Volitive modality

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Volitive modality (abbreviated VOL) is a linguistic modality that indicates the desires, wishes or fears of the speaker. It is classified as a subcategory of deontic modality.[1]

Realisation in speech

Volitive moods are a category of grammatical moods that are used to express volitive modality. Examples are the optative, desiderative and imprecative moods.[1] However, many languages (like English) have other ways to express volitive modality, for example modal verbs ("Would that you were here!", "May he live forever!").

The volitive in Esperanto is really a generic deontic mood, expressing commands as well as will, desire, and purpose. It is formed by adding a -u to the verb stem.[2]

  • Estu feliĉa "May you be happy!"
  • Donu al mi panon "Give me bread!"


  1. 1.0 1.1 Loos, Eugene E. "What is volitive modality?". Glossary of linguistic terms. SIL International. Retrieved 2009-12-28. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Fryer, Helen. The Esperanto Teacher (10th ed.). Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2010-03-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>