Imperative mode

Imperative mood . Verb form that serves to order to ask or beg (imperative is the adjective of the empire family) but the existence of an imperative mode as such is discussed today and many prefer to speak of imperative forms where conjugations of indicative and of subjunctive.


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  • 1 Use
  • 2 Time
    • 1 Compound times
  • 3 Shape
  • 4 Types
  • 5 Sources


For reasons of courtesy (it sounds very authoritarian, distant and formal) the pure imperative is hardly used in everyday language, reserving it for some forms of poetry, formal speeches or religious messages among the most frequent uses. In our country the forms of the pure imperative (read, come out, etc.) are practically unknown and the function of ordering, asking or begging is fulfilled by verbs that technically belong, as we said before, to the indicative or the subjunctive. These imperative forms are often called appellative forms.


By its own condition, the imperative admits only one tense: the present and does not admit the first person singular (some only recognize the second). Orders can only be given at the moment of enunciation, it would not make sense to order what has already happened and although the fulfillment of the order can be in the future, the order itself can only be given in the present.

Compound times

They are expressions with the auxiliary verb haber + participle.

Past perfect . It is used to express a past action but close to a present; The following time expressions are often used: today, this morning, this month, this weekend. The form: have (present) + participle. For example: Today I visited my brother.

Past perfect . It is used to express past actions, performed at a given moment in the past. The form: have (pret. Imperfect) + participle. For example: When I got home, Carlos had left for high school.

Past past . It is not yet, example with I have spoken

Compound future It is used to express future actions, which occurred prior to another, also future. The form: have (future) + participle. For example: I will go on stage and you will have already raised the curtain.

Present Participle / Gerund

The gerund is a conjugation that ends with -iendo or -ando. It is often preceded by some form of the auxiliary verb estar. It is used to express actions that are happening. It’s raining.


The imperative has its own forms only in the second person plural and the singular (you, you) in the rest of the people we use the subjunctive mood .

Forms of the imperative mood are not assigned to any tense and are used to give affirmative commands. The imperative exclusively presents second person forms (you, you / you, you).

For negative constructions the present subjunctive forms are used, for example:

  • Do not touch that.
  • Don’t go up so fast.

In Spanish, verbs are conjugated in four modes: indicative, subjunctive, conditional and imperative. Each mode has one or more times and compound times. Read more if you want to learn how to use modes and times.


There are two types of imperative:

  • Affirmative, for example: sing! You sit down.
  • Negative, for example: don’t sing! You don’t feel like it.
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