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This is fairly simple question, I know....but what exactly does бывать mean? Some say it means "to be at", some say it means " to happen"???

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«Бывать» usually means "to happen", "to occur" or "to be (occasionally)". However, it can be used with modifiers of place, so that the resulting phrase is translated as "to be at somewhere"

  • «он бывает просто невыносим» - "sometimes he is just impossible"
  • «этот праздник бывает нечасто» - "this holiday does not occur often"
  • «он бывает дома только ночью» - "he is at home only by night"
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    It's worth adding here that some people can say "бывай", which would mean "bye / see you" – UVV Mar 3 '15 at 12:08
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I'd say бывать means to happen or to happen to be at:

Летом здесь часто бывают дожди. - It rains often here in summer.

Я никогда раньше не бывал в Москве. - I have never been to Moscow before.

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Or you can say "Бывает" by one word, what means "It can happen"

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