Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kiss it good-bye

The relative decrease in the number of present imperatives in the Koine in comparison with Ancient Greek may be explained by two factors. In the first place, the present imperative of transformative (especially instantaneous) verbs is used only and exclusively when the speaker is excited. Apparently in those days a present imperative was more readily used when the action could be expressed by verbs that themselves denote duration or perspective. A present imperative is used only when the situation from which the order results is clear or has been made clear to the hearer. The subjective point of view from which the ancient Greek made his choice between the present and aorist imperative seems no longer to be known to the Koine. People are no longer able to voice the finest nuances of thoughts and feelings. Instead, they adhere to objective reality, and consequently express themselves more exactly, at least in this respect.—The Greek Imperative, pages 86–87

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