by Don  

Бегать is the most generic word in Russian that means “to run.”

to run
Infinitive бегать
Past бегал
Present бегаю
Future буду бегать
будешь бегать
будет бегать
будем бегать
будете бегать
будут бегать
Imperative бегай(те)

Running… nowadays in the lazy West we often run in order to lose weight. That actually makes sense:

Бегай каждый день, не ешь хлебных изделий, и обязательно похудеешь. Go running every day. Don't eat bread or pastry, and you'll lose weight for sure.
В 1996-ом я каждое утро бегал, и я отлично чувствовал себя. In 1996 I ran every morning, and I felt great.
Если ты будешь каждое утро бегать, я с удовольствием буду бегать с тобою. If you are going to run every morning, I'll be happy to join you.

It's not usual for a person to regularly run from one place to another, but in such atypical circumstances it is possible to conceive of someone doing such a thing:

Так как Федя готовился к Олимпиаде, он каждый день бегал на работу. Since Fyodor was getting ready for the Olympics, everyday he ran to work [and back].

The verb is also used to describe the motion of someone running around a place with no set goal or direction, e.g. walking around a neighborhood for pleasure:

Каждый день я бегаю по району не потому, что так рекомендуют врачи, а потому, что таким образом мне становится лучше на душе. I go running around the neighborhood every morning not because doctors tell us to, but because I feel better that way.

Last but not least, the verb is used to indicate a single round-trip in the past. It's not typical in this usage, but still grammatically possible:

Папа бегал в аптеку. Dad ran to the pharmacy (and then came back).

1 comment

Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]

I’d like to mention some uses of this word in figurative sense. It can be the same in English or it can be different: running water or time бегут in Russian, but for example nose течёт and business делается.

01/12/10 @ 11:54

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