Imperatives Lesson Notes
We use Imperatives to tell someone to do something or to give instructions, orders, warnings or directions.
Imperatives are divided into two groups:
a) Positive Imperatives
b) Negative Imperatives
To form a positive imperative we use the base form of the verb. The base form is the form in the dictionary.
read Listen Put Go Do Work
Raise your hands
Do your homework
We can also use positive imperatives by using always.
Always put on your safety belt.
Always remember my advice.
To form a negative imperative we use:
Do not + the base form of the verb
Do not come here
Do not put your hat on the chair
Do not drink it
Do not park your car here
The contraction for do not is don’t.
Do not come here = Don’t come here.
Do not speak Spanish in the class = Don’t speak Spanish in the class.
Do not sit there = Don’t sit there.
Do not lean out of the window = Don’t lean out of the window.
We can also form negative imperatives by using never.
Never go there again.
Never leave your keys in your car.
The imperative does not usually have a subject, but we can use a noun or pronoun to make it clear who we are speaking to.
Mary come here
Somebody answer the phone
before an imperative can suggest an emphatic persuasion or anger.
You stay home.
You just sit down and relax for a bit.
You take your hands off me.
We can make an emphatic imperative with do + Infinitive. This is common in polite requests, complaints and apologies.
Do sit down
Do listen to your father
Do forgive me
Do have some wine