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Thread: How to describe a multi-stop route & verbs of motion

  1. #1
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    How to describe a multi-stop route & verbs of motion

    Hi there,

    I'm about to describe a multi-stop travel route -

    Мы ездили в Исландию. We went to Iceland (& back?) // We've been to Iceland.
    Мы съездили в Исландию. We went to Iceland (& back?; source: gramota.ru) -
    Мы полетели в Исландию. We flew to Iceland & that's it.

    I for one would stick to the last one, since the second flight will be elsewhere and not back to the airport the narrator originated from.
    As for the second one, I'm not sure. I feel that the emphasis is similar to the third one, where you talk about an action that took place, but nonetheless returned to the origin.
    The first one is about having been there. My feeling is that the reason people use ездить about travels is either because of a repeated action that they once used to do back in the days and/or some general statement that is a proxy for "to be" -
    Using ехал is out of question for me. I'm not intending to describe the process of getting there. Nor am I implyig that I'm still in Iceland.

    I've poured over the countless motion posts on this forum. They appear to be related to the present (tense), whereby one often can distinguish between ездить and ехать. In this case, however, I'm talking about some action in the past.

    My question is:
    What would natives say in this case (one way trip...the second trip is to another place)?
    How about a return flight?
    Does ездить mean a roundtrip now or not? (some contradictory postings over here in the past...)


    I love the fact that Russian, compared to other languages, is among the "logical" ones, but still has some cases where you have to go with the flow and stick to the convention. So, yeah, I'm aware that I'm talking about an "old hat" here.

    I'm looking forward to your help.

    Thx.

  2. #2
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    First of all, I want to make sure if I understand your question correctly.
    Do you mean the situation when you visited many countries, and one of them was Iceland? So, for example, you started from A-land, then traveled to Iceland, and from Iceland you moved to B-land? And you are confused by the fact that A-land and B-land are different locations. Is that what you mean?

    If my guess is right: It only depends on what you focus at. Do you want to focus on your visiting Iceland? Regardless of the trip details? Or are you going to describe your whole journey?

    Option 1. Someone is telling a story about Iceland. Or maybe you are seeing it in TV news etc. And you want to inform the other people that you have also visited Iceland (at least once in your life). And that's all. I.e., you are not going to specify any details that there were multiple countries you visited etc.

    So, "Я был в Исландии. Я ездил в Исландию. Я съездил в Исландию." are all the possible options. "Я был в Исландии" is the most generic one. "Я ездил в Исландию" is also a mere statement of fact that it happened to you once in the past, but unlike "Я был в Исландии", the latter (Я ездил в Исландию) usually assumes you are going to provide some more details about your trip to Iceland. "Я съездил в Исландию" is almost the same, but there is a subtle nuance. This phrase (with perfective past) is appropriate when the other people expected from you to have visited Iceland. E.g., you shared your plans about visiting Iceland before. And now you inform them of the result: "Я съездил в Исландию". If being said without this preliminary context, the use of perfective would sound unusual, nevertheless perfectly understandable.

    In some contexts, the both versions (ездил и съездил) are interchangeable. For example, when answering someone's question on how you spent your vacation, you can choose either of them. It can be imperfective (narrative past) or it can be perfective (assuming you completed your plans for vacation successfully).

    Returning to option 1: here it does not matter what the whole trip was like (I mean the other countries you visited or not visited). You only focus on your trip to Iceland.

    Option 2. You had a nice vacation and you succeeded in visiting multiple countries. Now you want to share your trip details with your friends. There are also multiple possibilities for you:

    - Я посетил много стран. Я был в Норвегии, в Исландии, в Канаде.
    - Я посетил много стран. Я ездил в Норвегию, в Исландию, в Канаду.
    - Я посетил много стран. Я съездил в Норвегию, в Исландию, в Канаду.
    (Those verbs are the same as for Option 1).

    - Я посетил много стран. Сначала я поехал в Норвегию. Там я провёл три дня. Из Норвегии я поехал (или поплыл) в Исландию на корабле. В Исландии я был целую неделю. Из Исландии я полетел самолётом в Канаду.

    I hope you've got the idea Please let me know if it answers your original question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    First of all, I want to make sure if I understand your question correctly.
    Do you mean the situation when you visited many countries, and one of them was Iceland? So, for example, you started from A-land, then traveled to Iceland, and from Iceland you moved to B-land? And you are confused by the fact that A-land and B-land are different locations. Is that what you mean?
    I was talking about getting there from both perspectives.
    The first scenario being the case that you just mention it on a side, without getting into the details. Getting into the details would be the second scenario, where you start with "got from A to B"

    I was puzzled by the fact that in some posts (also...on some websites) I saw ездить being explained by the following way:
    - repeated action (always, , every day, seldom ...)
    - habit, ability
    - return trip

    Based on this explanation, I should use ездить for a roundtrip. This trip, however, isn't about a roundtrip. That's why I was confused. Another reason was the fact that I came across a few posts over here, according to which return trips are not necessarily implied by the word itself.

    Thx for clarifying!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cumulus View Post
    I was puzzled by the fact that in some posts (also...on some websites) I saw ездить being explained by the following way:
    - repeated action (always, , every day, seldom ...)
    It's right. Каждый месяц я езжу в Исландию.
    Past tense: когда я работал журналистом, я каждый месяц ездил в Исландию.

    - habit, ability
    It's right too.

    В детстве я ездил на велосипеде. Сейчас я езжу на автомобиле. Very similar to the repeated action.

    - return trip
    And this one is right!

    На прошлой неделе я ездил в Москву. (Went there and back)

    Based on this explanation, I should use ездить for a roundtrip.
    Or "съездить" if you focus on successful accomplishing of your plans.

    This trip, however, isn't about a roundtrip.
    You take it too literally! It's not an algebra, it's a language. You went TO Iceland. Then you LEFT Iceland. => It's a round trip, that's enough for it. You are not in Iceland NOW.

    Even more to add: the whole trip (home - country 1 - country 2 - country 3 - ... - home) can be treated as a round trip. You "ездил" (or "съездил") to all those places.

    Another reason was the fact that I came across a few posts over here, according to which return trips are not necessarily implied by the word itself.
    I did not get the idea of this comment. What do you mean by "return trips are not necessarily implied by the word itself"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    It's right. Каждый месяц я езжу в Исландию.
    I did not get the idea of this comment. What do you mean by "return trips are not necessarily implied by the word itself"?
    Some users wound up with the round-trip idea and got "scolded" by other "natives" - something along the following lines:
    - ездили just means "you went there" and nothing else; there's no such thing as a return trip that is explicitly stated by just seeing ездить in a sentence

    That's why I got confused. Most of the grammar sources incl. books did not yield any useful details either.
    Some algebra never hurts - ^^

    Thx for your help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cumulus View Post
    Some users wound up with the round-trip idea and got "scolded" by other "natives" - something along the following lines:
    - ездили just means "you went there" and nothing else; there's no such thing as a return trip that is explicitly stated by just seeing ездить in a sentence
    Oh! They just do not get the idea of what the "round trip" means in sense of grammar. If someone says "Я ездил в X", it is clear that he is not in X now. That's what it actually means.

    You know, the difference between natives and non-natives is that: non natives stick to theory and when they see a usage which contradicts the theory as they think, they ask for an explanation why. But natives just use the language as they are used to it, and they try to deduct some theory from multiple examples of real usages. And this deduction is not always that easy.

    Anyway, I believe you "feel" the language quite well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    You know, the difference between natives and non-natives is that: non natives stick to theory and when they see a usage which contradicts the theory as they think, they ask for an explanation why. But natives just use the language as they are used to it, and they try to deduct some theory from multiple examples of real usages. And this deduction is not always that easy.
    Finding the links between theory & reality ain't always straight forward to non-natives. I could think of analogies w/ other languages. Yeah, your right.

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    Я объехал всю Исландию. - I got a trip around Iceland (visiting all parts).
    Я объездил всю Исландию. - During my life I have been in all parts of Iceland.
    На пути в Исландию я заехал в Индию и Канаду. - On my way to Iceland I visited India and Canada.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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