We use the COMMANDS IN SPANISH (the imperative) to tell people what to do or not to do, to give advice and instructions, even to invite people to do something. Because there are four words ways to say «you» in Spanish: tú, usted, vosotros, ustedes, there are four «you» imperative:
- Dame el libro (give me the book – TÚ).
- 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 we will split it into different sections.
One very important thing! To learn how to form the commands 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 Spanish Commands (el imperative affirmative). Then we will explain step by step, the information in the chart
Affirmative Spanish commands
- Piensa en los demás (Think about others).
- Bebe mucha agua (Drink a lot of water).
- Habla español en clase (Speak Spanish in class).
2. Vosotros imperative replaces the final –r of the infinitive with –d. All Spanish verbs follow this rule.
- ¡Mirad el arco iris! (Look at the rainbow!)
- ¡Id a jugar al jardín! (Go play in the garden!)
- ¡Venid a visitarnos! (Come to visit us!)
3. «Usted and ustedes» in most of the Spanish commands just change a vowel from the «tú» (actually it is the same conjugation that present subjunctive), although there are a few exceptions, that we will see below.
- Espera aquí (wait here – informal) = Espere aquí (wait here – formal).
- Bebe mucha agua (informal) = Beba mucha agua (formal).
4. Verbs that are irregular in the first person singular «yo» 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 «o« in the first person of the present for an «a«
- Venga con nosotros (Come with us).
- Tenga cuidado. (Be careful).
- Haga los ejercicios (Do the homework).
Imperative of verbs SER and IR
5. There are two completely irregular, yes no surprise they are «ser» and «ir».
- Sé 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.)
6. In the affirmative Spanish commands, 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:
- Háblame (Speak to me).
- Escríbenos (Write to us).
Anyway, 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 «usted» 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
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.