Russian Language Blog

Prefixed Verbs of Motion: Some Example Sentences Posted by on Jul 27, 2011 in language


This is the third post in a series about «глаголы движения с приставками» [prefixed verbs of motion]. If you have not read the previous two posts, you can do so here and here

A commenter asked for example sentences with prefixed verbs of motion. I am happy to say that I have found sentences for you. Some I found on the internet, and others are what I or my Russian-speaking friends would say.

  • «Все вышли во двор.» [Everyone went out to the courtyard.] Note how «во» is used because «двор» begins with two consonant sounds.
  • «Я прилетела в Москву сегодня утром.» [I arrived in Moscow this morning.] Since this is a single action, I used the perfective form of the verb.
  • «Завтра она улетит в/на Украину.» [Tomorrow she is leaving for Ukraine.] Ukraine can take «в» or «на». In general, I have noticed that Russians tend to use «на» and Ukrainians tend to use «в», but I do not know if this is a hard and fast rule.
  • «Солнце восходит в шесть часов.» [The sun rises at six o’clock.]
  • «Мы часто заходим к Ольге.» [We often drop in on Olga.]
  • «Дети переходят (через) улицу.» [The children are crossing the street.] Notice how the «через» is optional.
  • «Как пройти на Красную площадь?» [How do you get to Red Square?] This is an excellent question to ask if you are in Moscow, my friends.
  • «Я прошла мимо аптеки.» [I walked past the pharmacy.]
  • «Туристы дошли до Большого театра.» [The tourists walked up to the Bolshoi Theatre.]
  • «Анна увидела свою подругу, когда она выходила из машины.» [Anna saw her friend as she was getting out of a car.]
  • «Он стремительно подходил к половине.» [It rapidly approached the halfway point.] This is a quote from «Белая гвардия, написан Михаилом Булгаковым» [The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov]. It is talking about the month of December going by quickly, so perhaps a more poetic translation would be “Mid-month rapidly approached.” I like it because it uses a verb of motion in a more figurative sense (as opposed to these other sentences, which literally involve motion).
  • Я отвёз Сашу в аэропорт.» [I took Sasha to the airport.] With the verbs «нести», «вести», and «везти», the prefix «от» can add the meaning of taking something or someone from one place and leaving it in another.

Questions? Let me know in the comments!

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About the Author: Natalie

I'm Natalie and I love the Russian language and sharing my knowledge with others. I graduated from university with a dual degree in Russian language & literature and history.


  1. Steffen:

    Анна увидела свою подругу

  2. Alan:

    I was led to believe – and someone please correct me if I’ve been misled – that в/на Украине is broadly a political choice. На tends to be used for territories, while в for (amongst other things) states. Thus в/на Украине is a matter of whether you view Ukraine is a territory of Russia/USSR as it once was, or a modern independent state.

  3. David Roberts:

    These examples are terrifically helpful – спасибо болшое!

    The sentence “Анна увидела свою подругу, когда она выходила из машины” is ambiguous in both languages – we don’t know if it was Anna or the friend who was getting out of the car. If we changed the word order to “когда она выходила из машины Анна увидела свою подругу” would that tell us it was definitely Anna getting out?

  4. fizmat:

    “Когда она выходила из машины, Анна увидела свою подругу.” does tell us Anna definitely was the one getting out.

    If I wanted to unambiguously say the opposite, I’d say something like “Анна увидела свою подругу, когда та выходила из машины.” I’m not the one to ask how that works from linguistic standpoint, that’s what I read the blog for.

    Actually, can somebody hint how to make the English sentence unambiguous? As of now, I’m leaning towards the friend getting out, because it’s “a car”. If if it was “the car”, I’d say Anna was the one getting out. But that’s all guesswork. With context, both articles can work in both situations. Then again, with context the sentence stops being ambiguous.

  5. Shady_arc:

    In Russian “Анна увидела свою подругу, когда выходила из машины.” would make the sentence unambigouos (it is Anna who left the car), though in actual converstion I doubt anyone would use “она” in the clause unless it is her friend who were in car.

    “переходить через улицу” sounds slightly off to me. “Переходить через дорогу” is better. Still, “переходить дорогу” also works, and it seems, used more than the variant with a preposition

  6. Андрей:

    В Украине, на Украине… As far as I understand the word Украина literally means с краю, у края, у края чего, понятно что России… Поэтому более употребимо на Украине as in на краю. Though it is correct to say в краю… It never used to be an issue and now it is highly political and rather stupid too )