What's the difference between those two words? Can i use only влечь?

2 Answers 2


Привлечь (perfective) and привлекать (imperfective) is a stylistically neutral aspect pair of verbs with wide usage meaning "to attract (attention, funds, but not in physical sense, like magnets attract iron)". The deverbal adjective is привлекательный "attractive (about a person, a place)".

Не шуми, а то привлечёшь их внимание. 'Be quiet or you'll attract their attention.'

Тебя не привлекает перспектива поиграть с нами в покер? — 'The prospect of playing poker with the two of us doesn't appeal to you?'

Also, this pair of verbs has a judiciary meaning when used in the phrase привлечь к ответственности 'to prosecute, to bring to account':

За некоторые преступления можно привлечь к ответственности лишь при наличии иска пострадавшей стороны. — 'Some of the crimes could only be prosecuted in response to a complaint by the aggrieved party.'

Навлечь (perfective) and навлекать (imperfective) is archaic, used mostly in idiomatic phrases, навлечь что-то (Acc.) на кого-то (Acc.), like "навлечь на себя их гнев" — 'draw their wrath unto oneself'. Things one can навлечь are limited to a rather short list, they are гнев 'wrath', беда, несчастье,'disaster', подозрение 'suspicion', опасность 'danger', неприятности 'troubles, problems' — all kinds of nasty undesirable things.

Что же ты натворила, чтобы навлечь такой гнев? — 'So... what did you do to incur that much wrath?'

Влечь (imperfective only, no perfective pair without a prefix) has very limited usage. It is either bookish and elevated, like его влечёт наука 'he is drawn to science', or official and judiciary, usually влечь за собой 'to entail, to lead to':

Нарушение международных обязательств государством должно влечь за собой ответственность. — 'The breach of international obligations by a State must entail accountability.'

Привитие детям навыков собственной защиты является необходимостью, однако это не должно влечь за собой какую-либо правовую ответственность родителей или детей. — 'The education of children for their own protection is necessary but should not lead to any legal responsibility for parents or children.'

The deverbal noun is влечение which is '(sexual) attraction, desire (sexual or to alcohol, drugs, food, etc.)':

Встречаешь кого-то и возникает сильное влечение друг к другу. — 'Meet someone and - and have that... intense attraction right away.'

Когда люди влюблены, это влечение обоюдное. — 'In love there's mutual attraction.'

У меня непреодолимое влечение просто... к пиву. — 'I've got a burning desire for just... a beer.'

To sum it up, it is not recommended to use навлекать, навлечь, влечь unless you are absolutely sure you know what exactly it is going to mean. Remember, навлекать, навлечь, влечь are used mostly in idioms and lawspeak, it is very easy to live without ever using those verbs.

  • I would add that in a negative connotation, instead of using "niche" words "навлечь/повлечь", one can normally use "привести к" (lead to).
    – Alexander
    Jun 15, 2020 at 18:46

No, you cant use only влечь

Привлечь - arouse interest by another people (or animals). You can attract only those who can see you.

Навлечь - attract problems

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