the auxiliary ‘can’t’ or before the verb ‘stand’? Listen carefully to find out.

How do you feel about Chinese food?
I really can’t stand it!

Callum : To make the expression stronger put ‘really’ before the negative auxiliary.

I really can’t stand it

Callum : Let’s now recap the expressions that we’ve looked at today. I’m going to say the phrases and give you time to repeat them.

To be honest
I don’t really like it
I really don’t like it
I can’t stand it
I really can’t stand it

Well done. Now, to finish we’re going to listen to a short conversation in which you can hear some of these expressions being used. Which ones do you hear, and what decision does Helen make about her dinner party.

Example conversation
Helen : Hi Finn! I’m having a dinner party on Saturday night, Neil’s coming, would you like to come?
Finn : Yes, sounds good, what are we having?
Helen : How do you feel about Chinese food?
Finn : Well, to be honest, I don’t really like it, I had a bad experience once.
Helen : Oh, well, do you like Italian food?
Finn : No, I can’t stand it.
Helen : Mmmm, what about French?
Finn : I love it!
Helen : Great, that’s good news. I’ll do a French meal. See you on Saturday at 7.
Finn : I’m looking forward to it.

Callum : Oh, poor Helen, she has to change her plans. Now she’s going to make a French meal. We heard the expressions ‘to be honest’, ‘I don’t really like it’ and ‘I can’t stand it’. That’s all from this programme. We’ve looked at some simple expressions for saying that you don’t like something, we’ve looked at using the adverb ‘really’ to make something stronger or softer, and we’ve also seen how sometimes sounds in English words disappear when you are speaking.

Talking about likes and dislikes in English

There’s a whole range of English expressions you can use to talk about how much you like or dislike something.

If you love something

“I love eating ice-cream.”

“I adore sun-bathing.”

“She’s mad about that new boy band.”

“He’s crazy about that girl.”

If you like something a lot

“She’s fond of chocolate.”

“I like swimming very much.”

“He really likes that new golf course.” (Remember to stress “really” in this sentence.)

If you like something

“He quite likes going to the cinema.”

“I like cooking.”

If you neither like nor dislike something

“I don’t mind doing the housework.”

In reply to a question if you like something or not, you can say:
I don’t really care either way.”
It’s all the same to me.”

If you don’t like something

“She doesn’t like cooking very much.”

“He’s not very fond of doing the gardening.”

“He’s not a great fan of football.”

“Horse-riding isn’t really his thing.”

“I dislike wasting time.”

If you really dislike something

“I don’t like sport at all.”

“He can’t stand his boss.”

“She can’t bear cooking in a dirty kitchen.”

“I hate crowded supermarkets.”

“He detests being late.”

“She loathes celery.”

Things to remember

Dislike is quite formal.

Fond of is normally used to talk about food or people.

The ‘oa’ in loathe rhymes with the ‘oa’ in boat.

Grammar Note

To talk about your general likes or dislikes, follow this pattern: like something or like doing something.

Remember that “I’d like…” is for specific present or future wishes.
“I like swimming” = I like swimming generally.
“I’d like to go swimming this afternoon” = I want to go swimming at a specific time in the future.

Common mistake

Be careful where you put very much or a lot. These words should go after the thing that you like.

For example, “I like reading very much.” NOT “I like very much reading.”

Where next?

Check out our page on how to speak about your hobbies in English.

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