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Latin for Duolingo: Imperatives, Lesson 1

Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:

We’ll learn how to use imperatives in this lesson. The imperative is a "mood" of verbs: so far we’ve studied the indicative mood, which is used for observations of fact. But the imperative is used to give commands. An imperative verb is bossy; like a bossy person, it (usually) pushes to the front of a sentence.

Imperatives are formed in both singular and plural; because they are always addressed to “you” in second person, it’s necessary to decide whether you are speaking to you (singular) or you (plural). We’ve already encountered some imperatives used in conversational phrases.
For the four conjugations, look at these model verbs to see how the imperative forms are typically constructed:

  1. (porto): porta! (you s.) carry! / portate! (you pl.) carry!
  2. (valeo): vale! (you s.) be well! / valete! (you pl.) be well!
  3. (mitto): mitte! (you s.) send! / mittite! (you pl.) send!
  4. (venio): veni! (you s.) come! / venite! (you pl.) come!

Additionally, for negative commands, the imperative of nolo: noli/nolite is used, in combination with the infinitive.

For our sentences, I’ll give both singular and plural forms in Latin: usually the English translation will be the same for both. We’ll do irregular imperatives and imperatives for deponent verbs in a future lesson.

New Sentences
Veni / Venite hic! = Come here!
Veni / Venite mecum! = Come with me!
Mane / Manete domi! = Stay home!
Mane / Manete nobiscum! = Stay with us!
Porta hoc tecum! = Take this with you!
Portate haec vobiscum! = Take these with you!
Specta / Spectate eum! = Look at him!
Aperi / Aperite ostium (januam)! = Open the door!
Claude / Claudite fenestram! = Close the window! (claudo, claudere, clausi, clausus, 3 = close, shut)
Mitte / Mittite epistulam! = Send the letter!
Inveni / Invenite librum! = Find the book!
Labora / Laborate cum Patre! = Work with Dad!
Indue / Induite tunicam novam! = Put on a new shirt!
Tene / Tenete fidem! = Keep the faith!
Serva / Servate hoc! = Keep this! (servo and teneo are used somewhat interchangeably)
Pone / Ponite patellas in mensam! = Put the plates on the table!
Da / Date mihi pecuniam! = Give me the money!
Cape / Capite hanc pecuniam! = Take this money!
Noli / Nolite timēre! = Do not be afraid! (literally, “be unwilling to fear!”)
Noli / Nolite tangere! = Do not touch!
(tango, tangere, tetigi, tactus, 3 = touch)
Tolle, lege. = Take and read/ Pick it up and read it. (St. Augustine)
Age quod agis. = Do what you do, Be mindful of what you are doing.
Ave atque vale. = Hail and farewell. (Catullus)
Cave canem. = Beware of the dog.
Divide et impera. = Divide and rule.
Festina lente. = Make haste slowly. (Augustus)

Thank you for following along with these Latin lessons. Valete et habete bonam fortunam!

On to the next lesson, Imperatives 2

November 16, 2016



About Ave atque vale. 1) I have been taught that atque should not be followed by a consonant. Is there some sort of rhetoric trick being played by Catullus here? 2) Is there a way of avoiding atque altogether? Or is it necessary in this context? Thank you for the lessons! :)


You have found a rule I never learned! Here is the Perseus dictionary entry for atque or ac. It does appear to be used "infrequently" before v. And here is Wikipedia for Catullus 101. I would imagine "atque" was necessary for the poetic meter. Also, compared to a simple "et", "atque" has a weightier feel and more definite turn; "at" alone means but; -que alone means and... it is an acknowledgement that the greeting is over, and the farewell is at hand. Those are just my thoughts.


I can't access the previous lesson :(


I am able to access it, but there have been several reports about various lessons being inaccessible. It seems to be a glitch that strikes certain posts. I believe it's on Duolingo's end and there's nothing I can do about it. I recommend reporting it to the Troubleshooting forum with specific details. Sorry I can't be more help, but this is one reason for using the Memrise versions of this course as an alternative.

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