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Adding the prefix при to вести (lead) and нести (carry / bring) seems to make the meanings basically the same. Is there a way to describe the difference between привести and принести?

For example:

В некоторых случаях пережитое опрошенными женщинами продемонстрировало крайности, к которым могут привести стигматизация и дискриминация.

vs

Проект резолюции является прекрасным примером инициатив, которые могут принести значительную пользу всем государствам-членам.

Are the words more or less interchangeable in such contexts? I struggle to discern the difference.

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    Those words are not interchangeable in your examples. принести -- что? -- пользу It's "bring something". привести -- к чему? -- к крайностям "lead to what?". There is difference even in english – user7808407 Dec 10 '19 at 12:43
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    "Привести собаку" - "Bring in a dog" (walking dog, maybe on a leash). "Принести собаку" - "Carry in a dog" (in one's arms, maybe an injured one). – Alexander Dec 10 '19 at 17:47
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If you are talking about the figurative meaning in the words above, they semantically mean the same outcome, but are used differently: There are "inanimate" objects such as benefit, discrimination, or trouble, and there are "animate" subjects like people, nations, or states.

A nation can go to prosperity, but prosperity cannot go to the nation. Hence, you can "привести" people to prosperity, or you can "принести" prosperity to people.

There is also a slight derivative difference. The first version sounds more active: people have to move their figurative legs after all, in your example people do something that results in discrimination. The second sounds more passive: in your example states made some decision and now sit back and wait for it to give them benefits. But it is really very slight and can be omitted.


You did not ask the difference between "нести" and "принести". Or did you? I think I can answer that either.

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  • This answers my question exactly, thank you. – interpolack Jan 3 at 4:51
  • "A nation can go to prosperity, but prosperity cannot be brought to a nation" - this depends on the point of view of the storyteller. For example, Отличаясь суровым нравом, твердостью и государственным умом, Август принес Риму мир и процветание, с 19 года до н.э. стал абсолютным монархом, был провозглашен верховным жрецом и отцом отечества. (Рудольф Баландин, Сто великих гениев) – ゑ01 Sep 20 at 12:27
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The difference is quite substantial.

Вести means 'to lead, to make somebody follow you, to drive a vehicle':

Он привёл их к деревне. — He led them to the village.

Приведи нас к нему! — Take/Lead us to him!

Нести means 'to carry', принести means 'to bring, to fetch':

Принеси мне воды! — Bring me some water!

Я принес вам Слово Божие. — I've brought the Word of God to you.

Every dictionary explains the difference.

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  • I updated my question to clarify that I know the difference between вести and нести but that the prefix makes the difference harder for me to discern привести and принести. I'm starting to see how the logic applies though.. I think нести involves leading an abstract concept to someone / something whereas вести just means leading to the concept itself. – interpolack Dec 10 '19 at 8:39
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    On the more formal side of things, the verb pairs you mention share the same root, and indeed have similar meaning, but different aspects: perfective for принести and привести but imperfective for нести and вести. See Wikipedia for more details. – GreenhouseVeg Dec 10 '19 at 13:25
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    In fact @interpolack has some point in his question: on the language of official reports the phrases <Abstract Noun> приносит что-либо and <Abstract Noun> приводит к чему-либо are almost the same in their meaning. Note: Привести and привести к - have different meaning. – farfareast Dec 11 '19 at 0:22
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    Cont: I'm not saying приносить and приводить к can be used interchangeably, but sometimes their meaning is very close, for example Искусственное опыление привело к хорошим результатам and Искусственное опыление принесло хорошие результаты. – farfareast Dec 11 '19 at 0:35
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The point is that you do not use those verbs in their direct meaning. but in the idiom or some other. Thus привести к чему-то means "to cause" принести хорошие результаты,пользу means "to benefit. to bring good", but even in the direct meaning of transportation they are different.

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