So it seems when it comes to using prefixes we depart from using the Ездить / Ехать verb pair and switch to езжать/Ехать. In the dictionary is say езжать its the repeat or frequent form of Ехать. But in the example below, it is not a repeating action. What is the rule?

почему вы уезжаете? наш концерт ещё не звкончился

Why are you leaving? Our concert is not finished yet

ходить is multidirectional, why is it being used in this present singular context?

не надо уходить, я тебе всё обьясню

Don't leave? I'll explain everything to you

  • 1
    really, as Russian i think this "unidirectional/multidirectional" is an meaning-low or/and fractional artifficial conseption which was fabricated for a some foreigners only, by somebody... Jun 18, 2021 at 12:00
  • 1
    @Пилум, Yes, grammar is an artificial construct. And so is maths. :) Jun 19, 2021 at 9:41
  • Математику Лем именовал "Безумием, не лишенным метода", но богам манам с нею. Я не понимаю, зачем нужны такие концепции как "куда-то направленные глаголы именно почему-то лишь движения", а такое uzdevumi.lv/p/krievu-valoda/12-klase/glagoly-dvizheniia-12303/… - мало что объясняет. Разница между "бежать" и "бегать" - скорее в единичности или регулярности... Jun 20, 2021 at 2:22

3 Answers 3


Уезжаете is not multidirectional. It's a normal imperfective verb in the present tense meaning 'you are leaving'. As most verbs, it does not have a multidirectional counterpart.

An example unidirectional-multidirectional pair would be едете / ездите (from ехать / ездить). Уезжаете is neither of them.

To sum up:

| Infin.  | Я...   | Вы...
| е́хать   | е́ду    | е́дете    | imperfective, unidirectional
| е́здить  | е́зжу   | е́здите   | imperfective, multidirectional
| уезжа́ть | уезжа́ю | уезжа́ете | imperfective
| уе́хать  | уе́ду   | уе́дете   | perfective

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    Ok so I have mis-classified езжа́ть. This because we are normally taught Ездить / Ехать as the verb pair, but in the case of prefixes Ездить is switched too езжа́ть, so I assumed it was multidirectional. What about the second example tho? ходить is multidirectional.
    – Dan
    Jun 18, 2021 at 6:24
  • @Dan Exactly the same applies to уходить: it is imperfective, with no 'direction' implied. Jun 18, 2021 at 10:13
  • @Dan There is no such word as езжа́ть. Jun 18, 2021 at 10:14
  • @Dan My mistake: there is a езжать but I would say it's quite dated. I would use ездить as the multi-directional counterpart of ехать. Jun 18, 2021 at 10:19
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    As I was taught, verbs of motion pairs lose their uni-/multidirectional distinction when a prefix is added, and instead represent perfective / imperfective aspect (without prefix they are all imperfective). This reflects what you have written in your table, but maybe add it also in the answer - assuming I am right of course...
    – king_nak
    Aug 11, 2021 at 8:30

For most of such verbs, no unidirectional form is permitted in this context. You may say "надо уехать" or "надо уезжать" about yourself, but you can't say "почему вы уедете?". You may say "когда вы уедете?" or "когда вы уезжаете?", the former is somewhat more assertive but both are valid.

I guess this is because for hypothetical actions multidirectional verbs are used, and leaving is hypothetical when you question when you ask whether it should happen or not, but it's definitive if asking when it would happen.

Unidirectional verbs are used when talking about the process and not the result/destination, I guess. And in case of leaving, the destination (у-, away) is important, not the process of walking/driving/riding.

  • but you can't say "почему вы уедете?". - i can. Just a few other context... " Jun 18, 2021 at 12:06
  • ruscorpora.ru does not have such occurrences. Yandex has very few hits too, some of them lyrics or different lines of dialogue.
    – alamar
    Jun 18, 2021 at 14:57
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    Можно. Напр. А когда и почему вы уедете— не узнает никто и никогда.
    – V.V.
    Jun 18, 2021 at 21:02
  • I don't see how it conflicts with my observation that уедете == definitive and not hypothetical. Also, you've dropped ? which is an integral part of expression.
    – alamar
    Jun 18, 2021 at 22:15
  • V.V - точно так же можно сказать и вопросом - "почему вы уедете ?", что делает чуть больший акцент на процессе этого отъезда в будущем, а не на одномоментном и определенном в настоящем времени факте отъезда, как в "почему вы узжаете ?"... Aug 17, 2021 at 9:11

в- - in въезжать

вы- - out. выезжать

до- - as far as, reach доезжать

за- - drop in, stop by заезжать

об- - around объезжать

от- - away отъезжать

пере- - across переезжать

под- - approach подъезжать

при- - arrival приезжать

про- - through, pass проезжать

с- - down from съезжать

у- - from уезжать.

Those are the meanings of prefixes. Since they show directions, the verbs cannot be multidirectional. That's that.

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