Verbs of Motion in Russian

Today we will speak about verbs of motion in Russian language. They seem to be scary for some learners of Russian because such verbs are formed by adding various prefixes making it complicated sometime. And despite that the meaning remains one – “MOVEMENT”. But still in the text and in speech the meaning changes very much and you need to know how and when to use this or that verb. We suggest starting with the most basic verbs that are formed using different prefixes.

Those verbs mean the movement by transport or some vehicle

And the root verb for this variation of verbs is: ехать – to go (by transport)




To go


To drive out / to leave


To arrive


To reach


To depart (from)


To run over


To drive through / drive past


To drive into or come into


To drive around

The main verbs are underlined as you can see, and those underlined verbs stay as a root of constructed verbs that derived by adding prefixes to the root verbs. Let’s study what each of these verbs means:

Выезжать – to drive out – means to leave from somewhere or from some place. Usually this verb is used with an adverb or time, which shows how sooner or later a person left the place: “Я выехал очень поздно – I left very late”.

Приезжатьto arrive – go somewhere, opposite in meaning to the verb to “drive out”, is also used with adverbs and time, but it shows that a person has reached a goal or a place: Она приехала на работу утром – She arrived at work in the morning.

Доехатьto reach – to reach some place, for example, when a person travels for a long time and finally, he is at home: “Он доехал домой в 10 часов утра – He reached home at 10:00 am.”

Уехатьto depart (from) – the verb means to leave some place or depart from some place, for example: “Они уехали из Москвы 2 года назад – They left Moscow 2 years ago.”

Переехатьto run over – the verb denotes that the action was directed at something, to drive across something or over something, such as a surface or object: “Я переехал дорогу – I run over the road.”

Проехатьto drive through – the verb means an action, when someone is driving past an object, for example: “Кажется, я проехал мимо твоего дома и мне нужно развернуться и поехать обратно – I think I drove past your house and I need to turn around and go back.”

Заехатьto drive or come into – this verb means such a movement, for example: when we are going somewhere and suddenly, a forest arises before us, we decide to go inside this forest, we enter this forest (some time even without advance thinking to do so): “Мой друг заехал ко мне в гости по пути в Москву – My friend came to visit me on the way to Moscow.”

Объехатьto drive around – this verb designates that the action is directed past something, for example: “Нам нужно объехать это дерево с правой стороны – We need to go around this tree on the right side.”

The next set of verbs means the movement by foot (to walk)

And the root verb for this variation of verbs is: идти – to go (on foot)




To go


To leave


To come in


To arrive (at)


To come (to)


To go over / across


To walk through


To enter


To walk around

Уйтиto leave – the verb basically means to leave some place or someone not by transport, but on foot: “Вова ушёл с работы в 7 вечера – Vova left work at 7 pm”

Войтиto come in – this verb denotes the action in the direction to the subject, and again we go somewhere on foot: “Маша только что вошла в дом – Masha just entered the house”.

Прийтиto arrive (at) – this verb also means an action that something or someone comes in direction to someone or something. Very often this verb is combined with the phrase “come to conclusion” or “come to visit someone”: “Я хочу прийти к вам в гости завтра – I want to come to visit you tomorrow”.

Подойтиto come (to) – we use this verb in speech when we want to say that someone or something comes closer, approaches us: “Мне нужно подойти к телевизору ближе, что бы расслышать, о чём там идёт речь – I need to get closer to the TV to hear what it is about”.

Перейтиto go over / across – this verb means the action denoting the movement across something or over something, for example: “Она уже перешла эту дорогу и ждёт тебя на другой стороне – She has already crossed the road and is waiting for you on the other side”.

Пройтиto walk through – this verb has the same meaning as the verb “Проехатьto drive through“, which we discussed above. It also has the close meaning “to pass by”: “Мне кажется, что пройти мимо этой картины не возможно – It seems to me that it is impossible to pass by this picture“.

Зайтиto enter – the verb basically has two means, the FIRST is “to come inside” on foot. The meaning also similar to the Russian verb “Заехатьto drive or come into” that we discussed above. The SECOND meaning is “зайти за что-то – to go behind something”. You can also use this verb in the meaning of “entering” the computer application: “У меня не получается зайти в свою электронную почту – I can’t enter my email”.

Обойтиto walk around – The meaning is quite similar to the verb “ Объехатьto drive around or go around“, with the only difference is whether we go by transport or on foot: “Нам нужно обойти это дерево с правой стороны – We need to walk around this tree on the right side.”

The next set of verbs means the movement by foot (to run)

But this time the meaning is straightforward. And the root verb for this variation of verbs is: бежать – to run (by foot)




To run


To run up to


To come running


To run across


To run in

Добежатьto run up to – this Russian verb of motion means reaching some point or place with fast pace, in other words faster than just walk: “Я уже добегаю десятый (10) круг – I’m already running up the tenth (10) circle”.

Прибежатьto come running – the meaning of this verb is similar to “Прийтиto arrive (at)” but with fast pace, not slowly. So, it’s about something or someone coming in direction to someone or something: “Наш ребёнок прибежал просто попить воды и снова побежал гулять – Our child came running just to drink water and ran away again”.

Перебежатьto run across – this verb means the action designating the movement across something or over something similar to “Перейтиto go over / across” that we discussed above, but with fast pace: “Он перебежал эту дорогу – He has already ran across the road”.

Забежатьto run in – this verb has three main meanings. FIRST is “to run in” on foot and in fast pace. The meaning also similar to the Russian verb “Заехатьto drive or come into” or “Зайтиto enter” that we discussed above. SECOND meaning is “забежать за что-то – to run behind something”. THIRD meaning is “забежать в гости – to run in someone’s home for very fast and short visit”. “Когда я увидел злую собаку я забежал за забор – When I saw the angry dog, I ran over the fence”.

Of course, you can find other verbs of motion in Russian language but such verbs usually similar in the meaning to what we already explained in this article. Verbs of motion in Russian can be studied and understood with practice and time. Keep learning Russian language and it will come naturally. 

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