Things your Spanish teacher never taught you: Giving commands!


When I was in high school Spanish, I remember always being frustrated by forming commands. It seems confusing that there were so many different conjugations just to say “Sit down” or “Talk!” I would just avoid ever forming them and just use tener + que + verb (tienes que sentarte) instead.

A few years ago, I really started studying them and made myself learn them and practice them! Here are some silly tips about forming commands that might help you remember them better. This is just for regular conjugations, not the irregulars!

  1. Informal Affirmative Tú Commands – This means you want someone to do something. You would use these with students or friends. Since you use the tú form when talking to friends, it is usually a easy conversation to have- just like forming the command!
  • Just think about the tú form and drop the -s
    • hablas- habla
    • comes- come
    • caminas – camina

Easy peasy, just like talking to friends!

2. Formal Affirmative Usted Commands- This would be a command given to a parent or another older teacher or someone you are not close to or want to be polite to. These conversations tend to be harder or a little more stressful. Just like forming the command takes one extra step!

  • Think about the tú form command, drop the s, but change the ending to the opposite (a to ee to a) or the present subjunctive if you want to be fancy
    • hablas- hablae- hable
    • comes- comea- coma
    • caminas- caminae- camine

One extra step, but not too bad!

These are the first two basic commands I thought I would share with you. You would use these when talking to one person, not a group. So, when you forget how to form a command when talking to someone, think easy peasy when talking to friends and just drop the -s and when you are using usted, just do one extra step and change the ending to the opposite.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any tips you like to use when speaking Spanish!


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