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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.

Ancient Imperative[edit | edit source]

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.

Standard Imperative[edit | edit source]

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 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 ~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).

Negative imperative[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

When a verb is in the imperative it can have personal pronouns that refer to the subject, the direct object or the indirect object.

Subject pronouns[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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!"

>> Neo-Quenya >> Verbs >> Imperative