Informal Commands in Spanish? Made Easier

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How to use Informal Commands in Spanish?

In Spanish, an informal command is a mood used to address another person directly and give them an order or instruction. These imperative mood commands are almost always found in the 2nd personal pronoun tú, which is why they are also known as informal tú commands.

Difference between formal and informal commands

Informal commands are frequently used in daily conversations in Spanish, particularly among friends, family, and casual acquaintances whereas formal commands are frequently used for elders, employees, authority figures, and strangers. If in doubt, choose the side of caution and take the formal approach.

In this post, you will find the most common informal commands in Spanish. Making an informal command in Spanish is determined by whether the informal command is affirmative or negative. Let’s look at the conjugations for informal tú commands specifically.

The affirmative informal (tú) imperative is formed by the 3rd person singular conjugation in the Present Tense:

Verb

Stem

Endings

Estudiar (to study)

estudi-

-a

Leer (to read)

le-

-e

Vivir (to live)

viv-

-e

Let’s make it clear with the help of a few examples:

  • You study for the final test! – ¡Estudia para tu prueba final!
  • Read carefully, that book is a little bit confusing – Lee minuciosamente, ese libro es un poquito confuso
  • You live wherever you want, it is your life! – ¡Vive adonde quieras, es tu vida!

Important point to remember: There are 8 verbs that have irregular affirmative tú imperative forms.

English

Verb (Infinitive)

Imperative form

To say, to tell

Decir

¡Di!

To do, to make

Hacer

¡Haz!

To go

Ir

¡Ve!

To put

Poner

¡Pon!

To go out

Salir

¡Sal!

To be

Ser

¡Sé!

To have

Tener

¡Ten!

To come

Venir

¡Ven!

Negative Informal

Negative informal commands in Spanish are formed by using the informal (tú) Imperative followed by the word no, followed by the tú form of the Present Simple Subjunctive.

Verb

Stem

Endings

Saltar (To jump)

salt-

-es

Beber (To drink)

beb-

-as

Abrir (To open)

abr-

-as

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Do not jump on the bed, it is dangerous! – ¡No saltes en la cama, es peligroso!
  • Do not drink rum on an empty stomach! – No bebas ron con el estómago vacío
  • Do not open the window yet! – No abras la ventana todavía

When to use these informal commands?

You need to use these informal commands when you are talking about basic manners, such as:

  • Do not talk with your mouth full, it is rude – ¡No hables con la boca llena! es de mala educación
  • Learn to be on time because it is vital! – ¡Aprende a ser puntual porque es fundamental!
  • Treat people with respect, kindness and friendliness! – ¡Trata a las personas con respeto, amabilidad y cordialidad!
  • Listen to the person who speaks to you without interrupting them! – ¡Escucha a la persona que habla contigo sin interrumpirla!

You need to use these informal commands when you are asking for any kind of information, such as:

  • Tell me the time, please – Dime la hora, por favor
  • I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name. Repeat it again – Lo siento, no escuché tu nombre. Repítelo de nuevo
  • Tell me about your job, it sounds interesting – Cuéntame de tu trabajo, suena interesante
  • Please, show me where the pharmacy is – Indícame dónde está la farmacia, por favor

You need to use these informal commands when you are giving any direction, such as:

  • Turn right when you get to the intersection – Dobla a la derecha cuando llegues al cruce
  • Walk five blocks and cross the street – Camina cinco cuadras y cruza la calle
  • Ask for help if you really need it – Pide ayuda si la necesitas realmente
  • Take the train / bus to the next stop – Toma el tren / autobús hasta la siguiente estación

Affirmative and negative commands in Spanish are simple to learn, but irregular forms and the use of pronouns will require some practice.

Consistency is essential, and you must study and practice on a regular basis. It can be difficult to find motivation at first, so make your goals clear to yourself first. What motivates you to learn Spanish?

Do remember your goal and stick to it till you achieve it. Learning a second language requires time and you need to devote your time and efforts to achieve the desired results. 

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  • I am Teacher Catalina.

  • I am a Spanish Teacher, a native Spanish speaker, and have been teaching Spanish in the USA for over 16 years, always teaching in a fun and engaging way. My passion ❤️ is to teach Spanish, share my expertise as an educator, and collaborate with people around the world 🌍.

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