Unit 11.2

Imperative Mood

Verbs

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

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) + …

InfinitivePositive Imperative
To eatEat!
To danceDance!
To runRun!
To sleepSleep!
To workWork!

Negative

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

InfinitiveNegative Imperative
To eatDon’t eat!
To danceDon’t  dance!
To runDon’t  run!
To sleepDon’t sleep!
To workDon’t work!
  1. Give orders
    • Come back to the classroom!
    • Don’t play on the computer!
    • Don’t listen to your classmate!
  2. Give instructions
    • Open your book on page 40.
    • Collect your school timetable tomorrow morning.
    • Don’t open that webpage. It has a virus.
  3. Give advice
    • Talk to your maths teacher. He will understand.
    • Don’t study at the party. Go to the library.
    • Don’t send that email. It will only cause further problems.
  4. On signs/notices
    • Pull.
    • Insert 1 Euro.
    • Do not disturb.
  5. Make an invitation
    • See for yourself.
    • Have a magazine.
    • Don’t be afraid to contact your university professor.

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.

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.

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