Affirmative Informal (Tú) Commands

Overview

Tú commands are the singular form of informal commands. You can use affirmative tú commands to tell a friend, family member of the same age or younger, classmate, child, or pet to do something. To tell somebody not to do something, you would use a negative tú command. This article covers affirmative informal commands (also called informal imperative) in all their forms.

Affirmative Command

Compra (tú) los libros.
Buy the books.
 

Negative Command

No camines (tú) en el césped.
Don’t walk on the grass.
 

Affirmative Command Forms

For regular verbs, you will simply use the third-person singular form of the present indicative to form an affirmative tú command.

-Ar Verbs

For verbs that end in -ar: Add the third-person singular ending -a to the stem.

Verb CommandEnglish
comprar
 
Compra la camisa.
 
Buy the shirt.

-Er Verbs

For verbs that end in -er: Add the third-person singular ending -e to the stem.

Verb CommandEnglish
aprender
 
¡Aprende español!
 
Learn Spanish!

-Ir Verbs

For verbs that end in -ir: Add the third-person singular ending -e to the stem.

Verb CommandEnglish
escribir
 
¡Escribe el ensayo!
 
Write the essay!

For verbs with stem changes or spelling changes in the present tense, the stem or spelling change also applies in informal command form.

Verb CommandEnglish
cerrar
 
Cierra la puerta.
 
Close the door.
mover
 
Mueve esas sillas.
 
Move those chairs.
incluir
 
Incluye tus datos aquí.
 
Include your information here.

Irregular Affirmative Commands

All verbs with irregular third-person singular forms in the present tense maintain that same irregularity in the affirmative informal command, except for the following eight verbs, which have a special irregular affirmative command form.

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

Pronoun Placement with Commands

Pronoun placement: the pronoun is attached to the end of the affirmative commands and the verb has an accent (tilde ) to maintain its original stress.

Tráemelo.
Bring it to me.
 
Díselo.
Tell it to her.
 
Cómpraselo.
Buy it for him.
 
Ponte los zapatos ¡Póntelos!
Put on your shoes. Put them on!
 

Punctuation to the Rescue!

Because the informal tú command has the same conjugation form as the third-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, a sentence could be confused with the third-person singular present indicative. Compare the following sentences written with different punctuation:

Compra la camisa.
 
She buys the shirt.Present indicative
¡Compra la camisa!
 
Buy the shirt!Informal imperative
Alicia compra la camisa.
 
Alicia buys the shirt.Present indicative
Alicia, compra la camisa.
 
Alicia, buy the shirt.Informal imperative

Take a practice quiz!

Practice what you know with our quiz tool.

Did this page answer your question?