Imperative Forms in Spanish: Uses

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After learning all its forms and having practised a lot with our series, it’s time to learn all the uses of the imperative forms in Spanish. Are you ready? Let’s start!

In this post you'll find:

Table of Contents


    1. Imperative in Spanish: uses

Wait a second… Have you missed any of our previous posts about imperative forms in Spanish? Don’t worry! Just click on any of the links bellow and keep learning with us!

Imperative in Spanish: uses

Knowing when to and how to use the imperative in Spanish is very important. What do we use imperativo for? Keep reading and you’ll find that out.


This is the first use that pops into our heads when we think about imperative: giving orders and commands. You can hear many examples of this in conversations between parents and children, bosses and employees, teachers and students, in heated discussions…

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No habléis más y terminad ahora mismo el proyecto.

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Vete y no vuelvas.



We use imperative forms to say how to do something correctly, to give instructions. What kind of instructions? Recipes, directions, dosage (medicine), assembling furniture…

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Pela y lava las papas. Córtalas en trozos pequeños y ponles sal y pimienta.

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Sigue recto y gira a la derecha en la primera calle. Después cruza la plaza.

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No tome más de 40 gramos al día. Tome las pastillas después de las comidas. 

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Ponga la tabla A en el suelo e introduzca el tornillo T en …



Imperative can also be used to ask for something or to ask someone a favor. Keep in mind that the tone we use is key to avoid offending someone or to differentiate a command from a favor.

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Déjame tu chaqueta nueva, por favor.

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Préstame tu bolígrafo azul, anda.



Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you need to ask something to the waiter, or that you’re in the street and you need to know the time. The first thing you need to do is catch someone’s attention. How do we do that? Well… we use the imperativo afirmativo of verbs like MIRAR, OÍR, ESCUCHAR, PERDONAR or DISCULPAR.

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Disculpa, ¿me puedes traer la carta? 

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Oye, mamá. ¿Me compras una chocolatina? 

Attention! This is the only use when you can NOT use the negative forms. It can only be used with imperativo afirmativo.



In Spanish we have many ways to recommend or give advice and one of them is the imperative. It’s not unusual hearing the doctor or your friends recommending using the imperative forms. Remember, it’s not an order, it’s just a piece of advice.

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Beba 2 litros de agua al día y no fume.

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Duerme más y no te acuestes tan tarde.

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