Definition of imperfective in English:


Pronunciation /ˌimpərˈfektiv/ /ˌɪmpərˈfɛktɪv/


  • Relating to or denoting an aspect of verbs in Slavic languages that expresses action without reference to its completion.

    The opposite of perfective

    ‘Different kinds of complements and modifiers can often coerce a perfective or an imperfective reading.’
    • ‘For example, Diyari and Dhirari - two Australian languages utilize different sets of markers for implicated clauses, imperfective relative clauses and perfective relative clauses, as the following table shows.’
    • ‘Particularly puzzling can be perfective verbs in the imperfect and imperfective ones in the aorist.’
    • ‘That's what was meant by the above statement: only imperfective verbs may be used in the present tense.’
    • ‘The imperfective aspect is used in a variety of circumstances where it is felt to imply some specific aspect of on-going activity.’


  • The imperfective aspect, or an imperfective form of a verb.

    ‘In the Slavonic languages, the perfective and imperfective are signalled by inflections on the verb, the perfective denoting the completion of the activity and the imperfective its non-completion.’
    • ‘Much of complexity in the use of tense and aspect in English derives from the fact that the categories of perfective and imperfective allow a number of subcategories.’
    • ‘The perfective aspect is usually formed from the imperfective either by prefixation or by suffixation.’
    • ‘I will claim that past tense in the case of the experiential imperfective actually behaves like a perfect, i.e. the assertion time is located after the event time.’