Russian Language Grammar

    Handwriting

Letters

There are 33 letters in the Russian alphabet:

Russian handwriting numbers

Notes:

(a)   The letters ъ, ы, and ь cannot begin a word; therefore they are never capitalized in handwriting. (They are capitalized in print when the whole word is printed in capitals: ЖИЗНЬ, СЫН, СЪЁМКА etc.)

(b)   Several letters have closer corresponding sounds in other foreign languages. Thus, the Russian a is like the French a in ma (or the a in the colloquial mama); the Russian ж is like the French j in bonjour; the Russian p and x are pronounced like the Spanish r and j respectively.

Handwriting

1. An individual handwriting may often not follow exactly the specimens of written letters given above. Thus, there letters Н, В, Б, Т and some others can be handwritten in a slightly different manners (see the graphics below).

However, the written alphabet given here is the one recommended in textbooks.

Capital Letters Variations:

Russian handwriting numbers

 

Small Letters Variations:

Russian handwriting numbers

2. The small "hooks" in handwritten л, м, and я should always be written. Without them, a word like "земля" could be easily misread.

Russian handwriting numbers

3. The connecting of letters is often a matter of habit or individual preference. Generally speaking, it depends on where the first letter ends and the second begins. Thus, connect ал, он, ар, etc. (see the graphic below).

Russian handwriting numbers

and do not connect ол, бм, etc. when the stroke of the first letter only is completed above the line.

Russian language alphabet