Here is the first of a long series of posts about Russian verbs of motion with prefixes.
The goal of this series on Russian verbs of motion with prefixes is to make you understand and memorize the meaning of each prefix and give you some tricks to remember them.
I decided to start from the verbs of movement with the prefix “вы-” because they are relatively easy to try your hands on.
I really want you to focus on the logic beyond the way they are used. Of course, prefixes change the meaning of a verb, but all Russian verbs of motion with prefixes work in the same exact way!
At the end of this post you can download the PDF chart of Russian verbs of motion with the prefix “вы-,” in which you’ll find the conjugation of the most common of them.
Russian Verbs of Motion with Prefixes
Before we dive into the most commonly used pairs of Russian verbs of motion with the prefix “вы-,” I would like to poit out a general, yet really important characteristic of Russian motion verbs with prefixes.
Do you remember what I wrote about Russian verbs of motion without prefix in the first post of this series?
Forget about it.
While it’s true that Russian verbs of movement are ALL IMPERFECTIVE, as soon as you add a prefix the first verb of the pair becomes perfective, while the second verb remains imperfective (it will be clearer later).
That means that Russian verbs of motion with prefixes should be used following the logic of imperfective-perfective and not unidirectional-multidirectional!
And do you remember what I wrote about Russian aspectual pairs?
Well, Russian verbs of motion with prefixes are the only pairs in which we write perfective verbs first, and then imperfective ones.
Is that clear? Let’s see some verbs!
The prefix “Вы-“
Whenever you see the prefix “вы-” in front of a verb of a verb of movement (and not only) you should immediately think about the main picture of this post.
In fact, this prefix has only one meaning: a movement from inside to outside.
Here are the most commonly used verbs of motion with the prefix “вы-.” As you will see, the meaning of the prefix also creates many figures of speech!
Выйти – выходить
I’m not going to repeat myself, so remember – when adding a prefix to the verb “идти” the correct spelling is “prefix + йти.”
“Выидти” doesn’t exist! The letter “д” disappears.
The main meaning of this pair of Russian verbs of motion with prefixes is ”to go out on foot,” so much so that the word “exit” in Russian is “выход.”
If someone calls you on the phone and say, “Я сейчас выхожу” (second verb of the pair, imperfective) means “I’m going out right now” or, even better, “I’m going out right while we are talking on the phone,” thus focusing on the process, two contemporary actions.
However, when you are talking to someone and you want to emphasize the result of the action, you would say, “Я сейчас выйду” (first verb of the pair, perfective) that is “I’m going out as soon as we end this conversation.“
The verb in the second sentence is in the future tense. Precisely for this reason it emphasizes the result of the action and not the process.
However, this pair or Russian verbs with the prefix “вы-” means a lot more that simply going out or getting out.
For example, “выйти / выходить с работы” is simply to get off work.
But “выйти / выходить на работу” can mean to get back to the office after a log break, or to start a new job, or even just to show up at the office.
“Выйти / выходить из себя” (literally – to get out of oneself) means to be very angry, and of course can be use both as a process (I’m getting really angry – with the imperfective verb) and a result (I got really angry – with the perfective verb).
When you say, “ничего не выходит” it means that something you do is not working, you’re not going anywhere with what you are doing because you can’t achieve the desired outcome.
When a girl or a woman is getting or got married, in Russian you should go with “выйти / выходить замуж + за + the person in the accusative case.”
However, it works only for females, because boys and men “женятся + на + person in the prepositive case.” For homosexual couples (who, by the way, cannot marry in Russia) both can be used.
Вынести – выносить
The main meaning of these verbs is “to take out in one’s hands” and this is why take out food in Russia is called “на вынос.“
Now let’s have a look at this sexist joke to find out other meanings of this pair of verbs.
Главное в семье – правильно распределить обязанности. Муж выносит мусор, а жена – мозг.
The most important thing in a family is to divide tasks in the right way. The husband takes out the trash, the wife takes out the brain.
To understand the “joke”, you need to know that “вынести / выносить мозг” (literally, to take out someone’s brain) in Russian means to annoy someone, get under someone’s skin. Now it makes sense, doesn’t it?
Another interesting meaning is “Вынести / выносить решение,” i.e. to make a decision (especially when it is a court or someone important to do so).
Вывести – выводить
This pair of verbs of movement with the prefix “вы-” means “to lead out.”
In fact, they are both used mainly in clichés and idioms.
“Выводить / вывести на чистую воду” (literally, to lead someone out into clean water) means to unmask, expose someone.
We saw earlier that “выйти / выходить из себя” means to get angry.
But when it’s something or someone making someone angry, then they are said to “выводить / вывести (кого-то) из себя.“
Вылететь – вылетать
In general, these two Russian verbs of motion with prefixes mean “to fly out” or “to fly away.“
And guess what? In Russian airplane departure is called “вылет.”
If you have forgotten something, however, you can say that it flew out of your head – у меня вылетело из головы.
At this point you may think that to create Russian verbs of motion with the prefix “вы-” you just add the prefix to the original pair.
It’s not that simple.
Not all of them work like that. In some pairs the imperfective verb changes:
ехать – ездить (to drive) becomes выехать – выезжать (to drive out)
плыть – плавать (to swim) becomes выплыть – выплывать (to swim out)
тащить – таскать (to drag) becomes вытащить – вытаскивать (to drag out)
Well, I’d say that’s all for today!
Russian verbs of motion with prefixes – prefix “Вы-” PDF chart
Here you can download the PDF chart with the conjugation of the 12 most common Russian verbs of motion with the prefix ” Вы-.”
Enter your name, your email and click on the button! The download link will appear below.
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