On a previous lesson we explored the use of the informal imperative used with tú (singular "you"), vosotros (plural “you” in Spain) and ustedes (plural “you” in the Americas). The Imperative in Spanish is a verb form that is used to give an order to someone, to make a suggestion to do something, to provide recommendations, offer advice, prohibit actions or make a request. If there is a direct and indirect object, the indirect object comes first, as in: In written instructions, use either the familiar or formal forms, depending on the tone you want to convey as well as your audience. For example, if you're telling someone in English to look, the command is "look." -No, ni por un momento, Madre. The familiar pronouns ("tú" and "vosotros") are usually omitted in actual use unless needed for clarity or emphasis, while the formal pronouns ("usted" and "ustedes") are more often used. The imperative form in Spanish exists for the first person plural (nosotros/-as), the second person singular and plural (tú, vosotros/-as) and the polite form usted in singular and plural (usted/-es). -No, not even for a moment, Mother. Example: Aprende español. This is often referred to as the “imperative” form of the verb. Now let's see how to give orders with the formal usted (singular "you"), and ustedes (plural “you” in Spain and in the Americas). Some writers put commands between exclamation points to help indicate that they are commands. Commands are used when ordering, or telling someone to do something. As a distinctive conjugation, it exists only with "tú" and "vosotros," in the familiar second person. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. In … > eat, don't eat, Plural familiar: comed vosotros, no comáis vosotros > eat, don't eat, Plural formal: coman Uds., no coman Uds. Note that in many of the verb examples below there is a link to the full conjugation of the verb. 2 Forming the imperative: instructions not to do something. When you use it this way, the exclamation marks don't necessarily translate to written English, as in, "¡Escucha!" Using "hablar" (to speak) as an example, the conjugations include: Use the imperative form only for the familiar affirmative commands. Commands in Spanish: The Formal Imperative, Spice up your Spanish with Some Mexican Sayings. For ustedes (formal you plural): Vayan y coman todo el plancton que quieran, Go and eat all the plankton that you want, Actually, this is a great example that gives us the opportunity to introduce an important irregular verb, ir (to go) and it's formal imperative vaya (go).Let's see some variations of the example using the informal imperative. Commands in Spanish: The Formal Imperative Let's continue learning the Spanish imperative. Let’s play to our quiz to test your knowledge ! The imperative form of verbs, used for giving commands, is one of the more unusual in Spanish. More simply put, sentences in the imperative mood are commands. Compre Ud. In other cases, use the present subjunctive conjugation. When we want to give a command or an instruction we just say the verb, e.g. Actually, the formal commands are very easy in Spanish, we just need to use the present subjunctive. There are many different types of commands in Spanish, including tú. And thus we have also learned that you can use the imperative to supplicate as well! ( Learn Spanish.) The irregular verbs are these eight, along with verbs derived from them: All verbs are regular in the plural affirmative familiar imperative. The verbs in imperative tense are very important to know if you want to progress in Spanish. The imperative mood is used to tell someone to do something in a direct manner. For more details, see our Privacy Policy. Gerald Erichsen is a Spanish language expert who has created Spanish lessons for ThoughtCo since 1998. Using "comer" (to eat) as an example, the conjugations include: Using "escribir" (to write) as an example, the conjugations include: The pronouns are included in the above charts for clarity. The familiar form generally comes across as friendlier, as in: You can also use the impersonal command. The imperative is always conjugated without a personal pronoun and in the present tense, in either the indicative or the subjunctive mood. The imperative form of verbs, used for giving commands, is one of the more unusual in Spanish. Sit down, shut up and study the Spanish imperative! This is also another great example because it's showing us how to use the formal imperative with negation, which, good news, also uses the present subjunctive, so you only need to add the word "no," that' it! There are various forms of the imperative in Spanish that use - tú, nosotros, usted, ustedes. Because direct commands sometimes can sound rude or impolite, native speakers often avoid the imperative in favor of other verb constructions. The imperative is used to give orders, instructions, etc. Pay attention to the verb ir (to go): For tú (you singular informal): Ve y come todo el plancton que quieras, Go and eat all the plankton that you want, For vosotros (you plural informal in Spain): Id y comed todo el plancton que queráis, Go and eat all the plankton that you want, For ustedes (you plural informal in the Americas*): Vayan y coman todo el plancton que quieran, Go and eat all the plankton that you want, But let's continue with another regular verb and the formal imperative: Sí, no espere que me ría. How To Make Commands and Requests in Spanish Without the Imperative, How To Know When to Use the Familiar Forms of ‘You’ in Spanish, Using Personal Subject Pronouns in Spanish, A Quick Introduction to Mood and Voice in Spanish Verbs, affirmative (do something) and negative (don't), Singular familiar: habla tú, no hables tú > speak, don't speak, Singular formal: hable Ud., no hable Ud. For usted (formal you singular): Go and eat all the plankton that you want. The same is true for "-er" and "-ir" verbs. In English the imperative is very easy. Quick Answer. > eat, don't eat, Singular familiar: escribe tú, no escribas tú > write, don't write, Singular formal: escriba Ud., no escriba Ud. The Spanish equivalent can be "mira," "mire," "mirad" or "miren," depending on whom you are speaking to. Different conjugations are sometimes used in the affirmative (do something) and negative (don't). For regular verbs, the familiar affirmative imperative (the one that goes with "tú" and "vosotros") is formed by dropping the final letter (the "r") of the infinitive, except for verbs ending in "-ir," in which case, the ending is changed to "-e." In the plural, the final letter of the infinitive is changed to a "d." For formal and negative commands, the subjunctive conjugation is used. Use of the imperative is fairly straightforward, but learning a few guidelines will help you to use it correctly. are to the left. The imperative form is equivalent to the use of the unconjugated verb in English without a subject. Hear an audio pronunciation. You can opt-out at any time. (Listen.). The singular affirmative familiar imperative (used with "tú") is usually regular. > write, don't write. Sit down, Come in, Don't smoke, Listen to me, Shut up, Don't speak to me like that, etc. > speak, don't speak, Plural familiar: hablad vosotros, no habléis vosotros > speak, don't speak, Plural formal: hablen Uds., no hablen Uds. Hear an audio pronunciation. The "vosotros" commands are rarely used in Latin America. Yes, don't expect me to laugh. Verbs in Imperative Spanish Quiz. Let's continue learning the Spanish imperative. The imperative form of verbs is fairly easy to learn. Examples in English: Pass me the salt. It’s also the perfect occasion for you to learn new Spanish verbs! The imperative is known as a mood (rather than tense) because it is used to express a want or desire, and always refers to the exact moment in which it is used. Here are examples using the regular verbs amar (to love), temer (to fear), partir (to leave) as models: Ame (usted) a su hermano - No (ame) usted a su hermano | Love your brother - Don't love your brother Tema (usted) a su hermano - No (tema) usted a su hermano | Fear your brother - Don't fear your brother Parta con su hermano - No parta con su hermano | Leave with your brother - Don't leave with your brother Finally, an example of formal imperative with ustedes (you plural) that uses the regular verbs caminar (to walk) and perdonar (to forgive), this last one with a suffix pronoun! On a previous lesson we explored the use of the informal imperative used with tú (singular "you"), vosotros (plural “you” in Spain) and ustedes (plural “you” in the Americas).


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