Unit 7.2

Irregularities in the Imperative Affirmative

Contributors

Introduction

The imperative [imperativo] is a grammatical mood used to give orders and commands, make requests or express wishes. There are two types: affirmative and negative.

The affirmative imperative [imperativo afirmativo] is made up of two modes (regular and irregular verbs) and is used to give affirmative commands.

There are some irregularities [irregularidades] in the affirmative imperative.

Form

Some verbs have irregular forms in the affirmative imperative, especially those in the 2nd person singular.

The following table shows the irregular affirmative imperative of the main verbs:

Persona Decir Hacer Poner Salir
di haz pon sal
Él/Ella/Usted diga haga ponga salga
Nosotros/as digamos hagamos pongamos salgamos
Vosotros/-as decid haced poned salid
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes digan hagan pongan salgan

 

Example

  • Dile a tu madre que has conseguido sacarte el diploma;
  • Haga usted el favor de no jugar con la comida;
  • Pongamos las cartas sobre la mesa: cometieron un error y ahora deben pagar por ello;
  • Salid a la pizarra y procurad tener buena letra;
  • Díganles a sus padres que deben hacer una redacción.

Use

The imperative is used to:

  • express orders, commands, requests and wishes;
  • give direct instructions: Cruza la calle;
  • maintain communication with lexicalised imperatives that have acquired other meanings: miraoye¿diga?¿dígame?;
  • expressing politeness or respect: perdona/perdone;
  • initiate explanations: Pues mira, cruza la calle…

Summary

The imperative is a grammatical mood used to express commands, orders, requests and desires. Some verbs have irregular forms in the affirmative in Spanish, especially those in the 2nd person singular: decir, hacer, poner, salir.

For example:
— «Siéntese, por favor». = The imperative form for the third person singular (usted);
— «Dime por qué quieres trabajar aquí». = The imperative form for the second person singular (tú).

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Exercises


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