Spanish Grammar: Imperatives – Basics

Spanish Grammar: Imperatives (Commands) - Basics

Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project


Spanish Grammar: Imperatives – Basics
la gramática española: los imperativos – los básicos

  • Imperatives are also known as command forms.
  • Ask people to do things with grammatical urgency.


60-Second Spanish Grammar Lesson

  • Coming Soon!


Imperatives (commands) are words that are used to ask or tell a person to do something. If you want to be able to tell someone how or what do to or to understand if someone tells you to do something in Spanish, you will need to understand Imperatives.

By now you are aware that Spanish uses two styles of speech: formal (usted) and informal (tú).

This is where I would put a chart for “Imperative Form Endings”, but as you’ll see, the endings change for formal and informal, affirmative and negative, and plural and singular. Check out the individual Imperative lessons for specific command form endings. There’s a lot of them…

There are two types of general imperatives (commands) in Spanish:

Formal Commands and Informal Commands

However, there are also plural commands for commands involving “we” and “y’all”.

Nosotros Commands and Vosotros Commands

Regular affirmative familiar commands (used like we use tú) are the same as the él/ella forms of the present tense.

Regular affirmative formal commands (used like we use usted or ustedes) and suggestions (like nosotros) use different forms.

Commands can use an inverted exclamation point at the beginning of the command and an upright exclamation point at the end of the sentence.

Imperatives are used in many different situations.

To tell someone to do something:

Espera a tu hermano!
Wait for your brother.

Tell someone NOT to do something:

No escriba en su libro.
Don’t write in your book.

To make a suggestion (Let’s…):

Hablemos de otra cosa.
Let’s talk about something else.


¡Abra las ventanas!
Open the windows!

¡Cierra las ventanas, está lloviendo!
Close the windows, it’s raining!

¡Coma las espinacas!
Eat your spinach!


¡Vamos a la fiesta!
Let’s go to the party!

¡No salga temprano!
Don’t leave early!

¡Lea el libro!
Read the book!




Quizlet Activity

  • Coming Soon!