I found a source saying that the perfective counterpart of падать is both упасть and пасть, so I was wondering what the difference between these two words is.

So far I could only find a post explaining the difference between падать and упасть (the first one is imperfective and the second one is perfective) but I couldn't find anything on the difference between пасть and упасть (though упасть seems to be more commonly used).

  • Wiktionary article on пасть gives a good summary of its use cases out of which i'd single out 2, 6 & 7 as belonging to active use, but be mindful that the word itself belongs to a higher register so isn't typical to everyday speech Apr 1, 2018 at 15:32
  • @БаянКупи-ка I believe this comment (slightly improved) should be posted as an answer.
    – Dmitry
    Apr 1, 2018 at 15:43
  • also worth noting as reflected by the tags of the Wiktionary article, this word is used predominantly figuratively, and is a fossilized part of such stable collocations as низко пасть and пасть в бою explained in Nikolay Ershov's response Apr 1, 2018 at 17:31
  • @Dmitry there's almost zero of my own input in the comment so i don't think it qualifies as a proper answer Apr 1, 2018 at 17:36
  • @БаянКупи-ка If your post answers the question - it is a good answer. Even if it contains only quotes and references.
    – Dmitry
    Apr 1, 2018 at 22:35

2 Answers 2


Пасть came to be a lofty metaphorical term, covering probably all cases where falling is used as a lofty metaphor:

  • of a slain combatant (пасть в бою);
  • of a city, kingdom, etc. (Рим пал);
  • of an overthrown ruler (тиран пал);
  • of decline into depravity (как низко ты пал!).

Упасть is for everyday falls, mostly literal, but also e.g. of stocks or currencies.

Like the imperfective падать, the verbal noun падение is shared between the two.


friend. If we are talking about пасть as about a verb this word should be understood as a sublime and outdated word something like "face downwards" in front of powerful person - пасть ниц. Although, it is really rare in common life But if пасть is a noun we translate it as "jaws". Prefixes are probably the most important thing in Russian because they change a verb absolutely. Some examples: Быть to be Прибыть to arrive

Бежать to run Забежать to make a short visit

Знать to know Узнать to recognize Признать to admit

I really hope that I helped you.

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