you want us to bring it? how irregular / by Anthony Gibbins

This post is about Imperative Verbs, and, specifically, those Imperative Verbs that have an Irregular Form. Imperative Verbs, by the way, are those Verbs used to order somebody to do something. Latin - no surprises here - has a rather regimented manner of forming Imperative Verbs. But there are a few Verbs, such as fero, ferre, tuli, latum to bring that have an Irregular Imperative. Let’s take a look.

A Regular Imperative Verb begins with the Present Stem and then adds an Imperative Ending. The exact ending is determined by two factors. The first is which family (conjugation) the Verb belongs to. The second is how many people you are ordering, one or more-than-one. How about a table.

Conjugation                One Person                 More-than-One                       Meaning

First                             ambula!                      ambulate!                               Walk!

Second                        sede!                           sedete!                                    Sit!

Third                            curre!                          currite!                                    Run!

Fourth                         dormi!                         dormite!                                  Sleep!

Mixed                           fuge!                           fugite!                                     Flee!

But there are a handful of Verbs that have Irregular Imperatives. Mostly it is only the One Person form that is Irregular, but sometimes it is both. Five come to mind right now, although I can’t promise that there aren’t others. These are the Imperatives of fero, ferre, tuli, latum to bring, sum, esse, fui to be, dico, dicere, dixi, dictum to say, facio, facere, feci, factum to make or to do, and duco, ducere, duxi, ductum to lead. This calls for another table!

One Person                 More-than-One                       Meaning

fer!                              ferte!                                       Bring!

es!                               este!                                        Be!

dic!                              dicite!                                     Say!

fac!                              facite!                                     Make! or Do!

duc!                             ducite!                                    Lead!

And then there is eo, ire, ivi or ii, itum to go, whose One Person Imperative is not so much Irregular, as just weird looking.

i!                                  ite!                                          Go!

In this suitcase will be much money - your reward - and that map, which will lead you to the ancient book. Bring the found book to me.’