Linguistic encyclopedia

Verbs of Motion without a prefix

Verbs of motion that have no prefix are in a category of their own. They are divided into two groups, but they are all imperfective.

GROUP ONE
идти
ехать
бежать
плыть
лететь

← to go (by foot) →
← to go by transport →
← to run →
← to swim →
← to fly →
GROUP TWO
ходить
ездить
бегать
плавать
летать

GROUP ONE: VERBS USAGE

  • These verbs express movement in a single direction:

Example:

Анна идёт на работу. – Anna is going to work, (by foot)
Я еду в Париж в пятницу. – I am going to Paris on Friday.

GROUP TWO: VERBS USAGE

  • These verbs express the idea of movement to and from a destination (in this case they can often be replaced by verb быть):

Example:

Вчера Джон ходил в Большой театр. – Yesterday, John went to the Bolshoy Theatre (and came back).
Мой друзья в июне ездили в Германию. → Мой друзья в июне были в Германии
My friends went to Germany in June. → My friends were in Germany in June.

  • They also express frequent or repeated movement:

Example:

Раньше москвичи часто ездили отдыхать в Крым.
Previously Muscovites often used to go on holiday to the Crimea
Иногда я езжу на работу на таксй.
Sometimes I go to work by taxi.

  • They express movement without any defined direction, or in different directions (often when used with the preposition no + dative):

Example:

Студенты целый день ходили по Москве.
The students were walking around Moscow all day.

  • They express the idea of movement in general:

Example:

Я не люблю ездить на поезде. – I don’t like travelling by train.
Сергей прекрасно плавает. – Sergey swims very well. (Sergey is a very good swimmer.)

MOVEMENT WITH /OR CARRYING SOMETHING/ SOMEONE. TRANSPORTATION

The differences between groups one and two are the same as for the previous set of verbs.

  • НЕСТИ – НОСИТЬ: by foot, carrying an object:

Example:

Антон несёт посылку на почту. – Anton is carrying a packet to the post office.
Я не люблю носить тяжёлые сумки. – I don’t like carrying heavy bags.

  • ВЕЗТИ – ВОЗИТЬ: by transport:

Example:

Мы везём коллегам сувениры из Рима. (Мы едем и везём)
We are bringing our colleagues some souvenirs from Rome. (go and bring)
Он возит свою семью в село на машине каждые выходные.
Every weekend he takes his family to the village by car.

  • ВЕСТИ – ВОДИТЬ: the subject and the object are both on foot. Very often this is used for leading an animal or walking with a child:

Example:

Сначала я веду дочь в школу, а потом еду на работу.
First I take my daughter to the school, then I go to work.
Каждое утро он водит сына в детский сад.
Every morning he takes his son to the kindergarten.

  • ВЕСТИ – ВОДИТЬ can also be used in the sense of «водить машину» (to drive a car).



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