It’s well known that the Russian language is especially rich in slang, pejoratives and vulgar words. Even the most common words can have a completely different meaning when used figuratively, which we wouldn’t encourage to you use.
For example the Russian word «давать» is polysemantic.
(Please give me a pen) – this is the literal meaning of the word. This practical use of the word is the most common.
«Давай» is also a motivating word e.g. used when we want to cheer on a sportsman. (Давай, Петя, давай! – Go, Peter, go!)
«Давай» is also used in imperative constructions. (Давай пойдем сегодня в кино? – Let’s go to the cinema tonight?)
In the future tense this word can have the connotation of a threat (Я тебе дам! – I’ll give you what for! I’ll teach you!).
We use the word «давать» when we speak about somebody’s age (Ей дают 20 лет – She looks like she’s 20)
«Давай» also means “to allow” (Не давайте ему пить – don’t allow him to drink)
It also forms a part of many idioms as «Давать маху» – “let the chance slip; make a blunder; shoot into the brown”, «не давать в обиду» – “stick up for oneself”.
How to distinguish between all of them? Our advice is pay attention to the intonation!