The imperative form is used when someone wants someone else to do something. While it can be used to order someone to do something, it can also be used to do several other things like suggest, warn, wish, or suggest. Let’s begin by looking at the form:

  • Bring me my coffee.

The imperative is formed by using the bare infinitive of the verb (the verb itself). Something that is unique to the imperative form is that the subject is almost never stated. The implied subject is ‘you’ (singular and plural forms)


Don’t forget to be polite! (Look, I’m using the imperative form!)

The imperative form doesn’t sound very polite. A way to make it more polite is by adding ‘please’ in front of the bare infinitive. While it is still a demand, it is a nicer way of asking for something.

  • Please bring me my coffee.

How to Negate the Imperative Form 

In order to negate an imperative sentence, two things must be added. ‘Do’ and ‘not’ must be added in front of the bare infinite in order to create the opposite meaning.

  • Do not bring me my coffee.

Let’s + Imperative 

  • Let’s go to the movies on Sunday.

‘Let’s’ can be added before the imperative phrase to include the speaker in the sentence. Instead of telling the listener to do something, the speaker is telling the listener that they want to do something together. It serves as more of a suggestion than demand.

Practice

  • What is the form, meaning, and use of the imperative form?
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