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In this article we give consideration to the important verbs, which you, probably, often see during your study process. We provide you with the definitions of the verbs: "учить" [uchit'], "учиться" [uchit'sya], "изучать" [izuchat'] and "уметь" [umet'], look at the semantic and grammar differences between them and learn the way to use them correctly.

1. "Учить" (to learn) - is the process of acquiring or transmitting knowledge. In this case, we use nouns in the accusative case with the verb "учить". The structure can be as follows: "Subject + information" and "Subject + object + verb".

Учить (or выучить) + что - To learn + what.
Учить (or научить) + кого + инфинитив - To learn (or study) + who + infinitive.

Мой сын учит математику - My son learns math.
Папа учит ребёнка плавать - Father teaches his child to swim.

2. "Учиться" (to learn/to study) - is also learning process but it is a reflexive verb, that means fulfillment of an action directed to one who does this action.

Субъект + возвратный глагол + у кого - Subject + reflexive verb + who.
Мы многому научились у преподавателя - We learned a lot from our teacher.

Субъект + возвратный глагол + чему - Subject + reflexive verb + what.
В детстве он быстро учился теннису - He studied how to play tennis very quickly in his childhood.

Субъект + возвратный глагол + инфинитив - Subject + reflexive verb + infinitive.
Она долго училась играть на фортепиано - She studied playing the piano for a long time.

3. The verb "изучать" (to study/to investigate) means the attentive, thorough and sometimes long study process of any object.

Субъект + действие + что - Subject + verb + what.
В университете мы два года изучали теорию вероятностей - We have studied probability calculus for two years at the university.

Субъект + действие + кого - Subject + verb + what.
Он внимательно изучал человека, сидящего напротив - He was attentively studied the man sitting in front of him.

4. "Уметь" (can/to be able to) - means to be able to do something that you have learned. This is the result expressed in infinitive.

Субъект + действие + инфинитив - Subject + verb + infinitive.
Я умею играть в шахматы, но не умею водить мотоцикл - I can play chess but I cannot drive a motorcycle.
Он умеет выращивать красивые цветы - He can grow beautiful flowers.

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