I know that the difference between бегать and побегать is that бегать is imperfective while побегать is perfective. However, my dictionary says бежать is a facultative verb (i.e. it has both imperfective meaning and perfective meaning). Then I get confused: if I want to use the perfective form, which should I choose? I would appreciate it if someone could give some explicit examples.

2 Answers 2


The difference between бе́гать and побе́гать is not just aspectual. Побе́гать is in line with other similar verbs such as посиде́ть, постоя́ть, покури́ть all meaning 'to do something (сиде́ть, стоя́ть, кури́ть) for a while'. In other words, these verbs describe a continuous process with a distinct beginning and an end.

  • Я бе́гаю ка́ждый день. - I run every day.
  • Пойду́ побе́гаю. - I'm going for a run.

Бежа́ть is imperfective in all meanings but one, 'to escape': бежа́ть из тюрьмы́ (to escape from prison).

Побежа́ть is perfective:

  • Он побежа́л. - He started running.

Бежа́ть vs бе́гать: бежа́ть is continuous / unidirectional, бе́гать is intermittent / multidirectional:

  • (Бе́гать:) Я бе́гаю ка́ждый день. - I run every day.
  • (Бежа́ть:) Я бегу́ на встре́чу. - I'm running to the meeting.

бежать is an imperfect verb, unidirectional. бегать is an imperfect view, multidirectional. if you use a prefixed unidirectional verb, it will be perfect. if you use a multidirectional verb with a prefix, it will be imperfect. побежать - совершенный вид(means the beginning of the movement) побегать - несовершенный вид (means to run for a while, not too long) каждый день я бегаю на стадионе, завтра я побегу в лес.я побегаю там 30-40 минут и вернусь домой. вчера мы играли в футбол, хорошо побегали.

  • 1
    Please, respect the common formatting rules - like capitalizing first letter for each sentence and putting in quotes examples.
    – shabunc
    Feb 17, 2021 at 21:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.