Russian letter ь

Russian letter: ь

No sound Order in the alphabet: 30

The Russian letter ь, called "the soft sign", has no sound. Instead, it changes the sound of the preceding consonant making it soft.

There are no words in Russian starting from the ь, therefore we don't display it in big caps.

Below we included words and syllables with and without the ь, so you can hear the difference.

Writing

Printed v.1
ь
Printed v.2
ь
Printed v.3
ь
Cursive
ь
Hand-written
ь

Pronunciation

As in the alphabet
Actual sound
Transcription
[ ' ]
How to pronounce
does not have its own sound
Pronunciation tips

Practice the syllables and words to understand the difference between when the ь is there and not.

Practice in syllables

  • аль
  • пья
  • ал
  • пя
  • рья
  • ря

Words with this letter

Audio
With stress marks
царь
Cursive / Hand-written
царь
царь
Transcription / Translation
[ tsar' ]
tsar
Pronunciation tips
Audio
With stress marks
сельдь
Cursive / Hand-written
сельдь
сельдь
Transcription / Translation
[ syel'd' ]
herring
Pronunciation tips
Audio
With stress marks
ель
Cursive / Hand-written
ель
ель
Transcription / Translation
[ yel' ]
fir (tree)
Pronunciation tips
Audio
With stress marks
кон
Cursive / Hand-written
кон
кон
Transcription / Translation
[ kon ]
game, round
Pronunciation tips
Audio
With stress marks
конь
Cursive / Hand-written
конь
конь
Transcription / Translation
[ kon' ]
horse
Pronunciation tips
Audio
With stress marks
паро́ль
Cursive / Hand-written
пароль
пароль
Transcription / Translation
[ pa-ról' ]
password
Pronunciation tips
Audio
With stress marks
соль
Cursive / Hand-written
соль
соль
Transcription / Translation
[ sol' ]
salt
Pronunciation tips

Practice with a worksheet

Practice the hand-written Russian letter Ь, as well as the syllables and words listed above, with this worksheet: download the worksheet.