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The dictionary states that отвести means to take someone somewhere, however most of the instances of this action that I have found on online resources use вести: Ты меня больше никуда не водишь. You never take me anywhere anymore. -or- брать: Ты меня никогда не берёшь к ней. You never take me to see her.

So in what contexts is отвести used with this meaning?

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  • отвести means to take someone somewhere First of all, "отвести" means "to lead aside". Cf. отвести душу, отвести ручей, отвести удар, отвести угрозу etc. – Matt Aug 3 '16 at 12:19
  • Thank you, Matt, by "first of all" do you mean that AVERT is the primary meaning? – CocoPop Aug 3 '16 at 12:23
  • They partially match, but, as far as I understand, "avert" is rather "turn away", while "отвести" is kind of "move/lead someone/smth. away". – Matt Aug 3 '16 at 13:02
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    But unlike "увести" or "убрать", which just mean "move away", "отвести" is more precise: it means that you are to complete the action. E.g. "он повёл ребёнка в школу" - "he took the child to school"; "он отвёл ребёнка в школу" - "he took the child to school and they reached there". – Matt Aug 3 '16 at 13:13
  • Usually text-books define this verb as "To drop off", when it deals with people. – VCH250 Aug 3 '16 at 14:37
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Отвести is used when you're taking someone who's cooperating with you in this effort, but you are not really concerning their will. This can be a child, an animal, a person who cannot take care of themselves, a prisoner etc.

  • Восхвалите девочку, отведите её в наш храм, посадите её на трон первого жреца, зажгите перед ней благовонные курева и служите в честь её, в честь вестницы правды!

  • Король обратился к матери и тайно отвёл её в комнату, которую запер за собою.

  • На четвёртые сутки нас, слава богу, взяли в плен и отвели в крепость.

  • Потом отвел Машу обратно в палату, посадил на кровать и вышел.

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  • Thank you, Q, what do you mean by "concerning their will?" – CocoPop Aug 3 '16 at 12:21
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    @CocoPop: проводи его в комнату means someone wants to go to the room and you show them there. отведи его в комнату means you take someone to the room whether or not they want to go there. It's impolite to use отвести when speaking of a guest or a stranger on the street. This is something a parent would say of a child ("take him to school") or a police officer about a person they detained ("take him to the station"). – Quassnoi Aug 3 '16 at 12:29
  • Oh, got you! So the person leading doesn't take into account whether the person led is willing to go - they're more or less passive in this usage, correct? – CocoPop Aug 3 '16 at 12:34
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    @CocoPop: проведи меня к врачу is not really used, it would mean something like "lead me to the doctor", as if through a mine field. проводи меня к врачу would mean "walk me to the doctor", if she's already in the hospital and wants you to walk her to the doctor's office. The most neutral translation of "take me to the doctor" would be сходи со мной к врачу. – Quassnoi Aug 3 '16 at 12:49
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    @CocoPop: that's not a word they would use when talking to the guest, they would have used позвольте я провожу вас в номер. They could have used it if the guest got drunk in the bar and fell asleep on the floor: я разбудил его и отвёл в номер (but even in this case проводил would sound better). – Quassnoi Aug 3 '16 at 16:30
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The word "отвести" has quite a lot of meanings, which generally can be described as "take away" (in all meanings). Note that not all its cases fall under this definiton.

1. Отвести, кого / что. Ведя, сопровождая, доставить куда-либо / Lead someone somewhere

Отвести гостя в комнату.
Отвёл приятеля в сторону.
Полк отведён в тыл.

2. Отвести, что / чем. Отстранить, отодвинуть какую-либо преграду, что-либо мешающее, заслоняющее / Move away a barrier, something interferring, disturbing

Отвести прядь волос рукой. (Move one's hair aside, to not block one's vision)

3. Отвести, что. Изменить расположение или направление движения кого-, чего-либо; заставить переместиться, отодвинуться / Change the position of something; move something away

Отвести глаза, взгляд, взор. (Look away)
Отвести руку, локоть, голову в сторону.

4. Отвести, кого / что (от чего). Отвлечь, отдалить от чего-либо, не допустить до чего-либо / avert something, do not allow something to happen

Отвести разговор от деталей. (Prevent some details from being said in conversation, probably by distracting, changing topic)

5. Отвести, что. Разговорное Предотвратить что-либо, предохранить от чего-либо / Prevent something

Отвести чёрные мысли. (Prevent bad thoughts)
Отвести беду, угрозу. (Prevent misfortune, trouble)

6. Отвести, кого / что (от кого). Отклонить, отвергнуть, не принять. / Reject, not accept something

Отвести от себя, от друга подозрения, обвинения. (Divert suspicion from oneself, from a friend) Отвести чью-л. кандидатуру. (Make someone's candidature be banned, rejected from participating)

7. Отвести, что (кому). Назначить, предоставить в пользование, в распоряжение, предназначить для чего-л. / Appoint, provide for, make avaliable

Отвести участок под сад, под огороды, под пастбище.

Meanings of the word "отвести"

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  • @CocoPop thank you for edit; although I'm not sure if "avert something" has that meaning I wanted to emphasize - when someone wants to change the topic of the conversation, they try to distract attention of the collocutor with something else, to avoid certain questions asked / something said. – Mr Zak Aug 3 '16 at 16:11
  • I hope you don't mind - I edit everything in case I need to refer to it in the future. What you're talking about is DIVERT. I used AVERT for avoiding something, like an accident or a calamity, not allow it to happen. Thanks again :) – CocoPop Aug 3 '16 at 17:49
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Mahota's book on motion verbs highlights the nuance mentioned by VCH250 of 'dropping off' - taking someone someplace, but the person who's leading the other doesn't remain.

Отвезли меня в аэропорт. They took me to the airport. (I was flying, but they weren't)

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  • Thank you, User, I actually have that book, funny enough :) I'll need to read it again. – CocoPop Aug 31 '16 at 17:46
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(typical meanings concerning people)

отвести ребёнка в школу (to take one's kid to school, going on foot)

отвести кого-то (куда-то, к кому-то), помогая найти дорогу (e. g. в учреждении)
to see somebody to an office at an enterprise in order to show the way or to help to meet smb.

отвести заключённого в камеру (to convoy a prisoner to the cell)

отвести кандидатуру на выборах, в суде (to get smb. banned from participation in some official event like elections, trial etc.)

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  • I would translate "отвести кандидатуру" as "to reject candidate." "To ban" sounds too strong. – Vitaly Aug 3 '16 at 15:07
  • I'd say to reject a candidate is simply not to accept him or her as the result of voting (=not to elect). – Alex_ander Aug 3 '16 at 15:36
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In addition to other answers:

Ruscorpora.ru gives a bunch of examples when person asks others to "отвести меня", usually because the person is ill, or exhausted, etc.:

"I won't dance any more":

― Немножко, ― прошептала Фро. ― Отведите меня к двери. Я больше не буду танцевать. [А. П. Платонов. Фро (1936)]

"I'm very tired":

Пожалуйста, поскорей отведите меня куда надо: я очень устал. [Е. И. Замятин. Островитяне (1917)]

"Take me by the arm"

Отведите меня, Гриневич. Возьмите меня под руку… ну, крепче держите… вот так. [Л. Н. Андреев. Gaudeamus. Комедия в четырех действиях (1910)]

Blind woman asks Lea to help her get home:

[Слепая, жен, 25] Леа, будьте так добры, отведите меня домой. [Д. Я. Айзман. Терновый куст (1907)] -

"I will try to sit on a horse"

― Я сяду кой-как на лошадь, отведите меня шагом за последнюю линию нашей армии; бог наградит ваше человеколюбие». [Н. А. Дурова. Кавалерист-девица (1835)]

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  • Thank you. Isn't it also used casually to ask to go to an amusement like the movies or the zoo? – CocoPop Aug 3 '16 at 15:52
  • I think this is a bit unusual usage, or some special case - like when a child asks you to go there with you and you will be there with them and there is some uncertainty where will you go next. Отведи меня в садик - implies that you will take a child to a kindergarten and leave there under supervision. Отведи меня в кино - take me to the movies and stay with me until we decide what to do next. Своди меня в кино - take me to the movies and then back home. Little children, however may not notice differences between usage of those words. – Artemix Aug 4 '16 at 7:11

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