Forming Imperatives Sentences

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Stop! Put your hand up!

Imperative Sentences call for action.

They are used to give commands, instructions, warnings, and advice. Imperative Sentences can forbid the listener from doing certain things like those that are harmful to them. Or, they can be in the form of a request. No matter what, Imperative Sentences require action. 

For example, as a child, did you play Cops And Robbers? If so, you probably used this phrase in your native language: 

    “Stop! Put your hands up! You’re under arrest!”

The above 2 sentences are both Imperatives. In the example, the speaker is commanding the listener to act. The listener must “stop” what they are doing and put their “hands up.” 

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Forming imperative Sentences

[How can I form an Imperative sentence]

To form an Imperative Sentence, the Verb’s base form is used. To clarify, there’s no ‘ing’ in Imperative Sentences. For example, you may hear a native English speaker say: 

    “Have a cup of cappuccino.”

By saying this, the speaker is requesting that the listener has a cup of coffee, possibly to calm the listener’s nerves before an English test. Conversely, it’s incorrect to say “Having a cup of coffee.” 

Also, when writing Imperative Sentences, the exclamation mark may be used (!). This mark shows emphasis or indicates strong feelings. 

A bit about grammar

[What are the rules for using Imperative Sentences]

Imperative Sentences are always in the second person. 

Usually, when speaking in second-person, the Pronoun “you” is used, but in imperative Sentences, the Subject is most often hidden. For example, in the sentence: 

    “Hand me the coffee mug.”

The Pronoun ‘you’ is implied, but not said. In other words, the speaker can’t hand himself a “coffee mug,” it’s not possible. And so you (the listener) must act. This is important to remember when forming Imperative Sentences. 

As a rule of thumb, the base form of Imperative Sentences doesn’t change when speaking to one or many people. 

Examples of Imperative Sentences

Ladies, please go this way.

Marina, stop! Don’t move! 

Go straight and then turn left on the next street. 

Let’s Practice

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Give an example of a command you would give to your children. 

Q3: What instructions do teachers usually say to students? 

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