Are the imperative and infinitive always completely reasonable alternatives?


Сидеть! - сиди!

не повторя́ть! - не повторя́й!

  • see [link] (russian.stackexchange.com/questions/1512/…) Imperatives and Aspect
    – N romaai
    Jun 26, 2014 at 18:24
  • ‘Не повторя́ть!>’ not ‘Не повтори́ть!’ Jun 26, 2014 at 19:34
  • @DmitryAlexandrov is "повторять" the imperfective? as "повторяй" is?
    – N romaai
    Jun 26, 2014 at 20:18
  • Yes, exactly. Повторя́й is a singular imperative form of повторя́ть. The same form of повтори́ть would be повтори́. Jun 26, 2014 at 20:43
  • The linked question contains a thorough explanation. My examples are from a movie where the guard is instructing a prisoner (фартовый)
    – N romaai
    Jun 26, 2014 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


There is a slight difference between them, the infinite sentences used as imperative are much more aggressive and exigent. For example, only infinite sentences are used to train dogs:

Ша́рик, сиде́ть! Sharik (dog's name), sit!

Ты посиди́ здесь, а я пойду́ посмотрю́, в чём там де́ло. Stay (sit) here, and I will see what is happening.

  • I get the example in regards to the question, but I dont understand "я пойду́ посмотрю́." Is "посмотрю́" the direct object of "пойду́" (like "I will have a look")? Or are they both verbs that agree with "я?"
    – N romaai
    Jun 27, 2014 at 16:35
  • 1
    In this case it is not the imperative or the infinite construction. It is a colloquial expression, used normally with the verbs of movement. These are two verbs in the form of the 1st person, singular (я): Я пойду посмотрю (colloquial speech) = Я пойду посмотреть (neurtral speech) Я сбегаю куплю хлеб (colloquial speech) = Я сбегаю купить хлеб (neutral speech). Jun 27, 2014 at 16:50
  • Can you use it any person? eg Ты посиди́ здесь, а он пойдёт посмо́трит, в чём там де́ло.
    – N romaai
    Jun 27, 2014 at 22:03
  • Yes, you can use it in any person. Jun 28, 2014 at 9:18

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