It did me a lot of good to move my body a little after sitting for one whole day.

I assume that with this specific meaning you should use "(немного) подви́гаться", but how does "подвига́ться" compare?

I wonder if "подви́гаться" denotes multi-directional random movements, with an emphasis placed on the idea "for a while / a little" due to the prefix "по-", whereas "подвига́ться" refers to a movement in a single direction, as in "moving forward" or figuratively "advancing (upwards) in your career".

2 Answers 2


You pretty much nailed it on your own save for a few points.

подвигАться a person can only physically and in any direction, when someone wishes to sit down next to you on a limited sitting space they might ask you to подвинуться which would be sideways.

With regard to career it's пРодвигаться, which is always a progressing movement, in the direction you're facing (in a physical sense) or invest efforts in, a movement towards specific destination.

  • 1
    Author definitely has "подвигАться" in the meaning of "подвинуться на [некое свершение]".
    – Alexander
    Mar 19, 2018 at 23:54
  • @Alexander i interpreted it as a misreading of the verb's meaning, because the way it's described by him points at the meaning of пРодвигАться, we don't подвигаемся по карьерной лестнице, but пРодвигаемся, besides i believe this is the first time i come across such use of the word подвигАться and although it's not totally unthinkable, it must be extremely rare for the modern language, indeed there's the word подвиг but its corresponding verb, if there was any, is not in active use, in the sense of свершение i'm aware of подвиЗаться and сподвигнуть Mar 20, 2018 at 7:51
  • neither the dictionary of Church-Slavonic and Russian from 1847 is aware of such use of the verb подвигАться, despite it sounding archaic Mar 20, 2018 at 8:14
  • There is also a grammatical difference: подви́гаться is perfective, while подвига́ться is imperfective. Mar 20, 2018 at 9:30
  • Indeed ,подвига́ться is very rare. Here is an example of when you might use it: Я попросил его подвинуться, но он не желает подвига́ться. Mar 20, 2018 at 9:34

Source Большой толковый словарь русского языка (Кузнецов), 2014 edition gives the following meanings.

ПОДВИГАТЬСЯ, -аюсь, -аешься; св. Двигаться некоторое время, сделать несколько движений. Дайте ребёнку п. My transl.: move for a while, make several movements.

which is close to your suggestion (multi-directional random movements).

As for ПОДВИГАТЬСЯ this source says to see ПОДВИНУТЬСЯ (because ПОДВИГАТЬСЯ is its imperfective)

ПОДВИНУТЬСЯ, -нусь, -нешься; св. 1. Несколько, немного придвинуться или передвинуться. Все немножко подвинулись. Туча подвинулась к нам. 2. Пройти, проехать вперёд; продвинуться. Лодка подвинулась вверх по течению. // Идти, продвигаться вперёд (о войсках, фронте и т.п.). Фронт подвинулся южнее. 3. Несколько, немного продвинуться, приблизиться к завершению, к поставленной цели. П. в немецком языке. Строительство подвинулось. 4. Разг. Преуспеть на службе, получить повышение; повыситься (по службе, общественному положению и т.п.). П. в чинах. <Подвигаться, -аюсь, -аешься; нсв.

Brief translation for ПОДВИНУТЬСЯ: 1. Move a little. 2. Go forward, move forward. 3. Progress, move closer to the end, improve. 4. Informal, Advance in career (status, etc.). The final abbreviation нсв = imperfective.

So you are basically right in your suggestions. Except the 'career' meaning which is really not used often and sounds somewhat old-fashioned (a commonly used alternative is продвинуться).

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