I am having a difficult time determining when to use the imperative mood and what the difference between imperfective and perfective is... The verb "to die" is a difficult one because is it a verb that WILL be completed? Of course it is a fact.. no one has the option to avoid it. However how does this work?

There is a show called LOST where they use the quote "live together, die alone." When they debate saving someone or doing something dangerous, they say, "live together, die alone." as a phrase to live by... How do you translate this? I am getting a tattoo with half English half Russian so "live together (English), die alone (Russian)..." Would I use imperative mood imperfective умира́йте, or imperative perfective умри́те?? Would I use умирать/умереть ? Would I use the we conjugation as in "we live together, we die alone" умира́ем?? "___ в одиночестве" what verb tense do I use and why?? I've done so much research but can't figure out which is best.. It is a quote to live by. When I am with my friends and they ask if I can drive half way across the country to help them with something important, I would respond "live together, die alone" meaning I will do it because we have to stick together while we're on this Earth.. but at the end of the day when we die we will be alone.

1 Answer 1


Look, I think this is the official translation:

Живем вместе, умираем поодиночке

This is interesting because they are using the present tense. To be honest, I don't feel the imperative will sound good here. For me, this phrase should not have such a mood. It's like a life credo.

  • I agree that the imperative is misleading, even in the original English phrase. I didn't get it the first time around. If it was down to me, I would put it this way: "Together we live, alone we die." But then, an idiom is an idiom... Aug 6, 2021 at 18:40

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