[B-Greek] Using the Imperative?

John Sanders john.franklin.sanders at gmail.com
Thu May 22 03:51:38 EDT 2008

This is a follow up question on the use of the προστακτικη (PROSTAKTIKH)

I am restricting my questions to the word απτω (hAPTW).

I am also using as a base reference comments made by Dr. Buth and John

I do not know if one may use the middle voice with πυρ (PUR), but let us
assume that is acceptable.

If I give instruction to a toddler in the negative, I presume I may say:

Μη πυρ αψαι (MH PUR ACAI).

If, on the other hand, I see the toddler about to put his hand into
the πυρ(PUR), would I probably say:

Μη πυρ απτου (MH PUR APTOU).

Now let me move over into the ενερβεια (ENERGEIA) (Active voice).

Again, I would assume that if I gave general instructions, I would say:

Πυρα  αψον  (PURA ACON).

But if I came around and saw no fire, and I want perhaps a quicker response,
then would I say:

Πυρα  απτε  (PURA APTE)..

I not attempting to create a rule that adds temporality to the imperative
mood, but it does appear that time has some bearing, at least with this
particular word.  In other words, can using the ενεστως τονος (ENESTWS
TONOS) (present tense) impart some immediacy to the imperative?

post scripta:  from reading BDAG (or whatever the permutation of those
letters are to indicate the latest (electronic) version of the dictionary
is, I take it that the μεσοτης (MESOTHS) (Middle voice) takes the
γενικη(GENIKH) (Genitive) as its adverbial complement and the
ενεργεια (ENERGEIA) (Active voice) generally takes the αιτιατικη (AITIATIKH)
(Accusative case) as its adverbial complement.  Likewise, I will not
vouchsafe for the accuracy of the use of the Greek grammatical terms yet.

John Sanders
Suzhou, China

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