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LEARN SPANISH IMPERATIVE MOOD (Presente- Present)

Imperative mood only has one tense, the present tense. Before we study the present of the imperative mood we need to learn some basic concepts about Spanish verbs. Spanish verbs are always either regular or irregular as it happens with English verbs. All Spanish verbs end either in "-ar", "-er" or "-ir ". These are the three Spanish conjugations.


Example

Hablar (to speak), Correr (to run), Añadir (to add)

To form the present of the imperative mood, we need to take the verb as we find it in the dictionary. Then we will remove the last two letters and we will add the appropriate ending for each person. There is no form for the first person "yo" (I).

Example

For the verbs ending in -ar:

yo (I)
tú (You) -a
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) -e
nosotros, nosotras (we) -emos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) -ad
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) -en

Example: We take the verb "hablar" (to speak). We remove the "-ar": We are left with habl- (the stem) and then we add the personal endings.

habl-- hablar
yo (I)
habla (speak) tú (you)
hable (speak) él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal)
hablemos (speak) nosotros, nosotras (we)
hablad (speak) vosotros, vosotras (you all)
hablen (speak) ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal)

For verbs ending in -er:

yo (I)
tú (You) -e
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) -a
nosotros, nosotras (we) -amos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) -ed
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) -an

Example: We take the verb "correr" (to run). We remove the "-er": We are left with corr- (the stem) and then we add the personal endings.

corr-- correr
yo (I)
corre tú (you)
corra él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal)
corramos nosotros, nosotras (we)
corred vosotros, vosotras (you all)
corran ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal)

For verbs ending in -ir:

yo (I)
tú (You) -e
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) -a
nosotros, nosotras (we) -amos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) -id
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) -an

Example: We take the verb "añadir" (to add). We remove the "-ir": We are left with añad- (the stem) and then we add the personal endings.

añad-- añadir
yo (I)
añade tú (you)
añada él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal)
añadamos nosotros, nosotras (we)
añadid vosotros, vosotras (you all)
añadan ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal)

The differences between the persons "tú" (you), "vosotros" (you all), "usted" (you formal) and "ustedes" (you all formal) are explained in Spanish Personal Pronouns .

Some of the irregular verbs will be conjugated exactly in the same form, adding the same sets of endings; the only difference is that they will have some spelling changes in the stem of the verb. ***Remember*** Spanish Irregular verbs can be highly irregular and the general rule is "The rules do not apply".

Cerrar To Close
yo
cierra (tú) close
cierre (él) close
cerremos (nosotros) close
cerrad (vosotros) close
cierren (ellos) close

SOME GENERAL USES

We use the imperative mood to give orders or commands to the person who is listening to us.

Example

Abre (tú) la puerta, por favor.

Open the door, please

Acércame (tú) ese libro, por favor.

Pass me that book, please

Pase usted primero.

After you

As we can see from the above examples, in the affirmative form of the imperative mood, the persons of the verb (the pronouns) go after the verb. When we want to give an order or command with a negative sentence, we will not use the imperative mood but the present simple tense of the subjunctive mood.

Example

No vengas tarde esta noche.

Do not get home late tonight

No hables con la boca llena.

Do not speak with your mouth full