Unit 11.2

Imperative Mood


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Introduction

The imperative is a structure used to give an order or command.

Form

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

We usually find this structure in two forms, affirmative and negative.

Affirmative

Its structure, in the affirmative form, is:
Verb (infinitive without to) + …

Infinitive Positive Imperative
To eat Eat!
To dance Dance!
To run Run!
To sleep Sleep!
To work Work!

Negative

Its structure, in the negative form, is:
Don’t + verb (infinitive without to) + …

Infinitive Negative Imperative
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!

Example

  1. Come back to the classroom!
    Don’t listen to your classmate!
  2. Collect your school timetable tomorrow morning.
    Don’t open that webpage. It has a virus.
  3. Talk to your maths teacher. He will understand.
    Don’t send that email. It will only cause further problems.
  4. Pull.
    Do not disturb.
  5. Have a seat.
    Don’t be afraid to contact your university professor.

Use

We use imperative mood  in affirmative and negative forms. Affirmative imperatives are used to motivate or force someone to do something while negative imperatives are used to prevent someone from doing something.

We use imperatives to:

  1. give orders (in most cases, with the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence);
  2. give instructions;
  3. give advice;
  4. on signs/notices;
  5. make an invitation (it is only used in the affirmative form).

NOTE: We omit the subject pronoun in imperative sentences.

Summary

The imperative mood implies the use of the second person (singular and plural) and its structure has two forms:

  • affirmative (base form of the verb): orders, advice or instructions and invitations to motivate or force someone to do something.
  • negative (don’t followed by the base form of the verb): orders, suggestions, advice or instructions to prevent someone from doing something.

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

NOTE: We usually 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.

Exercises

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