In these examples you can see verbs идти (unidirectional) and ходить (multidirectional). Apart from the difference in tense seen in the examples, what is the reason for using different types of verbs? Does the first example assume that the subject is following only one direction while the second is wandering?

  1. В прескверном настроении шёл я по городу
  2. Она ходит по комнате
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    In short, yes, the second is about "wandering", while the first is about "moving to an unspecified destination". In addition though, I'd add that "ходить" is not necessary "multidirectional" but it also can be used to denote a "continuous/repeated" action. E.g. you can say "В прескверном настроении ходил я на работу". Nov 20, 2019 at 19:26
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    "what is the reason for using different aspects?" - what do you mean by different aspects? Both verbs are imperfective.
    – tum_
    Nov 21, 2019 at 7:28
  • True, thank you for pointing it out. I was thinking of "concrete and abstract verbs" and I made that mistake. Nov 21, 2019 at 7:36

2 Answers 2


Yes, generally correct.

"В прескверном настроении шёл я по городу" - yes, at least for the purpose of current context, the movement here is unidirectional. In larger context, the author may be wandering, but in situational context his movement is unidirectional.

"Она ходит по комнате" - yes, this implies movement without specific direction. In the context, correct meaning is likely "wandering", but there may be a specific purpose to her walking, like cleaning up the room.

  • a good answer but I wanted to add that ходить can also imply a directional movement in other cases. Она ходит к врачу каждый день. Nov 21, 2019 at 8:10

Neither verb is about a single direction. Considering the possibility of идти по лабиринту, I'd say the verb идти is rather about following a rout at some moment in time, while the verb ходить contains a conclusion about type of the walker's motion within a period of time: it's a continuous or repeated motion (going to and fro within a limited area or going somewhere from time to time, e. g. ходить по рынку or ходить в театр). An example for direct comparison:

Идёт по кругу = follows a circular line; ходит по кругу = is making circles around something.

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