I saw this word from my Russian friend, "учить". I confuse in this word. teach or learn? I try to google translate it. it show "teach". What's the real meaning of this?


3 Answers 3



Вася учит физику - Vasya learns/studies physics

Вася учит студентов - Vasya teaches students.

IIRC, there were questions about this word already.

Google Translate gave me not one but four translations: teach, learn, instruct, train.


It technically means both "to learn" and "to teach someone".

I learn Russian - Я учу русский I teach you Russian- Я учу тебя русскому

But notice that when you want to say: I love to teach - Я люблю учить I love to learn - Я люблю учиться


If the object after the verb учить is something to be learned/studied/memorized, then the verb means to study/learn/memorize.

If the object of the verb is a more or less intelligent being (group of such beings) who is (are) to learn from you, then it's to teach/train/instruct: учить детей решать задачи to teach children how to solve problems, учить собаку прыгать через барьер to train the dog to jump the barrier.

The verb may have a figurative meaning: «учить робота разговаривать» (lit. to teach the robot how to talk; actually, program it's voice software), or «учить самолеты летать» (a line from a once famous song about test pilots, to train airplanes in flying). However, in these cases, we "pretend" that robots and planes are intelligent beings that can be taught.

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