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Imperative Mood in Greek Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Grammar

In oral speech the Imperative is used frequently in order to express a command, a request or prohibition. This post is an introduction to the Imperative Mood with examples on its use.

AnneloesF under a CC license on Flickr

AnneloesF under a CC license on Flickr

 

 

1.  Συνεχής (Continuous)

Πρόσεχε τον εαυτό σου. / Take care of yourself.

Μη δίνεις το τηλέφωνό σου σε αγνώστους. / Don’t give your phone number to strangers.

The continuous Imperative of the verbs which end in –ω (first conjugation) is formed by the stem of the Present (Ενεστώτας) + the endings –ε / –ετε

 

2. Απλή (Simple)

Δώσε μου ένα ποτήρι νερό, σε παρακαλώ. / Give me a glass of water, please.

Μην αγοράσετε αυτό το πουκάμισο. / Don’t buy that shirt.

It is formed by the stem of the Past Simple (Αόριστος) + the endings -ε / -τε.

Some verbs form the plural in –ετε: καταλάβετε (understand), περιμένετε (wait) etc.

 

In the negative form we use the Subjunctive Mood: (να) μην + verb.

 

3. Imperative and personal pronouns

In the affirmative form the pronouns are placed after the verb.

Examples:

Αγόρασε τα γλυκά!=> Αγόρασέ τα! / Buy the sweets. Buy them.

Φέρε το αυτοκίνητο! => Φέρ’το! / Bring the car. Bring it.

Διαβάστε το βιβλίο! => Διαβάστε το! / Read the book. Read it.

 

In the negative form the pronouns are placed before the verb.

Examples:

Μην ανοίξεις την πόρτα! => Μην την ανοίξεις! / Don’t open the door. Don’t open it.

Μην πειράζεις τον παππού! => Μην τον πειράζεις! / Don’t tease the grandfather! Don’t tease him!

 

4. Pronouns as direct and indirect object

In the affirmative form the pronouns which replace the direct and indirect object are both placed after the verb. The indirect object (pronoun in the genitive case) precedes the direct object (pronoun in the accusative case)

Examples:

Στείλε το γράμμα στην καθηγήτρια! => Στείλ’ της το! / Send the letter to the teacher. Send it to her.

Δώσε σε μένα τα κλειδιά! => Δως μου τα! / Give me the keys. Give them to me.

Φτιάξτε τον καφέ στον Αλέξη! => Φτιάξτε τού τον! / Make the coffee to Alexis. Make it to him.

 

In the negative form the pronouns are placed before the verb.

Examples:

Να μη δώσεις στη Μαρία το τηλέφωνό μου! => Να μην της το δώσεις! / Don’t give Maria my phone number. Don’t give it to her.

Μη φέρετε σε εμάς το αυτοκίνητο απόψε! => Να μη μας το φέρετε απόψε! / Don’t bring us the car tonight. Don’t bring it to us tonight.

 

Evil Erin under a CC license on Flickr

Evil Erin under a Cc license on Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


Comments:

  1. Matt:

    Oh this is perfect, I had completely forgotten the difference between the συνεχής και απλή προστακτική. Thanks!

    Quick question, by far the most common is the simple imperative, isn’t it? While the continuous imperative is used in general contexts/proverbs/life lessons?

    • Ourania:

      @Matt Thank you, I’m glad you find this useful!
      Yes, the simple imperative is more common.

  2. Blake:

    It’s a great post to help me review the imperative mood. Thank you very much. I am curious about the sentence “Φτιάξτε τού τον!”, why τού is accented after φτιάξτε?

    • Ourania:

      @Blake Thank you for your comment. Του is the weak type of the personal pronoun αυτού. The weak types that follow an imperative accented on the penultimate are accented too.