How to say...

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I do... - Я занимаюсь...

Sure, the first verb you would think of to say ‘I do’ is делать. But Russians are much more fond of the verb заниматься which has a richer meaning than делать, and can be very unEnglishly translated as ‘I engage in, I’m involved in’. It can also be used to mean ‘I study’ It always takes the instrumental case (-ом ending for masculine words, -ой for feminine ones):

Hobbies and activities:

Я занимаюсь…

…спортом (I do sports)

…футболом (I play football, I’m a footballer)

…фитнесом (I’m into fitness)

…садоводством (I do gardening)

…музыкой (I’m involved in music)

…русским языком (I study Russian)


Я занимаюсь…

…политикой (I’m in politics)

…продажей (I’m in sales)

…рекламой (I’m in advertising)

…торговлей (I’m in trade)

…переводом уже 2 года (I’ve been a translator for 2 years already)

looking after someone:

Я занимаюсь…

…собой; я хожу каждый день в тренажёрный зал   (I’m taking care of myself; I’m going to the gym every day)

…ребёнком (I’m taking care of my child)

…покупателем (I’m busy with a customer)

in phrases:

Я не занимаюсь ничем особенным (nothing special)

Я занимаюсь

этим вопросом (I’m looking into this issue)

этим проектом (I’m working on this project).

…своими делами (I’m looking after my affairs)

…всем подряд (I’m doing everything there is to do)