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Yesterday I asked a question about the meaning of "научись," and it turned out that in the movie in which I heard this, it was not "научись," but "на, учись," where "на" is a particle.

Reading about the particle "на," I just accidentally discovered that "на" is the second person singular form, whilst the second person plural form is "нате"; that is, if I got things right, it is correct to say "нате, учитесь" and "на, учись."

I have always been sure that particles do not inflect. After all, they are particles! How can the uninflectable inflect?! I am shocked. This is such a strong blow. I am at a loss and afraid that other particles inflect as well.

My question is this: Which other particles inflect, and how do they inflect?

Of course, additional explanations about the logic and reason of particle inflection are very welcome. It is always nice to understand rather than to blindly learn.

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This is not a full inflection, i.e. there are no such words as *наю, *наешь, *нает, etc.

Rather, this is a case of the plural/respectful indicator -те being added to "imperative" particles similar to imperative verbs:

  • дай - дайте
  • возьми - возьмите
  • на - нате

"На!" essentially means 'Here, take this!' which makes it an "imperative particle".

I've heard the interjection айда being used with -те: Айдате, я вам что-то покажу!

I wouldn't be overly surprised to hear "Брысьте!" (from the interjection "Брысь!").

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  • So did на originate from a verb?! If so, which one? – Mitsuko Jun 5 '19 at 12:08
  • This is what came to my mind when I read your answer. The logic is the same as with verbs. – Mitsuko Jun 5 '19 at 12:09
  • And there are no other inflecting particles except на, aйда, and брысь? – Mitsuko Jun 5 '19 at 12:45
  • Вот (= here you are) is widely used as a particle. На is an informal one, mainly intended to use when feeding a cat or dog; sometimes it is used when addressing people you are close relatives or friends with to give them something they likely expect to receive. – Alex_ander Jun 5 '19 at 13:22
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    @Mitsuko "did на originate from a verb" You are not the first one asking this question. Here is the discussion on rus.SE. TL;DR - No, no confirmation of verb origin has been found... – tum_ Jun 5 '19 at 20:24

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