Those Loco Verbs of Motion!


   
phi The Verbs of Motion Phi
   

The verbs denoting motion are a special case in Russian. Instead of the usual aspectual pair of forms, verbs of motion have three aspectual forms: perfective, progressive imperfective, and iterative imperfective. Don't fret! There is a system to help you remember these forms. The perfective is always formed by simply adding the prefix по- to the progressive form. The iterative imperfective usually ends on и- or ай-.

Ont Intransitive Verbs of Motion Ont

The intransitive verbs of motion, of course, are those which do not allow direct objects. They distinguish between motion on foot, in water, in the air, and by any means of locomotion. They do not distinguish between coming and going or various manners of travel by air and water. Rather than "come" or "go" they mean "move by means of (foot, vehicle, water, air)". For example, плыв- means "swim, float, sail". Remember, the meanings are much more general than those of the corresponding set of English verbs. Here are the intransitive verbs of motion.

(Perfective)
Progressive
Iterative Odd Progressive Forms Gloss
 (по)ид-  ходи-  (по)шёл, шла, шло, шли  go on foot
 (по)бежа-  бегай-  (по)бегу, бежишь, бегут  run
 (по)лез-  лази-/лазай-  (по)лез, лезла, лезли  climb
 (по)ед-  езди-  (по)ехать, ехал, ехала  go by vehicle
 (по)лете-  летай-  (по)лететь, летел, летела  fly
 (по)полз-  ползай-  (по)полз, ползла, ползли  crawl
 (по)плыв-  плавай-  (по)плыл, плыла  swim, float, sail

Ont Transitive Verbs of Motion Ont

Transitive verbs of motion indicate the means by which the direct object, rather than the subject, moves. Russian maintains three basic (unprefixed) transitive verbs of motion meaning "carry" and differing in whether the "carrier" is on foot or traveling by some means of locomotion and whether the "carryee" is on foot. The following table explains.

(Perfective)
Progressive
Iterative Odd Progressive Forms Gloss
 (по)нес-  носи-  (по)нёс, несла, несло, несли  carry on foot
 (по)вед-  води-  (по)вёл, вела, вело, вели  lead, accompany
 (по)вез-  вози-  (по)вёз, везла, везло, везли  haul, transport

There are other verbs, such as толкай-|(по)толкну- "push" and таскай-|(по)тащи- "pull, drag", which behave marginally as verbs of motion, but those in the two tables above represent the only consistent verbs of motion in Russian.

Ont Interactive Java Examples Ont

The verb-of-motion exercises are all in Russian and require a KOI8-R font. They play only on the Windows platform, preferably with a Netscape Navigator 4.5 or Internet Explorer 5.0 browser. They require a Liquid Motion player which will automatically download onto your hard disk in about 30 seconds over a 28,800 baud modem. The player only downloads once and will then be used for all the exercises you choose to do in a particular on-line session. It takes another 10-15 seconds to download the data for each individual exercise.

Begin the animated lesson by clicking anywhere on the picture. Restart the animation in the same way. Should the animation for any reason not play, try reloading the page and, if that does not work, restart your browser. Once you are familiar with the perfective and imperfective forms of the verb(s) in the animation, test yourself with the forms exercises below the animation.

Perfective-Imperfective Java Exercises
 
Igor went to a school like this.. . .1. The teacher usually brings the kids to the park.
Was that Igor without his cap?. . .2. Why is he carrying the girl?

Ont Verbs of Motion with Prefixes Ont

Verbs of motion have three forms only when they are used without prefixes. When they are prefixed, they behave normally, exhibiting only two aspectual forms. Since they refer to indiscriminate motion in no particular direction, most of the time verbs of motion are used with prefixes which specifiy the direction and limitation of the action of the verb. For example я иду doesn't mean "I'm coming" or "I'm going" (although the default meaning is "I'm going") but simply indicates that I'm moving on foot rather than in the air, on water, or by some means of transportation. Я прийду, however, means "I will come" while я уйду means "I will go".

Notice that when you prefix an imperfective Russian verb, it become perfective (hence the future meanings of уйду and прийду). The prefixes are added to the unprefixed progressive and iterative forms of the verbs of motion, so that the aspectual pair for (по)ид-/ходи- prefixed with при- "to" is приходи-/прийд- "come, arrive" and for (по)бежа-/бегай- "run" is прибежа-/прибегай- "to run to (somewhere)".

The graphic below illustrates the basic prefixes used with verbs of motion and the prepositions which accompany them. Notice that those prepositions which are in parentheses are optional; others are obligatory even though they redundantly express the same meaning as the prefix.

verbs of motion
The Meanings of the Prefixes Above
при- "to" у- "from" пере- "across"
в- "in(to)" вы- "out of" про- (with через) "through"
под- "up to" от- "away from" про- (with мимо) "past"
до- "reaching" за- "informally" c(ъ)- "down from"

When the prefixes are added to the stems, the stems sometimes behave differently. Here are the major variations to be wary of.

Stem Variations Caused by Prefixation
ид- Perfective—и becomes й: прийти, прийдут, прийдёшь
бегай- Imperfective—stress shifts to the end of the stem: прибегает
езди- Imperfective—consonant д palatalizes: приезжает
плавай- Imperfective—а in the stem becomes ы: приплывает

Read through the examples in the section below until you are familiar with the prefixes–how they affect the verb of motion stem and what meaning they add to it. Then try some of the interactive exercises further on.

Ont Примеры : Some Examples Ont

Птица летит к окну.
The bird flies toward the window.
Птица подлетает к окну.
The bird flies up to the window.
Птица летит от окна.
The bird flies from the window.
Птица отлетает от окна.
The bird flies away from the window.

Я веду брата в комнату.
I take my brother to the room.
Я ввожу брата в комнату.
I bring my brother into the room.
Я веду брата из комнаты.
I take my brother from the room.
Я вывожу брата из комнаты.
I take my brother from the room.

Самолёт летит в Москву.
The plane flies to Moscow.
Самолёт прилетает в Москву.
The plane arrives in Moscow.
Самолёт летит из Москвы.
The plane flies from Moscow.
Самолёт улетает из Москвы.
The plane departs Moscow.

Поезд идёт на вокзал.
The train goes to the station.
Поезд приходит на вокзал.
The train arrives at the station.
Поезд идёт с вокзала.
The train leaves the station.
Поезд отходит с вокзала.
The train departs the station.

Корабль плывёт в Баку.
The ship sails to Baku.
Корабль приплывает в Баку.
The ship sails into Baku.
Корабль плывёт из Баку.
The ship sails out of Baku.
Корабль уплывает из Баку.
The ship sails out of Baku.

Лодка плывёт от дока.
The boat sails from the dock.
Лодка отплывает от дока.
The boat sails away from the dock.
Лодка плывёт к доку.
The boat sails to the dock.
Лодка подплывает к доку.
The boar sails up to the dock.

Она несёт кувшин к нему.
She carries the pitcher to him.
Она подносит кувшин к нему.
She brings the pitcher up to him.
Она несёт кувшин от него.
She carries the pitcher from him.
Она относит кувшин от него.
She carries the pitcher away from him.

Она идёт через кухню.
She walks through the kitchen.
Она проходит (через) кухню.
She walks through the kitchen.
Она идёт мимо кухни.
She walks past the kitchen.
Она проходит мимо кухни.
She walks past the kitchen.

Она едет до Москвы.
She drives as far as Moscow.
Она доедет до Москвы к утру.
She will reach Moscow by morning.
Она идёт к нему.
She goes to his place.
Она заходит к нему.
She drops by his place.

Она едет везёт меня на работу.
She drives me to Moscow.
Она завозит меня на работу.
She drops me off at work.
Она едет с горки на санках.
She rides a sled down the hill.
Она съезжает с горки на санках .
She rides a sled down the hill.

Ont Interactive Java Examples Ont

The verb-of-motion exercises are all in Russian and require a KOI8-R font. They play only on the Windows platform at present. They require a Liquid Motion player which will automatically download onto your hard disk in about 30 seconds over a 28,800 baud modem. The player only downloads once and will then be used for all the exercises you choose to do in a particular on-line session. It takes another 10-15 seconds to download the data for each individual exercise.

Begin the animated lesson by clicking anywhere on the picture. Restart the animation in the same way. Should the animation for any reason not play, try reloading the page and, if that does not work, restart your browser. Once you are familiar with the perfective and imperfective forms of the verb(s) in the animation, test yourself with the forms exercises below the animation.

Perfective-Imperfective Java Exercises
 
Why you should stay away from bars.. . .1. Misha always leaves early.
This is the closest Igor comes to culture.. . .2. Igor walks past the Bolshoy Theater.
Igor is on the hydrofoil.  See him?. . .3. A hydrofoil sails in and out of the picture.
Professor Beard is a genius on his feet.. . .4. Professor Beard leaves Catherine's Palace.
He has no idea what the thing behind him is. . . .5. Every evening Igor crosses the street here.

Now that you have seen how the prefixed verbs of motion are used and tested your ability to recognize the various senses of the Russian aspects, next try your hand at actually using the forms in the following JavaScript exercises.

Learner's Keyboard Standard  keyboard Standard KeyboardLearner's keyboard

Learner's letter-for-letter and standard Russian keyboard layouts are available here if you need them. They will disappear when you scroll down this page. Refresh them by clicking the browser icon that comes up with them. Close the window in the usual way by clicking the "X" in the upper righthand corner.

Past/Future Perfective Exercises
Answer each question correctly, following the example. Push Correct?

Образец
Она принесла ему чай?
Did she bring him tea?
Нет, но .
No, but she will.


Она увела сестру на работу?
Did she take her sister to work?
Нет, но .
No, but she will.
Птица подлетела к окну?
Did the bird fly up to the window?
Нет, но .
No, but it will.
Он ввёл друга в комнату?
Did he bring his friend in the room?
Нет, но .
No, but he will.
Корабль приплыл в Одессу?
Did the ship arrive in Odessa?
Нет, но .
No, but it will.
Ребёнок вполз в комнату?
Did the child crawl into the room?
Нет, но .
No, but it will.
Мальчик влез в машину?
Did the boy climb into the car?
Нет, но .
No, but he will.
Дети отбежали от учителя?
Did the kids run from the teacher?
Нет, но .
No, but they will.

In the following exercises the tense is kept in the present but the form of the verb changes because a prefix is added. To select the correct prefix, take a hint from the preposition.

Present Tense Imperfective Exercises
Answer each question correctly, following the example. Push Correct?

Образец
Он ведёт сестру от пожара.
He is leading his sister from the fire.
Он сестру от пожара.
He is leading his sister away from the fire.


Он ведёт сестру на работу.
He is bringing his sister to work.
Он сестру на работу.
He brings his sister to work.
Он везёт мать от брата.
He is driving his mother from his brother's.
Он мать от брата.
He drives his mother from his brother's.
Он везёт мать к брату.
He is driving his mom to his brother's.
Он мать к брату.
He is driving his mom to his brother's.
Она несёт таз в кухню.
She is taking the basin into the kitchen.
Она таз в кухню.
She is taking the basin into the kitchen.
Она несёт таз из кухни.
She is bringing the basin out of the kitchen.
Она таз из кухни.
She is bringing the basin out of the kitchen.
Ребёнок ползет к отцу.
The baby is crawling up to his father.
Ребёнок к отцу.
The baby is crawling up to his father.
Мы едем до Омска.
We are going as far as Omsk.
Мы до Омска.
We are going as far as Omsk.
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© 1996 Robert Beard