Why does ἔχω exhibit a 2 s. aorist imperative σχές instead of what I would expect to be σχέ ?

Do other verbs do this, or is this peculiar to this verb?

1 Answer 1


There are a handful of verbs that take -ς in the 2sg. aorist imperative: the others are δίδωμι, τίθημι, ἵημι (δός, θές, ἕς). The origin of this -ς is a mystery.

  • Hmm, I checked my text for those very verbs, thinking they might show it. Don't know how I missed that, must have been up too late last night ;) Will look again. Thanks for the informative answer, +1 for you.
    – MPW
    Mar 24, 2020 at 18:06
  • Yes, it is there in my text (JACT Reading Greek) for δίδωμι and τίθημι as well. Don’t know how I missed them. Thanks again!
    – MPW
    Mar 25, 2020 at 9:35
  • Idle speculation: could those be from some sort of old subjunctive? I believe the subjunctive didn't (always) have lengthened vowels in archaic Greek.
    – Cerberus
    Mar 25, 2020 at 14:45
  • @Cerberus There were indeed short-vowel subjunctives (the IE subjunctive rule was simply "add -e/o-", resulting in short-vowel stems for athematic verbs and long-vowel stems for thematic verbs), but they still had a thematic vowel, which we don't see in δό-ς etc.
    – TKR
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:41
  • @TKR: OK, noted. I'll pay more attention reading Homer...
    – Cerberus
    Mar 26, 2020 at 4:08

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