The Imperative is used to issue commands.
The ancient form of the imperative is only used with primitive verbs.
It is formed by adding -a to the stem without lengthening the stem-vowel (so it is like the present tense but with a short central vowel):
- tira! "watch!"
This imperative is very direct, so you shouldn't use it when you want to be polite.
This is formed by placing the particle á before the infinitive:
- á tirë! "watch!"
- á vala! "rule!"
When the central vowel of the infinitive is long, a diphtong or followed by more than one consonant we use the particle a instead of á (but this is not obligatory, so using á is never wrong):
- a caima! "lie down!"
- a móta! "work!"
- a linda! "sing!"
The combinations ry, ly, ny, ty do not count as a double consonant, so when the central vowel is immediately followed by any one of these we use á:
- á lelya! "go!"
- a mintya! "remember!"
The particle is pronounced as a unit with these infinitives, so the stress is normally on the particle á and not on a (the exceptions are verbs with an infinitive of more than two syllables).
A prohibition or negative imperative is formed by the particle áva. It is the same for all verbs:
- áva lelya! "don't go!"
- áva tirë! "don't look!"
It can also be used on its own, but then the long vowel is shifted:
- avá! "don't!"
(note: this is the only two-syllable word that is stressed on the final syllable; see Phonology)
Personal pronouns with the imperative
When a verb is in the imperative it can have personal pronouns that refer to the subject, the direct object or the indirect object.
A reference to the subject is not very frequent, only when it is absolutely necessary to specify to whom the command is directed: "Listen you!"
The Quenya endings are -t in the singular and -l in the plural:
- a lindat! "sing you!" (singular)
- a lindal! "sing you!" (plural)
With a primitive verb the connecting vowel is -i- as usual:
- á tirë! "watch!"
- á tirit!/á tiril! "watch you!"
These endings can also be used in the negative imperative:
- áva tulë! "don't come!"
- áva tulit!/áva tulil! "don't come you!"
direct object pronouns
To indicate the direct object we can use the nominative of the independant personal pronouns:
- a laita te! "bless them!"
- á tirë nye! "watch me!"
It is however preferred to add this nominative as ending to the particle á (in this situation we always use á never a):
- átë laita! "bless them!"
- ányë tirë! "watch me!"
Also with the negative imperative both forms are possible:
- ávamë tirë! "don't watch us!"
- áva tirë me! "don't watch us!"
But again the form where the ending -me is applied to áva is preferred.
indirect object pronouns
With an indirect object we obviously use the dative forms of the pronouns:
- ámen linda! "sing for us!"
When a verb has both a direct and an indirect object, you have the choice which is applied to the particle á or áva and which is used a separate word:
- ánin carë ta! "do it for me!"
- áta carë nin! "do it for me!"