Both the usual present imperative (e.g. fac) and the future imperative (e.g. facito) are attested. But are they ever used together so that the tenses are contrasted?

In terms of a concrete example, are orders like the following found in the literature? Or is there something else that suggests that such constructions are valid or invalid?

Abi, redito!
Go, but come back later!

  • Is there a rule on imperatives requiring an accusative e.g. "te abi"? How does the reader know if the receiver is a singular or plural entity?
    – tony
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 11:35
  • 1
    @tony The number of the addressee is indicated by the number of the imperative: abi(to) for one person, abi(to)te for several. An accusative is used for a direct object just like with any other use of the verb; I don't think there's anything special about the imperative.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 13:16

2 Answers 2


In Allen & Greenough p.284; section 449 (Imperative Mood):

"Phyllida mitte mihi, meus est natalis, Iolla; cum faciam vitula pro frugibus, ipse venito" (Ecl. 3.76);

"Send Phyllis to me, it is my birthday, Iollas; when I [shall] sacrifice a heifer for the harvest, come yourself."

Therefore, "mitte" for the present tense imperative; "venito", the future.

"dic quibus in terris, etc. [sic], et Phyllida solus habeto." (id. 3.107);

"tell in what lands etc., and have Phyllis for yourself."

Similarly, "dic"--present; "habeto"--future.

  • Good find. I wonder how common this is in prose.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 4:35

The following is found in the writings of Bernardino Stefonio:

abi: requirito hominem ubi ubi est.

  • Why two "ubi" next to each other? Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 18:07
  • 2
    @FlatAssembler - According to L&S: "Repeated ubi ubi, also written as one word ubiubi, wherever, wheresoever = ubicumque" Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 18:22

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