Normally a reflexivity of a verb stays the same regardless of aspect (not talking about semantic derivation). But I have learned three exceptions to this rule already:

станови́ться – стать (but: ста́ться разг.)

сади́ться – сесть

соску́читься – скуча́ть (по кому́-то / о ко́м-то)

I can only think of one example in Polish and always considered it an oddity, so I am wondering if this is a wider phenomenon in Russian. Are there other pairs of verbs like these?

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    Ложиться - лечь?
    – user75619
    Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 17:53
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    скучать по кому is a modern deviation, correct case is Prepositional по ком Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 18:12
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    @БаянКупи-ка скучать о ком/чём (скучать о городе) would be more correct for Prepositional. Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 19:52
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    Prepositional is governed by both pronouns о and по, but the one of the two which is more applicable to the verb скучать is по. Dictionaries and grammar books do also mention о but i don't think i have come across many examples of its usage, and to me personally it sounds off. We can do a proper Google search to gauge frequency - скучал о - a little over 6000, скучал по - exactly 485 000 Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 20:09
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    and out of the 3 pairs you mention in 1 the roles are reversed, reflexive is perfective Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


Regular imperfective counterparts for стать, сесть, лечь should have been *ставать, *седать, *легать, but those forms have fallen out of use as standalone words in the codified language, though they continue to exist as roots: встать / вставать, присесть / приседать, налечь / налегать.

These forms have been suppleted with the reflexive causatives: -становить, -садить, -ложить are causatives meaning "make stand", "make sit" and "make lie", respectively, and when used with a reflexive postfix they mean "make oneself stand", "make oneself sit" and "make oneself lie".

I can't think of any more suppletive imperfective verbs with this exact paradigm (causative + reflexive) in Russian, but there are other paradigms: vowel alternation (умирать / умереть, собирать / собрать); stress alternation (насыпа́ть / насы́пать, нареза́ть / наре́зать); good old replacement with etymologically unrelated roots (ловить / поймать, брать / взять) etc.

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    for all 3 verbs in question Ukrainian has retained genuine aspectual counterparts Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 15:43

It sounds logical :)

Ложиться - лечь

Pay attention that статься has the meaning of случиться, to happen.

при-/за-/на-/всмотреться - смотреть

дождаться - ждать

при-/за-/на-/вслушаться - слушать

наесться - есть (and there is a possibility to express having done enough of anything with the prefix на- and the reflexive particle -ся)

приесться - надоесть


Actually, I would separate them in a way. Лечь, стать, сесть as the verbs of physical situation, and скучать, ждать, смотреть, etc. as feelings.

  • "приесться - надоесть" are both perfective. Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 23:43
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    Problem with those is that they aren't really aspectual pairs :( Aspectual pair is when two verbs only differ in aspect, not in the shade of meaning they have. наесться & съесть are both perfective, but they aren't equivalent semantically ;) But words of movement and location do seem to be weird in terms of reflexivity. Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 6:41
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    illustration - perfective of ждать is подождать, imperfective of дождаться is дожидаться, imperfective of надоесть is надоедать, while that of приесться is приедаться Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 7:54

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