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Russian Verbs of Motion: “To Carry” and Verbs with Postsuffix –ся

Verbs of motion in Russian are used to indicate movement. The most common verb pairs relate to how we move, or the English “to go.” In this post, we learn how to use verbs of motion related to “to carry” and verbs of motion ending in postsuffix –ся.

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Russian Verbs of Motion Meaning “To Carry”

We use four pairs of verbs to talk about something being carried or transported.

Возить (Vozit’) / Везти (Vesti)

To carry; to transport with the help of a vehicle

Although the verbs have the same meaning, the difference between them is the direction of the action. “Возить” (vozit’) is used to describe a multidirectional action, while “вести” (vesti) is used for a unidirectional action.

  • Этот автобус ежедневно перевозит тысячи пассажиров. (Etot avtobus ezhednevno perevozit tysyachi passazhirov.) – This bus carries thousands of passengers daily.

  • Поезд везет пассажиров в Санкт-Петербург. (Poezd vezyot passazhirov v Sankt-Peterburg.) – The train carries passengers to Saint Peterbsburg.

Носить (Nosit’) / Нести (Nesti)

To carry something

Носить” (nosit’) denotes an action that takes place regularly, whereas “нести” (nesti) is used for actions that happen only once or at the present moment.

  • Я всегда ношу с собой паспорт. (Ya vsegda noshu s soboi passport.) – I always take my passport with me.

  • Он несёт ребёнка на руках. (On nesyot rebyonka na rukakh.) – He is carrying a child in his arms.

Водить (Vodit’) / Вести (Vesti)

To lead; to accompany; to drive a car

Водить” (vodit’) is used for habitual action, while “вести” (vesti) is used for a one-time action.

  • Мой отец водит машину. (Moi otets vodit mashinu.) – My dad drives a car.

  • Экскурсовод водит экскурсии. (Ekskursovod vodit ekskursii.) – The guide organizes excursions.

  • Он ведёт ребенка за руку. (On vedyot rebyonka za ruku.) – He leads his child by the hand.

Таскать (Taskat’) / Тащить (Tashchit’)

To pull; to drag

The verb “таскать” (taskat’) is used to describe an action that happens regularly, and it is a multidirectional verb. “Тащить” (tashchit’) is used for actions that take place at the moment of speech or just once.

  • Она повсюду таскала за собой сестру. (Ona povsiudu taskala za soboi sestru.) – She took her sister with her everywhere.

  • Он тащил за собой рюкзак. (On tashchil za soboi rukzak.) – He carried a baсk pack on his back.

Russian Verbs with Postsuffix –ся

Several Russian reflexive verbs have the postsuffix –ся and denote movement. Let’s look at them.

Нестись (Nestis’) / Носиться (Nosit’sya)

To run fast

  • Куда ты несёшься? (Kuda ty nesyosh’sya?) – Where are you running to so fast?

  • Дети носились по школе. (Deti nosilis’ po shkole.) – Children were running through the school.

In this case the same principle is applied. The verb “нестись” (nestis’) means that an action happens just once, while “носиться” (nosit’sya) denotes a habitual action.

Гнаться (Gnat’sya) / Гоняться (Gonyat’sya)

To run after something or someone to catch it

  • Преступник гонится за женщиной. (Prestupnik gonitsya za zhenshchinoi.) – The criminal is chasing the woman.

The action happens at the moment of speech.

  • Любовь не любит, чтобы за ней гонялись. (Liubov’ ne liubit, shtoby za nei gonyalis’.) – Love doesn’t like to be chased.

The verb “гоняться” (gonyat’sya) is used to state a matter of fact.

Катиться (Katit’sya)

To move; to roll

  • Мяч катится к воротам. (Myach’ katitsya k vorotam.) – The ball is rolling to the gate.

Кататься (Katat’sya)

To drive with the help of something

  • Я люблю кататься на коньках. (Ya liubliu katat’sya na kon’kakh.) – I love skating.

Although the verbs “катиться” (katit’sya) and “кататься” (katats’ya) have different meanings, “катиться” (katit’sya) denotes a one-time action, while the verb “кататься” (katats’ya) describes an action that takes place regularly.

Tips for Studying Russian Verbs of Motion

You don’t need to learn all the verbs of motion at once. Try to understand how to differentiate between them and learn those you think you might use. For a more comprehensive discussion of verbs of motion in the Russian language, order an online Russian lesson and talk to one of our knowledgeable tutors.

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