073 – Imperative mood (Command form) of Russian verbs

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We’ve already covered the Present and Past tenses of Russian verbs. Today let’s learn how to tell people to do something, i.e. to form the Imperative mood (Command form) from Russian verbs.

To convert a verb in its Command form, you must know if it’s perfective or imperfective:

– If it’s an imperfective verb, work with the 3d person plural form in the Present tense.

– If it’s a perfective verb, work with the 3d person plural form in the Future tense (we will cover the Future tense in more details in bit later).

1. For verbs which stem ends in a vowel

Russian Pod 101

Take the 3d person plural form, drop the verb’s ending and add:
й – for the singular or informal form (ты)
йте – for the plural or formal form (вы)

ду́мать -> ду́мают -> ду́май / ду́майте (to think)

If it’s a reflexive verb – drop the verb’s ending and add
йся – for the singular or informal form (ты)
йтесь – for the plural or formal form (вы)

стара́ться -> стара́ются -> стара́йся / стара́йтесь (to try, to endeavour)

2. For verbs which stem ends in a consonant

Take the 3d person plural form, drop the verb’s ending and add
и – for the singular or informal form (ты)
ите – for the plural or formal form (вы)

проси́ть -> про́сят -> проси́ / проси́те (to ask)

If it’s a reflexive verb – drop the verb’s ending and add
ись – for the singular or informal form (ты)
итесь – for the plural or formal form (вы)

влюби́ться -> влю́бятся -> влюби́сь / влюби́тесь (to fall in love)

But if the stress of the infinitive comes on the stem of the verb, add ь and ьте accordingly:

знако́мить -> знако́мят -> знако́мь / знако́мьте (to present, to introduce)

Some irregular verbs in the Imperative mood

быть -> будь/бу́дьте (to be)

есть -> ешь/е́шьте (to eat)

ждать -> жди/жди́те (to wait)

идти -> иди/иди́те (to go)

езжа́ть -> езжай/езжа́йте (to drive)

Practice all today’s examples with the audio track.

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2 comments on “073 – Imperative mood (Command form) of Russian verbs”

  1. Alan says:

    I don’t understand what is stress of the infinitive comes on the stem of the verb, add ь and ьте accordingly.Not all stress of the infinitive comes on the stem of the verb?

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Alan,

      In the word проси́ть, accent (stress) falls on the -ить which is the ending of the verb, the stem would be прос-.

      In the word знако́мить, the stem is знако́м, i.e. the stress is the part of the stem.

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