Use this section for verbal auxiliaries, affixes, adverbs, and particles that indicate imperatives. The following definitions are taken from Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca. 1994. The evolution of grammar. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Use this domain for words and affixes that a speaker uses to indicate that he is making a command. English has no command word. Some languages change the form of the verb by adding an affix. Some languages have special verbs that are only or normally used as commands. Those verbs could be classified here.

  • imperative: the verb form used for direct commands in the 2nd person. If there are also 1st and 3rd person forms, the meaning can still be that of imperative, with the 1st and 3rd persons being interpreted as 'Let us, let him...', etc.
  • optative: the proposition represents the speaker's will. Translated into English as 'May you prosper', 'May we all meet again.' with counterfactual: 'If only he had...', etc.
  • hortative: the speaker is encouraging or inciting someone to action.
  • prohibitive: the mood for expressing negative commands. The English is 'Don't'.
  • admonitive: the command constitutes a warning: 'you had better not...'.
  • Meanings co-occurring with imperative:
  • polite: a mild or polite form of command.
  • delayed: the action of the command is to be carried out in the future rather than immediately.
  • immediate: the action of the command is to be carried out immediately.
  • strong: (self-explanatory).
  • What words indicate that the sentence is a command?
    (none in English)
  • What affixes indicate that the sentence is a command?
    (none in English), (in many Bantu languages) -e 'a verbal suffix indicating that the sentence is a command'
  • What words are only used in the imperative?
    whoa (stop)