How can you make a suggestion, give advice or get someone to do something in Spanish? The _imperativo_, of course! It might not be as straightforward as in English, so studying the conjugations carefully will help you gain confidence with this tricky tense.

Use imperativo to give advice, give orders and make requests

When do we use the imperativo?

The imperativo is used to:

  • make suggestions or proposals

  • give orders

  • give advice

  • make requests

Regular Verbs in imperativo

-AR hablar-ER comer-IR vivir
hablano hablescomeno comasviveno vivas
ustedhableno hablecomano comavivano viva
nosotros/ashablemosno hablemoscomamosno comamosvivamosno vivamos
vosotros/ashabladno habléiscomedno comáisvividno viváis
ustedeshablenno hablencomanno comanvivanno vivan


  • ¡Tomemos el metro! – Let’s take the metro! (suggestion or proposal)

  • No comáis en clase. – Don’t eat in class. (order)

  • No olvides tu pasaporte. – Don’t forget your passport. (advice)

Irregular Verbs in Imperativo

There are 8 verbs that are completely irregular. It is especially important to note and remember conjugations with the second person, singular – tú. The following are the conjugations for: tú – usted – nosotros/as – vosotros/as – ustedes in this order.


affirmative: di – diga – digamos – decid – digan
negative: no digas – no diga – no digamos – no digáis – no digan


affirmative: haz – haga – hagamos – haced – hagan
negative: no hagas – no haga – no hagamos – no hagáis – no hagan


affirmative: ve – vaya – vamos/vayamos – id – vayan
negative: no vayas – no vaya – no vayamos – no vayáis – no vayan


affirmative: pon – ponga – pongamos – poned – pongan
negative: ni pongas – no ponga – no pongamos – no pongáis – no pongan


affirmative: sal – salga – salgamos – salid – salgan
negative: no salgas – no salga – no salgamos – no salgáis – no salgan


affirmative: sé – sea – seamos – sed – sean
negative: no seas – no sea – no seamos – no seáis – no sean


affirmative: ten – tenga – tengamos – tened – tengan
negative: no tengas – no tenga – no tengamos – no tengáis – no tengan


affirmative: ven – venga – vengamos – venid – vengan
negative: no vengas – no venga – no vengamos no vengáis – no vengan

It is also important to note that some verbs change their stems, just as in the present tense. For example, in the verb pensar:

affirmative: piensa – piense – pensemos – pensad – piensen
negative: no pienses – no piense – no pensemos – no penséis – no piensen

The same goes for verbs like pedir (pide), dormir (duerme), sentir (siente).

Reflexive Verbs

For reflexive verbs (ponerse, callarse, lavarse etc.), we add the reflexive pronoun (te, se, nos, os, se) to the end of the verb in the affirmative form. In the negative form, we place the reflexive pronoun before the verb and after the no. Here is a table showing the conjugations for the verb calmarse. Note that when conjugating a reflexive verb with vosotros/as, the d is not included. You say calmaos, not calmados.

¡Cálmate!calma + te¡No te calmes!
¡Cálmese!calme + se¡No te calmes!
¡Calmámonos!calmemos + nos¡No nos calmemos!
¡Calmaos!calmad + os¡No os calméis!
¡Cálmense!calman + se¡No se calmen!

Alternative Form

An easy and correct way to give orders, advice, or make suggestions is to use the “a+infinitive” form.


  • ¡_A callar_! – be quiet

  • ¡_A caminar_! – walk

We hope that reading this has solidified your understanding of the imperativo in Spanish. If you’re interested in taking a Spanish course in the heart of Barcelona, check out our classes.

August 27th, 2019

Posted in Learn Spanish

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