I'm trying to learn the archaic conjugation (for fun) and I wonder if the imperative verbs in the archaic form can be conjugated with -est for the second person singular (ex: Eatest thy vegetables).

Thank you in advance for your answers!


This depends on whether you want to read Shakespeare (late 1500s) or Chaucer (late 1300s). By the time of Shakespeare's plays (roughly contemporaneous with the King James bible), the imperative was always the same as the infinitive.

Get thee to a nunnery.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

When Chaucer wrote, the imperative was the same as the infinitive for thou, but for you, either 'e' or 'eth' was added to the infinitive. Reference here.

Telle forth youre tale, spareth for no man,
And teche us yonge men of youre praktike.

The 'e' ending was not pronounced, and sometimes not written, before a vowel.

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  • That's very interesting. Thank you. I might use the conjugation of Shakespeare, but Chaucer's conjugation is interesting. – Archa Jun 18 '14 at 13:29

According to this, the archaic imperative is the same as the current.

At least that is what I understand from his comment about "ye all hear" where the "ye" can be seen as the implied subject of an imperative.

So alas, it would be "Eat thy vegetables!"

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You could also use the second person singular pronoun thou, which often have the ending -est, pronounced as a full syllable, e.g. thou makest ("you make"), thou leadest ("you lead").

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