The imperative is a verb that has no subject.  The verb is always in the simple form.  You can be talking to one person or more than one person, but the verb doesn’t change.  To make it negative, put don’t or do not before the verb.  If you need to be clear about whether you’re talking to one person or more than one, add you guys, people, you two, you three, etc.

The imperative is used in five ways:

1. To give an order:

•  Wait here for me, you two.

•  Don’t forget to lock the door.

•  Go away, you guys.

You can make orders more polite by adding please.

•  Please don’t make all that noise.  I’m trying to study.

•  Close the window, please.  I’m cold.

•  Please wait for me while I open an account.

2. On signs that give orders:

•  Don’t walk

•  Insert the correct change

•  Do not use this exit

3. To give instructions:

•  Don’t open the test booklet until I say so.

•  Go three blocks north and then turn left onto Georgia Street.

•  Squeeze the sides of the cap as you unscrew it.

4. To make an invitation:

•  Drop by tomorrow afternoon, and we’ll go for coffee.

•  Please join us for dinner.

•  Make yourself comfortable.

5. To give advice:

•  Go home and be with your family.

•  Get some sleep and we’ll talk tomorrow.

•  Speak to your husband, and tell him how you feel.

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© 2013 Ambien Malecot