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533. Mode

Mode. In respect to mode, the difference between the classical Sanskrit and the older language of the Veda — and, in a less degree, of the Brāhmaṇas — is especially great.

a. In the Veda, the present tense has, besides its indicative inflection, a subjunctive, of considerable variety of formation, an optative, and an imperative (in 2d and 3d persons). The same three modes are found, though of much less frequent occurrence, as belonging to the perfect; and they are made also from the aorists, being of especial frequency from the simple aorist. The future has no modes (an occasional case or two are purely exceptional).

b. In the classical Sanskrit, the present adds to its indicative an optative and an imperative — of which last, moreover, the first persons are a remnant of the old subjunctive. And the aorist has also an optative, of somewhat peculiar inflection, usually called the precative (or benedictive).