The Imperative Mood

The imperative mood is used when issuing commands to second-person (“you” and “y’all”) subjects. For example, the English phrases “Come here!” and “Eat your vegetables, children!” are both imperative statements.

Conjugation of Regular Verbs

To form the imperative mood, simply use either the third-person singular (“he/she/it”) or the second-person plural (“y/all”) form of the present-tense conjugations. That is, all regular verbs will have their infinitive -arh ending changed to either -a or -etz when used in an imperative sense. For example, ¡menxha! and ¡menxhetz! both are commands to “eat!”.

Note that it does not matter whether you are commanding a single person (“you”) or multiple people (“y’all”); you may choose to use either one of these forms. However, a recent recommendation holds that the form mimicking the third-person singular may be thought a more polite command/instruction than is the other form, such that ¡parla Talossan! is more emphatic and insistent than ¡parletz Talossan! (both = speak Talossan!).

When it is important to indicate whether the commanded subject is “you” or “y’all”, the subject pronoun is appended after the verb form; that is, the pronoun is used “in inversion”. For example, ¡menxha-tu! and ¡menxhetz-tu! are both commands directed to a single person, while ¡menxha-voi! and ¡menxhetz-voi! are both commands directed to a group.

The imperative mood is also a case where object pronouns appear in inversion. However, this usually is not done if a subject pronoun (indicating the recipient of the command) is also being provided. For example, ¡tu xhetez-en! is considered less proper than ¡xhetez-en! and ¡en xhetez-tu! (all = throw it!).

These simple word-ending changes apply to all Talossan verbs except those that are listed in the next section, which have irregular imperative mood conjugations.

Irregular Imperative Mood Verbs

As stated earlier, the imperative mood usually takes the same form as either of two different present-tense conjugations. This is typically true even of irregular verbs. For example, the imperative forms for sâparh (= to know) are säp and säpetz. This is not always the case, however; for example, the verb credarh (= to believe) has the irregular third-person singular present-tense form crea (= he/she/it believes), but the imperative is formed without this irregularity: creda (= believe!), and credetz (= believe!).

The list below contains those verbs that have imperative forms which are created other than by application of the regular rules to create the two present-tense forms that are used for the imperative. Notice, then, that since estarh (= to be), like credarh, does not appear in the table below, this means that both of the forms esta and estetz are proper, even though esta (like creda) is not used as a present-tense form.

  • façarh (= to do or to make) has the imperative forms fäts and facetz (= do/make!)
  • irh (the verb of motion; to come/go) has the imperative forms va and vetz and iöt (= come!/go!/be on your way!)
  • moártarh (“to die”) has the imperative forms morta and mortetz (= die!)
  • pevarh (= to be able to) has only the regular imperative form pevetz (= be able to!)
  • säparh (= to know) has the imperative forms säp and säpetz (= know (how to)!)
  • scríuarh (= to write) has only the imperative form scriitz (= write!)
  • tirh (= to have) has the imperative forms tent and tischetz (= have!)
  • velarh (= to want) has the imperative form volt (= want!)
  • viénarh (the retrospective and manitive aspect auxiliary) has the imperative forms vena and venetz (= be about to/be just…!)
  • zirarh (= to tell) has the imperative form na, in addition to the regular forms zira and ziretz (= tell!)
  • zonarh (= to give) has the imperative forms da and ditz, in addition to the regular forms zona and zonetz (= give!)