10 different ways to use the verb “ГУЛЯТЬ” (goolyat – to walk)

10 different ways to use the verb “ГУЛЯТЬ” (goolyat – to walk)

Russian language is very interesting. Sometimes you take a word with one meaning, add prefix and here you are: a new word with totally different meaning!

In this article we will look at the verb “гулять” – goolyat’ – to walk, and how it is used with different prefixes.

Generally, it simply means to walk around for pleasure: Каждый день после завтрака мы с сыном гуляем в парке – Kazhdyj den’ posle zavtraka my s synom guljaem v parke. (Every day after breakfast my son and I take a walk in the park.)

Also it can mean to dash (around). Eyes can do this: Ее взгляд гулял по помещению – Eyo vzgljad guljal po pomeshheniju. (Her glance darted around the premises.)

One more use of the verb гулять is to talk about the steering wheels: Руль при езде гуляет туда-сюда – Rul’ pri ezde guljaet tuda-sjuda. (While driving, the steering wheel jerks back and forth.)

Another meaning, very common “slang” is to party: Мои друзья гуляли до утра – Moi druz’ja guljali do utra. (My friends partied until dawn.)

One more slang meaning is about someone’s cheating, often with the word налево (on the left): Мой муж начал гулять налево – Moj muzh nachal guljat’ nalevo (My husband started cheating)

The prefix от- can show doing something completely, so отгулять can mean to have fun sometime in the past. Она весело отгуляла выходные – Ona veselo otguljala vyhodnye. (She had a lot of fun in this weekend.)

Another meaning of the prefix от- is “out.” You’ll hear отгулять at work — especially out of the workplace. Отгулять очередной отпуск – Otguljat’ ocherednoj otpusk-  is to take a regular vacation.

Most of the time the prefix Вы- it’s used to describe taking your pet for a walk. Утром и вечером я выгуливаю свою свинку – Utrom i vecherom ja vygulivaju svoju svinku. (I walk my pig morning and night.) This makes the noun выгул (a walk), which you may see on signs: Выгул собак строго запрещён – Vygul sobak strogo zapreshhjon. (No dogs allowed.)

One more funny “slang” usage of the verb разгуляться  is to show whooping it up: Разгулялись на юбилее! – Razguljalis’ na jubilee (We really kicked back at the anniversary!)

And finally, when you come to Russia and start drinking with your friends, be sure to tell loudly: Гулять так гулять! – Guljat’ tak guljat’! (If you’re going to have a big fun!)

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