Very often in russian verbs have two forms, some examples are:

  • делать/сделать
  • встречаться/встретиться

My russian friends keep telling it is important to differentiate both but cannot explain to me what the difference actually is and when to use one or another. Any insight on the difference between both would be appreciated.

  • 3
    the topic is pretty extensively covered in multiple Web sources, here's a list of Google search results, you may have not known how these forms are named terminologically and so couldn't find relevant articles Jun 17, 2018 at 18:20
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    in these pairs the difference between simple/perfect tenses. But there are also other aspects and their corresponding pairs. Check other questions russian.stackexchange.com/tags/verb-aspects/info
    – Arioch
    Jun 18, 2018 at 9:28
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    It is not a surprise that your Russian friends can't explain how their language works. Natives usually just know what sounds right, not how to explain it to those trying to learn. The term you need is "verbal aspect" or "aspect of verbs".
    – KCd
    Jun 20, 2018 at 4:52

1 Answer 1


The difference here is uncompleted vs. completed action, as expressed by the respective pairs of forms of the verbs. In a couple of words, you could compare that to the difference between continuous and perfect tenses in English. Beyond that, it's textbooks and vocabularies materiel.

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