Imperative Mood for intermediate learners

If you're wondering what the word 'imperative' means, in grammar, imperatives are verbs that are used to tell somebody what to do or not to do.

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"Imperative Mood" in English Grammar

What Is Imperative Mood?

When we want to order someone to do or not do something, we use the imperative mood.

Structure

In an imperative structure, the subject is hidden or implied. Also, the base form of the verb comes at the beginning of the sentence. Take a look at the examples below:

Close the door!

Here, the subject is 'you' and it is hidden.

Do your homework right now.

Tip!

It is useful to know that in the imperative form, we can use both '.' and '!' at the end of the sentence. However, remember not to confuse the imperative statements with declarative and exclamatory sentences.

We can change these imperative sentences to negative ones, simply by putting either 'Don't' or 'Do not' at the beginning of the sentence. Pay attention to the examples below:

Don't talk to me like that!

Don't stare at other people.

Warning!

Be careful that when you want to order someone politely, you better use phrases such as 'please' or 'if you don't mind' in your statement. Take a look at the examples below:

Open the window, please.

Turn down the volume if you don't mind.

Uses

The imperative form is used in many different contexts but we are going to learn some of its most common uses in the English grammar listed below:

  • To Give Orders
  • To Give Directions
  • To Give Instructions
  • To Give Advice and Suggestions

To Give Orders

When we want to order somebody to do or not to do something, we mainly use the imperative verbal mood structure. Remember that the subject in this form is 'you' and it is implied. Let us take a brief look at some examples:

Read the script loudly.

Do not say God here.

To Give Directions

When we want to give directions to a particular place or location, we mainly use the imperative form. Let us look at some examples below:

Go straight to Apple Street. Then turn left. Park your car in the garage.

To Give Instructions

When we want to instruct someone to do or use something, we mainly use the imperative form. Pay attention to the following example:

Pour some water on the mixture.

To Give Advice and Suggestions

When we want to advise someone to do or not to do something, we can use the imperative structure. Pay attention to the examples below:

Write your name down here.

Don't wear jeans for tonight.

Tip!

Another usage of the imperative form is to invite someone to a gathering or something like that. Let us look at an example below:

Come to Anna's party!

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