Is it possible to say "потоп" (as a verb) instead "потоплен"?

   Его корабль потоп.

And if so, then where can I check it?

  • Only он потонул.
    – Anixx
    Oct 12, 2014 at 19:28
  • It's technically not correct, but any russian will understand what you mean. утонул or утоп will be a a better alternative the second accenting the sentence heavily(and, perhaps, unnecessarily) though it is a better fit for the word you wanted to use originally.
    – Zeks
    Oct 26, 2014 at 0:40
  • its extremely archaic (and non-standard) way to say sunk. Use затонул, as per Michael's answer.
    – c69
    Dec 27, 2014 at 15:31

4 Answers 4


You shouldn't use "потоп" instead of "потоплен" due to different meaning.

"Потоплен" means "sunk by somebody" - we know who did that (pirates, enemies, crew, etc.) and/or that make sense.

"Потоп" ("утонул") means "drowned" with no particular reason or we don't care the reason, the only fact of drowning does matter.

In general, you can use "потоп" ("утоп") to say "Его корабль потоп", as a native speaker I see nothing wrong to say that (but sounds outdated/childish):

Несчастный матрос, твой корабль **потоп**;
Клопы завелись в парусах.
Твой боцман - любитель портвейна и сноб
С прокисшей капустой в усах.

Десять негритят пошли купаться в море,
Десять негритят резвились на просторе.
Один из них **утоп**, ему купили гроб,
И вот вам результат - девять негритят.

But IRL we use "утонул" ("потонул", "затонул") instead:

— Что случилось с атомной лодкой "Курск"?
— Она утонула.
  • Right, but for instance for me, as for native speaker, Его корабль потоп. sounds completely incorrect because the word потоп almost always means flood (noun). So I prefer Его корабль (был) потоплен.. Dec 17, 2014 at 12:26
  • Валентин, "потоп (утоп, утонул)" - сам, "потоплен" - кем-то (или чем-то). Как "застрелился" и "застрелен". Далее, решить в данном контексте, что корабль потоп в смысле наводнения довольно трудно (но вы показали, что можно). Наверно, эти омонимы уже обыгрывались юмористами 100500 раз в связи с ковчегом.
    – Michael
    Dec 18, 2014 at 17:44

You can search потопла in ruscorpora.ru.

It found four documents with this word.

The system also found one document with он потоп.

Note that for this site, лексико-грамматический поиск is pretty useless (usually finds nothing).


Потоп is a colloquialism, like утоп. It is much better to say "корабль потонул" or "корабль затонул".


No, I don't think it's possible. Somewhat acceptable, although still awkward alternative is утоп - probably, due to phonetic similarity to утопленник, grizzly child song "один из них утоп" and lack of confusion with потоп as noun.

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