I am reading now a book about Russian language (The big silver book of Russian language p. 2) and it's written there that when people want to talk to new people then they should say the sentence: "Давайте будем на ты". I've never came across it. Is it indeed done?

ты is the informal usage for you. It is used with family members, children, close friends, and pets. When Russians wish to speak informally to one another for the first time, they say, “ Давайте будем на ты .”

The Russian has two forms for you. They vary according to formality and number.Тыis informal singular, вы is formal singular and both formal and informal plural. Вы is the marker of formality, politeness, and seniority. Whenever you are in doubtabout which form to use, err on the side of caution and use the polite form (Вы) unless you are speaking to a child or a pet.

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    in some communities or contexts though "вы" might be considered cold, stressing official non-cohesive communication style, stressing the distance between talking parties.
    – Arioch
    Jun 20, 2017 at 8:50
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    btw, in English there still is ты pronoun - thou. While almost never used in spoken language, but you may for example read Shakespeare, etc.
    – Arioch
    Jun 27, 2017 at 8:44

3 Answers 3


Yes, absolutely.

I would not suggest to say "*давай* будем на ты", because this seems rude to me. You start to call your vis-a-vis "ты" before she/he gave her/his consent.

Another common expression is предлагаю перейти на ты. This expression avoids using either ты or вы.

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    "Давай на ты" is correct spoken form when you invite your [younger] buddy to not call you "вы", while you're already using "ты" (and thus "давай" without "-те"). Jun 27, 2017 at 8:22

Yes. "Давайте будем на ты", is a well known and standard phrase. You can also say "давай будем на ты" to emphasize the fact that you are very inclined to be less formal.

The other standard forms are: "Давай[те]/Может [сразу]/[перейдём] на ты?" or "можно на ты [сразу]/[уже]?"

It's worth to know also the verb "тыкать". It's a colloquial term for referring someone by "ты". You can here something like "Ничего, что я тыкаю? Мы ж всего день знакомы". The verb "тыкать" has homonym which translated as "to poke" and should not be confused with.

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    "давай будем на ты" is already addressing in singular. It is about like throw yourself onto someone's bed and then after what you already did ask for permission to sit there. Risky course of actions.
    – Arioch
    Jun 27, 2017 at 8:45

To add to the already posted answers, I'd like to point out that the statement that

when people want to talk to new people then they should say the sentence ...

is not exactly true. It sounds as if your book suggests that whenever people talk to new people, they should say this sentence — but that isn't so. You can never ever say this when you've just met new people and started talking to them, because that would be rude. It's only appropriate when you've been communicating at least for some time, and you feel that you and your vis-à-vis have established a certain rapport that allows for less formal relationship.

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    This deserves more upvotes since it actually may be rude to say to new people, especially under (semi-)formal circumstances. Jun 27, 2017 at 8:29

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