Imperative Sentence - QuillTools

In this article you'll learn in detail all about imperative sentence and how to use imperative verb to make an order, a request, a warning or to give an advice. You'll also learn how to include yourself in an imperative sentence and how to use conditional imperative. We will explain how to use punctuation like exclamation point or a period, and how to use use tones to express clearly your intent from the sentences in imperative.

Fri, 05 Jan 2024
min read

imperative sentence

What is an imperative sentence?

An imperative sentence, imperatives, or the imperative mood is used to make an order command, instruction warning and to make a request. There are in general three moods in the English verb: indicative, subjunctive and imperative. 

When an imperative mood is applied to a sentence, it is called Imperative sentence. In general, the imperative sentence doesn't have always to be addressed to a person; it can be an animal or metaphorically an object. Here are some examples:

Give me my jacket!

Go get the ball!

The exclamation point isn't always required because it depends on the tone. For example:

Help me wear my suit.

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How to make an imperative sentence?

To turn a normal sentence into an imperative sentence, you need to start with the infinite of the verb without using 'to' preposition. For example this is a normal sentence:

John is playing with the ball.

Let's turn it into imperative mood; the infinitive of playing is to play, so we will omit the preposition to and start with the infinitive verb:

Play the ball.

This is the easiest verb mood as it doesn't require any specific rule of conjugation. 

How to make a negative imperative sentence?

To make a negative imperative, put do not or don't before the verb. A negative imperative sentence is very similar to the normal one. Let's see some examples:

Don't make trouble this time.

Do not cheat in the exam!

How to include yourself in the imperative?

To include yourself in the imperative, use 'let's'  to show that in in this case just before the infinite verb like in those examples:

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Let's workout together next month.

Let's see what's inside.

To include yourself in a negative imperative sentence use 'let's not" like in those examples:

Let's not workout together next month

Let's not see what's inside

When should I use imperative?

It is uncommon for adults to give orders to each other unless they are in control. Children and animals are frequently instructed to obey orders. Teachers and those with authority often use imperatives as they frequently provide both instructions and orders, which is a common practice.

How to make warning with imperative?

To make a warning  with imperative you can use one of the two ways:

  • Change the intonation the end of the sentence
  • Add a comma at the end of the sentence and an adjective or adverb

It must always end with an exclamation point to mark the change of the intonation.

Here are some examples:

Watch out!

Get out from there, now!

Come on, quickly!

It is important to pay attention to the warning's intonation with its final word often being more pronounced than the others.

In the final example, you will have to make a decline in the tone of that sentence's conclusion, to make the warning less like a request because helps to enforce its meaning.

How to use imperative to give advice?

You the normal imperative, and focus on stressing your tone because you are offering your thought or comment on something as a way of help.

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How to make a request with imperative

It is similar to normal imperative only with difference in the tone or by adding an adjective or an adverb to make it less like an order. Here are some examples:

Give me your phone number.

Spell it for me, please.

What is conditional imperative?

It is an imperative mood used to tell someone to do something if a condition has been verified by adding an 'if' statement or any other conditional expression. Here is an example:

Check your watch if you reach the seafloor.

Call me when you're done!

The form of the verb doesn't change, but only the form of the sentence by adding a conditional expression to make the meaning.

When to use exclamatory point and period in imperative sentence?

An exclamatory point isn't compulsory in an imperative sentence, but it is used to show how serious you are and express a tone that makes the sentence more like an order. For example:

Give me my money back!

In other cases even if you don't use an exclamatory point, the imperative sentence stays correct like in this example:

Get me one of these apples.

In this example, the imperative sentence is more like a request and less like an order, and the use of a period here show that you are using a friendly tone.

It is less likely to use exclamatory point with imperative conditional.

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