When do you use imperative mood?

I mean you use it when you give an order to someone to do something. But what other situation requires it? Well, usually when English uses these constructions:

1. indirect object + to + verb: He wants me to go.

2. for + indirect object + to + verb: It’s time for me to go.

These sentences could be said (if English used that solution) with subjunctive mood:

1. He wants that I go.

2. It’s time that I go.

When it comes to subjunctive mood, you use the conjunction THAT and you put the verb in subjunctive mood. However, as English verbs has no more than three forms, there is no suffix or ending which would show us it is that mood.

Hungarian, in turn, uses this subjunctive mood-like solution by saying the conjunction HOGY (=that) and putting the verb in imperative mood. So the two sentences above sound like this in Hungarian.

1. Azt akarja, hogy menjek. = He wants that I go. (me to go)

2. Ideje, hogy menjek. = It’s time that I go. (for me to go)

Let’s see a summary from another point of view:

me to go = that I go = hogy menjek

for me to go = that I go = hogy menjek

So me…go and for me… go is equal to I go and the to preposition is equal to the conjunction that.

CONCLUSION! Hungarian uses the HOGY conjunction + imperative mood when English uses (FOR) + INDIRECT OBJECT + TO + VERB.

Usually it comes to such sentences when a verb expresses desire (want, would like, demand, order, wish…) and with impersonal expressions (time to, impossible to…). Some more examples:

It’s time for us to tell our opinion.
Ideje, hogy elmondjuk a véleményünket.

It’s impossible for him to get there in time.
Lehetetlen, hogy időben odaérjen.

We’re almost finished with imperative mood. Next time we’ll see how to say: DON’T

2 comments on “When do you use imperative mood?

  1. Barb says:

    Where is the blog on how to say “don’t”? The next button moves me to Conditionals…


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