Russian Grammar

Imperative mood -- Formal vs. Informal

When you want to give directions or advice you must use the command form, which is also know as imperative mood. In Russian, there are two different ways to give a command depending on people to whom you are speaking.

1. The command form ending in -ТЕ is used with a person you don’t know well and when you are speaking to more than one person.

Идите прямо. *
Go straight.

Возьмите автобус номер 2.
Take the bus number 2.

2. To address someone informally, the ending -TE is omitted.

Иди прямо.
Go straight.

Возьми автобус номер 2.
Take the bus number 2.

* Just like in English, the subject pronoun “you” is understood and is not spoken.

The imperative is rather straightforward to form, but more of that in lesson 8. For now, review the commands you’ve learned so far. Pay attention to the difference between informal and polite forms of imperative.

    Infinitive             Imperative       
(informal)
       Imperative       
(formal/polite)
извинить
повернуть
идти
садиться
выйти
пересесть
сказать
повторить
взять
Извини
поверни
иди
садись
выйди
пересядь
скажи
повтори
возьми
извините
поверните
идите
садитесь
выйдите
пересядьте
скажите
повторите
возьмите

 




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