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Thread: what is the difference between лететь и летать?

  1. #1
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    what is the difference between лететь и летать?

    my teacher had trouble explaining this to me...

    спасибо!

  2. #2
    JJ
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    It's easy, this is a verb of motion. Some examples:
    Лететь - mostly to fly to, to fly from, летать - just "to fly".
    Птицы летают в небе - The birds are flying in the sky/The birds fly in the sky.
    В небе летят птицы - In the sky the birds are flying to (somewhere).
    Птицы летят на юг - The birds are flying to the south.
    Я умею летать - I can fly.
    Я летаю - I fly (present simple) - Я летаю в Москву каждую неделю - I fly to Moscow every week.
    Я лечу - I'm flying to/from.
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    It's easy, this is a verb of motion. Some examples:
    Лететь - mostly to fly to, to fly from, летать - just "to fly".
    Птицы летают в небе - The birds are flying in the sky/The birds fly in the sky.
    В небе летят птицы - In the sky the birds are flying to (somewhere).
    Птицы летят на юг - The birds are flying to the south.
    Я умею летать - I can fly.
    Я летаю - I fly (present simple) - Я летаю в Москву каждую неделю - I fly to Moscow every week.
    Я лечу - I'm flying to/from.
    yep

    I have to add the following:
    летать is used if someone has no target, like flying around etc.
    whereas лететь understands that smbdy has a target, like he's flying to the north...
    no pain, no gain

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    JJ
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    I thought to write something like "летать - means "to fly with no target" but then I had remembered летать в Москву - it has a target.
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I thought to write something like "летать - means "to fly with no target" but then I had remembered летать в Москву - it has a target.
    yea...it's the second meaning!

    летать

    - roundtrip (from A to B and back)
    - no target
    no pain, no gain

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    Quote Originally Posted by krobatshov View Post
    yep

    I have to add the following:
    летать is used if someone has no target, like flying around etc.
    whereas лететь understands that smbdy has a target, like he's flying to the north...
    Then why Russians says for example


    << Самолет летит над океаном >> ??

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    Почтенный гражданин UhOhXplode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klopp View Post
    Then why Russians says for example


    << Самолет летит над океаном >> ??
    I think that's a lot about usage. Since planes have limited fuel then it's expected that if they fly over the ocean then there must be a destination. That would make the usage "determinate".
    A bird flying over the ocean could have no specific destination but that's not usually true for a plane.

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    It's simpler to think of it that лететь is used when you are talking about something flying in a specific direction (usually at a specific time) and летать is used in every other sense of the word. Самолет летит над океаном means "right now there is a plane flying above the ocean". But in another context you could say самолеты летают - for example: я живу рядом с аеропортом - самолеты часто летают над моим домом. You might also use самолеты часто летят in this sentence, but it would have an unusual meaning, like planes always fly in the same direction above your house.

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    аеропорт => аэропорт

    Good explanation.
    "The squadron летит над океаном" (meaning all units are flying to same direction).
    "Самолёты летают везде: и над сушей и над океанами" (various directions )
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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