Commands in Spanish: giving instructions and advice

We use the COMMANDS IN SPANISH (the imperative) ¬†to tell people what to do or not to do, to give advice and instructions, and even to invite people to do something. Because there are four words ways to say ¬ęyou¬Ľ¬† in Spanish: t√ļ, usted, vosotros, ustedes, there are four ¬ęyou¬Ľ imperative:

  • Dame el libro (give me the book – T√ö).
  • Deme el libro (give me the book – USTED).
  • Dadme el libro (give me the book – VOSOTROS).
  • Denme el libro (give me the book – USTEDES).

How to made commands in Spanish

Making commands in Spanish is not really difficult, but we need to pay attention to many different small things so that we will split it into different sections. 

One very important thing! To learn how to form the imperative in Spanish easily, it is fundamental to know how to form the present simple well, because both conjugations are closely related.

In the chart below, you can see how to form the Affirmative Imperative in Spanish (el imperativo afirmativo). Then we will explain, step by step, the information in the chart

Commands in Spanish, how to form the imperative affirmative

Affirmative Spanish commands

1. Most ¬ęt√ļ¬Ľ commands in Spanish are identical to the ¬ę√©l/ella/usted¬Ľ form of the present indicative (regular verbs and stem-changing verbs). We will see the exceptions later.

  • Piensa en los dem√°s¬†(Think about others).
  • Bebe mucha agua (Drink a lot of water).
  • Habla espa√Īol en clase (Speak Spanish in class).

2. Vosotros imperative replaces¬†the final ‚Äďr of the infinitive with ‚Äďd. All Spanish verbs follow this rule.

  • ¬°Mirad el arco iris! (Look at the rainbow!)
  • ¬°Id a jugar al jard√≠n! (Go play in the garden!)
  • ¬°Venid a visitarnos! (Come to visit us!)

3. ¬ęUsted and¬†ustedes¬Ľ in most of the Spanish commands just change a vowel from the ¬ęt√ļ¬Ľ (actually it is the same conjugation that present subjunctive), ¬†although there are a few exceptions, that we will see below.

  • Espera aqu√≠ (wait here – informal) =¬†Espere aqu√≠ (wait here – formal).
  • Bebe mucha¬†agua (informal)¬† =¬†Beba mucha agua (formal).

4. Verbs that are irregular in the first person singular ¬ęyo¬Ľ in the present tense, are also irregular in imperative.

  • Ven con nosotros (Come with us).
  • Ten cuidado (Be careful).
  • Haz los ejercicios. (Do the homework).¬†

For this group of verbs, the usted is made with the ¬†¬ęo¬ę in the first person of the present for an ¬ęa¬ę

  • Venga con nosotros (Come with us).
  • Tenga cuidado. (Be careful).
  • Haga los ejercicios¬†(Do the homework).
Affirmative Commands in Spanish: irregular verbs

Imperative of verbs SER and IR

¬†5. There are two completely irregular, yes no surprise they are¬† ¬ęser¬Ľ and ¬ęir¬Ľ.

  • S√© bueno. (Be good – informal.)¬†¬†¬†– ¬†Sea¬†bueno. (Be good – ¬† formal.)
  • ¬†Ve a la escuela. (Go to the school- informal.) –¬†Vaya¬†a la escuela.¬†(Go to the school- formal.)¬†
Imperative of verbs SER and IR

6.  In the affirmative imperative, i.e. when telling someone to do something, object pronouns are attached to the verbs. Notice that an accent can be added to keep the stress in the same place as it would be without the pronoun:

  • H√°blame¬†(Speak to me).
  • Escr√≠benos¬†(Write to us).

We will learn more about Spanish Commands with Pronouns in another lesson. 

7.¬†To form the Negative Spanish Commands, we will use the form of ¬ęusted¬Ľ and the collocations of the pronouns will change too, but we will study this in the following lesson.

  • No me hables (Don’t speak to me).
  • No nos escribas (Don’t write to us).

Imperative affirmative exercises

Now you can practice everything you have learned with the quiz below. Remember you can contact your tutor for any questions you have about the Spanish commands. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

As you know practice makes perfect, so click on the bottom below if you what to practice with more exercises. After that go back to the lesson to continue working with Commands in Spanish.

Finally, you can also see how the commands in Spanish work in context by watching the v√≠deo ¬ęMi receta de gazpacho (my gazpacho recipe)¬Ľ or by listening¬†to the podcast ¬ęEn el m√©dico¬ę.

3 comentarios en ¬ęCommands in Spanish: giving instructions and advice¬Ľ

  1. Gracias, es muy util! Necesito practicar mas!

  2. Hola, Poojan. Dime si quieres m√°s ejercicios. Un abrazo.

  3. Ustedes son lo mejor!!

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