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What is the difference between Посещать and Навещать? I think that they both mean "to visit".

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Those words are close, but there is sufficient distinction between them.

  • "Посещать" means to visit a place or an event. However, you can't normally "посетить" a city or other geographical location - doing so would stress your opinion that this geographical location is first and foremost a touristy location.

  • "Навещать" means to visit a person or a group of people. However you can "навестить" place with which you have an emotional connection.

"посещать школу" - attending classes at school;

"навещать школу" - to visit repeatedly a school from which you graduated, usually to see your old teachers and to connect with your old classmates;

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  • "you can't normally "посетить" a city or other geographical location - doing so would stress your opinion that this geographical location is first and foremost a touristy location." I wonder what you mean by this.
    – V.V.
    May 4 at 7:01
  • С тех пор как шестьдесят лет назад Австралию посетил Ященко, особых пополнений музей не получил. [Д. А. Гранин. Месяц вверх ногами (1966)] Он посетил Москву, Санкт-Петербург, Нижний Новгород и Сергиев Посад. [Вячеслав Суриков. Культура // «Эксперт», 2015] [
    – V.V.
    May 4 at 7:02
  • @V.V. - yes, in those examples geographical locations are treated as "touristy locations". "Посетить" here most likely means "pay a token visit", as opposed to "побывать" which can mean a wider range of purpose and duration. There is one more common use for word "посетить" - to come with an official visit (typically as part of a larger tour).
    – Alexander
    May 4 at 17:35
  • Меня посетила мысль: свернуть в тепло, переночевать, переждать непогоду. [Виктор Астафьев. Последний поклон .
    – V.V.
    May 4 at 19:58

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