VERBS OF MOTION

Today I would like to tell you about the very special part of the Russian Grammar  which is called “verbs of motion”.
Probably you’ve already heard some of Russian verbs like:

идти – to go, to walk
пойти – to go, to walk
ходить – to go, to walk
ехать – to go by transport
поехать – to go by transport
ездить – to go by transport

I guess you want to ask me, “Why do we have 6 different verbs for just the verb “to go”?

 

So the first thing I want you to learn is that in Russian there are two different verbs for going of foot (walking) and going by transport.

verbs of motion -1

As you already know Russian verbs have aspects (imperfective and perfective).

идти  imperfective aspect                      ехать imperfective aspect     
пойти perfective aspect                        поехать  perfective aspect

We use the perfective aspect if we are focusing on the result.

And we use the imperfective aspect when we are:

  1. focusing on the process or
  2. if it is a general action (usually, always, never – many times).

Example:

  • Я иду в парке и слушаю музыку – I am walking in the park and listening to the music. (focus on the process)
  • Я хочу пойти в музей – I want to go to the museum. (focus on the result)

Almost all Russian verbs have aspects. But the difference between verbs of motion and normal verbs is that verbs of motion have two variants for imperfective:

  1. идти – to go (focusing on the process)
  2. ходить – to go many times (usually, always, never, seldom, often)

    Example:
    Я сейчас иду на работу – I am walking to work now.
    Я каждый день хожу на работу – I go to work every day.

идти-ходить

 

The main idea is that “идти” is used for one way direction and “ходить” for two ways direction (there and back). That is why it is used for regular actions like always, every day, usually, often, never etc.

Also the same thing happens to the verb “go by transport

ехать-ездить

 

I tried to make a table with all what I have explained in this post. So I hope it will be useful.

verbs-of-motion-3

 

If you want check yourself insert one of three verbs in the sentence:

1. Я обычно (usually)  ________ (идти / пойти / ходить) в ресторан вечером.

2. Сегодня (today)  я _______________ (идти / пойти / ходить) в кино.

3. Завтра (tomorrow) я __________________ (ехать/ездить/поехать) в отпуск.

4. Каждое лето (every summer) я ___________ (ехать/ездит/поехать) в Париж.

PS. Don’t forget to conjugate verbs for “я”.

 

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