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Using вести/водить when talking about driving

Russian Language Asked on October 4, 2021

I would like to know if it is acceptable to use вести/водить as follows, when emphasising who is/was driving :

  1. На прошлой неделе мы ездили в Москву, и я водил туда и обратно.

  2. На прошлой неделе мы ездили в Москву. Я вёл туда и моя подруга вела обратно.

Alternatively, would it be better to use за рулём?

2 Answers

Here's how you might say it:

Я вёл [машину] туда, а моя подруга - обратно.

Я был за рулём по пути туда, а моя подруга - обратно.

Things to note:

  • 'Водил' would be incorrect in this case as it's a multidirectional verb. A delivery man might say to his partner: Вчера водил я, а сегодня будешь ты. ('I drove yesterday, and today you will drive.') 'Водил' would be correct here as they drove in different directions.
  • Best to use the conjunction is 'а' (not 'и') since you are comparing two things.
  • No need to say 'вела' - it is more natural to skip it and write a dash instead. This is called ellipsis.

Answered by Sergey Slepov on October 4, 2021

1.На прошлой неделе мы ездили в Москву, и я водил туда и обратно. The sentence is incorrect. That was not a repeated action, so водил cannot be used. It was one completed trip and the movement is not multidirectional, not туда-сюда, first туда, then обратно. На прошлой неделе мы ездили в Москву, и я вёл машину и туда, и обратно.

2.На прошлой неделе мы ездили в Москву. Я вёл туда и моя подруга вела обратно. This sentence is grammatically correct. I would just insert the object машину and avoid repetition. Я вел машину туда, а моя подруга обратно.

Alternatively, would it be better to use за рулём? You cannot say вести за рулем, Only быть за рулём. По дороге туда за рулем был я, а обратно — моя подруга. Those are just possible alternatives.

Answered by V.V. on October 4, 2021

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