Spanish Grammar

The imperative mood in Spanish

Spanish language has three verbal moods: Indicative, Subjunctive and Imperative. Imperative has four commands instead of Indicative mood, which has six; these four forms are: tú, vosotros, usted and ustedes.

Probably you had hear some expressions as diga, oye, vamos or viva, all of them are examples of imperative forms. Is important to considerer these words as a full sentences with meaning by themselves.

What Imperative mood in Spanish is?

Imperative mood is used with verbs to tell somebody to do something in a direct manner. For instance, when we use the Imperative we can make sentences with different objectives, as give orders, nevertheless we can also make a recommendation, give instructions or grand permission.

Verbs in the imperative are often used together with polite phrases such as por favor.

However, it is important to remember that in Spanish the tone of voice can communicate almost as much meaning as the content of the sentence itself.

Uses of imperative

uses of imperative in Spanish

Forms of Imperative

There are four forms of the Imperative: TÚ, USTED, VOSOTROS Y USTEDES.

The imperative mood in Spanish can be expressed in Affirmative or Negative, in first place we will see the AFFIRMATIVE FORMS OF IMPERATIVE IN SPANISH.

The nosotros form is used to give an order that involves oneself as well as others, though it often expresses a suggestion as its translation let’s... indicates.

Forms of imperative regular verbs in Spanish grammar

Imperative form for TÚ (you) affirmative

Is formed as the 3rd person singular of Present Indicative Mood

To conjugate the imperative in Spanish in the 2nd person singular  we use the 3rd person singular form of the present indicative

HABL-ACOM-EVIV-E

Habla con tu familia más a menudo.

Come sano.

Escribe el informe que hay que hacer antes de irte a casa, por favor.

Imperative form for VOSOTROS (you all) affirmative

Is formed as the INFINITIVE, we delete the last R from de verb and add a D

To conjugate the imperative in Spanish with he 2nd person plural VOSOTROS we use the INFINITIVE, and change the final – R with a – D. There are not irregularities on this form.

VOSOTROSHABLADCOMEDVIVI-D

Cantad una canción para la abuela, por favor.

Bebed despacio, no hay prisa.

Salid pronto del trabajo si lo necesitáis, no hay ningún problema.

Imperative form for Usted (you formal) affirmative

Is formed with same person of Subjuntive mood.

To conjugate the imperative mood in Spanish with the formal person singular USTED, we use the corresponding form of present of subjunctive.

The form USTED of Subjuntive is made with this vowel changing:

  • The ending -a of verbs from first conjugation -AR change to -E
  • The ending -e of verbs from first conjugation -ER/-IR change to -A
USTEDHABL-ECOM-AVIV-A

¡Abuelo, baile usted hasta el amanecer, que la fiesta hoy no termina!

Coja su mochila, por favor.

Escriba su nombre aquí.

Imperative form for Ustedes (you all formal) affirmative

Is formed with same person of Subjuntive mood. Let’s say, adding a -N to the ending of USTED form

To conjugate the imperative in Spanish with the formal person plural USTEDES, we also use the corresponding form of present of subjunctive, adding a N to the form USTED.

The form USTEDES of Subjuntive is made with this vowel changing:

  • The ending -an of verbs from first conjugation -AR change to -EN
  • The ending -en of verbs from first conjugation -ER/-IR change to -AN
USTEDESHABL-ENCOM-ANVIV-AN

Pasen, pasen, la función todavía no ha empezado.

Coman con prudencia.

Escriban su nombre en la parte izquierda de la hoja.

Forms of imperative of irregular verbs

But be careful, you know that in addition to regular verbs, we also have verbs with vowel change, so we have to remember the rule of using the 3rd person singular in the present to form the affirmative imperative.

Forms of imperative irregular verbs (vowel change) in Spanish

Let’s review all information about the IMPERATIVE mood in Spanish: AFFIRMATIVE

Some forms of imperative in regular verbs are:

Verbs ending with -AR (llevar)

Lleva (tú) / Lleve (usted)

Verbs ending with -ER (comer)

Come (tú) / Coma (usted)

Verbs ending with -IR (vivir)

Vive (tú) / Viva (usted)

Some verbs have vowel changes, as you can see in the examples:

o-ue (dormir)

Duerme (tú) / Duerma (usted)

e-ie (empezar)

Empieza (tú) / Empiece (usted)

e-i (repetir)

Repite (tú) / Repita (usted)

Other irregular verbs are

To form this irregular verbs in Imperative we use the 1st person singular (yo).

In this case we will change the ending -o in -a, with one exception, the verb IR, as you know always irregular.

Forms of Imperative irregular verbs in Spanish

What about reflexive verbs in Imperative in Spanish?

Finally, reflexive verbs place the pronoun behind.

Examples:

Acostarse: Acuéstate / Acuéstese

Levantarse: levántate / levántese

Now you know how to give orders and instructions or how to make proposals or suggestions. If you want to learn more about this topic or about any other issue related to Spanish, don’t hesitate to book classes with Spanishviaskype.com.