The Imperative is used to issue a command to somebody or a group of individuals. In Quenya, several kinds of imperative contexts are used for various situations and meanings.
The ancient form of the imperative is only used with primitive verbs.
It is formed by adding \`C -a to the stem without lengthening the stem-vowel (so it is like the present tense but with a short central vowel):
- 1T7EÁ 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 ~C á before the infinitive:
- ~C 1T7RÁ á tirë! "watch!"
- ~C yEj#Á á vala! "rule!"
When the central vowel of the infinitive is long, a diphthong or followed by more than one consonant we use the particle `C a instead of ~C á
(This rule isn't obligatory, so using ~C á is acceptable):
- `C alDt#Á a caima! "lie down!"
- `C t~N1EÁ a móta! "work!"
- `C j%2#Á a linda! "sing!"
The combinations 7Î ry, j´ ly, 5Ì ny, 1Î ty do not count as a double consonant, so when the central vowel is immediately followed by any one of these we use ~C á:
- ~C j$j´#´Á á lelya! "go!"
- `C t%4Ì#Á a mintya! "remember!"
The particle is pronounced as a unit with these infinitives, so the stress is normally on the particle ~C á and not on `C a (the exceptions are verbs with an infinitive of more than two syllables).
A prohibition or negative imperative is formed by the particle ~CyE áva. It is the same for all verbs:
- ~CyE j$j´#Á áva lelya! "don't go!"
- ~CyE 1T7RÁ áva tirë! "don't look!"
It can also be used on its own, but then the long vowel is shifted:
- `Cy~CÁ 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 \1 -t in the singular and \j -l in the plural:
- `C j%2#1Á a lindat! "sing you!" (singular)
- `C j%2#jÁ a lindal! "sing you!" (plural)
With a primitive verb the connecting vowel is \`B\ -i- as usual:
- ~C1T7RÁ á tirë! "watch!"
- ~C 1T7T1Á á tirit! "watch you!"
- ~C 1T7TjÁ á tiril! "watch you!"
These endings can also be used in the negative imperative:
- ~CyE 1Uj$Á áva tulë! "don't come!"
- ~CyE 1Uj%1Á áva tulit! "don't come you!"
- ~CyE 1Uj%jÁ áva tulil! "don't come you!"
Direct object pronouns
To indicate the direct object we can use the nominative of the independent personal pronouns:
- `C jlD1E 1RÁ a laita te! "bless them!"
- ~C 1T7R 5Ì$Á á tirë nye! "watch me!"
It is however also possible to add this nominative as an ending to the particle ~C á.
This could be used for less emphasis on the direct object so it is not as commanding (in this situation we always use ~C á never `C a):
- ~C1R jlD1EÁ átë laita! "bless them!"
- ~C5Ì$ 1T7RÁ ányë tirë! "watch me!"
Also with the negative imperative both forms are possible:
- ~CyEt$ 1T7RÁ ávamë tirë! "don't watch us!"
- ~CyE 1T7R t$Á áva tirë me! "don't watch us!"
Indirect object pronouns
With an indirect object we obviously use the dative forms of the pronouns:
- ~Ct$5 j%2#Á 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 ~CyE á or ~CyE áva and which is used a separate word:
- ~C5%5 aD7R 1EÁ ánin carë ta! "do it for me!"
- ~C1E aD7R 5%5Á áta carë nin! "do it for me!"