I saw different versions for the perfective ones.


  1. Masculine past forms ending in -л, remove the - л and add -в(-вши) (the ending -вши is obsolete)

  2. Masculine past forms ending in other consonants, add -ши.

  3. Verbs ending in -ся have -вшись.

  4. For infinitives ending in -йти, change -йти into -шедши.

  5. Infinitive ending in -сти and masculine past forms ending in -ёл retain the -д and -т of the stem, e.g. привести - привед-ут > приведши e.g. подмести - подмут-ут > подметши

  6. Verbs ending in -сти, -йти have another way of forming verbal adverbs: remove the 3rd personal plural ending and add -я: принести - принесут > принеся прийти - придут > придя найти - найдут > найдя

Some other verb endings are also like this: прочесть - прочт-ут > прочтя учесть - учт-ут > учтя ошибиться - ошиб-ятся > ошиобясь

  1. Some other verbs have two forms of verbal adverbs: принести - принёсши / принеся прообрести - приобрестши / приобрестя запереть - заперши / заперев ...... (the -а/-я ending is obsolete)

I'm quite confused about the rules for forming the perfective verbal adverbs. The basic rules should be 1, 2, 3 stated above, but the exceptions are complicated. It looks like -йти, -сти, -зти verbs have two forms of verbal adverbs. But it looks like some like прочесть must end in -я. The books don't seem to have been able to present the rules straightforwardly or simply enough. So what in fact are the rules?

This question was posed a few years ago by another individual, yet the responses provided at that time fell short in terms of being both helpful and insightful. Therefore, I feel the need to revisit this topic and ask here again.

  • "The books seem not having been able to present the rules straight forward and simple enough": do you have any guesses as to why it would be the case?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 17:21
  • -ши is obsolete. привести - привед-ут > приведя. подмести - подмет-ут > подметя. приобрести - приобретши / приобретя. But ошибиться - ошибутся > ошибшись (!). Commented Dec 4, 2023 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


The Russian language has multiple generative models for various forms of verbs, and for the rarely used ones, even native speakers spend some time turning the verb in their head until they find a generative model that doesn't sound awful. This process is mocked in the literature sometimes.

Sometimes no model matches the verb and the verb is declared to have a "defective paradigm".

Bottom line, it's semi-expected for the book to be confusing, it's OK for you to be confused, and it would be of much better service to just provide a long list of examples of the formation of verbal adverbs, sorting them into "acceptable", "previously acceptable but out of use now" and "incorrect", so that you could assimilate them by example.

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