So there are two sets of verbs that seem to have very similar meanings, but also some slight differences. What separates these these pairs.

**1. подворачивать подвёртывать--- подворотить подвернуть

  1. заворачивать завёртывать ---- заворотить завернуть**

I mean how is заворачивать different from завёртывать, and how is заворотить different from завернуть?

The trend carries on for every pair— пере, раз, итд.

It seems to me that the ворачивать, воротить pairs are misused in Russian sometimes. That is, they are used as synonyms for the вёртывать, ернуть pairs. Yet some dictionaries say that they should not be.

What is the difference between the sets in general. I want a general answer not specifics of each verb.

2 Answers 2


All these words share the common root, so you can't find any true general difference. It's about the history of vowel alternation and dialects, not about "essential meaning".

Given this, you have to have living language experience to say obsolete and/or rare form from normal one.

So I believe that увёртываться, разворотить, развёртывать (as deploy/develop, but not unroll/unwrap), приворотить (as bewitch/enchant) are normal; своротить, наворотить are normally colloquial; подвёртывать is a relatively rare colloquial substitute for подворачивать; поворотить, заворотить are quite obsolete and so on.

I doubt you can deduce anything "generally useful" from this, except some forms in -вёртывать and -воротить are obsolete and shouldn't be used in the modern spoken language.

  • Thanks for the answer. It helps.) I'm interested in hearing more about the history of the use of these words if you know more about it)
    – VCH250
    Nov 9, 2015 at 21:48

Basically, no real living breathing Russian speaker is likely to ever use подвёртывать, подворотить, or заворотить. There's some degree of free variation between заворачивать and завёртывать, but the former is massively more common.

So I suppose the -вёртывать and -воротить ones can count as rare/obsolete at this point. Especially -воротить.

  • But many dictionaries list подвертывать as the proper imperfective. See here dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/ushakov/942834 and here dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/ogegova/164186
    – VCH250
    Nov 9, 2015 at 2:28
  • So how am I supposed to know which form to use? Are the -ворачивать forms more common overall? Is there no difference at all between the forms? заворачивать and завёртывать give you no sense of a difference? Just curious)
    – VCH250
    Nov 9, 2015 at 2:29
  • 1
    no real living breathing Russian speaker is likely to ever use подвёртывать, подворотить, or заворотить "Подвёртывать" (e.g. "Я в прошлом году подвёртывал ногу") is in use. "Подворотить" and "заворотить" - well, maybe not in cities, but in the country - why not?
    – Matt
    Nov 9, 2015 at 8:10

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