Imperative vs. Future forms used as imperative

< Previous | Next >

JLanguage

Senior Member
USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
1. Is there any difference between them?
2. Are both considered correct?

I know that imperative is not used so much colloquially nowadays, but what about in writing?

Thanks,
-Jonathan.
 
  • amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    JLanguage said:
    1. Is there any difference between them?
    2. Are both considered correct?

    I know that imperative is not used so much colloquially nowadays, but what about in writing?

    Thanks,
    -Jonathan.
    Some argue that using the future form as imperative is wrong, but I personally don't think so. I view it as a way to express imperative more 'politely' or 'softly'. Also, I think that there are verbs that simply sound 'better' (to my taste at least) in the future form rather than in the imperative. Moreover, examples of future used as imperative can be found even in the Bible.

    I also don't think that the imperative "is not used so much colloquially". It's true that more and more people tend to use the future instead of the imperative, but I still hear imperative verbs all the time:
    בוא, לך, שתוק, שמע, עצור, גש הנה...
    So I wouldn't say that the imperative is endangered and will die out in the near future.
     

    sawyeric1

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Using the imperative as the preferred command form is the exception though. For most verbs, the future form is the normal form. So in those cases, is the imperative form considered formal or just high register?
     

    shalom00

    Senior Member
    English - US
    As said above, the future is generally "a way to express imperative more 'politely' or 'softly'".

    So imperative is more formal and/or authoritative, generally.
     

    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English

    היי

    מה דעתכם על הפועל "לשבת?"


    יש לי רושם שאומרים "שב\י\ו" לחיות ,לכלבים ,ואומרים "תשב\י\ו" לאנשים. האם אני צודק?

    תודה

    עריכה: ומורה לילדים קטנים-תשבו בבקשה?
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    As said above, the future is generally "a way to express imperative more 'politely' or 'softly'".

    So imperative is more formal and/or authoritative, generally.
    But I don't think anyone ever uses the imperatives from ראה (to see, look):

    ראה re'e
    ראי re'i
    ראו re'u
    ראינה re'ina

    You always use the future.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    That can be said about most verbs' imperatives. Nothing special about this one.

    Also, it's re'ena, not re'ina.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Yes, you're right. However, there are a few verbs whose future forms are never or hardly ever used as imperatives. For example,

    לעזוב (to abandon (transitive); to go away (intransitive))
    לשמוע (to listen)

    עזוב אותי!
    שמע סיפור!
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It's not true that their future forms are hardly ever used as imperatives. They are.

    It's just that these sorts of verbs happen to be of a class whose imperatives, as an exception to the rule, are used in common situations. More accurately, it's a "new imperative" rather than the classical imperative, as you can see in some corner cases. It's usually formed by dropping the "t" of the future tense. For example, the plural would be azvu, instead of izvu. Similarly שתקו would be shteku instead of shitku. And in verbs like שמע, which start with a sibilant, you'll actually sometimes hear "tshma". The distinction is also noticeable in nif'al and hitpa'el, where you'll find forms like kanes and stalek instead of hikanes and histalek.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top