Jussive mood

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The jussive (abbreviated JUS) is a grammatical mood of verbs for issuing orders, commanding, or exhorting (within a subjunctive framework). English verbs are not marked for this mood. The mood is similar to the cohortative mood, which typically applies to the first person by appeal to the object's duties and obligations[citation needed], and the imperative, which applies to the second (by command). The jussive however typically covers the first and third persons.[1] It can also apply to orders by their author's wish in the mandative subjunctive.



In German language, the jussive mood is expressed using present subjunctive (named "Konjunktiv I" in German). It is typical of formal documents or religious texts, such as the Bible. Because it was more common in past centuries, it has often survived in proverbs:

Es kehre jeder vor seiner eigenen Tür.
It sweep+SBJV+PRES+3S everyone in front of his own door
Everybody should sweep in front of his own door (Everybody should mind his own business)

It is still common that recipes are written in Jussive Mood:

Man nehme drei Eier
One take+SBJV+PRES+3S three eggs
Take three eggs

Apart from that, Jussive Mood is still quite common in contemporary German. However, the pronouns he/she/it might not be used directly; otherwise Jussive would be mistaken for a dated form of courteous Imperative. Instead, they will have to replaced by "who", "someone", "everyone", "The new colleague" and so on:

Wer noch eine Karte braucht, melde sich bei mir
Who still a ticket need+IND+PRES+3S, contact+SBJV+PRES+3S himself with me
If someone still needs a ticket, just contact me.

Finally an example for Jussive that would have served as a courteous Imperative when addressing people of lower, but not lowest, rank:

Komme Er her und helfe Er mir!
come+SUBJ+SBJV+3S he here and help+SBJV+PRES+3S he me!
Come over and help me!

Note that Er is written in capital letters. Even if this construction is not used anymore in common German, it will be recognized as being an Imperative (German Wikipedia lists the example "Sei Er nicht so streng!" as a historic form of an imperative).


In the Latin language, the present subjunctive can convey jussive meaning in the third person (jussive subjunctive or coniunctivus iussivus):[2]

  • Adiuvet ("He shall help.")
  • Veniant ("They shall come.")


The jussive mood, called the volitive in Esperanto, is used for wishing and requesting, and serves as the imperative. It covers some of the uses of the subjunctive in European languages:

Iru! (Go!)
Mi petis, ke li venu. (I asked him to come.)
Li parolu. (Let him speak.)
Ni iru. (Let's go.)
Benu ĉi tiun domaĉon. (Bless this mess.)
Mia filino belu! (May my daughter be beautiful!)


The jussive mood, in the form of the exhortative, can be found in Korean, as seen in the sentence:[3][dubious ]

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공부 하.
gongbu ha-ja
study do-EXH
"Now, let's study."


The jussive mood in modern Russian serves as an imperative (for issuing orders, commanding or requesting), but covers third person instead of second person. Always formed with a particle пусть, which is derived from the verb пускать (to let, to allow).

Imperative: Беги! (Run!)
Jussive: Пусть бежит (similar to Let him run)


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