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I was told that :

пошёл - went somewhere and (usually) haven’t come back yet (and told that I can use ушёл here too) if you state it as a fact or as a part of a story with other actions following one another.

ходил - a fact and can mean a one time occurence in the past

сходил - not as significant to mention / may mean for a short amount of time.

Are the descriptions / details regarding these verbs of motion accurate observations and why would someone ever choose сходил instead of ходил? :

Она́ ходи́ла приме́рно на со́рок пять мину́т. (ходи́ла fact - there and back)

Она́ пошла́ приме́рно на со́рок пять мину́т. (пошла́ left and no one knows where she's at or part of a story and not a fact)

Она́ сходи́ла приме́рно на со́рок пять мину́т. (сходи́ла there and back or insignificant)

Я пошёл сходи́л на рабо́ту и пото́м, я пошёл в университе́т. (сходи́л because the action was completed (пошёл means that you just started off toward somewhere)

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  • please, don't use uppercase, use quotes instead, it's easier to read – shabunc Oct 9 '16 at 18:16
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Ходил - action lasting for some time in the past. It could be used for describing repeating actions happenning in the past for some time (probably but not necessarily finished).

Весь этот день я ходил по городу и искал себе квартиру. [...] В целый день я ничего не мог найти порядочного...
Ф.М. Достоевский "Униженные и оскорбленные"

Сходил - action already completed in the past.

— Э, Влас? — вскрикнул Туман, вглядевшись в него. — Здорово, брат. Откуда бог принес?
— Здорово, Михайла Савельич, — проговорил мужик, подходя к нам, — издалеча.
— Где пропадал? — спросил его Туман.
— А в Москву сходил, к барину...
И.С. Тургенев "Записки охотника. Малиновая вода"

Пошел - action which is still not finished.

Извозчик остановился возле освещенного подъезда, за раскрытыми дверями которого круто поднималась старая деревянная лестница, старый, небритый лакей в розовой косоворотке и в сюртуке недовольно взял вещи и пошел на своих растоптанных ногах вперед.
И.А. Бунин "Солнечный удар".

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Your examples are wrong. In a live speech people may make such mistakes from time to time, but it's still a mistake.

Она́ ходи́ла приме́рно на со́рок пять мину́т

Must be "она уходила примерно на сорок пять минут" (i.e. she had left and was absent for about 45 minutes), or, perhaps, "она ходила примерно сорок пять минут" (i.e. she was going for about 45 minutes).

Она́ пошла́ приме́рно на со́рок пять мину́т

Again, must be "она ушла примерно на сорок пять минут" (could mean (1) she had left and was absent for about 45 minutes, or (2) she had left and you expect she'll be back in 45 minutes).

Она́ сходи́ла приме́рно на со́рок пять мину́т

Must be "она сходила [туда] примерно за сорок пять минут" (i.e. it took her about 45 minutes to go [there]).

Я пошёл сходи́л на рабо́ту и пото́м, я пошёл в университе́т. (сходи́л because the action was completed (пошёл means that you just started off toward somewhere)

This one is a matter of style. You say "I went to the work" as a part of "story", so you may choose between "пошёл", or "сходил", or "заскочил", or whatever.

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  • Пошёл сходил is "buttered butter", it would be natural to use зашёл. – V.V. Oct 9 '16 at 19:51
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    I disagree that first three sentences are wrong in themselves. They just have another meaning, emphasizing the place where she was present during those 45 minutes, rather than the one where she was absent. For example, "Она пошла (в бассейн) примерно на 45 минут" - she went (to the swimming pool) and is going to stay there for ~45 minutes; "Она (каждый день) ходила (в бассейн) примерно на 45 минут" - she visited (the swimming pool) and spent ~45 minutes there (every day); "Она cходила (в бассейн) примерно на 45 минут" - she has already visited (the swimming pool) and spent ~45 minutes there. – Lara Oct 10 '16 at 14:10
  • And "пошёл сходил" is really wrong. Here the verb depends on the amount of time you spent at your workplace. If this time is short, than you are likely to use "зашёл"/"заскочил". Vebs "пошёл"/"сходил" are still OK in this case, but they don't contain information about the shortness of time. And if you, for example, went to work, worked there for full day, and then, in the evening, went to the university, than "пошёл" seems to be the best choice. "Сходил" can be used, too, but "зашёл"/"заскочил" and other similar verbs can't. – Lara Oct 10 '16 at 14:24
  • Она ходила в бассейн минут сорок пять could also mean that she was at the pool for around 45 minutes (1x - fact ), no? – Штефан Oct 10 '16 at 22:01
  • I was also told that зашёл would absolutely be incorrect as well Он зашёл за мной - He stopped by and got me Он зашёл ко мне - He stopped by my place Схожу в магазин - I'm going to the store real quick – Штефан Oct 10 '16 at 22:06
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пошёл - went somewhere and (usually) haven’t come back yet (and told that I can use ушёл here too)

Ушёл means went and not expected to come back.

ходил - a fact and can mean a one time occurence in the past

Or several times.

сходил - not as significant to mention / may mean for a short amount of time.

Сходил is different from ходил only in that it means one or fixed amount of times, each time the action was complete (reached there) while ходил can mean not reached only attempted but interrupted en route.

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First of all, they all are the verbs of motion. In Russian, there are tenses, aspects, and conjugations, that is why you have all these different forms. ИДТИ and ПОЙТИ are Russian concrete verbs. The prefix ПО- means “the start of movement”, otherwise the meaning is the same – “to go, to move, to walk one-way, to set off”, they are interchangeable in most cases.

Their counterpart ХОДИТЬ is an abstract verb. ХОДИТЬ means same as ИДТИ but it is used to denote a movement done not at the same time, not at one go or not in one direction. It would be best translated into English as “to wander”, “to ramble”.

Russian verbs ИДТИ, ПОЙТИ, ХОДИТЬ belong to the imperfective aspect which presents an event without exact finish implication (such as ongoing or habitual actions).

ПРИЙТИ is a Russian verb of motion belonging to the perfective aspect. Perfective aspect is used for momentary events and the onsets or completions of events. It would be best translated into English as “to come”, “to arrive”.

That's in short! Still not getting it? Check the full explanation + conjugation tables in this post!

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  • The post about your site/book is good but, like all books, only goes into the basic verbs of motion and not any of the other ones into great detail. Books on verbs of motion that MGU has put out are great but it is impossible to memorize everything photographically though. When I started and only used those few verbs you listed, people pointed out that they are OK sometimes but that other verbs of motion are much more fitting. Where are : зайти / заехать / подойти / отдойти / сходить / съездить / привезить / завозить / отвезти / забрать / добраться / etc.? – Штефан Oct 10 '16 at 22:10

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