# Thread: difference between в and к?

1. ## difference between в and к?

Hi, what is the difference between в (when used as meaning "to") and к ?

when would I use к ?

2. ## Re: difference between в and к?

Originally Posted by ycomp
Hi, what is the difference between в (when used as meaning "to") and к ?

when would I use к ?
Roughly, "в" is closer to "into" and "к" is closer to "towards". So, if you go to a small and specific object, "к" is probably more appropriate because you just move towards the object (you picked a direction) and never really find yourself inside it.

So, you would ordinary say:

1. Я иду к нему. ('He' is a small and specific object, so you move towards him.)

2. Я иду в Москву. ('Moscow' is a large object and you want to find yourself 'in' Moscow, so you go 'into' Moscow.)

3. Я иду в театр. ('Theater' is a large object and you want to find yourself inside it, so you go 'into' theater.)

However, you can also say:

1. Я иду к Москве. (That has a nuance that you move towards Moscow, but you do not necessarily want to enter Moscow. For now, you just picked your direction. It's the route that being stressed and not the destination.)

2. Я иду [по направлению] к театру. (Again, the route is stressed. You may go towards the theater, then turn right towards the famous building, and then turn left to finally meet your friend.)

As a side note, if the subject itself is even a smaller object, then the usage of "в" might be appropriate as in:

Стрела летит в него. (The arrow's target is 'him' so the arrow kind of 'wants' to find itself 'inside' him.)
Я бросил в него камень. (I threw a stone with a wish that the stone will reach him and hit him.)

3. ## Re: difference between в and к?

thanks for the great explanation, it really helps!

So I guess in calculus you use "к" with "limits" because it never actually gets there, just gets closer & closer (if I remember anything from calculus classes 20 years ago)

4. ## Re: difference between в and к?

Originally Posted by ycomp
thanks for the great explanation, it really helps!

So I guess in calculus you use "к" with "limits" because it never actually gets there, just gets closer & closer (if I remember anything from calculus classes 20 years ago)
Exactly! You'll say: "x стремится к нулю."

5. ## Re: difference between в and к?

Originally Posted by Crocodile
Exactly! You'll say: "x стремится к нулю."
x->0 "x стремится к нулю"
y=0 "y обращается в ноль"

PS This is interesting: "к нулю", but "в ноль". Russian fuzzy mathematics...

PPS x->0 is not he same as (*x).0

6. ## Re: difference between в and к?

Originally Posted by it-ogo
Originally Posted by Crocodile
Exactly! You'll say: "x стремится к нулю."
x->0 "x стремится к нулю"
y=0 "y обращается в ноль"

PS This is interesting: "к нулю", but "в ноль". Russian fuzzy mathematics...
Right, but at least the "в" vs. the "к" is correct.

Originally Posted by it-ogo
PPS x->0 is not he same as (*x).0
That's only because "0" is not a valid name for a class member..

7. ## Re: difference between в and к?

Originally Posted by Crocodile
Originally Posted by ycomp
Hi, what is the difference between в (when used as meaning "to") and к ?

when would I use к ?
Roughly, "в" is closer to "into" and "к" is closer to "towards". So, if you go to a small and specific object, "к" is probably more appropriate because you just move towards the object (you picked a direction) and never really find yourself inside it.

So, you would ordinary say:

1. Я иду к нему. ('He' is a small and specific object, so you move towards him.)

2. Я иду в Москву. ('Moscow' is a large object and you want to find yourself 'in' Moscow, so you go 'into' Moscow.)

3. Я иду в театр. ('Theater' is a large object and you want to find yourself inside it, so you go 'into' theater.)

However, you can also say:

1. Я иду к Москве. (That has a nuance that you move towards Moscow, but you do not necessarily want to enter Moscow. For now, you just picked your direction. It's the route that being stressed and not the destination.)

2. Я иду [по направлению] к театру. (Again, the route is stressed. You may go towards the theater, then turn right towards the famous building, and then turn left to finally meet your friend.)

As a side note, if the subject itself is even a smaller object, then the usage of "в" might be appropriate as in:

Стрела летит в него. (The arrow's target is 'him' so the arrow kind of 'wants' to find itself 'inside' him.)
Я бросил в него камень. (I threw a stone with a wish that the stone will reach him and hit him.)
I also thank you for this explanation. I had noticed that sentences about going to see people used к, but I never understood why before.

8. ## Re: difference between в and к?

Originally Posted by paulb
I also thank you for this explanation. I had noticed that sentences about going to see people used к, but I never understood why before.
You're most welcome!

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