Like in English, the imperative is used to have someone do something (like giving an order or a recommendation). The imperative is used with either the 2nd person singular conjugation (if you're talking to one person in informal speech) or the 2nd person plural (if you're talking to a group or to one person in formal speech).
To form the imperative, take the present tense stem and add the appropriate personal ending, which will depend on the termination of the stem:
- If the stem ends in a consonant, use the -и ending for the 2nd person singular, and -ете for the 2nd person plural.
- If the stem ends in a vowel, use -й for the 2nd person singular and -йте for the 2nd person plural.
"Вземи/Вземете го" - Take it (from "взема", stem "взем")
"Прочети/Прочетeте книгата" - Read the book (from "прочета", stem "прочет")
"Пий/Пийте!" - Drink! (from "пия", stem "пи")
(Remember why we are using прочета instead of чета here? In this case we are asking the person to read the book - the whole book -, not just read it for a few minutes.)
Most often, with the imperative tense, you will have to use the perfective form of the verb (if there is one). You should however use the imperfective form with the concept of repetition and in negative sentences:
"Затвори вратата сега" - Close the door now (one time, perfective)
"Винаги затваряй вратата, когато излизаш от стаята" - Always close the door when you leave the room (repetition, imperfective)
"Не си тръгвай!" - Don't leave! (negation, imperfective)
Here are a few common exceptions:
- съм (to be) ➜ бъди/бъдете
- видя (to see) ➜ виж/вижте
- отида (to go) ➜ иди/идете or отиди/отидете*
- дойда (to come) ➜ ела/елате
- ям (to eat) ➜ яж/яжте
- сляза (to get off) ➜ слез/слезте
- изляза (to go out) ➜ излез/излезте
* Those can be used interchangeably
1st person plural imperative
This is sometimes called volition (the desire of the listener(s) to act according to the will of the speaker) or sometimes referred to as the analytical form of the imperative. This is the equivalent of "let's" in English (as in "Let's talk to him").
In Bulgarian, this can be expressed with the particle "да", or the expressions "хайде да", "нека" or "нека да" followed by the 1st person plural conjugation of the present tense of the perfective form of the verb.
These forms are interchangeable. All of the following sentences mean "Let's go out together":
"Хайде да излезем заедно"
"Нека да излезем заедно"
"Нека излезем заедно"
"Да излезем заедно"
"Хайде" alone can be used for "let's go":
"Хайде!" - Let's go!
"Хайде на морето!" - Let's go to the sea!
The negative imperative can also be formed with недей (when talking to 1 person in informal speech) or недейте (when speaking to more than 1 person or in the formal speech).
Use недей or недейте followed by да and the present tense in the imperfective aspect:
Don't wait for me
Недей да ме чакаш, or
Недейте да ме чакате
Some new verbs
In this lesson you will use a few new verbs (imperfective / perfective):
- To open: отварям / отворя (-и)
- To close: затварям / затворя (-и)
- To understand: разбирам / разбера (-е)
- To get on: качвам се / кача се (-и)
- To get off: слизам / сляза (-е)
- To put: слагам / сложа (-и)
- To go out: излизам / изляза (-е)
- To wait: чакам