17. The Imperative

17.1 Formation of the imperative

In the case of the vast majority of Belarusian verbs, the imperative is formed as follows. Conjugate the verb for the 2nd person singular and remove the final two letters. If the stem ends in a vowel, add an . If the stem ends in an invariably non-palatized consonant, nothing is added, otherwise add either an or a . The ending –і is added either if the infinitive is more than one syllable and the accent falls on the last syllable, or if the root ends in two or more consonants (note that the letter combinations дз and дж are each treated as a single letter). If neither of these two conditions is met, then a is added. This forms the singular form of the imperative. To form the plural imperative, the suffix -це is appended to the singular form.

infin. br /> nd Pers. Sing. tem mp. Sing. Imp. Pl.
браць to take ярэ́ш яр- бяры́ яры́це
глядзець o look лядзі́ш лядз- лядзі́ глядзі́це
глянуць o glance ля́ніш лян- лянь гля́ньце
жыць o live ыве́ш ыв- ыві́ жыві́це
легчы o lie down я́жеш яж- яж ля́жце
мыць o wash ы́еш ы- ый мы́йце
ехаць o drive ́дзеш дз- дзь е́дзьце
рабіць o do о́біш об- абі́ рабі́це
рэзаць o slice э́жаш эж- эж рэ́жце
сячы o cut up ячэ́ш яч- ячы́ сячы́це
стаць o become та́неш тан- тань ста́ньце
стукнуць o knock ту́кнеш тукн- ту́кні сту́кніце
чакаць o wait ака́еш ака́- ака́й чака́йце

17.2 Vowel changes due to spelling rules

There are several verbs, which seem to be irregular, but the changes of their vowels are really just manifestions of spelling rules.

бая́цца o fear аі́шся о- о́йся бо́йцеся
смяя́цца o dare мяе́шся ме- ме́йся сме́йцеся
стая́ць o stand таі́ш то- той сто́йце

17.3 Verbs beginning with вы-

If imperative form of verb ends in an (or due to spelling rules) the verb formed by adding the prefix вы- to the verb also has an imperative that ends in , even though the accent will fall on the prefix.

Infin. br /> mp. Sing.<b nfin. br /> Imp. Sing.
ве́сці o lead ядзі́ ы́весці o lead away вы́ведзі
каза́ць o say ажы́ ы́казаць o state something< вы́кажы
рваць o tear ві ы́рваць o tear away вы́рві

17.4 Irregular imperatives

Certain verbs have irregular imperatives. a few of these are given below.

Infin. br /> nd Pers. Sing.<br / Imp. Sing. mp. Pl.
дава́ць o give ае́ш дава́й ава́йце
даць to give* (Perf.) асі́ дай а́йце
е́сці o eat ш еш ́шце
  br /> br />   br />
біць o hit еш бі і́це
ліць o pour ьеш лі і́це
піць o drink ьеш пі і́це

17.5 1st person plural imperative

The most common way of forming the 1st person plural imperative is by using the word дава́йце. If the verb is imperfective, дава́йце is followed by the verb’s infinitive. If the verb is perfective, the word дава́йце is followed by the verb conjugated for the 1st person plural.

Дава́йце яшчэ́ нальё́м. Let’s pour in some more.*   td>Дава́йце крыча́ць: хто слабе́й кры́кне, таго́ зьядзё́м. Let’s yell: Whoever yells the weakest, him we will eat.*

alternatively, verbs do have a special form for the 1st person plural imperative.

Бярэ́м мана́ткі і марш! Let’s grab our gear and move out!*   td>Уцяка́йма, паку́ль не по́зна. Let’s get out of here, while it’s not to late.*</td>
Е́дзем на база́р, каб купі́ць е́жу на за́ўтра. Let’s go to the market to buy food for tomorrow.*      

If the 2nd person singular imperative ends in , the 1st person plural -rative is formed by adding the letters -**ма` to the end of the imperative.

Infin. br /> mp. Sing. st Pers. Pl. Imp.
будава́ць o wait уду́й уду́йма
мы́цца o wash oneself<br ы́йся ы́ймася
чыта́ць o read ыта́й ыта́йма

If the 2nd person singular imperative ends in an accented or , the 1st person plural -rative -эм or -**ем` respectively.

бе́гчы o run яжы́ яжэ́м
бра́цца o wrap around some яры́ся ярэ́мся
крыча́ць o yell рычы́ рычэ́м
  br /> br /> br />
сарва́ць to tear* (Perf.)< арві́ арве́м
спаць o sleep пі пем
хадзі́ць o walk адзі́ адзе́м

Otherwise, the 1st person plural imperative is identical to the 1st person plural indicative form.

быць to be* удзь у́дзем
се́сці to sit down* (Pe ядзь я́дзем
ле́гчы to lie down* ( яж я́жам

17.6 3rd person imperative

The third person imperative is formed by placing either the particle хай or няха́й before the verb, conjugated for the third person, either singular or plural.

Хай гаво́рыць. Let him speak.*   td>Не чапа́й, хай ляжы́ць. Don’t disturb him, let
Хай бу́дзе святло́. Let there be light.*      
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