073 – Imperative mood (Command form)

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 a 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 haven’t covered the Future tense yet, but you can still follow this lesson and memorise these rules in advance).

1. For verbs which stem ends in a vowel

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
ися – 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:

быть -> будь/бу́дьте (to be)

есть -> ешь/е́шьте (to eat)

ждать -> жди/жди́те (to wait)

идти -> иди/иди́те (to go)

ехать -> езжай/езжа́йте (to drive)

Practice all today’s examples with the audio track.

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