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Russian grammar - The Imperative - Part 1

The Imperative - Part 1

The imperative form is used when giving commands or instructions.

There are two rules for forming the imperative. This topic covers the first rule:

For verbs whose stem ends in a consonant:

a. If the stress is in the verb stem: take the 3rd person plural form , drop the ending and add «-ь» for the ты form. Or «-ьте» for the вы form.

b. Otherwise: take the 3rd person plural form, drop the ending and add «-и» for the ты form. And «-ите» for the вы form.

As for which verb aspect to use:

Perfective for a.) one-time requests, and b.) warnings or cautions

Imperfective for a.) general or repeated requests, b.) social invitations (even if just a one-time action), c.) 'go on - go ahead' prompts and d.) negated commands.

Examples:
Приготовь омлет на ужин.
Make an omelette for supper.

приготовить (perf.) приготов- + -b приготовь

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Приготовьте ужин!
Prepare dinner!

приготовить (perf.) приготов- + -ьте приготовьте

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Ответьте на этот вопрос!
Answer this question!

ответить (perf.) ответ- + -ьте ответьте

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Пойдите прямо.
Go straight ahead.

пойти (perf.) пойд- + -ите пойдите

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Всегда беги быстро!
Always run fast!

бежать (imperf.) бег- + -и беги

Imperfective because its a general or repeated request.

Не говори так часто об этом.
Don’t speak so often about it.

говорить (imperf.) говор- + -и говори

Imperfective because its a general or repeated request.

Всегда говорит по-русски.
Always speak in Russian.

говорить (imperf.) говор- + -ите говорите

Imperfective because its a general or repeated request.

Живи хорошо!
Live well!

жить (imperf.) жив- + -и живи

Imperfective because its a general or repeated request.

Купи хлеб и молоко!
Buy bread and milk!

купить (perf.) куп- + -и купи

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Всегда покупайте хлеб и молоко, когда вы в магазине.
Always buy bread and milk when you are at the shop.

покупать (imperf.) куп- + -и купи

Imperfective because its a general or repeated request.

Посмотрите направо, это новый парк.
Look to the right, it’s a new park.

посмотреть (perf.) посмотр- + -ите посмотрите

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Внимательно посмотрите это видео!
Please watch this video carefully

посмотреть (perf.) посмотр- + -ите посмотрите

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Скажите, пожалуйста, это музей?
Please tell (me), is this a museum?

сказать (perf.) сказ- + -ите скажите

Perfective because its a one-time request with an expected result.

Все в порядке, побегите вперед.
It is OK - run ahead.

побежать (perf.) побеж- + -ите побегите

Perfective because its a one-time request

Попросите счет, пожалуйста.
Ask for the bill, please.

попросить (perf.) попрос- + -ите попросите

Perfective because its a one-time request

Возьмите два яблока.
Take two apples

взять (imperf.) возьм- + -ите возьмите

Imperfective because its a general or repeated request.