What does "davai" mean?

If you are learning Russian by talking to your Russian friends or by watching TV in Russian, or by listening to the Russian radio, you might probably hear the word давай (davai), which is very common here. Let's look at a dialog:

- Привет! Какие у тебя планы на сегодня? (Hi! What are your plans for today?)
- Пока никаких. (I have no plans yet.)
- Давай сходим куда нибудь. (Let's go somewhere.)
- Давай. Я не против. (OK. I don't mind.)

The first meaning of davai is an invitation to do something. And as you can see, it is possible to answer the invitation the same way - using давай. Here are some other examples:

Давай потанцуем. - Let's dance.

Давай выпьем. - Let's drink.
Давай уйдем отсюда. - Let's leave.

Another dialogue:

- Давай не будем ссориться. - Let's keep out of a quarrel.
- Хорошо. Тогда не спорь со мной. - OK. Then don't argue with me.
Sometimes we use давай instead of дай (give it to me). Like in the phrase давай сюда, which is very common in everyday speaking. For example, your friend is holding a knife and it is what you need right now, because you want to slice bread. You say "давай сюда" in order to get it from him. So, you can use this word or phrase to get something from someone.

Finally, we use davai very often in order to cheer someone up. You can hear this word in stadiums all the time. When we want our team to win the competition, we yell: "Давай, давай, давай!"

Another situation is when someone refuse to do something and you want him or her to do this, you say "давай". Most of the time we put the particle ну before this word to intensify our request.

This dialogue shows the real situation, that can happen in some Russian family:

Жена: Может, купим мне шубу? (Wife: Maybe we'll buy a furcoat for me?)
Муж: Нет. (Husband: No.)
Жена: Ну давай! (Wife: Come on! Let's do it!)
I hope now you know how to use davai correctly. This word is very common here, so you can't avoid learning this. Good luck!