The title pretty much says it all. It's a very common mistake which (unfortunately) even many native speakers make.

Is there a rule to unambiguously decide should I end this verb with -тся or -ться?


3 Answers 3


There are four cases when you put ь in verb suffixes:

  • Infinitive: умывать(ся), беречь(ся).
  • Second person singular present or future tense: умываешь(ся), бережёшь(ся).
  • After all consonants except й and г (ляг(те)) with imperative mood: исправь(те).
  • Suffixes following a vowel: вернусь, вернитесь, вернулись, вернувшись.

In all other cases, there is no ь.

The best way is to ask a question... If it ends in т, it's тся, if in ть, then it's ться:

  • Я собираюсь - что сдела*ть*? - прогуляться.
  • Сейчас - что делае*т*? - строится новый район.
  • Все, что может - что дела*ть*? - портиться, обязательно - что сделае*т*? - испортится!
  • Good examples! :) Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 21:28
  • 1
    Yes, exactly how I learned it!
    – vasek1
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 22:13
  • That's how it's taught in Russian schools. Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 19:24

The key here is to ask a question that this verb answers.

If the question is "what is it doing?", then the ending should be -тся (делается, пишется, причесывается, ...)

If the question is "what to do?", then it's -ться (делаться, писаться, причесываться, ...)


It's a big problem ;-) and there's whole site dedicated to that question: http://tsya.ru/

  • Haha, nice website :) Although one could argue that this ought to be a comment rather than an answer. +1 anyway Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:15
  • I suppose, the whole site deserves whole answer ;-)
    – kirilloid
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:19
  • i always consider these rules as a good tool to 'remember recapitulation technique'
    – Yurij73
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 22:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.