There are multiple ways of saying let’s go in Russian. It all depends on the situation (formal or informal) and what you mean by “go” – go by foot or in a vehicle, just strolling or rushing up.
For example, if your friend has stopped staring at a shop windows and you want to make her or him move, you can say:
Пошли́ is the plural form of the Past tense of the perfective verb пойти́ (to go, мы пошли́ – we went). It is probably the most popular way to say let’s go in informal situation.
By the way, using the Past tense of perfective verbs as a command is not uncommon in Russian. For example, a mom can say to her child: Встал и пошёл убра́лся в ко́мнате! (Stood up and went to clean up your room!). Or another common example is from the army: Упа́л, отжа́лся! (lit.: Fell down, made push ups!).
The Future tense can also be used as a call for action. Unlike the Past tense that sounds more like a command, using the Future tense makes your call for action sound more like a suggestion:
Пойдём comes from the same verb пойти́, it’s the Future tense for the 1st person in plural: мы пойдём (lit.: we will go).
If you are addressing a number of people or speaking in formal tone, you should add -те at the end:
Let’s go! (talking to a few people or in formal tone)
It is not always you can use imperfective verbs to make a call for action, but in this case, you can:
talking to one person
talking to a few people or in formal tone
Both forms above come from the imperfective counterpart of the verb пойти́: идти́ (to go by foot).
So far, all the verbs we mentioned imply walking by foot. If you go by car, you should use the perfective verb пое́хать (to go by vehicle):
By the way, when Yuri Gagarin was about to start his first flight to space, he said exactly that: Пое́хали!
If you want impress your friends by sounding like a native speaker, you can say:
Тро́гай is the Imperative of the verb тро́гать (to touch). It comes from the time when people used horses for going around and you had to touch the horse with a whip to start moving. Тро́гай was usually said to a coachman by passengers in the carriage when they were ready to start their trip. Obviously, saying тро́гай is appropriate when it’s not you who is driving.
Regardless of how you plan to go (by foot or by car), when you need to hurry up, you can use verbs that are not necessarily translated as to go, but rather mean moving fast:
Погна́ли comes from the verb погна́ть (to start speeding up).
Помча́лись comes from the verb помча́ться (to rush off).
This last one comes from the verb полете́ть (to fly). Despite the obvious fact that you are not going to fly, you can use it when you are late, for example:
– Ну всё, полете́ли!
[nu fsyo, pa-lee-tyé-lee]
That’s it, let’s go!
And this is it for this lesson. Now you know a few ways to say let’s go in Russian.
If you want to catch up with the grammar mentioned above, here are some useful links:
To practice the conjugation of the verbs mentioned in this lesson, use these links:
Listen to "Let’s go!" in Russian
The audio recording includes all the examples (in bold and blue) listed above.