|a) The imperative of weak and irregular verbs
The imperative forms of weak verbs generally follow the same pattern as strong verbs (G.16d) sg. graš! ܓܪܰܫ pl. grašu! ܓܪܰܫܘ.
1. Initial weak verbs
The imperative of the main initial weak verbs starts with /i-/ ܐܝ instead of /y-/ ܝـ:
Other verbs with Olaf /ܐ/ as first radical are formed without the initial weak radical, showing only the two remaining radicals like medial weak (i.e. hollow) verbs:
2. Imperatives of „to come“ und „to go“
The verbs „to come“ (ʾṯy ܐܬ݂ܝ) and „to go“ (ʾzl ܐܙܠ) are irregular. They have exceptional imperative forms and distinguish between feminine and masculine gender in the singular:
3. Verbs with /y/ ܝ as second radical
Medial /y/ ܝ verbs are formed without the weak radical, showing only two radicals:
The imperative of medial /w/ ܘ verbs, however, is inflected like strong verbs:
4. Final weak verbs
All three stem formations (I, II and III) of final weak roots form the imperative like strong verbs:
5. Negation of the imperative of weak and irregular verbs
Imperatives are negated using lo ܠܐ + the present base inflected for the second person (sg. respectively pl.) (G16.d):
graš! ܓܪܰܫ > lo guršat! ܠܐ ܓܘܪܫܰܬ
grašu! ܓܪܰܫܘ > lo guršitu! ܠܐ ܓܘܪܫܝܬܘ
The negative imperative thus follows the inflection of the present forms of the respective verbs. As discussed in Section G.22e, the negation of initial Olaf ܐ verbs is slightly different. In these verbs the negator lo ܠܐ merges with the initial syllable of the present form ending up as l- ܠـ: lo ܠܐ + uxlat ܐܘܟ݂ܠܰܬ = luxlat ܠܐܘܟ݂ܠܰܬ “don’t eat!”. The Olaf ܐ is maintained in the Syriac spelling for etymological reasons. For more examples, see Section G.22e.
b) Object suffixes attached to the imperative
Pronominal objects of the imperative are expressed by means of suffixes. These are the same object suffixes presented in Section G.22a. The imperative singular has two distinct third person object suffixes, the first denotes the direct object (DO) (“Pull him!”, “Give it!”) and the second the indirect object (IO) (“Pull for him!” “Give to me!”). All other persons have only one form:
c) The 3rd sg. copula yo ܝܐ and 3pl. copula ne ܢܶܐ can serve as second pronominal object
Verbs that have an object suffix can take another pronominal object expressed by the third person copulas (G4.2b) sg. yo ܝܐ and pl. ne ܢܶܐ. This is written independently. The second object is always a direct object, the object suffix can only denote the indirect object:
d) The subjunctive
1. The subjunctive in general
The subjunctive is formed on the basis of the present (G7.a), the bare present base. When the modifier d ܕ is placed before it, the subjunctive serves as a modal verb (“that I may…”) (G.20c) or conditional (“if I…”) (G.22c) depending on the context. The subjunctive is used in conditional clauses and other subordinate clauses but also independently to implore or encourage the listener (e.g. “shall we?” or “let’s”), as well as in the imperative (after the negator lo- ܠܐ, “don’t!” G.16d.2).
Examples for the subjunctive:
2. The particle ṭro ܛܪܐ added to the subjunctive
The preverbal modifier ṭro ܛܪܐ together with the subjunctive functions as the ‘jussive’ (“should, let”). That is, it expresses desire, request, permission or obligation:
The particle ṭro ܛܪܐ fuses with the verbal form to a single word when combined with initial weak verbs. The first radical Olaf ܐ of the verb is maintained in Syriac writing: ṭro ܛܪܐ + oxal ܐܳܟ݂ܰܠ = ṭroxal ܛܪܳܐܟ݂ܰܠ „let him eat“, ṭro ܛܪܐ + ëzze ܐܷܙܙܶܗ = ṭrëzze ܛܪܷܐܙܙܶܗ „let him go“. Also, the form ṭrowe ܛܪܳܘܶܐ (from ṭro howe ܛܪܐ ܗܳܘܶܐ „let it be“) follows this procedure which is first mentioned in Lesson 8 and conveys the sense of “OK” or “All right”.
3. The adverb balki ܒܰܠܟܝ with the subjunctive
Using the adverb balki ܒܰܠܟܝ “maybe, perhaps, could” together with the subjunctive indicates uncertainty or possibility: