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Thread: --Ходить --ехать actual distinction

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    --Ходить --ехать actual distinction

    Anywhere I look sites say that the difference is foot movement versus vehicle movement. A reasonable enough explanation, that I didn't question much. But I just read a sentence that makes me realize this explanation may be wrought with the same oversimplification of details that many other language lessons are.

    Когда ноги скользят и пытаются разъехаться в разные стороны, ...

    Now, legs are not riding a vehicle. So the question arises - why use разъЕХАТЬся вместо слова разойтись?

    3 explanations come to mind:

    1. Both words being an uncommon prefixed form of the parent roots, their meanings may slide slightly over time. ходить/идти being the more "basic" pair to use for idiomatic or colloquial re-defining, they may have been the pair to slide away from the pure meaning of "to diverge (by foot)", and thus the closest equivalent, "to diverge (by vehicle)", takes up the pure definition of "things moving away from each other".

    Or something along those lines.

    2. The vehicle/foot distinction is a misinterpretation with too few discrepancies to have been caught, and the REAL distinction is between the ever so familiar Russian *Animate versus inanimate*.
    So our new conclusion is that legs are not people, so they ездят. Cars are not people so they ездят (despite an animate SUBJECT of the sentence driving the car: Я езжу). A person moving of their own accord ходит.
    The distinction here would have to reside on the level that the *director*(often the sentence's subject) of the motion is irrelevant, it is the object which facilitates the movement that determines which word.

    3. Maybe, they're "riding" the ice, for their motion?...

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    That's a very good question indeed and a very difficult one. Personally, I think that saying that ехать is about a vehicle is a vast oversimplification, maybe even a disinformation. In my opinion, It's not really about a vehicle, it's more about moving without using your legs. E.G. you can very well ехать на коне, the horse will obviously use its legs there, but you will not, so you say ехать. Another example from my childhood: riding down a snowy icy slope on your buttocks - ехать на жопе, съехать с горки на жопе - forgive me my language here Just note that ехать is about ground movement obviously.

    Coming back to your example, your legs разъезжаются because you don't personally move them and they slide on their own uncontrollably Ноги разошлись... I suppose you can say that too.

    P.S. Same can be said about ходить. Claming that it's about moving using your feet would be an oversimplification as well. It's more about moving with intermittent "stages", steps so to speek. For this very reason: часы ходят/идут, its hands move intermittently, step by step. Same for время in general, of course, its movement is technically continuous, but people look at it through hours, minutes, seconds etc.
    Alex80 likes this.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Cars ездят, no question about it. But поезда & автобусы ходят. (And вилки лежат, but тарелки стоят, remember?)
    So I would leave the transportation topic.

    In other situations when you want to speak about objects sliding apart, you can safely say "они разъезжаются" (though the verb разъезжаться has multiple meanings)
    Разъезжаться can for example: ноги, лапы, лыжи, ножки табурета, две половинки стремянки,...

    On the other hand, шов (a line where two different pieces of tissue are stitched) usually расходится.

    The wife and the husband FIRST расходятся, THEN разъезжаются (figurative meaning). or the other way round.
    https://goo.gl/images/DU1NXE

    Машины на перекрёстке разъезжаются (not always though
    https://www.google.ru/search?q=%D0%B...w=1557&bih=798
    ),
    their waterborn counterparts - расходятся (should расходиться, at least):
    аварии кораблей - Самое интересное в блогах
    Alex80 likes this.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    But поезда & автобусы ходят.
    Would hardly say that автобус ходит in a sense of moving by. Only when speaking about its schedule, when and at which bus stop it's supposed to appear at a given time. Поезда... yes. In both senses.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    Ты прямо как Франкенштейн сейчас
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM even the first two lines of that link are incredibly confusing and intriguing.

    Perhaps ехать/ездить are MUCH more related to English "ride" than we're giving credit. There just happens to be in place a structure where "ride" would NEED to be used if it can.

    You ride a horse.
    Ride a bus.
    A bus goes (not rides).
    I go.
    You ride your but down the hill.

    (any counterexamples anyone?)

    So maybe the key is in the fundamental definitional semantic difference between "go" and "ride", except with a twist, that Russian requires the distinction.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Ты прямо как Франкенштейн сейчас
    Что за господин?

    Speaking seriously, having read several "discussions" on Internet, I have got a strong impression, that автобус shows us its dualism: it can идти AND ехать at the same time.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    Speaking seriously, having read several "discussions" on Internet, I have got a strong impression, that автобус shows us its dualism: it can идти AND ехать at the same time.
    You're right. But I think it'll become ехать only in the future.

    @xXHoax

    In all my years of studying I learned not to rely on my native language when trying to understand words and their true meanings. Yeah, some words may look like perfect fit but more often than not they turn out to be not that perfect in many situations. A good thought though.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    Oh surely, yeah, relating to native languages is at best a crutch when it comes to getting to a pure understanding. But in this case I feel, it is a mere possibility, that whatever prime fundamental difference is added in order to get from the meaning of "go" to that of "ride", may share a very similar difference between "ходить" и "ехать", on a semantic level. Mainly what you said in the beginning
    "it's more about moving without using your legs"
    The English pair definitively exhibit a strong difference in use and emphasis, but this точный point could be the key trigger for the second word over the first in both languages, though in English it only opens the possibility of choosing "ride" over "go".

    Also, again, knowingly perhaps overstretching the bounds of language comparisons:
    "Trains go"
    but in other contexts:
    "Trains ride the rails"

    Idunno,
    I at very least feel I have gained a better understanding of the two Russian words from all this, seeing as the original material no longer perplexes me.

  11. #11
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    Etimologically "ехать" is derived from proto-indo-european "path, line" and it has strong relation to "ride a horse".
    Really "moving/sliding | without using legs/not step by step" is very close to current russian meaning. I would say "slide along path".

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