The Spanish Imperative Mood is used to give commands or orders. With it, we tell people to do or not to do something.
For example, my ex-wife used to order me around all the time, so she used a lot of these commands. “Do this, do that…” I mean, she was right to do it, I have to admit I am the lazy type. But come on! 🙂
There are many types of commands: affirmative and negative commands, formal and informal…
In this lesson, we will talk specifically about Affirmative Informal Commands. That means, how we tell the persons “tú” (singular you) and “vosotros” (plural you) to do something.
We will go through the following points:
Table of Contents
Regular Affirmative “tú” commands
For affirmative “tú” commands, most verbs are Regular, and the form we need to use is exactly the same as the third person singular of the Present Tense, as shown in the following table:
Verb Present Tense, 3rd Person Singular Affirmative "tú" command
comer come come
trabajar trabaja trabaja
vivir vive vive
cerrar cierra cierra
dormir duerme duerme
pedir pide pide
Compra la comida!
Buy the food
Play with me.
Cierra las ventanas.
Close the windows.
Irregular Affirmative “tú” commands
Not all verbs have regular affirmative “tú” commands. Here is a list of the most important verbs which present irregular affirmative “tú” commands:
Verb Affirmative "tú" command
Pon la mesa.
Set the table.
Ven aquí, por favor.
Come here, please.
Sal de tu habitación y haz algo.
Get out of your room and do something.
Affirmative “vosotros” commands – They are all regular!
Affirmative “vosotros” commands are regular for ALL verbs, even the ones that have irregular “tú” commands.
They are formed by taking the infinitive of the verb and replacing the final “r” with a “d”.
Verb Affirmative "vosotros" command
Abrid la puerta.
Open the door (you guys).
Haced vuestras camas.
Make your beds (you guys).
Have patience (you guys).
2. Placement of pronouns like “me, te, lo, la…”
If we want to include Reflexive, Direct Object or Indirect Object Pronouns such as “me, te, lo, la, los, las, nos, os, se…” in a command, we must place them attached at the end of the affirmative command forms.
And if we need to include not one, but two of these pronouns, they are also attached at the end of the verb, one after another.
Put it here.
Give it to me.
Call us soon.
Buy it to me
Call us (you guys).
Use it (you guys).
Buy it to me (you guys).
Special case – Attaching “os” to a “vosotros” command
If we give a command to “vosotros” and we attach the reflexive pronoun “os” at the end, the verb form loses its final “d”.
Duchaos, por favor.
Shower (you guys). – Instead of “
duchados”, because the verb form loses the final “d”.
Get up (you guys) – Not “
About Accent Marks when attaching Pronouns
Read the sentences above one more time. Notice the accent marks on some of the commands when pronouns are attached. This is how it works:
– “Tú” commands often get a an accent mark when attaching pronouns to them, specially when the resulting word is rather long. The accent mark is on the 3rd or 4th vowel (counting from right to left).
– “Vosotros” commands get an accent mark when (and only when) there are two pronouns attached. It must be on the 3rd vowel (counting from right to left)
3. Practice Spanish Commands: A Quiz
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge!:
4. Practice Spanish Commands: An Exercise
This mother gives many commands to his child Juanito during the day. She’s just like my ex-wife. Fill the gaps in your mind or on a piece of paper using Affirmative Informal “tú” commands. Then check the solutions at the end of this post.
7:15 – Juanito, _____ 1.(levantarse), ¡vas a llegar tarde al cole!
7:30 – Juanito, _____ 2.(hacer) tu cama.
8:00 – Juanito, _____ 3.(ducharse).
8:30 – Juanito, _____ 4.(preparar) tu mochila y _____ 5.(irse) al cole.
15:00 – Juanito, _____ 6. (decirme) qué has habéis hecho hoy en clase.
17:00 – Juanito, ¿has hecho las tareas? ¡_____ 7.(hacerlas) ya!
18:30 – Juanito, por favor, _____ 8.(venir) y _____ 9.(ayudarme) a limpiar la cocina.
21:00 – Juanito, _____ 10.(acostarse), que ya es tarde.
Solutions to the Exercise: 1 = levántate, 2 = haz, 3 = dúchate, 4 = prepara, 5 = vete, 6 = dime, 7 = hazlas, 8 = ven, 9 = ayúdame, 10 = acuéstate.