Formal and Familiar DirectCommands, Suggestion Commands, and Indirect Commands
Formal direct commands are formed by adding the third person singular and plural (Usted and Ustedes) endings of the present subjunctive to the first person singular form (yo form) of the present indicative after dropping the -o. Examples: Hablar (to speak) – Hablo (I speak) – Hable (Speak) Comer (to eat) – Como (I eat) – Coma (Eat) Vivir (to live) – Vivo (I live) – Viva (Live)
Examples in sentences: Eat cereal in the morning. Coma cereal en la mañana. Don’t dance more than two hours. No baile más de dos horas.
Irregularities and stem changes in the first person singular (yo) form of the present tense usually remain in the command form. Example: Sleep at least eight hours. Dormir (to sleep) – Duermo (I sleep) Duerma por lo menos ocho horas.
If an object pronoun is involved, it attaches to an affirmative command and precedes a negative one. Examples: Tell me the truth. Dígame la verdad. Don’t tell me that you don’t know. No me diga que no sabes.
If both an indirect and direct object pronoun are used, they attach to the affirmative command with the IOP coming before the DOP, and a diacritical mark is added to the command. Example: Give it (masculine) to me. Démelo. Give it (masculine) to him/her/you/them. Déselo. Give it (masculine) to us. Dénoslo.
The following are some formal direct commands that are irregular: Dar - to give Dé Decir - to tell/say Diga Estar - to be (temporary) Esté Hacer - to do/make Haga
Ir - to go Vaya Oír - to hear Oiga Poner - to put/place Ponga Saber - to know Sepa Ser - to be (permanent) Sea
Tener - to have Tenga Traer - to bring Traiga Venir - to come Venga Ver - to see Vea
Formal Commands of Direction Stop - pare(n) Follow me - siga(n)me Continue - siga(n) Go up - suba(n) Pass - pase(n) Go down - baje(n) Take - tome(n) Get in/on (bus, etc.) - suba(n)se a Turn - doble(n) Get off (bus, etc.) - baje(n)se de
Informal commands are formed with the second person singular (tu) form of the present tense. Affirmative commands: drop -s from the second person singular form of the present indicative. Examples: Mirar (to look [at]) – Miras (you look [at]) – Mira – (look [at]) Comer (to eat) – Comes (you eat) – Come (Eat) Asistir (to attend) – Asistes (you attend) – Asiste (attend)
Negative Commands: Use second person singular form of the present subjunctive. Examples: Don’t look. No mires. Don’t eat. No comas. Don’t attend. No asistas.
The following are some common irregular familiar commands in the affirmative and the negative: Decir - to tell/say Di No digas Hacer - to do/make Haz No hagas Ir - to go Ve No vayas
Poner - to put/place Pon No pongas Salir - to leave Sal No salgas Ser - to be (permanent) Sé No seas Tener - to have Ten No tengas
Valer - to value Val No valgas Venir - to come Ven No vengas
The first person plural of the present subjunctive is used in suggestion (or “Let’s”) commands. Examples: Let’s work. Trabajemos. Let’s read. Leamos. Let’s have a drink. Tomemos un refresco.
Pronouns attach to affirmative suggestion commands and precede negative ones. Examples: Let’s invite him. Invitémoslo. Let’s not invite him. No lo invitemos.
Indirect Commands are formed by omitting the initial word or words of the impersonal verb phrase in a soft command. Examples: I want them to drive. Quiero que manejen. Have them drive! ¡Que manejen!
I want him to finish. Quiero que termine. Let him finish! ¡Que termine!
Irregulars for Formal Direct Commands: Ir – to go Go with God. Vaya con Dios. Decir – to tell/say Tell the truth. Diga la verdad. Hacer – to make/do Make a sandwich. Haga un sandwich.
Irregular Familiar Direct Commands: Decir – to tell/say Tell the truth. Di la verdad. Hacer – to make/do Don’t make a sandwich. No hagas un sandwich.