Is the following correct?

  • Whenever в + (винительный падеж) is used to mean something, из is always used to mean the opposite.
  • Whenever на + (винительный падеж) is used to mean something,
    с + (родительный падеж) is always used to mean the opposite.
  • Whenever к is used to mean something, от is always used to mean the opposite.

I.e. am I correct in understanding that в + (вин.) / из, на + (вин.)/с + (род.), and к/от are exact antonyms of each other?

My question isn't about when to use a certain pair (which is complicated, but I believe I mostly have the rules down for that), just whether each is a valid antonym pair, as I have inferred.

  • 1
    I would say "yes", they are valid "antonym pairs", at least I cannot recall any exceptions to the formulated rules. If there are any, they are used very rarely
    – d.k
    Jul 9, 2017 at 18:55
  • 1
    I came to the same conclusion but I know one case when this is not entirely true: sometimes there is a variation between из and с with no corresponding variation of в/на: пошел в поход, вернулся из/с похода. Jul 9, 2017 at 19:27
  • 4
    @SergeySlepov "Пошёл в поход" -- "вернулся из похода", never ever "пошёл на поход", neither can we say "вернулся с похода". Jul 9, 2017 at 20:41
  • 1
    @Baskakov_Dmitriy, Never say never ;-) "С похода вернулось не больше половины казаков", "Входили в Рим колонны стройные, с похода возвращаясь на ведическую Русь" (Владимир Мегре), "В январе 1740 года вступила в столицу возвращавшаяся с похода гвардия" (Василий Авсеенко), etc. Just google "с похода" and you'll find thousands of examples. Jul 10, 2017 at 0:03
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    I wonder if "c" can be seen in those examples as fast-spoken or vulgar-spoken degraded derivative from "из". More like like 'tis and it's from full it is
    – Arioch
    Jul 10, 2017 at 8:44

3 Answers 3


As a native speaker, I couldn't find any exception quickly. I can presume that what you have written is true, those prepositions can be called "exact antonyms".


This depends on your definition of antonym. Consider for instance:

К трапу шла ковровая дорожка

От трапа шла ковровая дорожка

Meaning essentially the same.

  • 1
    yep, it is when you looking at the same carpet from opposing (antonym :-D) ends thus in opposite directions :-D
    – Arioch
    Jul 10, 2017 at 9:19
  • @Arioch this can be said from the saqme position.
    – Anixx
    Jul 10, 2017 at 9:22
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    well, physically you do not have to move your body, indeed. But you describe the situation - spread of the carpet - as a virtual movement from point A to point B - or from point B to point A. This ordering of points makes the "virtual" views opposite. Not the situation itself, but the ordering of steps to paint it.
    – Arioch
    Jul 10, 2017 at 9:23

Whenever к is used to mean something, от is always used to mean the opposite.

In some meanings, but not all of them. E.g. consider:

Мы должны закончить этот проект к октябрю.

Литий относится к щелочным металлам.

Она носит платья от Кардена.

Note that you can say also:

Она носит платья к Кардену.

But those two would not be the opposite (in fact, in some, somewhat tortured, understanding of the situation, it may actually mean the same thing - that Cardin took part in manufacturing the dresses).

Also, second and third examples also broadly mean the same - classification, even though the former is by chemical properties and the latter is by brand.

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