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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

398                TJie Loom of Language
The Latin verb had special forms—the so-called imperative mood—
to express an order or request Such special imperative forms of the
verb are rare in modern European languages. What is called the French
imperative has two forms, one identical with the first person singular
of the present indicative, the other with the second person plural, e.g
attrape-attrapez (catch!). Both occur in everyday speech The first is
used in familiar intercourse when addressing one person, the second
in the same situation when speaking to more than one. The latter is also
the imperative of polite address, singular and plural, e g prenez garde,
madame (take care!) If the verb is reflexive, the reflexive pronoun be-
haves like any other objective pronoun (p. 366), i e it comes after the
verb in an affirmative command, e g ouvners de tous les pays, unissez-
vous (workers of the world, unite !)3 and before the verb in a prohibition,
e g. ne vous en allez pas (don't go away!) Another way of making a
request or recommendation is by employing the infinitive. This Is also
the Italian and German method, e g. don't lean out of the window
= French ne pas se pencher en dehors, Italian non sporgersi, German
mcht hmauslehnen The auxiliaries avoir* etre, savoir, and vouloir have
imperative forms corresponding to the subjunctive (aie-ayez> sois~$oyez,
sache-sacheZ) vemlle-veuillez\
Interrogative expressions may take the place of an imperative. For
venez! (corners we may say voulez-vous venirP (will you come^), ne
voulez-vous pas venir? (won't you come^), vous viendrez^ rfe$t-ce-pas?
(you will come, won't you?), etc.
In Spanish, as in French, the form of a command or a pohte request
depends upon personal relations between speaker and listener. When
speaking to a child, an intimate relation, or a friend, the Spaniard uses
an imperative form which is identical with the third person singular of
the present indicative, e g tomalo (take it ')• If he addresses more than
one he uses a form constructed by substituting d for the final r of the
infinitive, eg. corred, mnos (run> boys!) This imperative is not very
important, because the beginner will seldom have a chance to use it
The form which we habitually employ is the third person singular of
the present subjunctive followed by usted, when addressing one person,
or the third plural followed by ustedes when talking to more than one,
e.g. dispense usted or dispensen ustedes (excuse me).
To make requests or invitations (e g. let us befriends again) the French
use the first person plural of the ordinary present tense without the
pronoun, as in the Marseillaise' allons, enfants de la patne (let us go
forth, children of the fatherland)^ The. Spanish equivalent is the sub-