Немно́го о языке́ 7.7 Пое́здка Ке́йтлин
So far in Russian you have encountered the motion verbs ходи́ть and идти́ for going by foot, while е́здить and éхать are used for motion by vehicle. In this unit, you encounter the multidirectional and unidirectional verbs that express motion by flying.
|лета́ть (stem: летай- I) is the multidirectional verb for flying|
|лете́ть (stem: лет- II with mutation т > ч) is the unidirectional verb for flying|
If you are traveling to another country or city by plane, then this is the verb you want to use in telling about your travel plans.
Remember that the unidirectional verbs of motion (идти́, е́хать, лете́ть) express actions in progress “to be on one’s way, to be heading for.”
If Marat Azatovich were to run into a business associate at the airport, this conversation might occur:
|— Куда́ вы лети́те?||Where are you going?|
|— Мы лети́м в Ту́рцию.||We’re going/flying to Turkey.|
Multidirectional verbs of motion (ходи́ть, е́здить, лета́ть) express the notion of making round trips. Marat Azatovich’s conversation might continue:
|— Вы ча́сто туда́ лета́ете?||Do you often fly there?|
|— Нет, мы лета́ем туда́ то́лько раз в год.||No, we fly there only once a year.|
Remember that the multidirectional verbs (ходи́ть, е́здить, лета́ть) and the unidirectional verbs (идти́, е́хать, лете́ть) are all IMPERFECTIVE.
You have already seen how Russian can add prefixes to an imperfective verb to create its perfective partner. Sometimes the prefixes added to the verbs give them a more specific spatial meaning than the unprefixed forms. This is true for the verbs of motion, where many prefixes give new specific directional meaning to the verbs of motion.
The prefix при- usually indicates motion toward a destination or arriving at a destination. So when it combines with verbs, we get the aspect pairs:
|приходи́ть / прийти́||to come, arrive (on foot)|
|приезжа́ть / прие́хать||to come, arrive (by vehicle)|
|прилета́ть / прилете́ть||to come, arrive (by flying)|
The prefix у- usually indicates motion away from a place. It focuses on the speaker’s absence from the point of origin. Verbs of motion with the prefix у- are often the equivalent of English’s “leave.”
|уходи́ть / уйти́||to go away, leave (on foot)|
|уезжа́ть / уе́хать||to go away, leave (by vehicle)|
|улета́ть / улете́ть||to go away, leave (by flying)|
Note that this meaning of у- is different from its meaning in the perfectives уви́деть, услы́шать and узна́ть.
Notice as well that the prefixed forms приходи́ть / прийти́ make an aspect pair, where the base of the multidirectional verb furnishes the imperfective, while the base of the unidirectional verb furnishes the perfective. Once prefixed, the verb приходи́ть no longer contains any of the multidirectional functions that ходи́ть had. Similarly, прийти́ no longer contains any of the unidirectional functions that идти́ had.
Use good learning strategies!
The verbs of motion are a challenge to master in Russian.
Start by paying attention to meaning of these new verbs and what kinds of motion they are used to describe.
A prefixed verb of motion won’t have a single English equivalent. To understand the meaning of these verbs, pay attention to the meaning of the prefix and the manner of motion conveyed by the base. Once you’ve visualized those two components, then you can think about the best English equivalent for the context.
Imperfective Verbs with the Prefix при-
Perfective Verbs with the Prefix при-
Imperfective Verbs with the Prefix у-
Perfective Verbs with the Prefix у-
NOTE: You already know that prefixes generally do not change the basic conjugation of the underlying verb. There are two exceptions: when adding prefixes to the base form of идти́, a number of spelling changes happen; when adding spatial prefixes to the е́здить, the base changes to ~езжать. The prefixed base ~езжать has a verb stem ~езжай- and conjugates like the first conjugation читай-.
Listen to the sentences and tell whether the subject is arriving or leaving and whether by foot, by vehicle or by plane.
Listen to the sentences, and note whether the subject is arriving or departing, and whether the event is happening now (imperfective present) or in the future (perfective future).