The Imperative

The imperative is verb form used for giving instructions or commands. This form is wonderfully simple in English!


Read on for some tips on how to form and use the imperative in English, or


Imperative Affirmative

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The imperative affirmative is just the base form of the verb. Because the subject of an instruction or a command is always "you," the form of this verb is always the same.



  • "Everyone, please sit down."
  • "Jack, please sit down."
  • "Please, sit down."
  • "Sit down!"


Imperative Negative

The imperative negative is formed by adding "do not" or the contraction "don't" in front of the base verb.



  • "Don't open your test booklets until you are instructed."
  • "Don't forget to bring your lunch!"
  • "Caution: Do Not Enter"