"Мама поехала в Петербург."

Translation:Mom went to Saint-Petersburg.

March 5, 2016


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The по makes it inchoative [beginning of an action] Here's the scoop: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inchoative_aspect

March 16, 2016


Thanks a lot for the link. I have studied the 7 compulsory years of Latin l( between age 11 to 18) we have in Switzerland in the classical section in college ( Gymnasium - Lycee _ High school -) and I don't remember we ever talked about inchoactive verbs in that language. So, after 60 years,I learned some more Latin ! learning Russian helps me to polish up my English and even my Latin ! I will start reading - in Latin - my book on " De bello civili" written by Caius Julius Caesar, and look for inchoactive verbs. This will help me occupy my long solitary days in the Peruvian Amazone where I busy myself with organising tourism and ayawashka mystic ceremonies for European, Russian, Canadian and US customers. Hence my having to learn Russian. I speak and write fluently French - German - English - Spanish - Portuguese and Italian and I speak fluently Swiss German. I leave Latin and Classical Greek aside because nobody speak these languages anymore.

August 26, 2016


sounds like an interesting life:) id like to do ayahuasca in the amazon sometime, where are you located?

June 27, 2018


I am still not sure whether I have understood the difference between поехать and поездить (or, more generally, between perfective 'concrete' and 'abstract' verbs) correctly. Does поехать put more emphasis on the start of the mum's action (rather than one her actually arriving in Saint Petersburg), so that the sentence could be translated as 'She was leaving for/heading to/on her way to Saint Petersburg'?

March 5, 2016


It is simple, you do not need to use поездить at all.

Or, to be more exact, поездить carries the wildly different meaning of travelling here and there, all around (by vehicle) and then switching to doing something else. Hence it is about 150 times as rare as поехать, which is focused on setting off TO somewhere.

Remember that for verbs of motion, the prefix ПО- will only make a rather normal perfective for the one-way verb. This perfective is more focused on the onset of the motion.

When you add the prefix ПО to a multi-derectional verb instead (походить, поездить, полетать, поплавать, поползать) you basically get the same meaning as with verbs like спать or готовить—namely, that you did this activity for some time, and then stopped. These do not enjoy that much of a popularity for verbs of motion. However, for some verbs such "limited" perfectives are important to tell stories about the past. You have to use perfective verbs to arrange actions into a sequence, but some processes like "sleeping", "eating" (without mentioning what is being eaten), "watching TV" or "playing some games" do not possess a natural transition into a new state. So instead you have по-perfectives that just mean that an action started and ended, limited by actions before and after. Better than nothing. For example:

  • Я поел, оделся и пошёл на работу. ~ I ate, put my clothes on and went to work.
  • Времени было полно, поэтому я решил поспать. ~ I had loads of time, so I decided to have some sleep. (i.e. to sleep, but not "to sleep in general" in future but quite specifically to go and have an adequate amount of sleep you want right now)
March 9, 2016



September 7, 2016



August 5, 2018


This is a very weird feeling when you can't explain how your mother language works. I suggest you try reading this first and then the longest answer from this thread (the second link basically says that "по" adds a perfective aspect to the verb and also a starting-an-action-aspect in the case of ехать and other unidirectional verbs as well, as you correctly guessed).

March 5, 2016


Is Saint petersburg ever refered to as Leningrad?

June 16, 2016


That's the historical name of the city, which it bore from 1924 to 1991. To add to that, it was called Петроград between 1914 and 1924. And no, it is not used to refer to СПб nowadays.

June 16, 2016


But it's still Leningradskaya Oblast, although the city itself isn't part of the oblast, correct?

June 21, 2016


yes, and Ekaterinburg is in Sverdlovskaya oblast as well.

It's also Leningradskij railway station and Leningradskiy prospekt :)

June 21, 2016


I know it's the historical name of the city. Thanks for your other answers btw!

June 17, 2016


To make it more precise, the name "Leningrad" is used when referring to the time period when this name was in use (1924-1991), e.g. "the siege of Leningrad", or "the pictures of Leningrad in 1970s". But not on everyday basis/in the news/etc. Only elderly people (who witnessed it being Leningrad) may occasionally name St. Petersburg Leningrad nowadays.

June 21, 2016


"Mum has gone to Saint Petersburg" i.e. she is still there?

February 4, 2018


Dear skilled friends! Would you please to tell me what time i should use i this sentence? The "correct answer" is quite strange for me...

Если мама поехала, то это значит, что она еще в пути (или я не прав?). Если бы было: мама съездила/ездила в Питер, то тогда к "went" никаких вопросов... Вроде бы сам в повседневной жизни не использую и не слышал, чтобы кто-то использовал это слово с законченным действием.

Раз она "в пути" тогда не лучше ли какой-то из perfect использовать? Thanks for your attention in advance.

March 18, 2017


I was marked wrong for using "travelled" instead of "went". And there was I trying to translate more specifically to the actual verb being used... :-)

May 30, 2019


Previously in this lesson Duo gave "went (in a vehicle), drove" as the hint for поехала, and accepted drove in the answer. Suddenly in this sentence, "drove" is rejected.

July 28, 2019
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