Serbian imperative mood

With help of Imperative mood one can give commands and suggestions in Serbian language like “do it!” “don’t do it!” “let’s do it!”. The imperative mood can be used to three pronouns: TI – you, VI – you(plural), MI – we

In order to form imperative mood, first of all we need to conjugate a verb with the pronoun Oni/one/ona (they) in present tense and look at their stem:

Raditi – oni rade – they do, stem rad

Predavati – oni predaju – they teach, stem predaj

Pevati – oni pevaju – they sing, stem pevaj

Putovati – oni putuju – they travel, stem putuj

Jesti – oni jedu – they eat, stem jed

Doći – oni dođu – they come, stem dođ

Also, do the same for both perfective and imperfective aspects:

Objašnjavati (imerfective) -oni objašnjavaju – they explain, stem objašnjavaj

Objasniti (perfective) – oni objasne – they explain, stem objasn

Kupovati (imperfective) – oni kupuju – they buy, stem kupuj

Kupiti (perfective) – oni kupe – they buy, stem kup

And here is how to form an imperative form from a stem:

For command TI: if a stem ends in –J, don’t add anything; if a stem ends in any other letter – add –I:

Pevaj! – sing!

Predaj me da to radim! – teach me to do it!

Objašnjavaj im! – Explain them!

Objasni mene! – Explain me!

Dođi kod kuče! – Come home!

Napiši mu poruku! – Write him a letter!

Ne jedi to! – don’t eat it!

For command VI: if a stem ends in – J, add –TE; if a stem ends in any other letter – add –ITE:

Molim vas, kupujte mleko I hleb – Please, buy milk and bread

Glasajte na izborima! – Vote in elections!

Kažite mi molim vas, šta ste radili juče uveče? – Tell me please, what did you do yesterday evening?

Ne prodavajte im! – Don’t sell them!

For command MI: if a stem ends in –J, add –MO; if a stem ends in any other letter – add –IMO:

Idemo u pozorište – Let’s go to the theater

Čekajmo pet minuta – Let’s wait five minutes

How to say “let’s, let him, let them …”

There is the word – HAJDE that has meanings “come on, go ahead, let’s …”. With help of this word this form of Serbian imperative mood is formed.

Here are 2 equal formulas:

Hajde + da + verb conjugated with a pronoun in present tense

Hajde + verb in imperative form

Examples:

Hajde da to radimo – Let’s do it

Hajde da kažeš! – Go ahead, say!

Hajde sačekajmo nekoliko minuta – Let’s wait some minutes

Hajde pozovi ga – Come on, call him!

The form “let him/her/it/them”

This rule is applied only for commands to third person, i.e. to he/she/it/them. All you need to know for saying “let him ..” or “let them …”, is the word “neka” that means “let” and conjugation of a verb with on/ona/ono and oni/one/ona in present tense.

Neka radi – let him/her do

Neka studira – let him/her study

Neka šetaju – let them walk

Neka zapamtiju – let them memorize

Negative form of imperative mood

There are two ways of forming negative form of Serbian imperative mood. First way doesn’t require detailed consideration because it is simply adding “ne” in front of imperative verb:

Ne radi – don’t do

Ne laži – don’t lie

But there is one more form of negative command – with auxiliary verb “nemoj/nemojmo/nemojte” that means “do not”. This form is more polite in a conversation than the first one. Let’s consider the auxiliary verb:

Nemoj – do not, for command Ti

Nemojmo – do not, for command MI

Nemojte – do not, for command VI.

Here are 2 formulas of using this:

Nemoj/nemojmo/nemojte + verb in infinitive form

Nemoj/nemojmo/nemojte + da + verb conjugated with a pronoun in present tense

Nemoj crtati – don’t draw

Nemojmo ići – let’s not go

Nemojte da zapamtite – do not memorize

Examples

Nemojte odvratiti mi molim vas – Do not distract me please

Nemojmo da slušamo ih – let’s not listen to them

Nemoj da tražiš svoju mačku u ovoj sobi – Do not look for your cat in this room

Hadje da pronađemo tu stvar – Let’s find that thing

Daj mi sto dinara – Give me one hundred dinars

Ne veruj njima! – Don’t believe them!

Neka igraju! – Let them play!

Neka priprema doručak – Let her prepare a breakfast

Neka ona čeka dok si dolaziš – Let her wait until you come

Molim te, kupi picu i donesi je ovde – Please, buy a pizza and bring it here

Ne traži to ovde – Don’t look for it here

Uplatite račun molim vas – Pay the bill please

Hajde da putujemo u Mađarsku? – Let’s travel to Hungary

Nemojte gledati taj film – Don’t watch this film!

Neka uću – let them come in

Hajde da plešemo! – let’s dance!

Dovrši ovaj zadatak brzej, molim te – Finish this task faster, please

Hajde odlučiti šta da radimo! – Let’s decide what to do!

Obavezno posetite izložbu! – Visit the exhibition necessarily!

Ponovi šta si rekao, molim te – Repeat what you said, please

Neka peva pesmu – Let her sing the song

Vocabulary

mleko – milk

hleb – bread

glasati – to vote

izbori – elections

juče – yesterday

veče – evening

pozorište – theatre

soba – room

slušati – to listen

odvratiti – to distract

doručak – breakfast

Prodavati(imp.)/prodati(perf.) – to sell

lagati – to lie

pamtiti – to remember

zapamtiti – to memorize

donositi(imp.)/doneti(perf.) – to bring

pica – pizza

molim te/molim vas – please

igrati(imp.)/odigrati(perf.) – to play

spremiti(imp.)/pripremiti(perf.) – to prepare

naći(imp.)/pronaći(perf.) – to find

tražiti(imp.)//potražiti(perf.) – to look for

 

Exercises

Use imperative mood

  1. _________________ za ovog kandidata! (GLASATI – to vote, command VI) – Vote for this candidate!
  2. ________________ na žurku! (IĆI – to go, command MI) – Let’s go to the party!
  3. ________________ svoj telefon (NAPUNITI – to charge, command TI) – Charge your phone!
  4. Ne ____________________ kasno, ________________ rano! (PROBUTITI SE – to wake up, command TI) – Don’t wake up late, wake up early!
  5. ______________ mi ovaj zadatak (DATI – to give, command VI) – give me this task!
  6. __________________ tu knigu (ČITATI – to read, command TI) – Don’t read that book!
  7. _______________________ našu decu o tome (PITATI – to ask, command MI) – Let’s ask our children about that
  8. _______________________ mi ništa, neću da čujem ništa od tebe (REĆI – to tell, command TI) – Don’t say me anything, I don’t want to hear anything from you
  9. Dete, _____________________ doručkovati! (IĆI – to go, command VI) – Kids, go to have a breakfast!
  10. __________________ za nju! (URADITI – to do, command TI) – Do it for her!
  11. _______________________ mi posle deset sati! (ZVATI – to call, command TI) – Don’t call me after ten o’clock!
  12. _____________________ svoj rast, molim vas (IZMERITI – to measaure, command VI) – Measure your stature please!

Answers

1: glasajte; 2: idemo; 3: napuni; 4: se probudi, se probudi; 5: dajte; 6: nemoj čitati/ne čitaj; 7: hajde da pitamo/hajde pitati; 8: ne reci/nemoj reći; 9: idite; 10: uradi; 11: ne zovi/nemoj zvati; 12: izmerite

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