Sunday, June 03, 2018


Second Person Future Verbs as Commands

Aristophanes, Lysistrata 459-460 (tr. Jeffrey Henderson):
Tackle them! Hit them! Smash them!
Call them names, the nastier the better!

οὐχ ἕλξετ᾿, οὐ παιήσετ᾿, οὐκ ἀράξετε,
οὐ λοιδορήσετ᾿, οὐκ ἀναισχυντήσετε;
More literally:
Won't you tackle them, won't you hit them, won't you smash them,
won't you call them names, won't you behave impudently?
William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1897), p. 19, § 70:
The second person of the future may express a concession or permission; and it often expresses a command.
See also Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, Part I (New York: American Book Company, 1900), pp. 116-117, §§ 269 ("Imperative Use of the Future") and 271 ("οὐ with Future Indicative in Questions as Imperative," citing the passage from Aristophanes).

Likewise in English the following mean much the same:

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