Use of Spanish Commands

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Use Spanish Imperative


The command form is always used when you ask another person to do something or when you give them an order.

Example:

¡Por favor, dame la mochila!
¡Ven ahora mismo!

If the command should be less direct, e.g. because it is addressed to a stranger or you want to be polite, you use por favor.

Example:

Levántate por favor.
Ayúdame, por favor, con lavar los platos.

Advices, suggestions and invitations can also be in the command form. They do not necessarily act as a command, but as a friendly invitation to do something.

Example:

Mejor, ven a las 12:00.
Descansa un poco y duerme más.

There are also situations in which the command form is chosen to give clear, brief instructions.

Example:

Tome la pastilla con mucho líquido.
Primero añada la cebolla y el ajo.

Some phrases and courtesies are also imperative:

¡Tenga!Here, please!
¡Digame!Yes, hello? (on phone)
¡No te molestes!Don’t inconvenience yourself.
¡Cuenta, cuenta! Tell me about it!
¡Pasa, pasa!Come in, please!

Position of the pronouns with imperative

A special feature of Spanish is the combination of imperative and pronoun. In the affirmative imperative, the personal pronouns are directly attached to the imperative form of the verb; first the indirect, then the direct object pronoun:

CuéntemelaTell me about it
Vera, ayúdanos, por favorVera, help us, please.
Leénselo abuelito, por favorRead it to us please, Grandpa.
Laura, pónteloLaura, put it on.
Pase y sienteseCome and sit down, please.

In the negative imperative, the pronoun stands before the imperative form of the verb:

No me la cuentesDon’t tell me
Vera, no nos ayudesVera, don’t help us
No nos lo leaDon’t read us
Laura, no te pongasLaura, don’t put it on.

If the reflexive pronoun os is attached to the imperative form of the verb, the -d is omitted in the 2nd person plural:

Comed la salchicha – Coméosla
Poneos el pulóver – Ponéoslo