by Don  

Бежать is the determinate (unidirectional) form of the verb бегать “to run.” It is one of the four most irregular verb stems in the Russian language:

to run
Infinitive бежать
Past бежал
Present бегу
Future буду бежать
будешь бежать
будет бежать
будем бежать
будете бежать
будут бежать
Imperative беги(те)

Бежать is more specialized than бегать in that it usually talks about motion in progress at a particular time:

— Сынок, почему ты бежишь?
— Борька сказал, что изобьёт меня!
— Подойди к папе. Я тебя защищу.
“Son, why are you running away?”
“Boris said he was going to beat me up.”
“Come to Daddy. I'll protect you.”
Когда я увидел Таню, она бежала через двор. When I spotted Tanya, she was running across the courtyard.

Although the verb does mean “to run,” it's actually used in conversation more often to mean “to take a quick trip” or “to be moving quickly” instead of literally running. The same is true for the English verb “to run” as well, of course.

— Где мама?
— Она бежит в магазин.
“Where is Mom?”
“She is taking a quick trip to the store.”
Как быстро бежит время! How quickly time flies!

The verb is also used in the sense of “to precede prematurely”:

Русская зима бежит впереди прогноза. The Russian winter is running ahead of forecast.
Паника бежит впереди фактов. (source) Panic is setting in before the facts.

And of course the verb is also used in the sense of “to flee”. Although in English the thing you flee from can be a direct object (“We fled Cuba in 1965”) or the object of the preposition ‘from’ (“We fled from Cuba in 1965”), in Russian the thing you flee from cannot be a direct object; it must be the object of the prepositions из/с/от followed by the genitive case:

Население бежит с Дальнего Востока. (source) The population is fleeing from the Far East.
Капитал бежит из доллара в золото. (source) Investors are abandoning dollars for gold.
(Lit., Capital is running from the dollar to gold.
Жена Лужкова бежит с рынка недвижимости Москвы. (source) Luzhkov's wife is abandoning Moscow's real estate market.
Олигарх мобильной телефонии бежит из России. (source) Mobile phone oligarch flees Russia. (newspaper headline)

No feedback yet

Form is loading...