56 Imperative mood


The Imperative is a grammatical mood that is used in its Affirmative form to give orders, suggestions, advice or instructions.

The Imperative expressed in its Negative form is used to give orders, suggestions/advice or instructions to prevent someone from doing something.

Below you can read the two forms of the Imperative Mood. Usually Imperatives use a second person (singular/plural) subject.


Affirmative imperatives have the same structure as the infinitive but without the “to”.

to eat Eat!
to dance Dance!
to run Run!
to sleep Sleep!
to work Work!


Negative imperatives have this structure:
Don’t + infinitive without “to”.

to eat Don’t eat!
to dance Don’t  dance!
to run Don’t  run!
to sleep Don’t sleep!
to work Don’t work!


  1. Give orders
    • Stand up straight!
    • Go!
    • Come back!
  2. Give instructions
    • Open your books to page 40.
    • Turn left to get to the plane.
    • Place your bags under the seat.
  3. Make an invitation
    • Sit down and relax.
    • Help yourself.
    • Have some cookies.
  4. Give advice
    • Talk to her. She will understand.
    • Ask him. He should know.
    • Have a word with them. They can help you.
  5. Instructions
    • Buy a ticket.
    • Pull.
    • Insert 1 Euro.


  1. Give orders
    • Don’t look back!
    • Don’t play on the road!
    • Don’t look at me!
  2. Give advice
    • Don’t talk to her. She will not understand.
    • Don’t ask him. He doesn’t know.
    • Don’t buy this car. It’s too expensive.
  3. Instructions
    • Do not smoke in the car.
    • Do not sit here.
    • Do not run.

Affirmative Imperatives have the same form as the infinitive without the “to”, negative imperatives have the same form as the infinitive without the “to” and are preceded by “don’t”.

Usually imperatives use a second person (singular/plural) subject.

We use Affirmative Imperatives to:

  1. Give orders;
  2. Give instructions;
  3. Make an invitation;
  4. Give advice;
  5. On signs/notices.

We use Negative Imperatives to prevent someone from doing something through:

  1. Orders;
  2. Advice;
  3. Instructions.

The Imperative mood implies the use of the second person (singular and plural).

We use Affirmative Imperatives to give orders, suggestions, advice or instructions. Affirmative imperatives have the same form as the infinitive but without the “to”.

We use Negative Imperatives to give orders, suggestions, advice or instructions to prevent someone from doing something. The structure to form a negative imperative is: Don’t + infinitive without “to”.

For example:
— “Buy some food for lunch!”
— “Don’t buy food for lunch!

NOTE: Usually we omit the subject pronoun in imperative sentences.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.