Do your cross

Olympia28

Senior Member
Australia, English
Γειά σας! I'd like to check the expression "do your cross", in the context of a mother telling this to her children -- "do your cross," she said.
Would it be correct to write "Kάνετε το σταυρό σας"? This was what I wrote but then I saw "κάντε" and wasn't sure whether both were acceptable or one was more appropriate than the other?
Ευχαριστώ πολύ :)
 
  • Olympia28

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    Some will only accept κάντε for prompting someone to do it once. See "Simple past - Imperative" in this table:
    Lexiscope: κάνω | Neurolingo
    Κάνετε, on the other hand, would be for doing it habitually — see "Present - Imperative".
    Oh ok...yes it is a prompt to do it at a specific moment rather than habitually. I think it needs changing. Thank you for your reply!
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Interesting. I overlooked it till now. The plural imperative seems to be the only category in which the verb κάνω has a mandatory distinction of the form between the perfective and the imperfective aspect. κάντε <-> κάνετε.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Interesting. I overlooked it till now. The plural imperative seems to be the only category in which the verb κάνω has a mandatory distinction of the form between the perfective and the imperfective aspect. κάντε <-> κάνετε.
    "κάντε" expresses probably better the perfective aspect, but I wouldn't say "mandatory".

    Apart from that, the imperative "κάνετε" is not common. In order to express the imperative, we usually use the subjunctive: "Να κάνετε".
    On the other hand, the imperative "κάντε" is very common.
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Interesting discussion. Sorry for my ignorance but am I right in assuming that "κάντε το σταυρό σου" means make the sign of the cross???
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Thanks διαφορετικό. Two further points:

    I know there is a verb σταυροκοπιέμαι. Presumably that would not be right with children but which is said more of adults?

    I was also struck by the singular/plural alternation. The mother says "κάντε" addressing more than one child, but the object of the verb is "το σταυρό σου", not σας. Or even "τους σταυρούς σας". I can sort of understand that she is telling each child to make one sign of the cross, rather than several. And this is an activity that can only be done as an individual. But if I was speaking to 2+ children I would say read your books, unless they were sharing a book between them. Can anyone explain?
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    I know there is a verb σταυροκοπιέμαι. Presumably that would not be right with children but which is said more of adults?
    "Κάνω τον σταυρό μου" is neutral. Kids "κάνουν τον σταυρό τους" every morning at school.
    It may be my personal impression, but "σταυροκοπιέμαι" sounds a bit dated in my ears. It is usually associated with feelings like fear, awe.

    I was also struck by the singular/plural alternation. The mother says "κάντε" addressing more than one child, but the object of the verb is "το σταυρό σου", not σας. Or even "τους σταυρούς σας". I can sort of understand that she is telling each child to make one sign of the cross, rather than several. :tick:
    A very good point! :thumbsup:
    Grammatical sentences are "κάντε το σταυρό σας" or "κάνε το σταυρό σου".
    "τους σταυρούς σας" would sound from awkward to wrong in both sentences.

    But if I was speaking to 2+ children I would say read your books, unless they were sharing a book between them. Can anyone explain?
    It is a subject that is also been discussed by Greeks.

    For me, if each child has one book, "διαβάστε το βιβλίο σας" would be perfectly okay. "διαβάστε τα βιβλία σας" would not change the meaning, since the context is clear, but it would cause confusion in case each student had more than one books.

    Another example: "έζησαν τη ζωή τους" or "έζησαν τις ζωές τους". I think the latter is influence from English.
     
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    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    But if I was speaking to 2+ children I would say read your books, unless they were sharing a book between them.
    It's not different to what you'd say in English in cases of nouns that can be uncountable in some cases: You'd say "do your work/duty" to more than 2 persons, wouldn't you? You'd also say "raise your hand" if you didn't want them to raise both hands, I believe. Even if you were more specific, wouldn't you say "raise your right hand"?
     

    Olympia28

    Senior Member
    Australia, English
    "Κάνω τον σταυρό μου" is neutral. Kids "κάνουν τον σταυρό τους" every morning at school.
    It may be my personal impression, but "σταυροκοπιέμαι" sounds a bit dated in my ears. It is usually associated with feelings like fear, awe.


    A very good point! :thumbsup:
    Grammatical sentences are "κάντε το σταυρό σας" or "κάνε το σταυρό σου".
    "τους σταυρούς σας" would sound from awkward to wrong in both sentences.

    It is a subject that is also been discussed by Greeks.

    For me, if each child has one book, "διαβάστε το βιβλίο σας" would be perfectly okay. "διαβάστε τα βιβλία σας" would not change the meaning, since the context is clear, but it would cause confusion in case each student had more than one books.

    Another example: "έζησαν τη ζωή τους" or "έζησαν τις ζωές τους". I think the latter is influence from English.
    Perseas, I got a little lost in the interesting discussion of plural forms etc and just wanted to confirm that κάντε το σταυρό σας was indeed correct, in the context as previously explained (a mother to her four children). Thank you! :)
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Perseas, I got a little lost in the interesting discussion of plural forms etc and just wanted to confirm that κάντε το σταυρό σας was indeed correct, in the context as previously explained (a mother to her four children). Thank you! :)
    Yes, it's correct.
     
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