• Olga Jarrell

Words easily confused: CLASS vs. КЛАСС

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

The word CLASS looks like a true cognate of КЛАСС, but, unfortunately, these words can act like false cognates in many usages. Even some native Russian speakers, who live in an English-speaking country, sometimes use the word КЛАСС literally as CLASS. You can often hear students saying:

Это неинтере́сный класс. (It's not an interesting class.)

У меня́ три кла́сса в э́том семе́стре. (I have three classes this semester.)

Я должна́ идти́. У меня́ сейча́с класс. (I have to go. I have class now.)

Of course, a Russian speaker, especially the one who is familiar with English, will understand you. However, your vocabulary will not be authentic Russian, and you might sound like a foreigner. For that reason, why not clarify how to use this word properly.


  • курс, предме́т = course, subject

Это неинтере́сный курс. = This is not an interesting class.

Какие ку́рсы ты слу́шаешь? = What classes are you taking?

  • заня́тие = class session, often used in plural - заня́тия

Я на заня́тиях весь день. = I am in class all day long.

  • уро́к = class session; for skill-based courses such as a foreign language, art production, performance, etc.

Наш уро́к ру́сского языка́ начина́ется в 10 часо́в. = Our Russian class starts at 10:00.

  • ле́кция = class session; lecture

Когда у нас ле́кция по исто́рии? = When do we have a lecture on history?

  • па́ра = college class – 90 minutes; almost always for college classes in Russia

У меня́ сего́дня три па́ры. Пе́рвая па́ра в 9 часо́в. = I have three 90-minute classes. The first class is at 9:00.

  • гру́ппа = section as a group of students in one class

У нас ма́ленькая гру́ппа. В на́шей гру́ппе все америка́нцы. = Our group is small. There are all Americans in our section.

  • аудито́рия = college classroom (NOT auditorium!)

В како́й аудито́рии у нас ру́сский? = Which classroom do we have Russian?

However, the words CLASS and КЛАСС will become true cognates in the following two meanings:

  • класс = grade in school

первый класс, второ́й класс = first grade, second grade

В како́м кла́ссе ваш сын? = What grade is your son in?

  • класс = school classroom

У нас в шко́ле больши́е кла́ссы. = We have big classrooms in our school.

In addition, the word КЛАСС appears in the following colloquial expression:

  • Класс! (Кла́ссно!) = Excellent!

Finally, if you look back at the examples of the wrong sentences above, how would you correct them?

Это неинтере́сный класс. = Это неинтере́сный курс.

У меня́ три кла́сса в э́том семе́стре. = У меня́ три ку́рса в э́том семе́стре.

Я должна́ идти́. У меня́ сейча́с класс. = Я должна́ идти́. У меня ́сейча́с ле́кция (заня́тия).

I hope you’ve found this information useful, and you will always use this word correctly! Уда́чи!

Also, there is a video about CLASS-words on my YouTube channel, where you can find more examples.

#wordseasilyconfused #class

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