1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. The imperative form of verbs?


The imperative form of verbs?

How many irregulars are there? Like from жевать, how does one get жуй? Any rules on figuring some of these out?

(At least in English, it's pretty simple. We're lazy with our verbs.)

December 5, 2015



жевать - жуй, совать - суй, ковать - куй, клевать - клюй, плевать - плюй, воевать - воюй.

I don't think there is a rule in this particular case, it's something even preslavic. You can see that when it is "consonant" + -ова/-ева in infinitive as the first and the only syllabus of the base, -ова/-ева is reduced.


Hm. pretends to understand So -ова/-ева is weird. Okay.


-ова/-ева is not weird. Quite the contrary, it is one of the five regular productive patterns. See these verbs, for example: all of them clearly have foreign origin:

  • анализировать → анализируй
  • компьютеризировать → компьютеризируй
  • компилировать → компилируй
  • стандартизировать → стандартизируй
  • организовать → организуй
  • атаковать → атакуй
  • танцевать → танцуй

To make their non-past stem, verbs of this class always lose ова/ева and replace it with уй.


Oh. There's a pattern? Thanks.


Some examples of verbs whose imperatives might be unexpected:

идти — иди
бежать — беги
писа́ть — пиши
ездить — езжай
лежать — ляг


Okay, there are more exceptions than I thought. Fine, fine.


Actually I think I sort of figured out how жевать turns to жуй. The imperative is formed from the third person plural: жевать — жуют — жуй. As you can see, the “irregularity” creeps in before you make the imperative.

I've found a table of irregular patterns, but I'm not sure if it is going to be of much use to you.

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.