Re: Translating Imperatives

Date: Sat Aug 21 1999 - 15:54:51 EDT

On Sat, 21 Aug 1999 20:10:38 +0100 "Maurice A. O'Sullivan"
<> writes:
> 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.

I don't think ignorance of the various possible nuances of the
imperative is the problem here.

The issue or concern, as others have well articulated, is the
meaning communicated by such. If the nuance of the imperative
is command and if the 3rd person is used, then by rendering
it "let ... ", it seems something less than a command is being
issued. Or, is there a sub-category of command whereby some
commands, like 3rd person imperatives, are supposed to be a
more polite way of commanding?

Paul Dixon


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