Can спешить replace торопиться in this sentence, for example:

“на вашем месте я не торопился бы критиковать все направо и налево…”

  • 3
    Just as addition to all other answers торопиться is a little bit bookish. Very little bit :)
    – Putnik
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 14:11

9 Answers 9


Спешить and торопиться are synonyms and there's no real difference in their meaning. I'm struggling to come up with an example where it would be appropriate to use one word but not the other.

Specifically, in the sentence you provided, you could substitute спешить for торопиться without any change in the meaning, not even the slightest:

“на вашем месте я не торопился бы критиковать все направо и налево…”
“на вашем месте я не спешил бы критиковать все направо и налево…”

Edit: you can see in the synonyms dictionary that торопиться is the first word listed for спешить: http://словарь-синонимов.рф/words/спешить

Edit 2: @DmitryAlexandrov brought up a very good example where these words are not interchangeable, but generally they totally are.

  • 1
    In this case they are interchangeable. There are some cases when they are not like "спешу сообщить вам" (устоявшееся выражение), "поторопи его" (нельзя сказать "поспеши его"), etc.
    – Artemix
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 13:59
  • 2
    @Artemix while спешу сообщить вам is an idiom, it is still grammatically correct to say тороплюсь сообщить вам. As for your second example, note that торопить and торопиться are two different words.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 14:03
  • another established idiom is "торопить события" Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 17:00
  • @Hardex As I stated in my previous comment, торопить and торопиться are two different words.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 18:57
  • They are 100% synonymous and one can be used over another in all situations.
    – Sergei
    Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 21:02

In the general case the only pattern, that came into my mind, when you can not interchange спеши́ть and торопи́ться is a talking about a gaining clock:

Часы спешат на пять минут [The watch is five minutes fast]

but extremly rare часы торопятся.

  • 3
    Very good point, indeed.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 14:04
  • 3
    In some areas of Russia it's common to use часы торопятся. Especially among older people.
    – Sam Dark
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 21:09
  • 4
    As I see it, "спешить" is slightly more associated with physical movement, "идти", "ехать" like "hurrying up somewhere" — while "торопиться" slighlty more with panic and "hurrying (maybe too much)" to do something. That's why one may be used more often in some contexts and the second in others — as with the clock (never heard "торопятся", mayb indeed be a dialectal or poetic use). But yeah, mostly interchangeable.
    – Shady_arc
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 11:45

There is some difference in imperative mood.


Means drive, urge on yourself.


Not really used. If used, I would understand it as "be hurry in panic". I hardly can imagine where such meaning would be appropriate.

In plural it may be used in advertising of a performance

Спешите посмотреть новое представление!

Be hurry in panic to see the new performance because it is very interesting (one can instantly imagine crowds storming the circus or the theater, which is possibly the organizers agitate for). This usage is somewhat outdated I think, at least I encountered it only in books.

Торопитесь посмотреть новое представление!

This just means that you can be too late to see the performance because it will be ceased being shown in a few days. You are not agitated to run to the theater, losing your bags and spectacles on the way, you just reminded so that you possibly better to review your plans accordingly and postpone other deals.


Just a side note - there is a saying: "Торопись, не спеша", - which means "Hurry up without hustle" - so try to do things faster, but do not mess them up by doing so.

  • 5
    I know a version "Спеши, не торопясь". So, in this saying the words are in fact interchangeable.
    – Artemix
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 6:55
  • 1
    "Hurry (up), but don't rush (things)"
    – CocoPop
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 13:48
  • Hm, my version was "торопись не поспешая"
    – Andrey
    Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 18:02

To my mind only idiomatic use can show any difference, for instance, you can say "поспешишь, людей насмешишь" - and there is no other way to put it.


They do mean the same, but watch for the indirect meaning, indicating that a person does things with insufficient consideration. Sometimes, the only reason why торопиться and спешить seem so different is that implied indirect meaning of these words.

Спешащий and торопящийся have the same meaning, but they are not the same as спешный and торопливый.

Tоропиться and спешить -- is not the same as поторопиться and поспешить. "Поспешить -- людей насмешить"


Спешить is a description of the action.

Я спешу к поезду. Мне некогда с тобой разговаривать.

Я спешу на встречу.

Я спешу сообщить тебе что-то.

Торопиться is a description of the circumstance.

Я тороплюсь на поезд, поэтому у нас есть лишь 5 минут.

Я слишком тороплюсь! (и потому рискую ошибиться).

Я тороплюсь как могу/изо всех сил.

  • Sorry, I can’t see a point here. “Я тороплюсь на поезд. Мне некогда с тобой разговаривать” and “Я спешу на поезд, поэтому у нас есть лишь пять минут” are fine too. Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 22:43
  • Yes, but I'd not say спешу, when I тороплюсь. :) When я спешу I'm busy and can't do something else. Спешить is my current action. When я тороплюсь I'm just nervous. Торопиться is my current state. This state is the reason of my special behavior.
    – Dmitry
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 16:00
  • > Поспеши, но не торопись. You should do something quickly, but not nervous. > Поторопись, но не спеши. You should be more active, but not focus on something so that miss something else. Спешить has specific object or target. Торопиться doesn't have. Points are different: > Я спешу на поезд. > Я тороплюсь на поезд.
    – Dmitry
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 16:36
  • History: спешить -> спех (modern наспех, спешка, не к спеху) is synonimous with гонка (process, action). торопиться -> тороп (modern оторопь) is synonimous with замешательство, растерянность (state).
    – Dmitry
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 16:56

Not in a direct context of the question, but related to it giving some additional, not presented yet, info. Because also the word спешить has another Semantic property or meaning property in despite the writing/spelling is the same:

Спешить - вынудить спешиться, то есть сойти или упасть с коня, велосипеда и т. п., выйти из транспортного средства — "Какой-то французской офицер объезжает передовую цепь. — Не спешить ли его? — шепнул второй часовой, взводя курок."

Opposite semantics, or antonym:

посадить, усадить (например, в седло)


I've grown to liken "торопиться" to "to hurry" and "спешить" to "to rush".

If you can think of English expressions where one of them is the preferred, or indeed the only choice, we could do an interesting experiment by trying to translate them to Russian.

  • To make more use of your answer it’s better to know what your native language is: English or Russian? Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 0:06
  • Interesting - let me think about it...
    – CocoPop
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 12:50

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