Russian verbs of motion (unprefixed)
In the previous lessons we have already covered the aspects and the conjugation of Russian verbs. At this moment you should be able to conjugate Russian verbs in the Present, Past and Future tense. Today we are uncovering another block of the Russian grammar about verbs: the verbs of motion.
There are 14 pairs of Russian verbs you need to memorize among other things. They are the verbs of motion, i.e. the verbs what imply moving from one place to another. Which verb of a pair to choose depends on what type of trip one performs: in one direction (unidirectional) or a return trip (multidirectional).
The verbs of motion are divided into two groups, unprefixed and prefixed. Prefixed verbs are based on the 14 pairs of unprefixed ones but have a different meaning based of the type of the prefix attached to them.
In this lesson we’ll be looking at the unprefixed verbs of motion to understand the general idea, and in the next lesson we’ll cover the prefixed verbs.
The list of unprefixed verbs of motion in Russian
|идти́||ходи́ть||to go (by foot), to walk|
|е́хать||е́здить||to go (by transport)|
|плыть||пла́вать||to swim, to sail|
|тащи́ть||таска́ть||to drag, to pull|
|кати́ть||ката́ть||to roll, to wheel|
|нести́||носи́ть||to carry, to wear|
|вести́||води́ть||to drive (a car), to lead, to accompany|
|везти́||вози́ть||to carry (by vehicle)|
|лезть||ла́зить / ла́зать||to climb|
|брести́||броди́ть||to stroll, to wander|
|гнать||гоня́ть||to drive (~ to force to move)|
So how to use this table?
Use unidirectional verb when you talk about:
– moving in one direction,
– a one-time action,
– an action which is taking place at the moment you are talking
Use multidirectional verb when:
– you talk about moving in more than one direction,
– you talk about the actions that repeat,
– you talk about going to some place in general,
– the number of directions doesn’t matter.
Example sentences with verbs of motion
идти́ – ходи́ть
Куда́ ты идёшь? – Я иду́ в магази́н.
Where are you going to? – I’m going to the shop. (right now)
Я обы́чно хожу́ на рабо́ту че́рез парк.
I usually go to work through the park. (repeated action)
е́хать – е́здить
По доро́ге е́дет ско́рая по́мощь.
An emergency car is going down the road. (one direction)
Гора́здо прия́тнее е́здить на маши́не, чем в метро́.
It’s much more enjoyable to go by car than on the subway. (in general)
бежа́ть – бе́гать
Он бежа́л без огля́дки.
He was running as fast as he could. (in one direction)
Я реши́ла бе́гать по утра́м.
I decided I will jog every morning. (as a habit, in general)
нести́ – носи́ть
Он нёс большу́ю су́мку.
He was carrying a big bag. (in one direction, once)
Заче́м ты всё вре́мя но́сишь таку́ю большу́ю су́мку?
Why do you carry such a big bag all the time? (repeated action)
вести́ – води́ть
Куда́ ведёт э́та доро́га?
Where does this road lead to? (it can only lead to one direction)
Он во́дит маши́ну сли́шком бы́стро, это опа́сно.
He drives too fast, it’s dangerous. (all the time)
гнать – гоня́ть
Нам на́до гнать быстре́е, а то мы не успе́ем.
We have to drive faster or we’ll be late. (right now)
Он купи́л маши́ну, что́бы про́сто гоня́ть на ней.
He bought himself a car just for running around in. (repeated action)
Practice the verbs and examples of today’s lesson with the audio file. And come back for new Russian lessons for beginners!
More lessons on the Russian verbs
- The verb "to be" in Russian
- Russian verbs: Introduction - The Infinitive
- Russian Present tense
- Practice Russian Present Tense with questions
- Russian Past tense
- Russian verb aspects
- Perfective and imperfective verbs - Practice
- Use of the verb 'быть' in the Past tense
- Future tense with imperfective verbs
- Future tense with perfective verbs
- To go in Russian - Идти and ехать
- Past, Present, and Future of Russian verbs - Practice
- Russian Imperative mood (Command form)
- Commands for the 1st and 3d persons
- Reflexive verbs
- Russian verbs of motion (unprefixed)
- Prefixed verbs of motion
- Verbs of motion: practice
More lessons on Russian verbs of motion
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