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Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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The Informal commands (AKA Telling your family & friends to do stuff!)

When we are with friends, siblings or children, we can order them around more casually. There is a command form for this that is more casual than the Formal Command.

We can think of the formation of the commands one of two ways:

  • 1) In the affirmative commands you use the 3rd person (él, ella, usted) singular present tense;
- or -
  • 2) In the affirmative commands you use the regular present tense form, but drop the "s".

For example, here are some common affirmative commands:


Tú command

Comer Come
Hablar Habla
Escribir Escribe
Leer Lee
Apagar Apaga

Hurrah! Not too difficult!

And there are only 8 (eight!) irregular affirmative commands:

(you knew there had to be a couple):

Decir Di
Hacer Haz
Ir Ve
Poner Pon
Venir Ven
Tener Ten
Salir Sal

Forming the negative commands in the Informal is a bit trickier.

The negative command form is actually the form of the Present Subjunctive and therefore similar to the Formal commands (except that we add the marker: the "s".)

Let's take a look. To form the negative commands, you need to first remember how to form the First Person Singular (Yo) in the Present Tense.

Remember if the Yo form is irregular, the command will be irregular. Let's try using an irregular: Hacer. First we start with the infinitive of Hacer:

  1. We need to conjugate it in the first person: Hago
  2. Now let's drop the o so we are left with: Hag-
  3. Now we add the opposite ending* which for Hacer is "-as", and add No [because we are making a negative command]
  4. And we have our negative command: No hagas
* By opposite ending we mean add the vowel ending of the other type verb: For verbs that end in "-ar", we add "-es" instead of "-as" and for verbs that end in "-er/-ir", we add "-as" instead of "-es"

All of the eight irregular affirmative commands follow the above pattern in the negative commands. (Note that Object pronouns always are placed before the verb in all negative commands.)

¡Di la verdad! Tell the truth!
¡No digas realmente lo que pasó! Don't tell what really happened!
¡Ven acá! Come here!
¡No vengas acá! Don't come over here!
¡Sal del carro! Get out of the car!
¡No salgas del carro! Don't get out of the car!
¡Ten cuidado! Be careful!
¡No tengas cuidado! Don't be careful!
¡Ponlo en la mesa! Put it on the table!
¡No lo pongas en la mesa! Don't put it on the table!
¡Hazlo! Do it!
¡No lo hagas! Don't do it!
¡Sé simpático! Be nice!
¡No seas tonto! Don't be silly!
¡Vete! Get out of here! (Get lost!)
¡No te vayas! Don't go!