I am currently learning how to use verbs of motion with the prefixes у- and при- to express that someone departs from or arrives at a certain location.

However, I struggle with the following sentence from a textbook:

Каждый раз я _____ (1) в новый город и скоро _____ (2) обратно, в Волгоград.

My attempt to fill the gaps is as follows:

  1. Choice of verbs: Given options are walking, driving or flying. I figured that either е́хать or е́здить would fit best to express "travelling" in a more general sense:

    • уе́хать / уе́здить (to depart)
    • прие́хать / прие́здить (to arrive)
  2. Choice of direction: When it comes to the correct prefixes, I struggle for the first time. For (1) I'm pretty sure that the prefix should be при-, since the person arrives in a new town every time. In cloze (2), however, would one use у- or при-? Does the person soon leave to return to Volgograd (у-) or does the person soon come back to Volgograd (при-)?

  3. Choice of aspect: Another challenge is picking the right aspect, i.e. е́хать or е́здить. I learned that when something happens repeatedly, I'd rather use е́здить. Though the person travels multiple times (каждый раз), I feel е́хать is more suitable here. Although traveling multiple times, each incident in itself is closed (i.e. perfected verb).

So my educated guess would be:

Каждый раз я прие́хала (1) в новый город и скоро уе́хала (2) обратно, в Волгоград.

Since I have nowhere to validate my guess, I hope someone on here - maybe a native speaker - can explain what the correct answer is in terms of prefixes and which aspect to use.

  • 2
    the verbs ездить, плавать, лазать, прыгать, бЕгать, пОлзать, пАдать (to name a few, don't have a comprehensive list) don't exist with prefixes у- and при- and in fact with most prefixes, of the last three two do receive these and most other prefixes but change the stress при-/убегАть, при-/уползАть while the 3d receives them with the stress shift припадАть etc. to the exclusion of the prefix у-, ездить in most prefixed forms not only changes stress but also its base into езжАть Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 17:44
  • 1
    Verb choice here depends on context. Without context, "при-/у-" would be correct. Ex: "Каждый раз я приезжаю в новый город и скоро уезжаю обратно, в Волгоград". But if the context is point of origin/return, then verbs are reversing. Ex: "Вы не скучаете по своей семье?" - "Каждый раз я уезжаю в новый город и скоро приезжаю обратно, в Волгоград." ("Do you miss your family?" - "Every time I go to a new city, but soon return back, to Volgograd.")
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 18:46
  • I would say this phrase is very innatural to me. I wonder if the textbook was written by some native Russian-speaker or some foreign person who studied Russian as foreign language himself.... "Каждый раз" and "скоро" just do not fit one another. "Каждый раз [как, когда] я приезжаю (или приеду) в новый город" - is quite a good phrase with repetitive/habit aspect. "Я скоро уеду обратно" is equaly goos non-repetitive "perfect tense" phrase, kind a "soon i'll be gone back home". But together they just do not fit at all! There are idiomatic ways to express repetitive going back.
    – Arioch
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 13:10
  • But they would be different. So I quite understand your confusion - it is really a hard choice you are to make, when two parts of a sentence fight one another.
    – Arioch
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


Каждый раз я приезжаю/прилетаю__ (1) в новый город и скоро уезжаю/улетаю ___ (2) обратно, в Волгоград.

1 Choice of verbs: you can travel by car, train or fly. Приезжать/прилетать, уезжать/улетать.

2.You chose directions correctly, because there's a certain opposition: come and go Ездить is ok without prefix, with prefixes we use приезжать, уезжать. If there's no opposition you can use приехать обратно /приезжать обратно.

Я всегда с радостью приезжаю обратно /возвращаюсь (return). Вчера она прилетела назад в Волгоград.

3 Aspect. For repeated actions we use imperfective (каждый раз), present time.

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