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Tú commands are the singular form of informal commands. To tell a friend, family member, classmate, child, or pet to do something, use the affirmative tú command. To tell one of those same people not to do something, use the negative tú command.

Affirmative Informal Commands

For the familiar affirmative commands, use the 3rd person singular form of the present indicative.

  • Compra la camisa. (Buy the shirt.)
  • ¡Aprende español! (Learn Spanish!)
  • ¡Escribe el ensayo! (Write the essay!)

Pronoun Placement with Commands

Pronoun placement: the pronoun is attached to the end of affirmative commands.

  • Tráemelo. (Bring it to me.)

Punctuation to the Rescue!

Because this command is the same conjugation as the 3rd person singular, it is helpful to include exclamation points to indicate urgency or the name of the person you are commanding followed by a comma. (Without the comma, your sentence is just 3rd person singular present indicative.

  • Alicia, compra la camisa. (Alicia, buy the shirt.)
  • Alicia compra la camisa. (Alicia buys the shirt.)

Irregular Affirmative Informal Commands

All irregular 3rd person singular present indicative verbs maintain that irregularity in the affirmative informal command except the following 8 verbs which have a special irregular form in the affirmative command.

Irregular Affirmative Informal Commands

decir di salir sal
hacer haz ser
ir ve tener ten
poner pon venir ven

Negative Informal Commands

Negative informal commands are very different from affirmative informal commands. They are actually more similar to the formal commands in that they use the tú form of the present subjunctive of each verb. And always make sure you have a no in front of the verb. This makes it negative.

  • No compres la camisa. (Do not buy the shirt.)
  • ¡No aprendas español. (Do not learn Spanish!)
  • ¡No escribas el ensayo! (Do not write the essay!)

Pronoun Placement

Pronoun placement: the pronoun precedes the verb in negative commands.

  • No te levantes antes de comer tu calabaza. (Don´t get up before you eat your squash.)

Another way to form the negative informal command is to -s to the end of the negative formal command.

Alternative Negative Tú Command Formations

infinitive negative formal command negative informal command
Comprar no compre Ud. no compres
Aprender no aprenda Ud. no aprendas
Escribir no escriba Ud. no escribas

Irregulars

There are no irregular negative informal commands. If a verb is irregular in the present subjunctive, it maintains the same irregular in the negative informal command as well.

Exercises

1) Conjugate each infinitive in parenthesis to both the affirmative and negative command for each phrase.

Example: (Comer) su calabaza. -> Come, No comas

  1. (Sacar) un lápiz.
  2. (Limpiar) la cocina.
  3. (Lavar) los platos.
  4. (Hacer) tu tarea.
  5. (Salir) por esta puerta.
  6. (Abrir) tu libro.
  7. (Escribir) un ensayo.
  8. (Tener) cuidado.
  9. (Hablar) con tu compañero.
  10. (Dar) una vuelta.
  11. (Poner) tu proyecto en la mesa.
  12. (Estudiar) mucho esta noche.
  13. (Ir) a la oficina.
  14. (Decir) tu memoria favorita.
  15. (Tocar) la guitarra.

Answers

  1. Saca, No saques
  2. Limpia, No limpies
  3. Lava, No laves
  4. Haz, No hagas
  5. Sal, No salgas
  6. Abre, No abras
  7. Escribe, No escribas
  8. Ten, No tengas
  9. Habla, No hables
  10. Da, No des
  11. Pon, No pongas
  12. Estudia, No estudies
  13. Ve, No vayas
  14. Di, No digas
  15. Toca, No toques
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