The form and use of the imperative in English beginners Course 24

Lesson 24


This tutorial is focusing on the imperative mood.

The imperative mood, is a grammatical mood, that forms a command or request.


1/Sentence Practice

Peter soon finds another taxi and he gets to Victoria Station.

Stop here, please. Here are ten pounds, Keep the change.

Peter arrives at Victoria station. A man asks Peter for directions.

Can you tell me the way the Buckingham Palace? Of course, let me see.

Are you in a car or are you on foot? I’m on foot.

Turn right onto Spur Rd, at the chemist’s cross over.  

Then, turn right onto Buckingham Gate.

Carry straight on for two hundred yards.
At the traffic lights, turn left towards Stafford Pl. Then Ask again.
You will not be far. Thank you so much. Have a nice evening.

Peter gets on the bus and goes home. There are lots of people returning home after a fun night out.An elderly man says, “Stop shouting, please”.


2/Vocabulary Practice

  • The imperative
  • to find another
  • taxi
  • to  get to
  • Stop here!
  • Here are
  • ten pounds
  • Keep the change.
  • to ask for directions
  • Can you tell me the way to?
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Of course,
  • let me see.
  • in a car
  • to be on foot
  • Turn right onto…
  • At the chemist’s
  • crossover 
  • Then
  •  Turn right.
  • Carry straight on.
  • for two hundred yards
  • At the traffic lights
  • turn left
  • towards 
  • to ask again
  •  to be far
  • Have a nice evening.
  • he gets on the bus
  • he goes home
  • many people
  • to return home
  • fun
  • a night out
  • an elderly man
  • Stop shouting.
  • please


The imperative

The imperative is a grammatical mood.

Let’s learn how to form and use the imperative!

2 Forms exist:

  • 2nd person subject (singular or plural): you, you: Shut the door! Please open the window. Turn left. Carry on straight up this road.
  • 1st person subject (plural): we: Let’s go! Let’s watch the movie! (We include ourself/ourselves in the order/suggestion).

How to create the imperative forms?

2nd person singular or plural (you, you)

positive form > Bare infinitive: Have a cup of tea! Leave me the key! Come in!

negative form > Don’t + bare infinitive : Don’t worry about it! Don’t forget! Don’t park there!

1st person subject (plural): we

positive form > Let’s + bare infinitive  + O :   Let’s leave early! Let’s eat! Let’s do this!

negative form > Let’s + not + bare infinitive: Let’s not rush! Let’s not forget to phone her! Let’s not make it complicated!

How do I use the imperative? What does it imply?

  1. direct orders: Shut the door! Don’t shut the door!
  2. instructions: Open your book. Don’t open your book.
  3. invitations: Do have another cup of tea. Let’s go, shall we?
  4. signs and notices: Do not enter. Pull / Push (the door).
  5. informal advice: Try speaking to her. Let’s wait a little.

Some more advice:

1/ When using the imperative you may want to change the tone, to make it softer, less assertive. Add “Please”, “Do” (at the beginning) or a Tag Question (at the end) if you wish to give an order in a more polite manner.

Please shut the door. Do shut the door. Shut the door, will you?

2/ Alternatives to the imperative include: “I expect you to…” “Shall we….?” “You might want to…”.

I expect you to shut the door when leaving.

Shall we shut the door?

You might want to shut the door when leaving.

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Have a cup of tea!

No thank you, I I’m not thirsty.

Leave me the key!

No, I won’t leave you the key, I need the key.

Let’s go out tonight!

No, I am tired.

Let’s not rush!

I am in a hurry.

Don’t forget your keys!

No, I won’t forget my keys.

Don’t shut the door!

I am going out in a minute.

Let’s wait a while!

No I can’t, I need to do it now.

Can you tell me the way to Buckingham Palace?

Yes, go straight on and turn right at the end of the road.

Are you at the traffic lights?

Yes, I am but I cannot talk as I am on the phone.

Are you in the car or are you on foot?

I am on foot.

Exercises Lesson 24

Comprehension Practice

Vocabulary Practice

Grammar Practice