Definition of imperfective in US English:



  • 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.’
    • ‘The imperfective aspect is used in a variety of circumstances where it is felt to imply some specific aspect of on-going activity.’
    • ‘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, or an imperfective form of a verb.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’