While studying the 1st and 2nd conjugations of the verbs in the present tense I noticed something. Generally speaking, verbs ending in -ить belong to the 2nd conjugation while the rest of them belong to the 1st. Of course there are exceptions such as брить or видеть.

The verb обидеть is also an exception since it belongs to the 2nd conjugation. What I noticed is that this is a perfect verb and its imperfect pair is обижать, which clearly belongs to the 1st conjugation.

My question: is this an isolated case or one can say that, in general, the imperfect verb also "predicts" the conjugation of its perfect pair.

My knowledge is quite limited and therefore I couldn't come up with examples. Such cases must be rare since the perfect/imperfect pair usually differs by a prefix.

1 Answer 1


Видеть isn't strictly speaking an exception as it's not alone.

Besides брить another genuine exception from the 2nd conjugation verbs is стелить.

Some infinitive forms of perfective and imperfective verbs differ not in prefix but in suffix, e.g.: принять-принимать (+ other prefixes), найти-находить (+ other prefixes), убить-убивать(+ other prefixes), зажечь-зажигать (+ other prefixes), узнать-узнавать (+ other prefixes), сдержать-сдерживать (+ other prefixes), подчистить-подчищать (+ other prefixes), проспать-просыпать, замолчать-замалчивать (+ other prefixes), расстелить-расстилать (+ other prefixes) etc.

The conjugation of perfective verbs in the aforementioned pairs is apparent in the future tense and for some of them it differs from the conjugation of their imperfective counterparts in present tense

                                     Imperf (present) (1st)                   Perf (future) (2nd)

2nd pers.(sg)        сдерживаешь                                           сдержишь

                                     подчищаешь                                            подчистишь

                                     просыпаешь                                            проспишь

                                    замалчиваешь                                         замолчишь

                                    расстилаешь                                           расстелишь

3d pers. (pl)          сдерживают                                              сдержат

                                     подчищают                                             подчистят

                                     просыпают                                              проспят

                                    замалчивают                                           замолчат

                                    расстилают                                             расстелят

So обидеть-обижать appears to not be an isolated case and nicely blends into this list because it's too comprised of a prefix and a variably suffixed stem (об + вид OR o + бед, depending on the etymology attributed to it).
And thus indication of the perfective verb conjugation by its imperfective counterpart isn't the general rule of thumb, but it can be for certain other group of verbs, like those whose perfective aspect is formed with a prefix because prefixes don't affect conjugation which is a function of ending.

  • Now I got really confused... Because of your answer and also from my question. What's the meaning of "a perfective verb belongs to the 1st conjugation"? I thought that the 1st and 2nd conjugations were rules to conjugate the verbs in the present tense. But perfective verbs don't exist in the present... So maybe one should look at the future of a perfective verb to check to which conjugation it belongs? But you say that обижать belongs to the 1st; but "Ты обидишь"... help me please.
    – aadcg
    Apr 1, 2018 at 23:03
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    At school we learned exceptions in the poem Ко второму же спряженью Отнесём мы, без сомненья, Все глаголы, что на -ИТЬ, Исключая "брить", "стелить". И ещё: "смотреть", "обидеть", "Слышать", "видеть", "ненавидеть", "Гнать", "держать", "дышать", "вертеть" И "зависеть", и "терпеть". Вы запомните, друзья, Их на -Е- спрягать нельзя!
    – V.V.
    Apr 2, 2018 at 3:57
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    @андрэ my apology for causing confusion, indeed as V.V. has rightly pointed out and as indicated on the referenced page обидеть is 2nd conjugation, and i agree with you that to spot the difference in conjugation between imperf and perf their respective present and future tenses must be examined Apr 2, 2018 at 8:57
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    @V.V. By the way, I know another poem from school times: Смотреть, всё слышать, видеть, // Зависеть, ненавидеть, // Вертеть, держать, дышать, // Терпеть, обидеть, гнать. Apr 2, 2018 at 12:22

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