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Russian course - Lesson 14

Russian course
Basic Russian for beginners

Lesson 14: Now I'm going home. I always go home on foot


In this lesson you will learn:

  • the verbs of motion in Russian
Useful phrase in Russian

Useful phrase in Russian

Listen and repeat the following sentence:

Сейча́с я иду́ домо́й. Я всегда́ хожу́ домо́й пешко́м
syej-chás ya i-dú da-mój. ya fsyeg-dá ha-zhú da-mój pyesh-kóm
Now I'm going home. I always go home on foot

The verbs of motion in Russian: As you have seen in previous lessons, the Russian verbs give more information than the verbs in English. That's why to express the meaning of a single verb in Russian, we need many words in English.

The Russian verbs of motion aren't an exception. In this lesson you will learn important points about them.

Russian vocabulary

Russian vocabulary

Read, listen and repeat the basic vocabulary of this lesson:

English

Russian

swimming pool / spa

бассе́йн / санато́рий

sport / athlete

спорт / спортсме́н

real, authentic

настоя́щий/-ая/-ее (singular), настоя́щие (plural)

plane / by plane

самолёт / на самолёте

bad / he feels bad

пло́хо / ему́ пло́хо

Christmas

Рождество́

Rome, Egypt, Kremlin

Рим, Еги́пет, Кремль

year / years

год / лет

hour

час

great!

здо́рово!

near

ря́дом с

stop

остано́вка

before

ра́ньше

on foot, to go on foot

пешко́м, ходи́ть пешко́м

healthy

поле́зно

Verbs of motion: imperfective

In this lesson you will see Russian verbs of motion both perfective and imperfective.

As you can see, the perfective verbs are formed adding the prefix -поto the imperfective verb.

English

Russian: imperfective verbs of motion

to go (on foot)

ходи́ть (regularly) / идти́ (in a specific direction)

ir (to go (in a vehicle))

е́здить (regularly) / е́хать (in a specific direction)

to fly

лета́ть (regularly) / лете́ть (in a specific direction)

to run

бе́гать (regularly) / бежа́ть (in a specific direction)

In the grammar section you will see the whole conjugation of each verb

English

Russian: perfective verbs of motion

to go (on foot)

пойти́

to go (in a vehicle)

пое́хать

to fly

полете́ть

Russian dialogues

Dialogues in Russian

With extra help for verbs!

Now you are going to see three dialogues with Russian verbs of motion.

We are going to help you:

Imperfective verbs of motion

  • verbs that express a repeating motion / movement (to go to a place regularly) will be highlighted.
  • verbs that express a motion / movement in a single direction will be highlighted.

Perfective verbs of motion

  • perfective verbs of motion will be highlighted

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Russian grammar

Russian grammar

Read the following grammar explanations for this lesson:

Russian verbs of motion

We are going to have a look at the Russian verbs that mean "to go", "to run", "to fly",... that is, Russian verbs of motion.

For each English verb of motion, we have two verbs in Russian. Look here at these two meanings of the verb "to go":

  • I usually go to the cinema with Pedro --> Here we express a routine, a movement that we usually/frequently do. We make a "multidirectional motion" (return trip), which is going from home to the cinema and back home.
  • I'm going to the cinema with Pedro --> Here we express that we are "on our way" to the cinema. We make a "unidirectional motion" (one-way trip), which is going from home to the cinema.

As you can see in both cases we use the same English verb (to go), but in Russian we use two different verbs:

  • I usually go to the cinema = Я хожу́ в кино́ (verb ходи́ть).
  • I'm going to the cinema = Я иду́ в кино́ (verb идти́).
  • ходи́ть: means "to go regularly, to go there and return". It's a multidireccional verb of motion.
  • идт́и: means "to be going there, to go on a single direction". It's a unidireccional verb of movement.

Multidirectional and unidirectional verbs of motion

As you can see, we have two kind of verbs of motion:

  1. Multidirectional verbs of motion, which mean "to go often/regularly/frequently, to go and return".
  2. Unidirectional verbs of motion, which mean "to be going somewhere".

We take another example: "Mark flies to Madrid". If we want to say...

...Mark usually/regularly flies to Madrid, we would use the multidirectional verb лета́ть = "Марк лета́ет в Мадри́д"

...Mark is flying to Madrid, we would use the unidireccional verb лете́ть = "Марк лети́т в Мадри́д"

Russian verbs of motion in the past

Have a look at these two sentences and how we translate them into Russian:

...We used to go to the cinema. Many times we did the trip home-->cinema-->home. That's a multidirectional motion.

In this case we use the multidirectional verb of motion ходи́ть and we say in Russian "Мы ходи́ли в кино́".

...We were going to the cinema. We were doing the trip home-->cinema, we were on our way to the cinema.

That's a unidireccional motion. We use the unidirectional verb of motion идти́ and we say in Russian "Мы шли в кино́".

Remember that the verb идти́ has irregular past forms: шёл (masculine), шла (feminine), шли (plural).

Pay attention: This is important

If we want to say a very common phrase like "We went to the cinema (only once)", we will use the same verb as in "we used to go to the cinema (regularly). We only have to add context to the phrase:

  • Мы ходи́ли в кино́ вчера́ = We went to the cinema yesterday / We were in the cinema yesterday.
  • Мы ходи́ли в кино́, когда́ мы жи́ли в Москве́ = We used to go to the cinema when we were living in Moscow.

This means that Мы ходи́ли в кино́ means always that we did the trip home-->cinema-->home.

The rest of the sentences (вчера́ / когда́ мы жи́ли в Москве́) will let us know if the trip was done once or many times.

On the other hand, a sentence like Мы шли в кино́ means always that we were doing the trip home-->cinema.

As you can see, it is easy to understand why they call them multidirectional and unidirectional verbs of motion.

Summary

As you have seen, for each English verb of motion (to go, to run, to fly,...) there are two Russian verbs:

  1. Multidirectional verb of motion: This verb means "to make regularly a movement" (usually to go to a place and back).
    • If the verb is in the present, we talk about a movement that we usually do.
    • If the verb is in the past, we talk about a movement that we used to do.
    • If the verb is in the past, it also means that we have been in a place (only once) / we went there and came back.
  2. Unidirectional verb of motion: This verb means "to be moving in a single direction"
    • If the verb is in the present, we talk about the movement that we are doing right now.
    • If the verb is in the past, we talk about that movement that we were doing in that moment.

Russian verbs of motion conjugated

Multidirectional verbs of motion

The following verbs express motion in different directions (usually "go there and back" / "return trip" / "round-trip").

  • In the present: they express that you usually go (and come back) regularly to a place.
  • In the past: they express that you used to go (and come back) regularly to a place.
Ходи́ть (to go on foot)

Present

Я хожу́ = I usually go

Ты хо́дишь = You usually go

Он хо́дит = He usually goes

Мы хо́дим = We usually go

Вы хо́дите = You usually go

Они́ хо́дят = They usually go

Past

ходи́л (masc.) = I/you/he used to go

ходи́ла (fem.) = I/you/she used to go

ходи́ли (plural) = You/we/they used to go

Е́здить (to travel / to go using a vehicle)

Present

Я е́зжу = I usually go

Ты е́здишь = You usually go

Он е́здит = He usually goes

Мы е́здим = We usually go

Вы е́здите = You usually go

Они́ е́здят = They usually go

Past

е́здил (masc.) = I/you/he used to go

е́здила (fem.) = I/you/she used to go

е́здили (plural) = You/we/they used to go

Лета́ть (to fly)

Present

Я лета́ю = I usually fly

Ты лета́ешь = You usually fly

Он лета́ет = He usually flies

Мы лета́ем = We usually fly

Вы лета́ете = You usually fly

Они́ лета́ют = They usually fly

Past

лета́л (masc.) (masc.) = I/you/he used to fly

лета́ла (fem.) (fem.) = I/you/she used to fly

лета́ли (plural) (plural) = You/we/they used to fly

Е́здить (to run)

Present

Я бе́гаю = I usually run

Ты бе́гаешь = You usually run

Он бе́гает = He usually runs

Мы бе́гаем = We usually run

Вы бе́гаете = You usually run

Они́ бе́гают = They usually run

Past

бе́гал (masc.) (masc.) = I/you/he used to run

бе́гала (fem.) (fem.) = I/you/she used to run

бе́гали (plural) (plural) = You/we/they used to run

Unidirectional verbs of motion

The following verbs express motion in a single direction (that is, the direction you are moving towards).

  • In the present: they express that you are moving (going to a place) now.
  • In the past: they express that you were moving (going to a place) in the past.
Идти́ (to go)

Present

Я иду́ = I am going

Ты идёшь = You are going

Он идёт = He is going

Мы идём = We are going

Вы идёте = You are going

Они́ иду́т = They are going

Past

шёл (masc.) = I/you/he was going

шла (fem.) = I/you/she was

шли (plural) = We/you/they were going

Е́хать (to travel / to go using a vehicle)

Present

Я е́ду = I am going

Ты е́дешь = You are going

Он е́дет = He is going

Мы е́дем We are going

Вы е́дете You are going

Они́ е́дут = They are going

Past

е́хал (masc.) = I/you/he was going

е́хала (fem.) = I/you/she was

е́хали (plural) = We/you/they were going

Лете́ть (to fly)

Present

Я лечу́ = I am flying

Ты лети́шь = You are flying

Он лети́т = He is flying

Мы лети́м = We are flying

Вы лети́те = You are flying

Они́ летя́т = They are flying

Past

лете́л (masc.) = I/you/he was flying

лете́ла (fem.) = I/you/he was, I/you/he wass flying

лете́ли (plural) = We/you/they were flying

Бежа́ть (to run)

Present

Я бегу́ = I am running

Ты бежи́шь = You are running

Он бежи́т = He is running

Мы бежи́м = We are running

Вы бежи́те = You are running

Они́ бегу́т = They are running

Past

бежа́л (masc.) = I/you/he was running

бежа́ла (fem.) = I/you/he was, I/you/he wass running

бежа́ли (plural) = We/you/they were running

Perfective verbs of motion

Every verb of motion that you have seen in the tables above are imperfective (no matter if they are multidirectional or unidirectional). If we take a unidirectional verb and we add the prefix -по, we get a perfective verb. But, the same will not happen with a multidirectional verb: if we add -по, the verb is still imperfective.

In the dialogues section we have seen some examples of these perfective verbs highlighted.

The perfective verbs of motion that you have seen in the lesson are:

  • пойти́ (to go on foot)
  • пое́хать (to travel / to move using a vehicle)
  • полете́ть (to fly)

to conjugate these verbs, you one have to take the verb from the table above and add -по.

What happens when there is not a final destination?

In all the examples we have studied we talk about "to go to the cinema" o "to fly to Madrid". That is, we talked about going to a precise destination.

But we could also talk about movements as in "I'm walking on the park" or "I'm running on the beach". That is, we would talk about moving without any particular destination. In these cases we use multidirectional verbs:

  • Я хожу́ по па́рку: I'm walking in the park (unidirectional: Я иду́ в парк: I'm walking to the park)
  • Я бе́гаю на стадио́не: I'm running in the stadium (unidirectional: Я бегу́ на стадио́н: I'm running to the stadium)
Russian test

Test

Check how much you have learnt in this lesson:

Number of correct answers on the first try.

    1. Which of these two verbs means "to go" and is imperfective

    2. Which kind of verb do we use to say "I am going to school"?

    3. Which kind of verb do we use to say "I go to school every day"?

    4. Translate "Мы ходим в кино"

    5. Translate "I'm running home"

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