Re: Translating Imperatives

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Sat Aug 21 1999 - 15:10:38 EDT

<x-flowed>At 20:47 20/08/99 -0500, "Edgar M. Krentz" <> wrote:
>Your problem arises from the fact that teachers of elementary Greek usually
>stress that imperative = giving orders. Check out any good grammar of
>either classical or NT Greek and see the wide variety of uses.

As Edgar rightly says, the emphasis is all one way sometimes in the
teaching of the imperative.
As Smyth remarks:

1835. The imperative is used in commands and
                     prohibitions (negative mÉ). All its tenses refer to
                     the future.

                     a. Under commands are included requests,
                     entreaties, summons, prescriptions,
                     exhortations, etc.

Smyth, as many on the list already know, is available on the Perseus web-site.
Just now, the search engine works only on the section numbers in the
printed edition,which is why I have included 1835 in the above quotation.

Anyone wanting to explore further the ramifications of the imperative, as
so succinctly outlined by Edgar, should go to:

and enter > Smyth 1835 < in the search box, and scroll forward through the
various sections.

Enjoy this marvellous tool


Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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