Identify examples of imperative sentences in paragraph 13 of Emerson's "Education."

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An imperative sentence can do a number of things, but they all amount to one goal: an imperative sentence tells someone what to do. Most often, they amount to a command or a piece of instruction. Thus, there is not actually an imperative sentence in the thirteenth paragraph of this ...

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An imperative sentence can do a number of things, but they all amount to one goal: an imperative sentence tells someone what to do. Most often, they amount to a command or a piece of instruction. Thus, there is not actually an imperative sentence in the thirteenth paragraph of this essay. That particular paragraph reads,

Whilst thus the world exists for the mind; whilst thus the man is ever invited inward into shining realms of knowledge and power by the shows of the world, which interpret to him the infinitude of his own consciousness—it becomes the office of a just education to awaken him to the knowledge of this fact.

The first independent clause, which precedes the semicolon, describes the world. The second independent clause, which follows the semicolon and precedes the em dash, describes what happens to human beings when they have received a "just" education. The third independent clause, which follows the em dash and precedes the period, describes the responsibility of a "just" education to awaken us to these benefits. There is, technically speaking, only one sentence in this paragraph, but it contains three independent clauses (which could be full sentences were they punctuated differently).

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To begin, one must be able to identify an imperative sentence. An imperative sentence is one which gives advice or expresses a request.

Paragraph thirteen of Emerson's Education, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is as follows:

Whilst thus the world exists for the mind; whilst thus the man is ever invited inward into shining realms of knowledge and power by the shows of the world, which interpret to him the infinitude of his own consciousness--it becomes the office of a just education to awaken him to the knowledge of this fact.

Paragraph thirteen contains only one sentence. Therefore, the only sentence which can be considered an imperative one is the entire "paragraph" itself. This sentence is an imperative one based upon the fact that Emerson is offering his advice about a man's consciousness and is asking man to consider certain something. He is asking readers to consider one fact: that while the "world" exists in the mind of a single man, a man must continue to search for his own knowledge. By doing this, his own knowledge can become fact.

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