calvinist wrote:I have a question about the force of the 3rd person imperative. Now "May the Force be with you" or "Let God's will be done" are two ways commonly used to render the 3p Imp in English. However, these do not seem to carry much "imperative" force, at least to me. They seem to convey more of a wish or desire... much weaker than (speaking to the Force) "Be with him". Is the phrase "May the Force be with you" even considered imperative in English? So does the Greek have this same nuance? I guess the main problem is that you are not adressing the one being commanded, but Greek seems to not differentiate since it uses the same construction for both 2nd and 3rd person commands (unlike 1st person).
Even in Greek the force of a 2nd person is probably stronger than a 3rd person imperative because you are addressing the person.
English does not have a 3rd person imperative so we have to interpret rather than give a direct translation.
I don't think that "may the force be with you" is a good way to translate an imperative. (Maybe a subjuctive or optative.) "The force must be with you." would be an imperative.
calvinist wrote:Another interesting thing is that the 1st person in English does carry a strong imperative force, "Let's go", but again is that merely because the group is being adressed directly?
If you say; "LET'S GO
" it sure sounds like an imperative.
If you just say: "Let us go". It sounds like a suggestion.
In Greek you would use a subjunctive. A hortatory subjunctive. Ie: A subjunctive used as an exhortation.
calvinist wrote:I guess my main question is whether the weakness of the 3rd person imperative in English is due to the fact that the person being commanded is not present, or is it simply a nuance of English grammar, and how does it all tie in to Greek?
The Lord's Prayer has several 3rd person imperatives. They sure are not commands. The forcefulness of a 2nd and 3rd in Greek could not be identical just like they are not in English.
If I'm just going insane, let me know also.
I'd love to help you here but I just don't know.