I read that давай(те) is optional when using perfective imperatives. Is one option preferred over the other?

Also, if it is used, is it used with the infinitive or the мы form?

2 Answers 2


in imperatives for the first person plural (we), which are called motivational, it's normally required regardless of the verb form

Давай(те) дружить (imperfective infinitive) = Давай(те) будем дружить (future imperfective)

Давай(те) забудем (future perfective)

it's worth noting that since in 'motivational imperatives' future form of verbs is employed, their imperfective mode consists of [(не) будем +] impf infinitive

a variant without давай(те) is more expressive, implying intolerance to refusal and therefore only used when warranted

Будем дружить!


in this case будем for imperfective form is obviously obligatory since otherwise we end up with imperfective infinitive instead of imperative

in regular imperatives appendage of давай(те) adds a connotation of urgency, impatience and also disdain towards the addressee, it encourages concentration on a specific action without distractions and usually appears in combination with imperfective form

Давай(те) пиши(те)

Давай(те) думай(те)

in combination with perfective verbs the word давай(те) receives particle -ка

Давай(те)-ка напиши(те)

Давай(те)-ка сыграй(те)

it's not a hard and fast rule, it's just that without the particle the phrase sounds kind of rude and inconsiderate

the -ка particle is applicable to давай(те) in motivational imperatives as well, where it imparts a connotation of reservedness and shyness in expressing the invitation to act


Is one option preferred over the other?

You can't say this in general, as one is more of proposal, while other is a question. As a rule of thumb, a proposal is more natural if speaking to several people and/or expecting to face different opinions.

Also "question"-form isn't restricted to perfective verbs only. E.g. "пойдём в кино" vs. "идём в кино".

is it used with the infinitive or the мы form?

Infinitive denotes an order rather than a question. Normally you can use it only alongside with "давай(те)": "давайте погуляем" (perf.) vs. "давайте гулять" (impf.).

Yet you can alternatively use singular "ты" if it's obvious you are going to join too. Also some verbs allow using of past tense. E.g. "пойдём в кино" vs. "пойдёшь в кино" vs. "пошли в кино".


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