< Vocabulary 11—Verbs of Motion

Vocabulary 11—Verbs of Motion

Unidirectional at a relevant moment in time Multidirectional during a relevant time period

идти́—to walk in a particular direction

ходи́ть—to walk around

Иди́!Be on thy way!Ходи́!Walk about! (thou)
Иди́те!Be on your way!Ходи́те!Walk about! (you)

Я иду́

I am walking along

Я хожу́

I am walking about

Мы идёмWe are walking alongМы хо́димWe are walking about
Ты идёшьThou art walking alongТы хо́дишьThou art walking about
Вы идётеYou are walking alongВы хо́дитеYou are walking about

Он/Она́/Оно́ идёт

He/She/It is walking along

Он/Она́/Оно́ хо́дит

He/She/It is walking about

Они́ иду́тThey are walking alongОни́ хо́дятThey are walking about

Он шёл

He was walking along

Он ходи́л

He was walking about

Она́ шлаShe was walking alongОна́ ходи́лаShe was walking about
Оно́ шлоIt was walking alongОно́ ходи́лоIt was walking about
Они́ шлиThey were walking alongОни́ ходи́лиThey were walking about

е́хать—to ride in a particular direction

е́здить—to ride around


Ride off! (thou)


Ride around! (thou)

Поезжа́йте!Ride off! (you)Е́здите!Ride around! (you)

Я е́ду

I am riding along

Я е́зжу

I am riding around

Мы е́димWe are riding alongМы е́здимWe are riding around
Ты е́дешьThou art riding alongТы е́здишьThou art riding around
Вы е́дитеYou are riding alongВы е́здитеWe are riding around

Он/Она́/Оно́ е́дет

He/She/It is riding along

Он/Она́/Оно́ е́здит

He/She/It is riding around

Они́ е́дутThey are riding alongОни́ е́здятThey are riding around

Он е́хал

He was riding along

Он е́здил

He was riding around

Она́ е́халаShe was riding alongОна́ е́здилаShe was riding around
Оно́ е́халоIt was riding alongОно́ е́здилоIt was riding around
Они́ е́халиThey were riding alongОни́ е́здилиThey were riding around

A verb of motion describes the act of moving from place to place. Examples from English include “go”, “walk”, “run”, “drive”, “swim”, and “drift”. The table above shows four widely-used Russian verbs of motion. Two of them refer to motion on foot under one's own power. The other two refer to gliding along perhaps in an automobile, on a bicycle, on horseback, or in the brief moment between slipping on a banana peel and hitting the ground.

Russian verbs of motion always come in pairs. One describes a motion which proceeds in one direction (at least during the time the speaker has in mind). The other describes a motion which goes in two or more directions during the time the speaker has in mind. For example, a speaker might use a multidirectional verb to describe his motion from store to store during a shopping trip but switch to a unidirectional verb to tell about crossing the street during the same shopping trip.

The verbs of motion shown above are all imperfective. This means that they invite us to picture the motion in progress. For example, “Я шёл в школу.” means “I was walking on my way to school.” Soon you will learn about prefixes for verbs of motion which can be used to talk about other points in the journey.