I think this is a very interesting linguistic problem.

A teacher once proposed the following to her class: "Children, let's imagine for a minute that the Russian word "кречет" is a verb. What would its infinitive be?"

(Однажды учительница предложила классу задание: «Дети, давайте пофантазируем и всего на одну минутку представим себе, что слово "кречет" — это глагол. Какова его начальная форма (инфинитив)?»

[I could provide the source for this question, but I consider it a spoiler because it kind of contains the answer.]


2 Answers 2


It would be either *крекать (by analogy with кликать/кличет, тыкать/тычет, скакать/скачет or *кретать (by analogy with метать/мечет, рокотать/рокочет, прятать/прячет).

Кретать, by the way, is attested in Dahl's dictionary, but its actual declension pattern is not provided (it might as well have been *кретает). There also exists apparently related Serbo-Croatian word кретати, which gives креће in the present third person singular.

  • Thanks, What about "кречь" or "кречать"?
    – Alexander
    Dec 18, 2023 at 20:14
  • 1
    @Alexander: they would have given *кречёт, *крежёт, *крекает, *кречит or *кречает. Compare сечь, беречь, обречь, кричать, изучать.
    – Quassnoi
    Dec 18, 2023 at 20:48
  • In Serbian, "кретати" means "to move", and the conjugation paradigm is "кречем" (transcribed in Russian). Dec 18, 2023 at 21:30

Прямым аналогом было бы слово "мечет",
форма глагола "метать".

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