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The imperatives of sum/esse (to be) are sg. es/esto and pl. este.

When do we use es? And when esto?

  • But this is the present. – global05 Aug 14 at 4:45
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    Could you clarify where you are seeing esto given as a present imperative form of sum? Allen and Greenough describe it as a future imperative form even when used with a generic meaning: 449 (giving the example "Is iūris cīvīlis cūstōs estō. (Legg. 3.8) Let him (the prætor) be the guardian of civil right.") – Asteroides Aug 14 at 5:04
  • I was taught this by my teacher, based off the Oxford Latin Course – global05 Aug 14 at 5:26
  • It's possible that you may have misunderstood: i.e. that it wasn't explicitly said that esto was present tense, but you assumed it. – rjpond Aug 21 at 11:18
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Es and este are the present imperative, esto and estote are the future imperative. As far as I know, the difference between present and future imperatives is the same for all verbs, and esse is not different.

I think the general differences between present and future imperatives should be asked in a separate question — if not asked already. It is not simply a matter of tense but there are nuances to it.

(The present imperative only has the second person forms. The future one has these and third person forms esto (same as second) and sunto. This is the same for all verbs.)

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