Sunday, December 9, 2012

Əmr forması - Imperative

I have long been unhappy with the way books present the imperative mood in Azerbaijani. With the help of my friend Tağı I have come to see that it should not be presented as it is in the texts that I have.

Let me explain...

This form, known as Felin əmr forması, Əmr forması, or Əmr cümləsi, is usually presented in one of two ways:

1. Commands to you singular and you plural as we have in English.
Gəl! = Come!
Getmə = Don't go.
İcazə verin = Please allow [me] [to pass by].

2. A complete set of imperative "commands" conjugated for all three persons, singular and plural.

Both are confusing for native English speakers in my opinion, because the imperative is really used in different ways in Azerbaijani. It can be a command, a request, a suggestion, or a question. Thus, it seems better (for those who hate grammar especially) to just think in terms of command/suggestion versus question. And let's face it - the translation for the question is often "Let me, let him, let us, let them". Number one, people just don't talk like this anymore. Number two, Let's go! is a command, not a question - it belongs in the first section given above. Number three, Let me get you... and Let them get you... are really subjunctive, not imperative. And most English speakers would simply say "He/they should get you some..."  Finally, the first person singular use of this in Azerbaijani seems to me to always be a question. So,...


Just for Sən, Biz, Siz:

Get, Gedək, Gedin = Go, Let's go,  Go
Oxu, Oxuyaq, Oxuyun = Read, Let's read, Read
Yaz, Yazaq, Yazın = Write, Let's write, Write
İnan, İnanaq, İnanın = Believe, Let's believe, Believe
Ümid et, Ümid edək, Ümid edin = Hope, Let's hope, Hope
Sil, Silək, Silin = Wipe, Let's wipe, Wipe
İcazə ver, İcazə verək, İcazə verin = Allow, Let's allow, Allow
Piyada get, Piyada gedək, Piyada gedin = Walk, Let's walk, Walk
Rədd ol, rədd olaq, rədd olun = Get lost, Let's get outta here, Beat it
Tanı, Tanıyaq, Tanıyın = Meet, Let's meet, Meet
Tanış ol, Tanış olaq, Tanış olun = Be acquainted, Let's be acquainted, Be acquainted
Çalış, Çalışaq, Çalışın = Try, Let's try, Try
Televizora bax, Televizora baxaq, Televizora baxın = Watch TV, Let's watch TV, Watch TV
Yat, Yataq, Yatın = Sleep, Let's sleep, Sleep
Oyan, Oyanaq, Oyanın = Get up, Let's get up, Get up
Eşit, Eşidək, Eşidin = Hear, Let's hear, Hear
Reqs et, Reqs edək, Reqs edin = Dance, Let's dance, Dance
Geyin, Geyinək, Geyinin = Get dressed, Let's get dressed, Get dressed



Çay sənə verim? Shall I get you a cup of tea?
Pəncərəni açım? Shall I open the window?


Mən, o, biz, onlar:

Harda dayanım? Where should I stand?
Harda dayansın? Where should he stand?
Harda dayanaq? Where should we stand?
Harda dayansınlar? Where should they stand?

Mən, o, biz, onlar

Burda oturum? Can I sit here? (Yes, I know this should be May, but most people simply don't speak this way anymore).
Burda otursun? Can he sit here?
Burda oturaq? Can we sit here?
Burda otursunlar? Can they sit here?

Anyway, there you have it. Makes sense to me. Hope it makes sense to you too!

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