Imperative mood

Imperative mood

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The imperative mood expresses commands or requests as a grammatical mood
Grammatical mood
In linguistics, grammatical mood is a grammatical feature of verbs, used to signal modality. That is, it is the use of verbal inflections that allow speakers to express their attitude toward what they are saying...

. These commands or requests urge the audience to act a certain way. It also may signal a prohibition, permission, or any other kind of exhortation.

Morphology


Formulation of the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 imperative simply uses the bare infinitive
Infinitive
In grammar, infinitive is the name for certain verb forms that exist in many languages. In the usual description of English, the infinitive of a verb is its basic form with or without the particle to: therefore, do and to do, be and to be, and so on are infinitives...

 form of the verb. The infinitive form usually corresponds to the second-person present indicative form, with the exception of the verb be. The subject of these sentences is usually understood as you (the second person
Grammatical person
Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event; such as the speaker, the addressee, or others. Grammatical person typically defines a language's set of personal pronouns...

) except in the case of "Let's" which implies first person and at least a second person. Other languages such as Latin, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 have several inflected
Inflection
In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification of a word to express different grammatical categories such as tense, grammatical mood, grammatical voice, aspect, person, number, gender and case...

 imperative forms, which can vary according to grammatical categories such as:
  • Distinct conjugation
    Grammatical conjugation
    In linguistics, conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection . Conjugation may be affected by person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, voice, or other grammatical categories...

     patterns;
  • Grammatical number
    Grammatical number
    In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions ....

    ;
  • Distinct grammatical person
    Grammatical person
    Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event; such as the speaker, the addressee, or others. Grammatical person typically defines a language's set of personal pronouns...

    s.


For instance, Latin regular forms can exist:
  • amā (singular); amāte (plural) ← from infinitive
    Infinitive
    In grammar, infinitive is the name for certain verb forms that exist in many languages. In the usual description of English, the infinitive of a verb is its basic form with or without the particle to: therefore, do and to do, be and to be, and so on are infinitives...

     amāre, to 'love'
  • monē (singular); monēte (plural) ← from monēre, to 'advise' or 'warn'
  • audī (singular); audīte (plural) ← from audīre, to 'hear'
  • cape (singular); capite (plural) ← from capĕre, to 'take'
  • rege (singular); regite (plural) ← from regĕre, to 'reign'.


Some consider this richness of forms useful for a better understanding, particularly because no subject pronoun
Pronoun
In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun , such as, in English, the words it and he...

 normally specifies with the imperative.

Usage


The use of the imperative mood can be abused and thus become impolite, inappropriate or even offensive in certain circumstances. Commonly, politeness norms prompt people to express directives(imperatives) as an invitation or request, such as:
  • Could you come here for a moment?
  • I beg you to stop.


and not as demands, such as:
  • Come here.
  • Stop!


Politeness strategies (for instance, indirect speech acts) can seem more appropriate in order not to threaten a conversational partner in their needs of self-determination and territory: the partner's negative face should not appear threatened. As a result, the imperative mood does not require someone to be direct, confrontational, nor over-bearing.

The imperative mood's appropriateness depends on such factors as psychological and social relationships, as well as the speaker’s basic communicative intention (illocutionary force). For example, the speaker may have the simple intention to offer something, to wish or permit something, or just to apologize, and not to manipulate their conversational partner. In such cases, people will not place restriction on the use of imperative:
  • Come to the party tomorrow!
  • Just smoke the cigarette if you want!
  • Have a nice trip!

First-person plural form


In some languages, including French and Spanish, in addition to the second-person imperative form shown above, there also exists a first-person plural (we) imperative form. This form, similar to the second-person imperative form, except conjugated in the first-person plural, usually translates to English as let's (short for let us). For example, the French national anthem, La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song, originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795...

, includes the words Marchons, marchons! (Let's march, let's march!). Irish has imperative forms in all three persons and both numbers, although the first person singular is most commonly found in the negative (e.g. ná cloisim sin arís "let me not hear that again").

Indicative and prohibitive mood


The prohibitive mood (abbreviated ) negates the imperative mood. The two moods often seem different in word order
Word order
In linguistics, word order typology refers to the study of the order of the syntactic constituents of a language, and how different languages can employ different orders. Correlations between orders found in different syntactic subdomains are also of interest...

 or in morphology
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

.

English


In English, the imperative mood uses the same word order as the indicative mood, while the prohibitive mood uses a different word order if you appears in the sentence.
  Indicative Imperative / Prohibitive
−you | +you
do will
Affirmative You go. Go! You go! You will go!
Negative not You do not go. Do not go! - You will not go!
-n't You don't go. Don't go! Don't you go! You won't go!

French


Similarly, French uses different word order for the imperative and prohibitive moods:
  • Donne-le-leur ! (Give it to them!)
  • Ne le leur donne pas ! (Don't give it to them!)

The prohibitive has the same word order as the indicative. See French personal pronouns#Clitic order for detail.

Hebrew


In Hebrew, the imperative mood has two inflections: an original mode and a future mode. The negative consists of al אל (like the negative do not) + verb in the future mode.
  Indicative Imperative / Prohibitive
original future
Affirmative telekh תלך. לך lekh .תלך telekh
Negative אל Al ata lo holekh אתה לא הולך. אל תלך al telekh

Japanese


Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

 uses separate verb forms as shown below. For the verb kaku (write):
Indicative Imperative
/ Prohibitive
Affirmative kaku kake
Negative kakanai kakuna


See also the suffixes (–nasai) and / (–kudasai).

Mandarin


Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 uses different words of negation for the indicative and the prohibitive moods. For the verb zuò (do):
Indicative Imperative
/ Prohibitive
Affirmative zuò zuò
Negative búzuo biézuò

Sanskrit


In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, लोट लकार (lot lakar) is used with the verb to form the imperative mood. To form the negative, न (na) is placed before the verb in the imperative mood.