Explanation

Quick Answer

There are many different types of Spanish commands, including affirmative tú commands, negative tú commands, formal commands, nosotros commands. This article serves as a quick reference for all the different types of commands. For more information on the different types of commands, click on the links above.

Affirmative Commands

We use affirmative commands to tell a friend, classmate, child, pet, or family member the same age as you or younger to do something. To form regular commands, we use the third-person singular form of the present indicative.

Check out the following examples.

examples
Lava los platos.
Wash the dishes.
Lee tu libro.
Read your book.

It is important to remember the eight verbs that are irregular in the affirmative command form.

VerbAffirmative Command Form

ser

ir

ve

tener

ten

venir

ven

hacer

haz

decir

di

poner

pon

salir

sal

Negative Commands

Negative commands are used to tell a friend, classmate, child, pet, or family member the same age as you or younger not to do something. To form negative commands, use the form of the present subjunctive and put no, nunca, or another negative word in front of the verb.

Check out the following examples.

examples
No manejes tan rápido.
Don't drive so fast.
Nunca corras en los pasillos.
Never run in the hallways.

Singular Formal (Usted) Commands

Ustedcommands are used to tell someone you don't know well, a person older than you, or a person to whom you want to show deference or respect to do/not to do something. To form both affirmative and negative usted commands, use the third-person singular form of the present subjunctive.

Take a look at the following examples.

examples
Apague el teléfono, por favor.
Turn off your phone, please.
No abra la ventana, señor.
Don't open the window, sir.

Plural Formal (Ustedes) Commands

In Latin America, ustedescommands are used to address any group of people because ustedes is used for both the formal and informal plural. In Spain, ustedes commands are used to address a group of people formally. To form both affirmative and negative ustedes commands, use the third-person plural form of the present subjunctive.

Take a look at the following examples.

examples
Estudiantes, saquen una hoja.
Students, take out a piece of paper.
Niños, no pongan sus juguetes aquí.
Children, don't put your toys here.

Nosotros Commands

Nosotroscommands are used to express what the speaker and others ought to do or shouldn't do. In other words, they are used to say let's or let's not do something. To form both affirmative and negative nosotros commands, use the nosotros form of the present subjunctive.

Take a look at the following examples.

examples
No trabajemos hoy.
Let's not work today.
Comamos fuera.
Let's go out to eat.

Affirmative Vosotros Commands

In Spain, affirmative vosotroscommands are used to tell a group of people you are familiar with to do something. In all other Spanish-speaking countries, we use ustedes commands in both informal and formal situations. To form affirmative vosotros commands, replace the ‐r at the end of the infinitive with a ‐d.

Check out these examples.

examples
Chicos, probad este café.
Guys, try this coffee.
Bebed más agua.
Drink more water.

When using reflexive verbs, we typically attach the reflexive pronoun to the end of the affirmative command. However, with vosotros commands, we need to drop the ‐d before adding the reflexive pronoun os.

Take a look at some examples.

examples

Callaos, por favor.
Be quiet, please.

Poneos los zapatos.
Put your shoes on.

Negative Vosotros Commands

In Spain, negative vosotros commands are used to tell a group of people you are familiar with not to do something. To form negative vosotros commands, use the vosotros form of the present subjunctive.

Check out these examples.

examples
Niños, no molestéis al perro.
Children, don't bother the dog.
No escribáis sobre los pupitres.
Don't write on the desks.

Affirmative Vos Commands

Voscommands are used in many parts of the Southern Cone, which is made up of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile. They are also commonly used in Nicaragua and may also be heard in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. The vos form is used in place of the informal form. To form affirmative vos commands, drop the -r from the end of the infinitive and add an accent on the last vowel.

Let's take a look at some examples!

examples
Dejá de hacer eso.
Stop doing that.
Si te quedás atascado, pedí ayuda.
If you get stuck, ask for help.

The affirmative vos command for the verb iris andá.

Negative Vos Commands

In the Southern Cone, negative vos commands are used just like negative commands to tell a friend, classmate, child, pet, or family member the same age as you or younger not to do something. To form negative vos commands, use the form of the present subjunctive.

Check out these examples.

examples
No camines en la calle.
Don't walk on the street.
No te metas en mis asuntos.
Don't meddle in my business.

Sometimes, people add an accent on the last syllable of these forms (For example: ¡No caminés!¡No te metás!), but this is considered non-standard.

Negative Vos Commands with Stem-Changing Verbs

When forming a negative vos command with a stem-changing verb that ends in -ir, remember that these verbs change from e > ie or o > ue.

Take a look at the following examples.

examples
No hiervas los huevos.
Don't boil the eggs.
¡No te duermas ya!
Don't fall asleep already!

Again, you may see or hear the non-standard forms. For example, ¡No hirvás!or ¡No te durmás!