LESSON XLIII: Imperative Active.

The Imperative Active

400. The imperative is used to express a command, exhortation, or an entreaty. The tenses occurring in the imperative are the present, aorist, and perfect, but only a few perfect active forms occur, and these are rare. For the distinction of time between the present and aorist, see 313.

Personal Endings of the Active Imperative

401. The personal endings in the active are:

Personal Ending of the Active Imperative
Second Person Singularθι
Third Person Singularτω
Second Person Dualτον
Third Person Dualτων
Second Person Pluralτε
Third Person Pluralντων

Paradigms: The Present and Aorist Imperative Active of λύω

402. Learn the present and aorist imperative active of λύω.

Present Active Imperative of λύω
Second Person Singularλῦε
Third Person Singularλῡέ-τω
Second Person Dualλύε-τον
Third Person Dualλῡέ-των
Second Person Pluralλύε-τε
Third Person Pluralλῡό-ντων
Aorist Active Imperative of λύω
Second Person Singularλῦσον
Third Person Singularλῡσά-τω
Second Person Dualλύσα-τον
Third Person Dualλῡσά-των
Second Person Pluralλύσα-τε
Third Person Pluralλῡσά-ντων

403. In the second person singular of the present, θι is dropped. The form λῦσον in the aorist is irregular.

The Present and Aorist Imperative Active of εἰμί

404. Learn the present imperative of εἰμί.

Present Active Imperative of εἰμί
Second Person Singularἴσθι
Third Person Singularἔστω
Second Person Dualἔστον
Third Person Dualἔστων
Second Person Pluralἔστε
Third Person Pluralἔστων

The Uses of The Imperative

406. The imperative expresses a command, exhortation, or entreaty. For example:

405. 1. παῖε, εἰ κελεύει ὁ παῖς, strike, if the lad commands it.

2. ἀγόντων τοὺς στρατιώτᾱς, let them bring the soldiers.

3. πρὸς θεῶν συμβούλευσον αὐτοῖς, in Heaven’s name, advise them.

408. In prohibitions, in the second and third persons, the present imperative or the aorist subjunctive is used with μή and its compounds. For example:

407. 1. μὴ διδασκέτω (present imperative) τοὺς παῖδας ἀδικεῖν, let him not teach the boys to do wrong.

2. τοῦτον τὸν παῖδα μὴ παίσῃς (aorist subjunctive), do not strike this boy.

Grammatical Notes

844. Any verb may take a genitive if its action affects the object only in part. This principle applies especially to verbs signifying to share (give or take a part) or to enjoy. Thus, λαμβάνουσι τοῦ βαρβαρικοῦ στρατεύματος, they take a part of the barbarian force, τῶν ἐπιτηδείων μετέσχετε, you had your share of provisions.

866. The dative is used to denote cause, manner, and means or instrument. Thus, φιλίᾳ καὶ εὐνοίᾳ ἐβοήθουν αὐτῷ, they helped him because of their friendship and good will, πορεύονται κύκλῳ, they advance in a circle, αὐτοὺς φοβοῦσι τῇ κραυγῇ, they frighten them by their uproar, diabaqinoysi πλοίοις, they cross in boats, βούλεται ἡμῖν χρῆσθαι, he wishes to use (i.e. serve himself by) us, γένει προσήκει βασιλεῖ, in family he is related to the king.


διδάσκω (διδαχ), διδάξω, ἐδίδαξα, δεδίδαχα, δεδίδαγμαι, ἐδιδάχθηνteach, instruct, show.
γήλοφος, ου, ὁ (γῆ + λόφος, crest, hill), mound of earth, hillock, hill.
κομίζω (κομιδ), κομιῶ etc., carry away, bring, convey.
κράτος, ους, τόstrength, force, might.
μέρος, ους, τόdivision, part, share, portion.
ὀργή, ῆς, ἡtemper, anger.
παῖς, παιδός, ὁ, ἡchild, boy, girl, son.
πηλὁς, οῦ, ὁclay, mire, mud.
σπεύδω, σπεύσω, ἔσπευσαurge, hasten, be urgent.
ὥσπερconj. adv., just as, as it were, as if.


1. μὴ ἄγε, ὦ Κλέαρχε, τὸ στράτευμα ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη.
2. μὴ ποιήσῃς ταῦτα, ὦ Σώκρατες.
3. Κύρῳ μᾶλλον φίλοι ἔστε ἢ τῷ ἀδελφῷ.
4. μὴ δίδασκε τὸν παῖδα ἀδικεῖν.
5. μὴ ὁρμήσητε ἀνὰ κράτος1 κατὰ τοῦ γηλόφου.
6. ἅμα τῇ ἡμέρᾳ δύο ἀγγέλους πεμψάντων πρὸς τὸ τεῖχος.
7. σπεύσατε, ὦ Πέρσαι, καὶ κομίσατε τὰς ἁμάξᾱς ἐκ τοῦ πηλοῦ.
8. μέρος τι τοῦ βαρβαρικοῦ στρατεύματος πέμψατε ἐπὶ τὴν γέφῡραν.
9. παρακάλεσον ὥσπερ ὀργῇ2 τοὺς Πέρσᾱς εἴσω.
10. καὶ εἰς τὸ μέσον τοὺς ἄρχοντας ἄγετε· παρέστω δὲ ὁ κῆρυξ.

NOTES.-1 ἀνὰ κράτος can mean 'at full strength' or 'at full speed'. See entry in general vocabulary. —2 Dative of manner, in anger (866).

412. The Wagons get stalled in the Mire.

καὶ δή ποτε ἐν στενῷ καὶ πηλῷ ταῖς ἁμάξαις δυσπορεύτῳ ἔταξεν ὁ Κῦρος δύο ἄρχοντας τῶν Περσῶν λαμβάνειν τοῦ βαρβαρικοῦ στρατεύματος καὶ συνεκβιβάζειν τὰς ἁμάξᾱς. ἐπεὶ δ᾿ ἐδόκουν αὐτῷ σχολαίως ποιεῖν, ὥσπερ ὀργῇ ἐκέλευσε τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν Πέρσᾱς τοὺς καλοὺς κἀγαθοὺς συνεπισπεύδειν τὰς ἁμάξᾱς. ἔνθα δὴ μέρος τι τῆς εὐταξίᾱς ἦν θεᾶσθαι.

NOTE.—3. στρατεύματος: partitive genitive (844).