Выходить/выйти (часть первая)

by Don  

The Russian verb that means ‘to exit, walk out of, step out of’ is выходить/выйти:

Imperfective Perfective
Infinitive выходить выйти
Past выходил
Present выхожу
No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future буду выходить
будешь выходить
будет выходить
будем выходить
будете выходить
будут выходить
Imperative выходи(те) выйди(те)

The verb is most often used with the preposition из and the genitive case to indicate the place from which the subject is leaving. Although the essential meaning of the verb is 'to exit,' it often sounds stiff to use 'exit' in translation. A good translation will substitute other phrases that capture the same idea but flow better:

Маша вышла из комнаты. (Mary exited the room.)
(Mary exited from the room.)
Mary left the room.
Mary stepped out of the room.
Володя вышел из библиотеки без пальто и простудился. Vladimir stepped out of the library without his coat and caught a cold.
Как только гости выйдут из номера, горничная начнёт убирать. As soon as the guests step out of the hotel room, the maid will start straightening up.
Когда пассажиры выходят из метро, их окружают цыганские дети. When passengers come out of the subway, they are surrounded by gypsy children.

1 comment

Comment from: Bob [Visitor]  

Dear Dan, I’ve been reading these entries for the last several weeks. They’re wonderful. I’m hooked. Thank you.


P.S. I have one petty question about the history of transliteration: why is the Russian x represented as “kh"? When I started learning Russian and got to the x I was overstriking the K–because that’s how its pronunciation was transcribed. But when I learned to pronounce the x, I realized the K was in the way. Why isn’t the transliteration of x x? It’s an odd and tricky letter in English already. We could handle incorporating the Russian x, don’t you think?

Don responds: There are quite a few systems for transliterating Russian into Latin letters, and some of them do use English x to transliterate Russian х. When transliterating for a general audience, it’s probably best to use a system that will help them approximate the original pronunciation. Most English speakers will probably pronounce “x” as [ks], which is a far cry from the original; “kh” is a bit closer and so is a better choice for general audiences. Plus in English there is a history of representing some fricatives with digraphs using h (cf. sh in ship, th in thin, ph in phone), so slightly more sophisticated readers will probably catch the implication. My two cents.

08/24/10 @ 19:47

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